On our recent visit to Menorca, we visited the west side of the island and stayed in Cala en Blanes near Ciutadella de Menorca. The historic city of Ciutadella is one of two primary cities on the island, the other being the capital, Mahon (or Maó, locally) on the east side of the island.
Ciutadella has a beautiful port, an old quarter and plenty of cobbled backstreets housing lovely restaurants. We discovered some great places to eat while we were there that we had to share.
Best restaurant for a set menu
At the most charming part of the Ciutadella, the marina, sits a row of water-fronted restaurants that each sell a reasonably priced three-course set menu. It’s worth browsing each of the menus to find one that appeals to you the most.
On this stretch of the Ciutadella it’s really the beautiful harbour view that you’re paying for and whilst we certainly enjoyed food in this area, the backstreets near the cathedral can offer up a more reasonably priced set menu. We settled on Bistro es Rodol as their set menu was the most eye catching to us. Tuna and avocado tartare was followed by juicy steak with fresh chimichurri sauce. Clear effort had gone into preparation and presentation, and the meal was one of the best we ate on our trip. Tucked in between the stone walls of the Ciutadella, outdoor dining at the charming restaurant gave a real holiday feel.
Bistro es Rodol, Carrer des Seminari, 18, 07760 Ciutadella de Menorca, Illes Balears, Spain.
Best restaurant for paella
We has two delicious paellas in Menorca. The first – and probably our favourite – was at Los Delfines near our resort in Cala’n Blanes. The restaurant was ranked number three of the restaurants in our resort at the time of visiting, and provided good service and reasonably priced food. It’s very child friendly (has a bouncy castle in the outside dining area) whilst still producing good-quality dishes. The paella was full of chicken and seafood (see header image) and was flavoured nicely with saffron and chorizo.
We also enjoyed a black paella (coloured with squid ink) at El Ancla in the port de Ciutadella. Whilst this wasn’t quite as tasty as the paella at Los Dolfines, the view and atmosphere at this waterside restaurant makes it a winning choice for a special meal. The tables look out towards the boats in the harbour and a steady stream of passers by allow for a good opportunity to people watch.
Los Delfines, no.11 avenida Los Delfines, 07769 Cala’n Blanes, Minorca, Spain
El Ancla, Marina, 63, Ciutadella, Minorca, Spain
Best restaurant for burgers
We were impressed by the ‘build your own’ concept at burger restaurant Mostassa, near the harbour area in the Ciutadela. After deciding between beef, chicken or vegetarian you can select your cheese. Cheddar, manchego, goats cheese’, Menorcan cheese, to name a few, and then select three options from their salad, pickles and vegetables list. Finally any extras – mushrooms, avocado, bacon, peppers… the list goes on. I opted for the queso azul (a blue cheese) and it worked wonderfully with salty bacon. Although by no means typical Menorcan food, we had fun creating our ideal burgers here and it was one of the cheapest meals we had during our stay with burgers costing 8.50 Euros each, including french fries, plus an additional euro for any extras opted for. This place gets busy so prepare to wait a short while for a table to become free or arrive early.
Mostassa, Costa Marina, 07760 Ciutadella, Minorca, Spain
Best restaurant for pizza
At a backstreet restaurant in the Cuitadella we had possibly the most unusual pizza we’ve ever tried. The restaurant Ca Na Riera serves pizza topped with sobrassada, cheese and honey. Sobrassada is a soft, spicy, minced pork sausage made with lots of red paprika, which gives it its distinctive red hue. It can be spread onto foods hot or cold (it’s not unlike nduja di spilinga) but combined with hot melted cheese and sweet drizzled honey it was a divine taste sensation. The flavour combination is something that will stay with me long after my Menorcan sandals have fallen apart.
We took some Sobrassada home with us to experiment with and so far have found it works well with meat and sweet food items such as chopped apple with caramelised onions and honey.
Ca Na Riera, Carrer Hospital de Santa Magdalena, 11, 07760 Ciutadella de Menorca, Illes Balears, Spain
Other foods to try in Menorca
A typically Menorcan dish that we tried on our previous visit to the island is the lobster stew (caldereta de llagosta). Traditionally a simple meal prepared by fisherman at sea, it’s a deliciously rich dish that’s worth trying once (although with the hefty price tag you wouldn’t want to have it regularly).
Mahon cheese or Queso de Mahonis is everywhere and certainly worth trying. Most shops, especially in the Ciutadela, allow you to try the various maturity ages to find one you like. Maturing at different ages gives surprisingly different tastes.
Other articles that you might like to read: –
- Foods to Try in Gozo, Malta
- A Foodie’s Guide to Eating and Drinking in Rome
- A Foodie’s Guide to Eating and Drinking in Berlin
- A Foodie’s Guide to Eating and Drinking in Tours, France
- A Foodie’s Weekend in Dieppe
What food can you recommend in Menorca? Leave your answer in the comments box below.Find Flavour Seeker on social media: