About choosing a Restaurant in Mallorca
Mallorca has become a real foodie island in recent years. The restaurant scene has come along leaps and bounds and now rivals top destinations like Madrid and Barcelona. Whilst traditional Mallorcan fare has been revived by famous chefs, the island also serves first class international cuisine and there’s been a wave of 21st-century fusion restaurants popping up in recent years. So you can bank on there being plenty of places to fulfil your individual desires when you visit.
Breakfast & brunch
There is a wide variety of cafes located all around the island serving breakfast, even in the smallest of villages. Opening times do vary so it is best to check in advance but most places open at 08:00 or earlier. The choice of breakfasts available depends on the restaurant, although classic Mallorcan and continental breakfasts tend to be the most common on the island. Traditional Mallorcan breakfast is a café con leche with an ensaïmada, a spiral-shaped pastry, or 'pa amb oli' (also known as 'pan con tomate' or 'pa amb tomàquet'), a simple slice of bread which may or may not be toasted, with tomato rubbed over and seasoned with olive oil and salt. There tend to be breakfast deals in most Spanish cafés where you can buy a coffee, orange juice and pastry or 'pa amb oli' for a reduced set price.
English fry ups and American pancakes are available at more touristy restaurants around the island, usually located in the holiday resorts and Palma city centre. Brunch is becoming a widespread global phenomenon in recent years and Mallorca is no exception, hotel brunches are a must when you want a full-on banquet breakfast.
Lunch in Mallorca
Lunch is the main meal of the day for the Spanish, typically taking place between 13:00 and 15:00 on the island. At this time of day, many of the best restaurants offer a ‘Menu del día’, a set menu which usually consists of three courses and a drink for a fixed price. Alternatively, a restaurant might offer a ‘Plat del dia’, one course and drink which is also a great choice for a quick bite to eat. The price of these menus varies, with many places in Mallorca serving three courses under 10€, whilst at some of the top restaurants on the island they can cost up to 25€. At any rate, this option offers amazing quality and value for money in comparison to à la carte and evening menus.
Dinner in Mallorca
The Spanish like to dine late so, whilst most restaurants open around 19:30 for their evening sitting, it's common for the more traditional spots not to open until 20:30. It’s highly recommended to book a table in advance to avoid disappointment, especially in summer and during weekends.
In the evening, it's customary for the waiter to bring a liqueur with your bill. This is a 'copa', a complimentary treat courtesy of the restaurant. It normally contains 'Hierbas Mallorquinas', a local liqueur aromatised with anise and other herbs. Sometimes a restaurant will ask you whether you want a 'copa', while others will just bring these treats out with the bill.
Coffee the Mallorcan way
The Spanish are coffee lovers and offer a wide variety of ways to serve the brew, which is commonly consumed throughout the day and into the late evening. Common preparations are 'café solo' served short, strong and black, 'café con leche' a normal coffee with milk, 'cortado' a short coffee with milk, and 'americano' which is a weaker black coffee. When asking for a 'carajillo' you will get the option to add alcohol to your 'café solo' (normally Amazonas, the local rum, Coñac or Baileys) and sometimes a bottle will be left on the table for you to help yourself. Add to your order the words 'con hielo' and they will bring you a glass with ice cubes to make your own iced coffee.
Mallorca has a relaxed vibe around the whole island so formal dress is rarely necessary. When dining at one of the more exclusive restaurants found in Palma, Deià and some of the prestigious ports located around the island, a 'smart casual' rule sometimes applies.
Eating out with children
Children are always welcome except at adults-only hotels. Mallorca is a popular destination for families thanks to its fun, relaxed attitude, affordable restaurant selection and assortment of child-friendly menus. High chairs are usually on hand when needed although it’s best to call the restaurant in advance to let them know you are coming, especially in the summer months when the restaurants often get booked up.