Though known primarily as a tourism destination, the Spanish island of Mallorca is blessed with quite a few exquisite dining options that can’t be missed.
Mallorca, the largest island in Spain’s Mediterranean, is most commonly known as a popular holiday destination, especially for Europeans. Its substantial appeal stems in part from an endless natural beauty and hospitable charm, and is augmented by a fascinating heritage and plenty of the always-coveted fun-in-the-sun. But there is more to Mallorca than meets the eye, though the obvious attractions are certainly worth your while.
Mallorca has a surprisingly rich and very unique culinary tradition, and the various excellent restaurants throughout the island can attest to this. In particular, there are a handful of truly spectacular – though admittedly expensive – restaurants that deserve special mention. If you are eager to eat well and enjoy an unforgettable dining out experience in Mallorca, pay a visit to any of the following establishments and you won’t be disappointed.
Restaurante Colon – Portocolom, Mallorca
The restaurant Colon is often considered to be one of the best on the island. Located on the seaside promenade of the fishing town of Portocolom, on the Southeastern coast, Colon boasts magnificent views of the quaint marina. But the food is really the main attraction here and certainly makes the journey to this less touristy part of Mallorca worthwhile.
Colon’s owner and head chef, Deiter Sogner, is a genial Austrian with a flair for modern European cuisine featuring plenty of fresh seafood and seasonal ingredients. The story goes that he was the personal chef of a local German couple who, once they realized how much weight they were gaining due to his excellent cooking, proposed that he open his own restaurant so that they could continue to enjoy his culinary creations without the added pounds. Fortunately for the rest of us, he took their advice and visitors to Mallorca can now savor some of the finest dishes on the island.
Sa Rotana – Manacor, Mallorca
In the outskirts of Manacor – the second-largest city in Mallorca – in the midst of agricultural land scattered with family-owned farms and small vineyards, you come upon La Reserva Rotana, an exclusive rural resort offering a private golf course, wine made on the premises, and, of course, fine dining at the resort’s main restaurant, Sa Rotana.
Sa Rotana was recommended by the Michelin Guide 2010 and is known for its refined cuisine, which the restaurant itself describes as “international with Mallorcan inspirations”. You can expect dishes here to feature seasonal cooking with fresh ingredients sourced locally or harvested from the hotel’s own farm. And don’t forget to order dessert, as the selections tend to be unique, creative and truly delightful.
Restaurante Refectori – Palma de Mallorca
Located in a converted 17th century monastery that is now an exquisitely modern, boutique hotel in the Old Center of Palma, the Refectori offers not only fine international cuisine but a beautiful setting in which to enjoy it. The clean lines, neutral colors and minimalist decor of the interior of the Hotel Convent de la Missio provide a stunning contrast to the historic building which the hotel inhabits, and the restaurant uses this unique setting to full effect.
A dining experience at this remarkable establishment is truly enchanting and should not be missed. In fact, a Frommers review claims that “no chef is more celebrated in Palma than Jaime Oliver” (no connection to The Naked Chef), the head chef of the Refectori, which offers the island’s “most creative cuisine”. Due to its rather celebrated dishes, tables can fill up fast so make sure you reserve well in advance if you are keen to experience all that the Refectori has to offer.
Flanigan – Porto Portals, Mallorca
In the sophisticated marina town of Porto Portals, where wealthy jet-setters tether their impressive yachts while visiting Mallorca, you’ll find Flanigan, a restaurant that, by all appearances, was designed to ensure each diner’s gastronomic pleasure. Rumor has it that Flanigan is King Juan Carlos’ favorite restaurant on the island. With a recommendation like that, how can one possibly resist paying this place a visit!
Serving a mix of traditional Mediterranean and local Mallorcan cuisine, Flanigan can always been counted on to offer unbelievably fresh and perfectly prepared seafood dishes, as well as a relaxed and fun ambience. Make sure you place an order for their signature Apple Tarte at the start of the meal to give the chefs enough time to prepare this dessert that is famous throughout the island for good reason.
If you enjoy good wine and fine dining while traveling and you happen to be visiting the magical island of Mallorca, make an effort to stop at one of the island’s many excellent restaurants to partake in a dining experience you won’t soon forget.