London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
The lesser known of Balearics oozes authenticity, boutique fincas, stunning varied beaches and farm-to-table expertise. Here’s our take on the best restaurants in Menorca following 7 trips in the last 5 years and best local intel from our loveliest Menorcan born friend, now resident and expert hotelier. We think we said it before, but life is too short for average food and mediocre wine!
1. A bohemian retreat surrounded by fields of olive trees, Fontenille Torre Vella treated us with the best lunch on the island. And ladies who lunch apparently live longer and for sure better 🥂The best pan con tomate, burata with gazpacho and thon crudo, Fontenille’s fab rose flowing beautifully at 30 degrees.
The kids confessed they also had the best burgers on the island and one fantastic afternoon playing games and exploring the grounds. Catalan chef Albert Riera – formerly of Michelin-pipped La Mare aux Oiseaux near Nantes – brings the hotel’s distinctive blend of Spanish and French and Siempre Viva focuses impecably on healthy upstyled Spanish classics.
We absolutely loved as well Fontenille eco credentials: the food comes from Torre Vella’s beautiful gardens and orchards; waste is composted and water is recycled for irrigation. We will be back to check the vineyards and Fontenille’s wines and indulge longer the 200-hectare grounds stretching to the coast.
2. Barefoot lunching by one of our favourite beaches? Perhaps overcrowded in the weekend but certainly a little gem early hours of the weekday, there’s Cala Binibiquer with newly revamped Los Bucaneros, a cute chiringuito with wooden benches. The food is on the simple side: eggplant hummus with crudites, croquetas, roasted beasbream and fries, but the service is quick and even under the new Bodega Binifadet’s ownership, Los Bucaneros retained the old rustic fisherman house charm.
3. For best dinners over sunsets we warmly recommend Bambu, with kids or without, always a treat.
Bambu’s team is fun and accomodating whilst the cuisine prides as fresh, local and sustainable. Some fine ingredients from both land and sea from Menorca’s artisan food producers as well as Bambu’s own herb garden, the cuisine is Mediterranean with Asian touches.
4. More chic lunches or dinners in the Balearics beautiful countryside? Sant Joan de Binissaida lures with organic vegetables also picked from their garden; the seafood and fish fresh: we have spent 3 great days in here and indulged in lunches with Menorquin octopus and skate, tomatoes and aubergines.
5. Can Delio in Es Castell Menorca lovely harbour has been also by far one of best restaurants on our regular trips. Their amuse bouches consists of Minorcan yoghurts served with pistachio and honey with local sausages chorizo like in crunchy fresh pastry – yum! Padron peppers, patatas bravas and Can Delio salad followed, all prepped to perfection.
Can Delio’s black rice is la piece de resistance: squid ink, seafood and aioli, all superbly washed by cava!
6. For a beautiful dinner in the middle of Es Castell vineyards head to Binifadet – great cuisine with local ingredients exquisitely cooked and going greatly with Binifadet wines. And beautiful wine and vineyards beside, this is a beloved family project that we have adored.
7. For Mahon harbour seafront location, Passio Mediterrania won our hearts and buds over the years, with wonderful ceviche and inventive seafood. Sadly Passio Mediterrania closed in 2021 but expected to reopen in 2023, fingers crossed they haven’t retreated for good in Barcelona! The new bright comer same Mahon’s harbour-front spot with Isla del Rey views is Arlette.
And of course we fully approve Arlette’s vegetarian and vegan menu and the leeks, hazelnut and almond get a mention whilst the fish of the day gets the applauds.
8. For artisanal cheese and organic wine lovers, Hort Sant Patrici is the place to be. The gardens and vineyards surround Ca Na Xini historic house, converted into a boutique hotel with a charming restaurant with Minorcan cuisine.
There is Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah produced in here as well as the well known Mahon Menorca cheese of DOP. Whilst the hotel is adults only, a certain 4 years old loved his introduction to the island cheeses and the adults raved about the wine tasting and chilling by the pool.
9. Friends rave about ES Cranc: a simple, rustic feel in a building with whitewashed walls and plenty of character. It is particularly renowned for its lobster stew (caldereta de langosta) but there is so much more to rave about.
10. Last but not least, Santa Mariana and its young and super talented chef have been another beautiful Menorcan surprise and certainly one of the best restaurants in Menorca. We have spent in here 2 evenings and absolutely loved every meal: from delicate mussels to tuna tartar, to almond soup and seabass carpaccio.
And whilst there is no Michelin star restaurant on the island (yet!), just like with Les Fontenille, in here there is a serious contender.
When we didn’t sink pomadas at Fontenille Menorca or enjoyed aperol spritz by Bambu, Cova d’en Xoroi is a stylish alternative on the south coast, with tables and terraces carved into the cliffside and DJs who turn the caves into a club after dark.
Or by the North Coast, there is another stylish chiringuito and club : Isabella in Fornells opens from sunset o’clock and rolls on until late.
Travelling during the pandemic. Being fully vaccinated and travelling from UK to Menorca was easy, just a couple of extra forms. For coming back to London we booked our private tests 3 days ahead of our travels and thereafter booked for London Day 2 private tests. Luckily the travelling guidance is all greenlighted now ( UK Foreign travel advice in here just in case).
For more Menorcan inspirations and getaways with kids, head for our 10 Things to do in Menorca with kids ; Long weekends in Mahon here; for Es Castell here; for more rural holidays by Llucmacanes head here and for sailing in here. And for the latest and hottest opening in Menorca in Mahon, head to Hotel Can Alberti !
Disclaimer: Many thanks to Fontenille Torre Vella, Hort Sant Patrici and Isabella wonderful hospitality, lunch and dinner invites. All pics, overexcited kiddies and ecstatic impressions ours.
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Nice post 🙂
My father is from Spain, next time I visit the mainland, I will be sure to go here. Thank you. From Eva at https://simplendelight.com
Hi Eva, great to hear and fingers crossed you get to go to Menorca soon, the island is gorgeous and the foodwise there are so many beautiful options!
We have just openned our borders so will wait and see these holidays but hoping that April we can jet off somewhere. That all looks lovely and so fun!
Yay Lydia, very exciting, we are so happy for our Australian friends and darling ones! Keeping everything crossed for you guys and April, will keep an eye as usual 🙂
Take me back to Spain! All these restaurants and foods both look and sound amazing! #CulturedKids
Exactly Shelley, take us back to beautiful beaches, sunshine and Mediterranean food!
I’ve not yet been to Menorca – these sound so delicious! #CulturedKids
You and the kids would love it V, it oozes with culture, great beaches and food! X