Photo Credit: Juan Antonio Capo Alonso

The local cuisine of the Balearics veers towards the exotic, as well as imaginatively presented and delicious. Seafood is a main ingredient, and paprika is used in meat-rich dishes including the famous pork pate, sobrasada. Local recipes include the unique Balearic extra-virgin olive oil, readily available outside the islands. A huge choice of fast foods and international cuisine is available, and the bars serve tapas. Street food stalls offer quick fillers such as pita-bread ‘mixto’ sandwiches. Most of the riotous nightclubs and late-opening bars offer food as well as alcohol.

Bars and Pubbing in the Balearic Islands

Ibiza is famously known as the World’s Party Capital, with a rave going on somewhere every single night of the high season, from early June to September. The island host famous DJs and live bands from around the world, most of whom are regular annual arrivals. Seven huge dance clubs are scattered around Ibiza Town, San Antonio, and near San Rafael, with many smaller venues in every major tourist area. In San Antonio are Es Paradis (Calle Salvador Espriu 2, San Antonio) and Eden (Calle Salvador Espriu 2011, San Antonio) with Amnesia (5, San Antonio Road, Ibiza) and Privilege (San Antonio Road, near San Rafael) set on the main road between San Antonio and Ibiza Town.

There are more than 1,000 bars in Ibiza, with most centered in the main party areas. Bar Monalisa (3, Carrer d’Alfons, Ibiza Town) is a great place to meet new friends and is set in an atmospheric old building. For more upscale drinking, Madrigal (Marina Botafoch, Ibiza) overlooks the massive yachts of the wealthy. In San Antonio, one of the best pubs is Joe Spoons (Calle de Santa Agnes 07820, San Antonio), an authentic Irish pub serving the best pint of Guinness on the island, as well as a warm welcome.

In Majorca’s Magaluf resort, the Three Lions pub (Punta Ballena, Magaluf) is popular for its sports TV. The lively Chaplin’s Bar (Punta Ballena 7, Magaluf) stays open until 4:00 a.m. for night owls. Palma’s Bar Barcelona (Carrer des Apuntadors 5, Palma de Mallorca) is known for its cool jazz and soul nights, and L’Havanna (Calle son Callaret 2, Palma de Mallorca) is a popular hangout for Latin lovers. Continuing the Latin theme, Asere (Port de Ciutadella, 07760 Ciutadella, Menorca) is a salsa club catering to tourists and locals alike, and Bar Palomino (Passeo Maritimo de Binibeca Vell, 07710 Sant Lluis, Menorca) is a family-friendly bar and restaurant that closes at midnight.

Dining and Cuisine in the Balearic Islands

Eating out in the Balearic Islands almost always involves fish dishes as seafood is the traditional source of protein. Lobster stew (caldereta de langosta) is Menorca’s signature dish, with local variations on Ibiza and Formentera, and is served everywhere across the islands. It’s the most expensive meal in the Balearics, but also the most delicious! For visitors with families, even the plushest restaurants cater to children, and Palma de Mallorca is the hub for Michelin-starred and other top eateries.

Palma de Mallorca is home to Es Baluard (Plaza Santa Catalina, 907012, Palma de Mallorca), located adjacent to the Es Baluard Museum. Chef Joan Torrens excels in top quality dishes, and the wine list is extensive. One of the trendiest see-and-be-seen eateries in town is Aramis (Calle Montenegro I, La Lonja, Palma de Mallorca), set close to the Puro Hotel and a favorite with celebrities and movie stars. Meanwhile, the tapas bars in Palma have to be experienced to be believed.

In Ibiza, one of the most famous restaurants on the island is Ama Lur (Carretera de San Miguel, Santa Eulalia, Ibiza), a Basque-themed fine dining destination with stunning views, as well as remarkable food and wine. Fresh seafood and fine meats dominate the menu, and the presentation is exquisite. Set in the lovely Ibiza countryside is Aura (Ctra San Juan 07812, San Lorenzo, Ibiza), a stylish, open-air restaurant and lounge bar featuring sultry decor and sexy, low lighting, as well as a selection of the island’s finest cuisine. Specializing in upscale international-style tapas, the restaurant gives high-end service, features world-class DJs, and stays open until 4:00 a.m. For an exotic Bedouin-style experience, look no further than KM5 (Carretera Sant Josep 07817, Talaia, Ibiza). Arabian décor, a gorgeous garden, several cocktail bars, great food, and a dance floor with resident DJs keep diners happy until the wee hours of the night.

Menorca is home to the country’s signature dish, lobster stew (caldereta de langosta), with waterside Café Balear (Es Pla de Sant Joan 15, Ciutadella, Menorca) one of the best venues serving it. In spite of its upscale reputation, Es Pla (Pasaje Es Pla, 07748 Fornells, Menorca) is an informal, unstuffy place with ultra-friendly service and ultra-fresh food. Located a few kilometers north of Mahon, Cap Roig (Urbanizacion Cala Mesquida, Sa Mesquida, Menorca) has the best views of any eatery on the island and offers locally caught clam, crab, and prawn dishes served on a terrace high above the rocky coastline.

Formentera cuisine is simpler but no less delicious than the other islands. Traditionally, recipes here have relied on local produce, with fresh fish stews and soups all-time favorites. Meat is farmed locally, and figs and olives feature strongly in the dishes. Capri (Es Pujols, Formentera) regards ingredients as it’s star since it’s owned by several local fishermen and offers a simple menu with tasty local fare. Top-of-the-line El Sueno (Porto Saler, Formentera) is a reservations-only venue which serves dinner and has an unbeatable reputation for international cuisine. Café de Lago (La Savina, Formentera) overlooks a peaceful salt-water lagoon and is popular with holidaying Italian footballers. The chef does great things with salads and pizzas, and it’s a friendly place to eat.

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