Mallorcan specialty Pa' Amboli
Pa’ amboli—slices of dense brown bread rubbed with sweet tomato and olive oil—is a Mallorcan specialty savored at La Boveda. Photograph by Catherine Karnow

Top Restaurants in Mallorca

In TRAVELER’s July/August issue, writer Raphael Kadushin travels to Mallorca, an island off of the eastern coast of Spain. Here, Kadushin’s picks of the island’s exceptional restaurants.

Forget the pizza joints and pre-fab paella parlors that once lined Palma’s beachfront. The island’s new patriots know that their mama’s cooking is a precious local resource, and Mallorca’s young chefs have started paying homage to that legacy. The result is a wide range of restaurants that feature two trademarks of the local cuisine. The first: a fresh bounty of regional produce, a daily catch of seafood, wild boar, and island pig, and a harvest of local olives, lemons, oranges, tomatoes, eggplants, and almonds. Add to that a mix of ethnic flavors—Jewish, Moorish, Catalan, and Balearic—which reflect the island’s cultural hybrid, and the payoff is one of Spain’s most exuberant culinary celebrations. Where to find the best? Read on.

Es raco d’es Teix (Carrer Vinya Vieja 6, Deià; +34 971 63 95 01). The newest addition to Deià’s dining scene, this mountainside restaurant recently opened when chef Josef Sauerschell moved from the Hotel La Residencia. Here you’ll find round-the-clock romance, with lunch on the outdoor terrace overlooking Deià’s classic silhouette and dinners by candlelight in the airy dining room. The menu, despite Sauerschell’s German background, is more classic Mediterranean than Munich beer hall. Try the rack of lamb crusted with island-grown olives; skate and red mullet strewn with pine nuts; or the whole chicken stuffed with a layer of truffles.

Ca’s Xorc (Carretera de Deià, km 56.1, Sóller; +34 971 63 82 80). International celebrities such as Michael Douglas and Claudia Schiffer have been spotted here, but the atmosphere is anything but glamorous. Housed in a converted olive oil mill, the restaurant comes by its rustic feel honestly, and so does the menu. Starting with local produce from the surrounding Tramuntana Mountains, and mixing in some international accents, chef Christer Welander creates a nightly menu often featuring a signature specialty: a mountain goat marinated overnight with island vegetables and herbs.

Gran Hotel Son Net Restaurant (Castillo Son Net s/n, Puigpunyent; +34 971 14 70 00). Chef François Reverdy, imported from L’Orangerie in Los Angeles, has revamped the luxury hotel’s dining room. Its focus is still on the freshest Mediterranean ingredients, but now you’ll find an uptown version of the island’s homespun cuisine. Look for turbot sautéed with fresh ginger; ravioli stuffed with turnip and herbs; baby lamb baked with honey-glazed eggplant; and marinated wild strawberries.

Ca N’Antuna (Carrer Arbona Colom 8, Fornalutx; +34 971 63 30 68). Ca N’Antuna serves Mallorcan soul food at its best. If the sun is shining, grab a table on the vine-wreathed stone terrace that overlooks the village of Fornalutx and its photogenic tumble of stone streets and tile roofs. Toast the view with a classic Mallorcan soup heaped with stewed bread and vegetables. Try the fresh squid doused in lemon juice or the sizzling roast pig. For dessert, go with the simplest option: a brimming basket of juicy oranges just picked from the grove below.

La Boveda (Carrer Boteria 3, Palma; +34 971 71 48 63). Lines snake in front of this Palma tapas café every night before the doors open. Part of the draw is the nightly party fever, whipped up by a polyglot crowd of suntanned Euros who jam the rustic diner. But the real draw is Palma’s best selection of bite-sized Mallorcan specialties. Don’t miss the tender fried calamari, red peppers stuffed with cod, and the earthy white bean stew with clams. For the finale, try the pa’ amboli—slices of dense brown bread rubbed with sweet tomato and olive oil.

Grand Café Cappuccino (Paseo Maritimo 1, Palma; +34 971 28 21 62). Offering the most tranquil lunch in Palma, this café features an open Moorish terrace with a tinkling tile fountain. Forget the all-American California club and the immigrant scones. The setting calls for something with more native moxie: hot sobressada, the distinctive Mallorcan pork sausage, finely minced and accented with paprika, or layers of serrano ham folded in sheets on top of a pa’ amboli. For dessert, the best is the dense almond cake (gató) topped with a scoop of almond ice cream.

—Raphael Kadushin

Raphael Kadushin wrote the feature and TravelWise on Mallorca in TRAVELER’s July/August issue.