Authentic Menorcan recipes and dishes are traditional and simple and influenced by the seasonal ingredients available. The basis for all meals is of course the "mediteranean trilogy" of olive oil, bread and wine. Highly recommended are local fresh fruits ( oranges,peaches,strawberries and lemons ) and vegetables. If you or your children have forgotten or never seen that vegetables are not always the same shape, same colour, often quite tasteless wrapped in plastic so you cannot smell it then Menorca is for you! It's a place where you can still taste the earth in which they grew and they are very tasty. Local fruit is ripened where it should be under the sun on the plant before it reaches the shops. Sometimes the benefits of being a small island is buying imported and processed food is often much more expensive with unreliable deliveries so that more of what is on offer in the restaurants, bars and shops will be homemade and grown on the island at least.


Eating out in Restaurants

Average cost of eating out

In restaurants you can eat both expensively and poorly, cheaply and well on the island. As everywhere else in the world there are three simple rules to follow:

1) Eat where the locals eat. Be "brave" you will be rewarded.

2) Fixed price menus offer excellent value "menu del Dia" during the day or "menu del Noche" at night

3) Follow the Tips.

Restaurants in towns will generally be much better and cheaper than beachside resorts. Lunch is usually from 13:00 to 15-16:00 , evenings from 19:00-midnight. A 5-10% tip may be left if you are happy with the service. Children are very welcome.

Our Recommended Restaurants Listing

Menorca Holiday Tips

For an island surrounded by water fish dishes on the island are expensive. If you love fish then enjoy it as part of a "menu del Dia". You will often get near enough the same fish, in portions size too, that you would in an a la carte choice. Restaurante Irene (in Es Castell) does very good fish as part of its menu del Dia and menu del Noches.

Breakfast Ideas

Islanders will tend to eat sweet pastries for breakfast, a favourite being "Churros con chocolate" a finger like doughnut style pastry to dip in hot (often thick) chocolate. The other favourite being the Balearics speciality Ensaimada ( light pastry spiral ) If you want something hot and savoury then hot baguettes will be freshly made with local pork, chicken or tortilla fillings. And of course coffee. If you need your cholesterol fix there are enough "English Breakfast offers" in the package holiday beach resorts.

Ensaimada
Churros con chocolate

Coffee

Coffee is always made from an expresso base, so will have less impurties and caffeine. Spanish coffee has traces of chicory in it so has a different taste to Italian coffee. If you don't want any caffeine then ask for :

  • descafeinado de maquina - made with decaffinated ground coffee ( often not great as has been standing around too long and is often oxidised,so bitter tasting)
  • descafeinado de sobre - Packet ( usually a brand manufacturer) served with hot water or milk on request ( con Leche )

Coffee Types

  • "Cafe Solo" (Espresso ),
  • "Cafe Cortado" (Espresso with a shot of milk - typically served in small glasses ),
  • "Cafe Bombon" (Espresso with a shot of condensed milk ),
  • "Cafe Carajillo" (Espresso with a shot of brandy - favoured my male senior citizens for breakfast!),
  • "Cafe Americano" (Expresso diluted with hot water )
  • "Cafe con leche" (Milky Coffee-not Cappucinno if you want that ask for Cappucinno made with frothed milk),
Menorca Holiday Tips

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast in one of the locals towns where the bakery and pastry shop often double up as shop and cafe. There you can pick out your breakfast pastries or order toasted sandwiches if you want something freshly made and hot. Menorcans have a very sweet tooth.

Lunch Ideas

Lunch is usually from 13:00 to 15-16:00 . Consider a "menu del Dia" (fixed price).

Menorca Holiday Tips

If in Towns, the Cafeteria's offer excellent menus from as little as 7 Euro.

Bocadillos

For a snack or cheaper meal why not try Bocadillos or "Boci" to the youngsters, fresh filled hot or cold crusty baguettes. Available in most Bars, Cafeterias and bakers' shops. Often you will be asked if you want your Bocadillos "con tomate" - this is a healthy alternative to butter where a half a tomato or fresh juice is spread thinly on the baguette before filling. Very refereshing change to spreads - try it a home in summer.

Fillings- traditional ham (Jamon / Jamon Serrano), tuna (atun) or cheese (queso). Also fresh hot or cold omelette (Tortilla), or with the salami like "Salchicon", or the island speciality "Sobrasada" a soft hot or cold pork sausage meat made with sweet paprika which gives it its characteristic 'orangey red' colour.

Menorca Holiday Tips

The "credit crunch lunch" - on offer this year in many places a "Bocci" ( Bocadillo ) and canned drink 2 €. Filling and very tasty.

Tapas

Can be found in most bars. There are a selection of typical dishes usually displayed under glass along the top of the bar itself which makes picking with the eyes easy! There are served in smaller portions as 'Tapa' or large portions 'Racion' with bread included. Choose a selection to make up an inexpensive meal. Some of the most popular are: albondigas (meatballs), higado (liver and garlic), riñones al jerez (kidneys in sherry), calamares a la romana (fried squid rings in batter), carne con salsa (meat in a rich sauce), and of course Tortilla. A Racion of Jamon Serano ( freshly cut from a serano ham leg) and a cold cana of beer is heavenly.

Albondigas
Tapas

Menorca Holiday Tips

Tapas should look homemade and will taste all the better for it. La Rueda in Sant Lluis has a long bar full of excellent Tapas. Bar Vimpy in Ferreies ( next to bus stop) also has a good Tapas reputation. Bar Camacho in Es Castell is also recommended.

For picknicers and self caterers try Plat Preparat and fresh bread ( bara = large baguette ) . Hot and cold dishes of offer.

"Plats Preparat"

In recent years there has been a growth of little shops opening up specialising in pre-prepared meals 'Plats Preparat'. These can be great value to take back to your holiday home to enjoy there and in picknicks. These meals will be home made ( you'll probbaly see the kitchen from the counter ). With some places offering 2 or 3 courses as a "until we run out" (hasta la fin) special . The portion sizes means with bread you'll will have enough for two and a meal for less than 10€. The dishes will be visible so you can choose with your eyes too!

Supermarkets are increasingly offering local dishes in chill cabinets. They won't be as good as the specialist shops,but still very tasty and good value.

Pick with your eyes! Sa Cuina de Mo Mare

Recommended Shops

Sa Cuina de Mo Mare - Carrer Gran 32, Es Castell


Local Food Specialities

Seafood
Typical pastry products

Ses Tanques - is a local brand of excellent meat products ( from animals reared on the island ) and defnitely have a greater taste and quality. Look for the distinctive brand in shops.

Mahon Cheese

Menorcan cheese or Queso de Mahon is highly prized in Spain. Best bought at a market or specialist shop where you can try the various maturity ages to find the one you like. Despite the name, the cheese is made all over the island but under strict quality controls for ingredients and flavour. It is matured and sold at diffrent ages which have suprisingly very different tastes.

Sausages

Curing pork sausages has a long tradition with secret recipes passed down the generations. Some more familiar like cuixot ( a bloody, black pudding type with fennel ) to one that is very popular locally and more unusual the Sobrassada ( minced pork made with lots of red paprika that also gives it it's deep colours ) which is spread hot or cold as well as sliced. Huevos Revuelto – fresh scrambled eggs with Sobrassada is delicious.

Menorcan Specialities -Huevos Revuelto
Menorcan Specialities - Sobrassada

Savoury Pastries

Very common to see alongside the sweet offerings are homemade savoury pastries. Fillings tend to be simple and homemade con Verdura ( vegetables ) , con Carne (meat with paprika ) or con Atun (tuna). The shapes and sizes all have individuals names but you'll never remember them, just point and ask con Vedura?, con Carne?, con Atun? etc

Menorca Savouries

Gin

A throwback to past British influences is the islands own style of Gin ( made from grape based spirit and juniper berries) . Created at the Xoriguer Gin Distillery its self built in the 18th century on the dockside at Mahon harbour. Try before you buy. The distillery is open to the public for sampling from Monday to Friday 8:00AM to 7:00PM and Saturdays 9:00AM to 1:00PM. The favourite drink at fiesta time Pomada - Gin mixed with crushed ice , bitter lemon or just lemon juice. Lemonade mix versions also might be called Pomada.

Menorca's favourite Gin,  Xoriguer

Wine

A young wine industry is growing across the island. See below for names, tasting and tours.

Menorcan Wine



La sauce al la Mayonnaise (Mahon-aise )

Mayonnaise a food legend on Menorca in its own right where no one is really sure of the truth but was it created here on the island? Either way the french army occupied the island at the time of the story based in Sant Lluis close to Mahon and rumour has it that a local made up a little something with eggs and olive oil , the only things he had available, for a French commander's bread and the rest as they say is history.

Sweet Tooth

The islanders have a very sweet tooth and most of the simple or fancier pastry shops ( Pasteleria ) will have a lot of sweet and very sticky pasteries on offer. Other less sticky island specialities include crespells (jam filled biscuits) and pastissets (similar to shortbread) , almond macaroons (carquinyols) or the ever popular ensaimada - a fluffy ( croissant inner like texture but less buttery) spiral pastry sprinkled in what seems like 1/2 Kilo of icing sugar.

Traditional Pastellerias
Traditional
Traditional Crespels
Modern

"Flan", the local version of creme caramel, is served everywhere for dessert, but look out for "puddin", a Menorcan version enriched with fruit. Tarta de manzana (a French style apple fan) is also very popular, as is "nueces con nata y miel" (walnuts with cream and honey). as well as the savoury tarts (coques) similar to pizzas but without the cheese.

Lobster Stew

For those with deep pockets, perhaps the island most publicised speciality is Lobster stew ( caldereta de llagosta ) . It was traditionally a meal prepared by fisherman as a simple easy to make meal on their boats out at sea with their catch as the ingedrients. See your financial advisor before ordering. To be honest save the money (60 Euros plus ) and enjoy a really good meal at a good restaurant.

Where to buy

No secrets here, where it's fresh and the sellers love their produce - at source on the farm, the fresh food markets or specialty shops. Though supermarkets will stock a more limited selection.


Fish markets
Traditional Quality
Traditional Bakeries Wood fired ovens

Food Markets - times

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Ciutadella (Plaza del Mercat) 09:00-14:00 Fish Market 09:00-14:00 09:00-14:00 09:00-14:00 09:00-14:00
Mahon( Mao ) Sa Placa / Fish Market Fish Market 09:00-14:00 Fish Market Fish Market 09:00-14:00
Sant Lluis 09:00-14:00 09:00-14:00
Punta Prima 18:00-23:00 18:00-23:00 18:00-23:00 10:00-23:00
Ferreries (Placa Espanya) 09:00-14:00 09:00-14:00
Es Migjorn Gran (Plaza de la Iglesia) 09:00-14:00

Mahon ( Old Cloisters ) and Ciutadella markets are set in attractive settings that adds to their atmosphere.

www.mercatdesclaustre.com

Fish Market Mahon
Mahon
Fish Market - great for self caterers
Sa Placa in Background


Tastings and Tours


If you enjoy your food and wine pleasures in life there are a few places you might like to visit to learn more about the subject and endulge in a bit of tasting.

Hort Sant Patrici - Ferreries

Wines
Cheeses
Gardens

Set in the grounds of a old country house Hort Sant Patrici, producing wine, hand made cheese and a small output of extra virgin olive oil all available to sample and buy in on the on site shop along with other enjoyable food delights. Enjoy a stroll around the sculpture garden. Open to the public Mon. to Sat. 0900-13:30 hrs. and 16:30-20:00 hrs. For further information tel. 971 373 702. 1.2km from Ferreries www.santpatrici.com


Subaida - Alaior


A dairy farm making authentic Queso Mahon ( menorca's famous cheese) . Open to the public Summer 1.04-30.09 Mon. to Sat. 0900-1400 hrs. and 1600-2000 hrs. Winter 1.10-30.04 Mon. to Sat. 0900-1400 hrs. Closed Sundays. www.subaida.com



Menorca's Wines

For an authentic experience try a local wine which is on the rise in recent years. Look out for following labels Sa Forana, Malvasia, Ferrer de Muntpalau,Binifadet,Hort,Rubi del Mediterraneo and Favaritx.

These wines can be bought locally in supermarkets, specialist wine shops and at Vin De Menorca who also offer a delivery service to house or boat. Located on Mahon poligno Cami de Ses Vinyes, 118, 07703 Mahon

There are now around 10 or so vineyards across the island, some of which offer tours and tastings making an enjoyable morning or afternoon out.

Vineyard Binifadet - Sant Lluis

Just outside Sant Lluis, a short walk along from some idylic looking old farmhouses producing red,white and rose wines. Stroll around the vineyards, free guided tour and wine tasting, shop and relaxing Terrace-Bar with Tapas. daily 10:00-20:00 (22:00 in July and August ) Ses barraques, 07710 Sant Lluis.

 B-Terrace


Bodega Vi de S'Illa - Alaior

Ferrer de Muntpalau - Es Mercadal

Available at the excellent restaurant Ca n'Aguedet in Es Mercadal


Rubi del Mediterraneo - Alaior

A deep Tempranillo and Merlot red wine. Carrer de les Quatre Boques, 1 Poligon Industrial la Trotxa 07710 Alaior.



Sa Forana - Sant Climent

Cugullonet Nou, Cami de Sa Forana, 07712 Sant Climent - www.saforana.com


Vinya Sa Cudia - S'Albufera des Grau Nature Park

Produces a special wine in limited quantities 'Malvasia' a dry white wine. Malavasia is a classic Mediterranean white grape variety dating back more than 2000 years. - www.vinyasacudia.com

Sant Patrici - Ferreries



Binitord - Ciutadella

Grape varieties :Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Merlot and Syrah for the reds and Macabeo and Chardonnay for the white varieties.


Vinya Sa Cudia - S'Albufera des Grau Nature Park

Produces a special wine in limited quantities 'Malvasia' a dry white wine. Malavasia is a classic Mediterranean white grape variety dating back more than 2000 years. - www.vinyasacudia.com



Specialist Food shops

There are little shops, sometimes tucked away in unassuming streets that are catering for special dietary needs and also ranges for food gourmets.

Menorca Holiday Tips

Can Bernat sells only local produce from the island ( including the local Sant Climent cheese) - located in a little shop in Sant Climent ( 5 mins from airport for last minute buys ) Es pla de Sant Climent, 8, 07712 Sant Climent. www.canbernat.net


Shops selling Menorcan specialities
Company Specialities Location
Can Na Fayas Opens in new window Cheese,sausages,pastries,honey,jams Avinguda Jaume I el Conqueridiror 47 and Murulla d'Artruix 32 07760 Ciutadella www.canafayas.es
Can Bernat Opens in new window Cheese,sausages,Wine,honey,jams Es Pla de Sant Climent,Sant Climent www.canbernat.net

add your business free to our directory


Beer

Imported Beer always costs more either in the shop or from a bar. Locals brands are Cruz Campo,San Miguel. There are standardised metric sizes in spain as follows:

  • Pinta or Jara - 0.5 Litres approx. a pint,
  • Mediana - 33 cl approx. a bottle,
  • Cana - 25 cl small glass

Food and Drink Prices

Menorca is one of the more expensive places in Spain, much needs to be imported. Prices in beach resorts will always tend to be higher due to their shorter selling season. Non Spanish branded foods and drink are significantly higher, but those coming via continent eg German are not marked up so heavily. Meals spending price guide coming soon.

Good to Know

Vegetarian Food

Menorca guide for Vegetarians

Vegetarian options are in increasing in resort restaurants,but not so wide spread.

There are in supermarkets good ready made vegetable meals based on mediterranean recipes( Aubergines,Sweet Peppers,Beans) , so make a change to home.

Special Diets ( Gluten and Lactose free )

Gluten - free or 'Sin Gluten' in spanish is displayed on menus and products in shops and restaurant menus

Productos Ecológicos is the name to look for/ask about for specialist foods eg Soya Milk, Organic.

Special Diets on Menorca Advice

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