The Spanish island of Mallorca may be known for its superb beaches and crystal-clear waters but its vibrant capital is also a culinary destination in its own right. Better still, as of June 2, 2022, United Airlines is operating non-stop flights from New York to Mallorca. Here are the top places to eat in Palma de Mallorca.
When a celebrated Michelin-starred chef sets up shop in one of the city’s chicest boutique hotels, people take notice. That’s what happened when Fernando P. Arellano moved his formerly two-star Michelin Zaranda from rural Es Capdellà to Palma’s rather lovely Hotel Es Princep. The Dermis and Epidermis tasting menus take you on a dynamic journey packed with color, texture and aroma, from the bar via the kitchen counter to your table, featuring dishes like the succulent rock octopus served in an amphora and the black egg with white onion and cuttlefish caviar.
Peruvian-Japanese Nikkei cuisine is all the rage in Spain and few restaurants do it better than the achingly hip De Tokio a Lima. Set in Boutique Hotel Can Alomar, across a sophisticated indoor dining room and a leafy top-floor patio, this is the place to go in Palma when you want to make an impression. The décor is bold, the service is excellent and the food packs a punch with zingy flavors and plenty of spice. Top menu choices include the roasted octopus with red mole and Lima-style causa, and the lobster tail with green papaya, seaweed and citrus vinaigrette.
At his eponymous DINS restaurant, Mallorcan-born chef Santi Taura explores the origins of the island’s gastronomic heritage, delving into its ancient recipes and reinventing them as contemporary plates that combine beauty, technique, history and flavor. No surprise, then, that he has been awarded two Soles Repsol by the prestigious Spanish Guía Repsol, as well as a Michelin star in 2021. Book early to snag a seat at the chef’s counter and watch as Chef Taura flexes his considerable culinary muscles.
If fine dining is not your thing, but you still want to sample Santi Taura’s cooking, you are in luck. COR Barra i Taula is the chef’s new venture offering an informal dining experience in the heart of Palma. The menu features a mix of tapas, local dishes, and plates to share, made from a combination of the finest produce from the island, as well as some foreign ingredients. The result is “cosmopolitan Mallorcan cuisine”, featuring dishes like red shrimp tartare with garlicky ajillo sauce, and a selection of Mallorcan-style “nigiris” served on pa amb oli (bread with oil).
Since opening four years ago, FERA has gone from strength to strength. Set in the building that once housed the prestigious Círculo Mallorquín social club, the main entrance is through a cobblestone courtyard, surrounded by sculptures and greenery. Post pandemic, the interior of the restaurant has also been given a lush green makeover, while its tasting menus continue to deliver the delicious and unexpected blend of Mediterranean and Asian flavors that placed this popular spot firmly on the map of local and visiting food lovers.
The Basque word “txoko” may translate as an unassuming little place but this isn’t just any old txoko, this is Martín’s place. And the Martín in question is none other than Martín Berasategui, most Michelin-starred Spanish chef of all time (twelve in total). However, El Txoko is not a fine-dining establishment, but an upscale tapas bar, where you can order everything from traditional gazpacho and fried calamari to more elaborate dishes of scallop ceviche or the succulent grilled Iberian pork filet—with Martín’s special twist, of course.
Everyone knows brunch is an essential food group and nowhere in Palma does it better than The Merchants. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in its lively indoor dining room and verdant outdoor patio, this is the place to be if you like your steak with a generous side of seafood. Irish chef Stephen Sullivan’s approachable steakhouse experience delivers a fun take on the classic surf n’ turf, with a variety of steak and lobster choices on offer, as well as the option to add free-flowing wine or sparkling cava to your brunch order at weekends.
Santa Catalina is Palma’s most happening neighborhood, especially at night when the revellers from its many bars and restaurants spill out onto the sidewalks. It is also one of the city’s most cosmopolitan areas, attracting a mix of tourists and foreign residents from all over Europe. No surprise, then, that a trio of restaurateurs from Sweden chose this location. Vagabundos invites guests to experience a “world of taste explosions” with a menu featuring everything from tacos from Cabo to Egyptian falafel and Venezuelan ceviche.
Casa Maruka is the brainchild of María José Calabria from the La Mancha region in central Spain and Alberto Serrano from Mallorca. The two met in Barcelona in 1999 when working under a certain chef named Martín Berasategui at his Michelin-starred Lasarte. At Casa Maruka, they marry market-fresh produce with traditional recipes and modern techniques to create dishes that are classic, honest and, at the same time, innovative. Don’t miss the home-made croquettes and the seasonal peas from Maresme with a poached egg on top.