Original Menorcan dishes are still served in some restaurants, while new styles for a range of different food preferences have appeared. A selection of restaurants on the island can be found below on this page.
Although the island is known for its local meat, a favourite local dish is stuffed aubergine. Evidence has been found showing how cheeses have been made in Menorca for 3,000 years and Santa Monica originally had its own cheese room attached to the house with presses still intact. Since the Santa Monica Talayot has been excavated in 2018, archeologists have discovered that people first settled around Santa Monica up to 1,600 BC and the fertility in the area – with olive, almond, prickly pear, figs, grapes and other fruit, plus a rock free patch near the talayot that we used to cultivate peppers, onions, tomatoes, aubergines, melons and other vegetables in the 1980s and 1990s – shows how Santa Monica may have suited early settlers.
A wide variety of cheeses, named after where they are made, are still sold on the island and used in restaurant cuisine. One dish, a cheese souffle created at S’Engolidor in Es Migjorn Gran, is Greixera, made with local cheese.
Found over three decades of family holidays in Santa Monica, here are some favourite places to eat on the island:
With fabulous views of the terraced fields on the north west side of Es Migjorn Gran, S’Engolidor, originally known as Number 58, appeared in the early 80s and has expanded into a bed and breakfast and sophisticated restaurant. S’Engolidor has innovative menu, which still respects well-known favourites such as Greixera, plus new combinations of crab, snail, chicken, anchovies, prawns as well as vegetarian dishes with rice, aubergine, courgette, asparagus and leak. They have a menu of very high quality wines.
Tel: +34 971 37 01 93
Address: Calle Major, 3. 07749 Es Migjorn Gran.
S’Amarador – Ciutadella
A typical Menorcan restaurant now rests on the site of a typical tapas bar in the port of Ciutadella, offering a menu of Menorcan produce and Spanish favourites including Paella. The Menu Del Dia – a Menorcan gem in its best restaurants – provides a selection of local cuisine that the restaurant actually wants to show off. The peppers were stuffed with seafood, plus there were mussels in garlic and other delicious starters, followed by Hake, which came out in batter looking like a Menorcan fish and chips. Puddings on the set menu included a chocolate coulant, which was a mouse and delicious. The menu has a selection of salads, meats and seafood but Menorcan restaurants are not known for the their vegetarian or vegan options. However much of the produce of all types is derived locally, which is an ultimate consideration for any real foodie.
Port de Ciutadella
+34 971 38 35 24
Es Bruc (Sud)
The local beach bar on San Adeodato, Santa Monica’s nearest beach, has been known for its simple, honest dishes for many decades. Favourites include Sole Squid and Chips, Steak Egg and Chips, Calamare, the Es Bruc Salad, which alas will never be as spectacular or beautifully presented as it was in the eighties, but retains its popular ingredients and some huge sizzling steak dishes for very hungry people.
Perhaps not expected in a beach bar, Es Bruc has a high quality selection of wines including some Spanish Riojas such as Marques de Riscal.
Bar Chic – Restaurante Can Toni – Es Migjorn Gran
Ca’n Pilar -Es Migjorn Gran
Phone: +33 629 165089 / +33 669 46 03 11
El Mirador – Galdana
Address: Cala Galdana, Ferreries.
Phone: +34 971 15 45 03
C’an Olga – Es Mercedal
Considered a bit of an institution on the island, C’an Olga has achieved longevity and continues to delight diners with its locally sourced Menorcan specialties and honest fare. The menu stretches from a vegetarian option of ricotta and spinach ravioli in a tomato source, through various seafood such as mussels, through to some serious meats including lamb, steak and pork. C’an Olga is a special place that won unadventurous diners over to snails in the late 1980s, which is still very reasonably priced with friendly local service. There is no website, so booking best done on the phone.
Ses Puiedra des Pujol – Torret
Phone: 971 15 07 17
Pan y Vino – Sant Luis
Run by Patrick and Noelia, this popular restaurant gets booked up in high season. It is open all year round except December and January. They like to use seasonal, locally sourced produce and combine Spanish classics with some French cuisine values and a sprinkling of English. They are famous for their amuse bouche selection including deep fried Camembert and black pudding spring roles. The setting is romantic with candle lights and peaceful in a delightful setting. Expect simple but innovative ideas with favourite ingredients made for taste with good presentation and freshly baked bread.
Address: Camí de la Coixa, 3 Torret, Sant Lluis
Phone: +34 971 15 02 01
Cercle Artistic de Ciutadella
Away from the beaten track, up above the restaurants in the port of Ciutadella, high atop the city walls is a cafe with an individually unpretentious menu with a mixture of descriptions (pictures and lists of ingredients) of bocadillos, cheese and ham plates, calamares, Spanish omlette, olives and other tapas dishes and snacks. The Cercle des Arts is a simple cafe with chilled soft drinks in the fridge, expresso coffee, beers on tap and a fantastic view of the entire port of Cuitadella below. It is on the main square next door to Burger King, which makes up for its food with roof top views.
Cafeteria El Arco – Ciutadella
To rest weary legs, set down your bags and enjoy a drink after a late afternoon amble round the shops, El Arco has survived the decades and serves tapas and Spanish menu staples, coffees or ice creams.
La Bahia – Fornells
Recently renovated typical local and down to earth place to eat in Fornells, with views of the pier and the port is La Bahia, with a menu including pizzas, hamburgers, seafood, salads and pasta, with a selection of drinks including cocktails such as a mohito. It has expanded due to popularity with more tables near the port on the other side of the road and has friendly service and generous portions. It opens for lunch and then again at 6 for dinner and serves a swordfish steak, a very generous burger and chips and a seafood pizza.
Plaça del Forn,
1, 07748 Fornells
Cova d’en Xoroi – Cala en Porter
In the 1980s, Menorca night life was booming with dance venues dotted around the island as well as in Mahon and Ciutadella. Favouring caves, Latin beats were popular as Ibiza was still in high school, with live instruments playing over DJ music, popular UK hits as well as house and other emerging electronic genres.
One night club has lasted the test of time, while Pacha and Space have come and gone, while live jazz is still popular on the island. Foam parties took place regularly in Menorca, so clubbers could go out in their beach wear at night and dance slinkily in the foam, which spilled over the ledge into the Mediterranean Sea.
Open in the daytime with a shop, a bar with drinks and food and spectacular views, Cova d’en Xoroi has stayed high up in the Best Club charts in DJ magazines. With the ledge high up in the rock looking out from Calan Porter, with its own large car park, visitors can explore the ancient caves in daylight or rave on at night.
There is an entry fee for day visitors and clubbers, with a shop selling souvenirs and a range of music CDs, taken from live ambient and lounge music, down-tempo and guitar sessions in the venue and then there is DJ music into the wee hours.
Very sad to see Bar Roma in the Port of Mahon close this year. They did the best pizzas. so as a tribute, here is my review of when it was last open in 2016.
Restaurante Pizzeria Roma – Port Mahon