When it comes to finding places to eat in Palma I honestly think the choices are endless, and the quality of food is some of the best I’ve had in Spain and the Spanish islands. From traditional tapas, to fine dining, extra strong cocktails, and local wines, there’s something for all tastes and budgets.
The suggestions listed below are all places I’ve been to, most of them more than once. I know of so many more but when only visiting for three nights I had to narrow it down to my favourites. In my opinion, these are the best places to dine in Palma by far.
Cabillito de Mar – best seafood in Palma
Fresh seafood and al fresco dining are a match made in heaven on holiday, when everything tastes so much fresher. Fresh is the best way to describe the menu at Cabillito de Mar, with the daily offering dependent on whatever was caught that day.
This seafood favourite is so popular you will need to book to be in with a chance of getting a table, and the earlier you book the better your table will be. Found on the Plaza de Llotja, or the main square of Palma old town, right by the evening market and the harbour, it’s certainly one of the best places to eat here.
Run by three generations for years, they pride themselves on quality service. For an outside dining experience in a popular spot the food quality is very impressive, and not your usual run of the mill place with people trying to heckle passers by inside. They simply don’t need to.
There’s obviously a heavy seafood presence, with everything including giant prawns, monkfish, sea bass, oysters and lobster. And more. The menu basically lasts as long as the catch of the day does.
We opted for the meat and seafood paella, which is mixed and served right next to you at your table. It’s not cheap, but unlike some of the other food spots on busy squares it’s more than worth the money.
Tip: One for seafood lovers, don’t go much after 8pm as your favourite fish/seafod might have sold out.
Forn de Saint Juan
Recently renovated by the owners sons, Forn de Saint Juan is a modern Spanish restaurant but with a local twist and style to its dishes. Their ingredients are sourced from the local farmers market at La Lonja, in the heart of Palma, and are put together to deliver the most beautifully presented tapas you’ll have in Mallorca.
Another restaurant you have to book or you just won’t get in, and one that has a good mix of locals and holiday makers alike. Spread across multiple floors and rooms, it can feel like a much smaller and more intimate restaurant than it actually is. Our table for two overlooked the busy street below and was a great view for people watching.
It’s not just tapas on the menu, their main meals are very attractive to anyone with an appetite, meat and pasta dishes that are all cooked to perfection, a meal here really won’t disappoint and it’s a good one if you’re celebrating an occasion.
Service again is excellent, they’re very helpful at recommending wines to match your tastes, and you get little appetisers and palette cleansers throughout your meal.
It’s the sort of place where everyone on neighbouring tables is eyeing up what each other has, and asking what certain tapas dishes are. I can safely say the Forn potatas bravas were the best I had across the whole trip.
Tip: Go early in your trip as you’re likely to want to revisit.
Abaco – best cocktails in Palma
It’s easy to miss the cocktail bar hidden away behind the giant double wooden doors of what was once a mansion belonging to Palma’s richest. Walking along the street it just appears like a wall, but within the huge doors there’s a smaller door, which when open gives a small glimpse of what’s inside. The most beautiful and luxuriously decorated cocktail bar.
The main room you first find yourself in is like a medieval castle entrance, with a big staircase, fireplaces and stone statues scattered about, and giant piles of fresh fruit piled high and spilling onto every surface.
If it’s busy a waiter might come to greet you and help you get a table, and if you can, always ask for outside. Through the back is the courtyard, and it’s absolutely beautiful especially at night when it’s dimly lit only by candles.
Complete with tiny wrought iron tables, aviarys filled with budgies, a water fountain and a view up the side of the building with stripy canopies above each window and tiny balconies.
Their specialities are cocktails, which aren’t cheap at about €15 each but you’re paying for the whole experience. They also serve beers and some local wines. What I will say about the price is that you can be sure it’s for the alcohol. The cocktails are strong, none of the watered down rubbish you get in novelty cocktails at home.
If nature calls while you’re enjoying your cocktail you’ll find the toilets upstairs, where you should absolutely take the time to explore up there too.
The place is decorated out as though it was still being lived in, with a traditional Spanish kitchen and pantry, a luxurious living and dining rooms with rich patterned fabrics, and the little balconies you can see from the courtyard where you can look out below.
It’s the strangest place but so special especially in an evening. I’ve heard an awful rumour that it’s set to close at the end of 2019, which I really hope isn’t the case but if it is and you’re in Mallorca before then make sure you pay a visit.
Tip: Check the ingredients of the cocktails to make sure you’ll like them, they are really strong!
Gaudier – the best place to eat tapas in Palma
Often it’s the little places that look like nothing from the outside that have some of the most delicious food on offer. While it doesn’t exactly look like nothing from the outside, Gaudeix doesn’t look like a fine dining restaurant either.
Found on Carrer de Can Sales right in the heart of Palma, it looks tiny from the front, tucked away in the corner with a few rickety tables outside under the tree, and a chalk board with a hand written list of tapas.
Inside it’s narrow, crammed full of more tables and a tiny upstairs. Here you will have some of the most delicious tapas in Palma. Absolutely unreal. We were told to try it by my parents, and again told to book. The only table we could get was at 10pm, but as is the Spanish way of life we just went with it.
Service is slow paced, with one waiter doing all the drinks, serving and clearing up, and who I assume was the owner doing all food orders. She sat and basically joined each table for a ten minute chat as she went, it’s that sort of friendly place.
We had an amazing Mallorcan wine, while we browsed the menu. We were told to just take a photo of the chalkboard, they didn’t have proper menus. We ordered a total mix of food, unsure what some of the Spanish was, but enjoying how non touristy this whole meal was.
The food came as and when it was ready, and each dish was incredible. Cheese platters, mini burgers, calamari, garlic prawns and bruschetta were some of our favourites. You know somewhere is good when it’s literally full of locals, with more being turned away. I think we were the only tourists there and we sat drinking until well after midnight.
Tip: A great lunch option if you’re in Palma through the day
My friend Lisa recently went to Palma and told me about a wine tasting bar they went into, and I’ve no idea if this was the same one but I had researched it a bit before we went. I totally forgot about it and it wasn’t until we came across it while browsing some of the little local shops that I remembered I’d looked into it.
It’s quite small, there are tables for people who want to eat, but the main purpose is the wine tasting. Lining the walls are glass cases full of different wines, and a big barrel of glasses for you to help yourself.
The staff gave us a card, and said basically put it into the slot on each case, choose your wine and off you go. Mallorcan wines are there in force, as are other Spanish wines, but there are international options too.
A great way to try different wines and to make sure you like them before you go large. Be careful though, we had sore heads the next day.
Portixol Hotel & Restaurant
The Portixol Hotel is located about a five minute taxi ride from the centre of Palma, in the little town of Portixol right on the coast. The hotel itself is beautiful, I’ve stayed there on many occasions, but the restaurant and bar are well worth a visit even if you aren’t staying there.
It’s a popular spot right by the sea, in fabulous surroundings to watch the little boats sail by, and with staff who simply can’t do enough for you. The menu has everything from small lunch or snack dishes, to full meals.
The food is always fresh, and fabulously prepared, I love eating here. It’s perfect for a seaside lunch to escape the heat, or a more glamorous dinner an the evening as the sun sets. You’re served bread and olive butter to enjoy while you browse the menu, and the waiter will run through any specials.
The toast Portixol is my favourite, with a seafood cocktail of crab meat, prawns and crayfish, Kieran loved the fish tacos, and the ravioli. Wash it all down with a cold drink, cocktail, or bottle of wine.
Even if you’re not eating and just fancy a drink, the bar area is just as beautiful with little tables and chairs tucked away in the shade. Would strongly recommend the frozen daiquiris!
Booking is essential, as the staff make sure the hotel guests by the pool have reservations as a priority if they so wish, and it’s also a very popular spot for local business lunches, and glamorous Spanish ladies who lunch.
Those are my picks from what is undoubtedly an incredible food scene in the beautiful city of Palma. I always feel like I’m just scratching the surface, as you come across so many restaurants as you’re wandering around the little streets that just look so appealing.
While I was actually in Palma I had a few other recommendations sent to me, that we just didn’t have time to visit on this occasion. I thought I’d list them anyway as they’ve come from people I would rely on to send me somewhere good!
Bar Espana which I’m told is beautiful, La Rosa Vermuteria for good food and even better gins, and Boveda, somewhere I have been before and it was always excellent but I didn’t get there on this occasion. Finally if you do venture out to Portixol, there’s an Italian just behind the Portixol hotel which is also excellent.
Whether you’re looking for a lazy lunch, casual tapas, or more upscale dining options all of the above are some of the best places to eat in Palma. If you’ve been and have genuinely good recommendations please do let me know!
Other posts you might like:
Pin this post: