If a close friend has the audacity to question Ibiza food standards, you’ll need to rethink your friendship status. Harsh, but fair. We’ve been watching Ibiza quietly brew up a dining scene that most destinations can only dream of. Chefs and restaurant owners are putting some hard graft in, and not just in the kitchen. Plots of land across the island have been snapped up for farm-to-table dining. Bringing organic produce to your plates, and swiftly quelling any doubts on the veracity of the, often misused, ‘locally sourced’ stamp.
That said, first time Ibiza diners, be prepared to see some unnerving sights on the menu. There are some bizarre branding shoutouts that do occasionally snap you from your food lust. You’ll spot Philadelphia cheese proudly announced on even THE most upscale menus. Yes, it’s a king among processed cheeses, but is it really worthy of top billing? Doubtful.
Breakfast in Ibiza
In Ibiza, food – particularly breakfast, can be somewhat holistic. So, if you’ve picked the lock on your Ibiza wellness retreat gates, the last thing you’ll be scouting for is a zingy (but ultimately cleansing) juice.
Gambol amongst menus stuffed with Full English Breakfasts if you must, but the real treats lie in Spanish themed fare. And, yes, you could just nip to an Ibiza market for a slice of flaó. But indulgent as the Ibizan cheesecake is, you’re on holiday, not grabbing a snack to eat at your desk. Savour the moment. Indulge your tastebuds. Feel the burn at the sunset yoga class.
The phrase ‘something for everyone’ fills us with dread. But at Cafe Montesol, you’d struggle to find a soul on earth who wouldn’t beam at their breakfast menu. Buckle up, there’s a lot to get through. Oysters and Moët, rich “Greixonera” pudding, delicate pastries, tostadas, Acorn-fed Iberian ham, punchy Irish coffees and eggs served any way you’d like. That, friends, is just a snippet of their menu. Definitely upscale. This isn’t a place for elasticated waistbands, but do consider forgiving garments.
Can you consider yourself chic if croissant flakes are liberally distributed about your person? Only when brunching at Cappuccino. Ibiza’s see and be seen hotspot. To that end, we’d swerve the pastries and plump for something a little less messy. May we suggest the crepes? Or the Eggs Benedict? Though, the ‘dippy egg and soldiers’ tempts us more often than we’d admit. Whatever your breakfast choice, take it on the terrace. Dalt Villa looks at its best in the morning sun.
As alluring as Ibiza’s elegant venues are, sometimes your earliest hours demand something a little more casual. Enter Retro Gusto. If we had to pigeon hole this place, we’d file it under ‘H’ for ‘Hipster Hangout’. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Expect acai bowls, homemade focaccia bread and a smattering of avocado on the menu.
If that all sounds worryingly wholesome, don’t be too alarmed. Retro Gusto’s french toast is served with ice cream. Absolute. Trailblazers.
Special mention: Croissant Show
Fronted by an eccentric gent (complete with twirly mustache), Ibiza Town’s Croissant Show draws a crowd. Perhaps it’s the round the clock summer opening hours, or the varied VIP clientele? Worth strolling by if you’re in the area. Handy for a quick coffee and croissant at 3am – where else would you go? They bake their own – a rare breed among Ibiza coffee shops.
Lunch in Ibiza
If a lunch isn’t long and leisurely, is it really worth it? Helpfully, Ibizan lunches are rarely anything else. Best served after a rewarding hour or two at an Ibiza market. After browsing the produce, there’s really nothing more gratifying than having someone else cook it for you. You’ll find plenty of places that do wonders with the locally caught seafood. But some of the best finds do require you to put in just a little work…
El Bigotes – Cala Mastella, Santa Eulalia
Nothing worth having comes easy. And never has this been more true than at El Bigotes. Such is its popularity, they laugh in the face of anyone who would dare peddle them a website. And their phone? A decorative item – largely ignored. No, booking a table here involves schlepping down to the cove and speaking to an actual person. Which somewhat sets the retro and rustic theme off well.
If your luck’s in, you’ll get a table during your stay. When your big day arrives, you’ll see no menu. You’ll be served exactly the same as every other plucky foodie in the cove. A three course stunner. It’s the only place to eat the Ibizan classic – Bullit de Peix. Lunch is served at 2pm. Don’t be late.
Staring out to sea from one of Chiringuito Blue’s plump, yet functional, sofas is a lunch well spent. Widely recognised as the benchmark most beach restaurants in Ibiza can only hope to aspire to. The menu tantalisingly mingles Eastern flavours with Ibizan produce. Your tastebuds will cross continents, stopping off at familiar flavour outposts along the way. Organic and local (where possible) Chiringuito Blue’s eco-aspirations aren’t too shabby either. Beware the cocktail menu. It’s awash with Veuve Clicquot medleys so tempting, even the strongest willed among you will succumb.
While many Ibiza eateries will dazzle you with design and seascapes, Ca N’Alfredo need rely on no such misdirection. The food takes centre stage – and frankly deserves a standing ovation.
That’s not to say you might not be a smidge distracted by the decor. The snaps of the owner proudly posing with celebrity clientele over the years could appear kitsch, but you can’t help but be moved by the obvious pride on display.
A touch too sentimental for your liking? No matter. Before you’ve even laid eyes on your main course, you get the sense it’ll rival even the best paella in Ibiza Town. And, by all means do come here for the paella, but don’t miss out on the traditional Ibizan dishes.
Special mention: La Paloma
Don’t let even the swishest of Ibiza beach clubs keep you away from this inland gem. Pop San Lorenzo in your sat nav to dine among the cafe’s olive trees. A true farm-to-table experience, the menu changes weekly. And, much as we’d like to get specific, we wouldn’t want to recommend a dish long since off the menu. Robustly Italian flavours are La Paloma’s forte. And their risotto? Always on form, no matter the recipe.
Dinner in Ibiza
Food is an obsession. Not just ours, Ibizan’s too. So, unsurprisingly, there are no shortage of eateries. Hip, chic, organic, rustic, fairy-light strewn, it’s all there, and all clamouring for your patronage.
The best on the island are those that set themselves apart without gimmicks. Some do it with the help of Michelin-starred genius, pastel-tinged skies or the curation of an ever changing art exhibit. These are the meals you’ll remember and long to come back for.
You may hear much talk of the food at Pacha, long before you’ll hear any murmurings of the stellar dishes coming from the Es Tragon kitchen. Trust us, for a night out your palette will remember – for THE best reasons, Es Tragon is the one.
Michelin star aside for a moment, the Spanish flavour combinations here are delectable. Chef Álvaro Sanz Clavijo creates gastronomic theatre, which does, of course, come at a price. Dare to dine here and put your faith in Álvaro’s ingredient alchemy. You may want to pop extra Euro or two in your holiday budget as well.
Sunsets are big business in Ibiza. Most flock to see Es Vedra as the day departs. And while we’re all for a stunning vista, the early evening rush to see it leaves us cold. Thankfully, few realise that the pastel hues of the sky to the north are just as buoying. Book a table on the Los Enamorados terrace and opt for the tapas. A forgiving feast that won’t mind if your eyes occasionally drift to the horizon.
All bets are off on foreign soil. Questionable wardrobe choices are made, your breakfasts consist of five courses and life’s daily rituals are abandoned. And this is how you’ll find yourself at the Las Dalias night market. Adventurous types, the food trucks are numerous and far ranging in quality. Very much a mixed bag. Not a gambler? Book a table at the on-site restaurant. You’ll not be far from the acoustic music and there’s still plenty of spontaneity to be had. The menu mixes Moroccan, Indian and Mediterranean flavours. Browsing the 100+ stalls under the stars is an experience in itself.
Special mention: Can Tixedò Art Cafe
If you’ve found yourself wondering where the locals go for tapas, this is it. Turns out, they like their small plates served with a side of art and culture. Every three weeks the wall hangings change – showcasing Ibizan artists and international endeavours. Cosy, informal and, despite sounding gimmicky, definitely not a tourist trap.
If you’re a vegan looking for the best places to wine and dine, we’ve got a vegan in Ibiza guide just for you. You’re welcome.
Be honest, you’re wondering just how quickly you can have a bag packed, hop on a plane and be on an Ibiza holiday – perhaps in time for brunch? There’s much to think about. Thankfully, with the Orbzii app, you can easily Dream, Plan and Book your way to Ibiza’s gastro-scene.