Where to eat in Ibiza
Posted On July 18, 2016 By Kathryn
This little island is one of my all time favourite places to holiday – it has a little bit of everything you could ever wish for on vay-kay. Bright blue skies, even brighter sea, secluded secret beaches and beaches with some of the best party vibes you can imagine. An unparalleled night life, ranging from the relaxed and chilled to simply mental. The debauchery of San Antonios ‘shit stain alley’ is indeed a total embarrassment to humanity – but that is a fraction of what the island has to offer, and has a pretty specific clientele, one which in many parts of the island you are unlikely to encounter. It is also wonderfully beautiful – the north of the island is a heaven of peace and tranquility, with a much richer terrain than the more barren south. If you venture into the middle of the island, the local agriculture is a feast for the eyes – luscious trees plush with lemons and oranges, fields full of olive trees set into bright red soil, clashing with the electric blue sky. It is idyllic.
And then – there is the food. I have been to this island some five times. The nature of my holidays has varied. There has been relaxing, sun seeking, partying, and just recently I have been there with my husband and one year old daughter. It may not strike people as a family friendly holiday – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The beaches are amazing with babies, making it easy to put in the day. And if you stay in a hotel with a babysitting service, you and your other half can enjoy some great places to eat and a little time to yourselves. Whatever the purpose of your holiday, these are my must visit places.
San Gertrudis is right in the middle of the island, and Bar Costa is one of my favourite local eateries. It serves jamon, and little else. You can have it served in toast, or simply sliced and plated. I would suggest the latter. Any of the Iberico’s on the menu are amazing, and the local Sobrassada is unbelievable – order some tomato bread for this. It is soft and delicious spread on some bread. Throw a few beers at it and enjoy the atmosphere. It is closed on Tuesdays and the best time to go is in the evening. Finish it all off with a plate of Manchego cheese. Heaven!
La Paloma is in San Lorenzo – it has the most amazing atmosphere matched by fantastic food. It is honest fare – you wont find any cheffy plates here – and thats what I love about it. When you arrive you are served with a generous basket of homemade bread, with an accompaniment of tepenade and a soy and yeast butter – one of the best things I have ever tasted. The menu is dictated by what is in their garden, and whats in season. A fish curry graced the menu, the idea for which came from the abundance of coriander in the vegetable patch. Go hungry – the portions are the kind you get served by your granny, and it’s just as well. It is too good to be left wanting more. Book in advance as it is one of the busiest and most loved restaurants on the island. If you can, go a bit early and have a drink at the small bar – I loved watching the bar tenders at work. The spanish know how to make a great drink – its a bit of poetry in motion.
We stumbled upon a fantastic little Japanese place one evening. Nagai is near St Joan, and is a hidden gem. The building once belonged to an artist, whose work adorns the exterior walls. It is eye catching to say the least, but it is almost impossible to see beyond this when driving past – we almost couldn’t believe there was anything more inside. Thankfully there was, and the restaurant itself is charmingly cool (as oppose to ostentatiously so, in the way many Ibiza joints are). It was quiet when we were there, but I liked the vibe, and imagine it picks up as the evening goes on. They had an impressive set of decks which I always think is a good sign – a sign that there is potential for a bit of a party! There are a few too many stray cats rocking around the place outside, but to be honest, I am not particularly bothered about that kind of thing once I feel the kitchen and interior of the place is clean.
For a great beach vibe, it has got to be Calla Bassa. There are two restaurants alongside the beach, which bang out tune after tune all day long. Its about as cool as a beach vibe gets. It is busy, but if you want atmosphere, this is the place. Both restaurants serve good food – go for the black rice or paella. They are good here and I think its a rather special treat in this kind of setting. Don’t let them take the piss out of you with their wine recommendations. They try to sell you stupidly priced bottles of wine, but in my experience, the most affordable bottles are just as good. These restaurants are very child friendly too, and the beach is perfect for little ones. Other good beaches are Cala Benirras – Bongo night is on a Sunday at sunset. Cala Xaracca in the north of the island is an idyllic spot and one of the most beautiful little beaches I’ve seen. Apparently it gets really busy at weekends but during the week is a bit quieter. Bring your own food here – the restaurant on the beach tried to charge us 75 euro for a piece of John Dory.
Beach House looks out over the sea as Platja d’en Bossa. It is a seriously cool spot, and does great food. We had pizza from their wood fired oven – the best on the island according to the waitress. I can’t vouch for that as it’s the only place I have eaten pizza in Ibiza, but it was damn good and I would have it again. Sunday nights are party night here.
Two really cool spots are Experimantal Beach on playa des Codolar Salinas and El Cheringuito on playa es Cavallet. You will feel like you are driving on a road to nowhere when heading to experimental beach. It is totally hidden away and is a great spot to watch the sunset while sipping on an Aperol spritz! El Cheringuito is on a great beach, and the food matches the surroundings. It is fab – make a day of it here, have a long lazy lunch and then enjoy soaking up some sun.
One of my favourite treats in Ibiza is a trip across to Formentera to the famous Juan y Andrea. This is worth making a day of. Their paella is exceptional, as is the salt baked bass. It is not cheap here, but the setting is spectacular. Looking out over the bright blue sea, feet in the sand and sipping on some great rosé. It the ultimate spot for a bit of people watching and celeb spotting!
Unless you are staying close to your hotel for your entire holiday, a car is a must. There is so much to be seen and discovered on the island, it is a shame not to explore it. Taxis are an absolute rip off, and only worth it if you want to have a few drinks.
There are lots of recommendations above, and perhaps not quite possible to visit them all in one trip. So, my top three would have to be La Paloma, Bar Costa and Juan y Andrea. Have a scroll through the White Ibiza website for some more inspiration on all things wonderful in Ibiza.