Best Balearics Restaurants to Visit on a Yacht Charter

June 14, 2024

The Balearics have one of the most buzzing gastronomic scenes on earth, with produce sourced from the archipelago’s clear seas, rugged mountains, and sun-drenched fields. From delicious tapas to Michelin-starred dining, the Balearics are a magnificent foodie destination for a gourmet yacht charter. From the decadence of Menorca’s signature lobster stew to Mallorca’s humble Pa amb Oli (bread with oil) and delicious sobrassada sausage, each island offers the unique flavour of the Spanish Balearics.

Complement the culinary experience on board your Balearics yacht charter by stepping ashore to some of these superb restaurants, ranging from elegant fine dining and glamorous beach clubs to cosy tapas bars and rustic mountain taverns.

Mallorca

Mallorca is the gastronomic heart of the Balearics, with a total of eight Michelin-starred restaurants on the island. The capital of Palma offers a dizzying range of excellent tapas bars as well as some real fine dining highlights, but one of the great joys of cruising in Mallorca is that there are some phenomenal restaurants right along Mallorca’s coastline, as well as in the mountains.

Michelin-starred: Marc Fosh
Location: Palma

Located in the 17th century Hotel Convent de la Missio in Palma’s medieval heart, British chef Marc Fosh celebrates both the delicacy and intensity of modern Mediterranean food. The menu features local produce that conjures up images of Spanish sunshine and mountain fields: chilled almond and olive oil soup; fresh pea and almond tartlets; wild mushroom with truffles; rabbit loins with spiced cherries. Seafood lovers will linger over dishes like grilled sea bream, citrus-marinated salmon, and marinated mackerel with aloe vera. While many of the island’s restaurants feature a preponderance of seafood dishes, the menu at Marc Fosh is superbly balanced for all tastes, including vegan.

Tapas Bar: Taberna de la Boveda
Location: Palma

There are a plethora of excellent tapas bars across Mallorca, and Taberna de la Boveda is a great example of the very best. Located in the historic heart of Palma near the cathedral and market, this bustling tapas bar is the place to try traditional tapas such as Pa amb Oli (bread with olive oil) and choricillos (mini chorizos). The atmosphere is tremendously convivial, with groups gathered around wine barrel tables and big wooden tables. It’s busy, so if you can’t get in, you can try their nearby sister restaurant, La Boveda.

Michelin Starred: Zaranda
Location: Near Andraxt Town, South-West

Arguably the culinary highlight of any trip to Mallorca, the two-Michelin-starred Zaranda is found at Castell Son Claret, a breathtaking five-star hotel set in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. Chef and owner Fernando P. Arellano has been richly acclaimed for innovative dishes such as the infamous ‘black egg’: a black-poached egg creation with a caviar of calamari, and an exquisitely pretty dish mimicking the famous Majorcan pearl. In fact, everything about this restaurant shows a deep love affair with all things Majorcan – from the sweet-smelling herbs picked from the restaurant garden right down to the beautiful dinnerware crafted by local artisans.

Michelin Starred: Voro
Location: Canyamel, East Coast

Located in the Park Hyatt at Canyamel on Mallorca’s east coast, the Michelin-starred Voro is a visual feast, both in its gorgeous dining room and exquisitely presented food. With a tagline of ‘free-spirited, young, risky and modern cuisine’ the menu crosses culinary borders with a deft touch, but there is an overall Mediterranean focus, and the vast majority of produce is from the surrounding fields and sea. Chef Álvaro Salazar presents two dazzlingly creative tasting menus, of 11 and 15 courses respectively.

Michelin Starred: Es Fum
Location: Near Puerto Portals, Bay of Palma

Situated in the lush grounds of the Saint Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort, Es Fum’s setting is pure Mediterranean dream. Seated on the elegant terrace overlooking gardens dropping away into a blue-green sea, you’ll be treated to a refined gastronomic experience that has earnt the restaurant a Michelin star. Chef Miguel Navarro and his team present a superb menu of light and fresh Mediterranean cuisine, with specialities including ‘Claire's Fine Oyster with Salmorejo de Jalapeño and Sake’ and ‘Raviolis de Foie with a duck broth’. A magnificent spot at sunset.

Traditional: Sa Foradada
Location: Near Deia, North-East Coast

Sa Foradada is one of those rustic local restaurants that lingers in the memory long after you’ve gone home again. Located on a beautiful cove on Palma’s rugged northeast coast and backed by the Tramuntana Mountain range, the restaurant balcony is cantilevered over the plunging cliff-face, affording spectacular views and cooling sea breezes. Take a seat on the terrace to enjoy traditionally prepared meals of paella and seafood cooked over a wood-fired grill. The restaurant’s remote location only adds to the specialness of this place, with access only by a steep 45 minute hike, or by boat, with your Mallorca charter yacht able to drop anchor by the unmissable ‘hole in the rock’ formation.

Traditional: Restaurant Colon
Location: Portocolom, East Coast

Traditional but anything but rustic, Colon is a restaurant you’ll remember walking into. Heavy stone walls and exposed beams are lit by huge candelabras, their candlelight reflecting off giant brass bulls and polished leather couches. With the traditional décor contrasted with modern white-cloth tables and an enchanting sea view across the Portocolom quayside, this is a restaurant with a strong presence and a strong menu to match, with traditional Spanish food presented with finesse by owner-chef Dieter Sögner. Expect dishes like lobster risotto, black Iberian pork cheeks, and creamy chickpea soup with smoked red Soller prawns.

Traditional: D’alt Des Coll
Location: Bunyola, behind Palma

There’s astonishing beauty to be found up in the mountains of Majorca, and there’s no better place to admire the coast from above than at D’alt Des Coll, a rustic mountain tavern with a jaw-dropping view. Take a table on the shady terrace, order a selection of their tapas (or something heartier), and wash it all down with a carafe of local wine. This is a top spot to try Mallorcan specialities like Pa amb Oli and green pepperonis. This is a casual but highly memorable venue.

Menorca

Sleepy, charming Menorca is also a gourmand’s delight. Less upscale than its neighbouring islands, you’ll find authentic Balearics food at every turn. Unsurprisingly given the island location, many of Menorca’s restaurants focus quite heavily on seafood, but Menorca is also blessed with fertile farming land, which deliver a bountiful harvest of Mediterranean fruits, meat and dairy. The food you’ll find in Menorca’s restaurants is a perfect reflection of the island: humble, delicious, and utterly grounded in place.

Unmissable local delicacies include the salty white Mahon cheese, cod meatballs served with garlic aioli (bacalao ab burrida), and slow-cooked suckling pig or kid goat (Cabrit o lechona es forn), and And of course, the famously good lobster stew, caldereta de langosta. For dessert, you’ll want to try Pudin de requesón Menorquín, a baked cottage-cheese pudding served with local pine nuts and raisins.

Traditional: Café Balear
Location: Port Ciutadella, West Coast

On the waterfront of the tiny port of Ciutadella lies a restaurant that has become a Balearics institution. Café Balear is a welcoming, unfussy kind of place which serves up the very freshest seafood thanks to its own fishing boat, the Rosa Holy First. You cannot go wrong here ordering either the lobster stew, the lobster with onion, or the fish carpaccio. The service is fantastic, and this restaurant has a legion of fans. Try for a table by the sea on the terrace, but if not, the interior is very pleasant and always lively.

Café Balear has been such a success that it now has two sister restaurants in Ciutadella: Pizzeria Roma and Pins 46.

Traditional: Trebol
Location: Es Castell, East Menorca

Like so many of Menorca’s restaurants, Trebol occupies prime waterfront real estate, with its tables sitting just metres from bobbing boats and offering a very lovely view across the pretty village of Es Castell. It’s an unformal kind of place, with basic furnishings on the terrace and a fresh interior with white-painted rock walls and green tablecloths. The obligatory ship’s wheel on the wall indicates what this place excels at: the seafood here is magnificent. It’s not all about the fish though; for dessert, try the Mahon cheese mousse or whiskey tart. The service here also gets rave reviews.

Traditional: Restaurant Cap Roig
Location: Cala Sa Mesquida, North Menorca

Cap Roig Restaurant is perched on a rocky cliff in the north of the island, where it has been making diners very happy since 1983. With a gorgeous covered terrace offering panoramic views across the bay, this is a wonderfully atmospheric place to tuck into some excellent seafood. And it will almost certainly be seafood: Cap Roig serves little else! Enjoy the bustling ambiance, great service and a cooling afternoon breeze in one of the most spectacular spots on the island.

Michelin Bib Gourmand: Smoix
Location: Ciutadella, West Coast

Awarded a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin inspectors, this funky industrial-chic restaurant is converted from an old shoe factory and lies on the main avenue running through Ciutadella. Owner-chef Miquel Sánchez brings a contemporary and creative bent to Mediterranean cooking, with hints of Mexican flavours running through the menu, such as the very good cod-loin tataki with tomatoes and roasted jalapeños. The signature dish, however, is the lobster or prawn-stuffed raviolis. This modern restaurant is very different to the traditional Menorcan restaurants mentioned above, and it is a joy to dine here, whether you’re seated in the sunken courtyard or the romantically moody interior.

Formentera

Known for its sugar-pink sand and bohemian beach bars, achingly beautiful Formentera attracts its fair share of superyachts on day trips from Ibiza. Those who can tear themselves away from splashing around in the crystalline sea will be splendidly rewarded in some of the island’s restaurants. These are places you will want to linger, for Formentera may be small, but its food offering is fantastic, with plenty of local, organic produce that tastes of summer sunshine, and a strong Italian influence running through its cuisine.

Beach Club: Juan y Andrea
Location: Platja Ses Illetes, North Coast

Drop anchor, tender or swim ashore, and walk barefoot to your table at Juan y Andrea, an exclusive beach club perched on the dunes of one of the prettiest beaches to be found along the entire Mediterranean coastline. A celebrity hangout in the summer months, the atmosphere is terrific, with the sound of happy chatter and music and clinking cutlery rising as the day wears on, the afternoon breeze skipping up off the water. The menu revolves around fresh seafood and big Spanish flavours, with the local lobster, salt-baked fish, red prawns, and langoustines the highlights. A big pan of the lobster paella shared between the group is rarely forgotten. The view will surely never be.

Traditional: Restaurant Can Carlos
Location: Carrer San Francesc, Central Formentara

Step away from the sea for a moment and enter the enchanted courtyard of Can Carlos, widely considered the best restaurant on the island. Set in the walled garden of an old farmhouse and shaded by fragrant citrus trees and a dense arbour of fairy lights, Can Carlos fills the belly with delicious, authentic Mediterranean food, and fills the soul with the deep satisfaction of eating in a beautiful setting. There’s a strong Italian influence in the menu, and highlights include the exceptional squid and tuna carpaccios, and slow-cooked suckling pig. Vegetarians are also well-catered for. All rounded out with a wonderful wine list and efficient, amiable service. A wildly popular place, for good reason.

Michelin Plate: Restaurant Es Calo
Location: Es Calo, East Coast

Set on a covered balcony terrace overlooking the vivid blue sea and up to the dramatic Malo plateau, Es Calo is a place you’ll want to settle in for a long, long lunch. Led by Chef Toñi Ibáñez, the kitchen brings the best of traditional Mediterranean food together with innovative touches. Signature dishes include the spiny lobster casserole (order in advance), squid with sobradassa (local sausage) and desserts made with figs plucked straight from the tree. This restaurant has received a ‘Michelin Plate’ designation.

Beach Club: 10.7
Location: Platja Migjorn, South Coast

In the mood for something other than traditional Mediterranean food? Head to Beach Club 10.7 on Platja Migjorn, where Osaka-born Chef Masahito Kanayama serves up exceptional sushi and sashimi. There are plenty of other menu options too, including traditional Spanish dishes and some Asian options. With a stunning setting on a remote beach, this is one of those places you’ll want to arrive at by yacht– and there’s no better place to be at sunset, when everyone heads up to the roof terrace to drink cocktails and listen to live music, strains of the saxophone or guitar drifting up into the darkening night.

Ibiza

Ibiza’s gastronomic scene is absolutely humming, as the White Isle continues to shed its reputation as a package holiday destination and moves increasingly upscale. Ibiza’s food culture is rich and varied, showcasing the flavours of the sea and the wonderful produce from the island’s fertile interior.

Traditional dishes to try include Bullit de Peix, a scrumptious fish stew; Chipirones, baby squid deep-fried in batter; and Fideuà, a local variation of paella, where the rice is substituted for rice vermicelli noodles – but still with that famously crunchy bottom you find in all good paellas. Just try (hard) not to fill up first on the allioli (garlic oil) and hunks of dense artisan bread that get plonked down on the table at the start of every meal in Ibiza.

Beach Club: Amante
Location: Sol Den Serra, East Coast

Set high on a gorgeous cove surrounded by rugged red cliffs and turquoise water, not only is this restaurant terrace one of the most beautiful settings you’ll encounter on Ibiza, but the food is also outstanding. You’ll be treated to light, fresh contemporary Italian and Spanish creations, featuring plenty of organic produce from the kitchen garden and local seafood cooked to perfection – whether that’s chargrilled clams baked in the charcoal Josper oven, a salt-baked sea bass cracked open at the table, or a devilishly good squid ink risotto with a light allioli crust. Vegans, vegetarians, and children are also well catered for. Amante also does an excellent healthy breakfast after an early-morning yoga class on the cliff terrace – the perfect start to a day on a Balearics yacht charter.

Michelin-starred: Es Tragon
Location: San Antonio, West Coast

The only Michelin starred restaurant on Ibiza, this fabulous restaurant is set behind San Antonio in a whitewashed finca overlooking the distant sea. Led by young hot-shot chef Álvaro Sanz Clavijo who trained under the great Salvador Gallego,,Es Tragon prides itself on taking tradition and ‘going rogue’ with it, creating an explosion of flavour in an innovative and surprising menu. With menu headings like ‘A stroll around Spanish bars’ mains including ‘Licorice Oxtail Cannelone’, and desserts like ‘A Lemon Tree and Island Herbs’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’, you’re in for an imaginative and expertly prepared food experience. The Michelin inspectors were particularly impressed with the starters here.

Beach Club: El Chiringuito Es Cavallet
Location: Es Cavallet, South Coast

One of the most iconic venues on Ibiza, El Chiringuito serves up the perfect combination of beachside hedonism and gourmet food. Set on the silky-soft sands of Es Cavallet Beach, the restaurant sprawls across the dunes, with a view over white daybeds down to the sparkling sea. The fresh décor – whitewash, pale wood and tiki-thatch– is pure Ibiza. Head chef Jerome Palaya serves up terrific food to enjoy over a long, languorous lunch, served up beautiful, tanned staff dressed in blinding white. All tastes and dining aspirations are catered for, from beach bar snacks like burgers and small plates of deliciously crunchy calamari, right through to exquisite Black Angus sharing platters and summer truffle and porcini risotto. A summer day to remember.

Traditional: Es Boldado
Location: Platja Cala d’Hort, South-East Coast

Set on a cliff-face overlooking the dramatic beauty of Es Vedrà island, it’s hard to imagine a nicer spot for a traditional Mediterranean dining experience. The locals agree; this unfussy gem of a restaurant has been packed for years. People flock here for that heart-soaring view and the seafood in particular, with traditional meals like paella, arrós a la marinera (fisherman’s rice), and bullit de peix (fish stew) proving enduringly popular.

Traditional: Sa Capella
Location: Behind San Antonio, East Coast

Occupying a superbly-restored 18th century church in the hills behind San Antonio, Sa Capella has atmosphere in droves. Start with a drink in the terrace bar admiring the view, before taking a table either in the vaulted chapel, all honey sandstone walls and iron candelabras, or out in the sunny courtyard, where ivy and bright pink bougainvillea clamber up the high enclosing walls. Expect flavoursome Mediterranean food with some modern touches, served by traditionally dressed waiters who grill the meat before you on an open flame. This is a good place for meat dishes such as suckling pig and chateaubriand.

Upscale Café: The Giri Café
Location: San Juan, North Ibiza

The Giri Café is proof of that there’s nothing more fun than a restaurant that hides a surprise. Walking up a cobbled lane in the whitewashed village of San Juan, you come to a small, rather unprepossessing café door nestled in the façade of a 300 year old townhouse. You walk inside to an elegantly modern dining room, and through to the main event: a gorgeous Mediterranean garden dotted with tables and daybeds, crammed with people enjoying the Spanish sunshine or starry night. The kitchen uses only seasonal, locally sourced produce- so local, in fact, that the ingredients might be grown in the garden right by your table. This gourmet café offers fresh, light Ibiza on a plate – and in one of the prettiest café settings you’re every likely to find.

The Balearics are a foodie’s paradise, and a charter yacht is the ultimate way to explore this enchanting archipelago and its superb restaurants.

 

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