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Ruta Martiana Tapas Route review, Palma Centre & Marina

An evening sampling tapas in the centre of Palma

Featured in: | Jose Rains, Mallorca Reporter | Published
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On a summers evening, I headed deep into the depths of Palma’s old town to join in the fun and frolics of the city’s legendary ‘Tapas Tuesday Tour’, known and advertised as Ruta Martiana on the island.

This sociable affair encourages locals and tourists to assemble in Palma’s authentic backstreet restaurants to enjoy tapas, wine and beer for a special price. There are more than a dozen bars in the area participating in this weekly event where it's customary to ‘bar crawl’ until you are bursting at the seams from overindulging in some typical Spanish tapas or pintxos.

Palma’s old town can be a bit of a maze. Even if you have frequented the area a few times, you can still manage to find areas you have never discovered before and it’s more than possible to get lost on occasion. Speaking from experience! The main area for the Ruta Martiana is around the iconic squares Plaça Mayor, Plaça Santa Eulalia or Plaça Quartera. Each time I have been, I have discovered new places.

This Tuesday, I decided to begin at Plaça d´en Coll which is known to embody a few restaurants participating in Tapas Tuesday. It’s one of my favourite spots because there’s usually a really good atmosphere in the square and people come together to dine al fresco style. The square was already buzzing at 19:30 with live music thanks to a local playing guitar on the steps nearby. Here restaurants Café d’en Coll, La Andaluza and newbie Pasta & Sugo seemed to be the most popular. 

First, we visited the brand spanking new Pasta & Sugo restaurant who were showcasing their food in the entrance of their bar. Whilst they looked like a modern Italian restaurant, we were impressed with the display of pintxos and the charcuterie just inside, so decided to order from here first. For 3.50€ the gentleman came to our table outside in the square and presented us each with a shandy and a fresh version of the pintxo we had chosen at the entrance, mine covered with tomato paste, hard cheese and serrano ham. Within a few small bites, it disappeared all too quickly.

Next, we decided to wander down one of the streets off the square to one of the little bars that has been on this route for a number of years, La Cuadra del Maño. Unfortunately, this place doesn’t offer outside seating but the good quality food and atmosphere inside attracts a loyal following. Here’s the place where you get to experience the lively and friendly nature of a true Spanish bar. It’s worth noting that the food offering each week at this particular joint does tend to change but is guaranteed to be fantastic value for money at 2.50€ for a drink and tapas. This week we indulged in mini chicken and mini beef burgers, which were mouth-wateringly tasty and washed down with a small shandy.

The third and final tapas bar we visited was Ca La Seu, a rustic looking building with high beamed ceilings, reminiscent of its former life as a 500-year-old basket shop thanks to its historic and quirky décor. The winner for me, because the pintxos were my absolute favourites on the tour. The spicy chorizo pintxo was juicy and had a fiery kick to it, whilst the guacamole pintxo was fresh and flavoursome! Again at 2,50€ for pintxo and drink. You can’t beat these prices

We were all bursting at the seams after visiting those three tapas bars, yet it hadn’t seemed like we had eaten that much. Perhaps the time we spent between each bar let the food catch up with our stomachs! All in all, a well-spent couple of hours with friends, for under 20€. Between bars, there was a chance to admire the beautiful streets of Palma’s old town and plenty of opportunities to make new friends in the capital.

A couple of places we missed on the Ruta Martiana tour that I am keen to try and will be visiting later in the summer are Quina Creu, Lemon Tree and Sa Jugueteria, so watch this space.

More inspiration...

There are plenty of restaurants and bars in Palma offering delicious tapas and pintxos. Take a look at our selection.

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