Menorca Restaurants and Dining
(Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain)
The nightlife and dining scene in Menorca is noticeably more understated than that on the islands of Mallorca and Ibiza, although there are certainly more than a handful of restaurants awaiting patrons. The majority of the most popular bars and eateries tend to be clustered in Mao, lining the waterfront and the harbour, such as the cafes on the Placa d'Espanya.
Lying on the western side of Menorca, the town of Ciutadella offers plenty more dining options, with restaurants and cafes being very much centred around its busy port. The most characterful of eateries may even be carved out from the actual cliffs, offering enviable waterfront views as a result.
The Mediterranean cuisine of Menorca is often a real highlight of any holiday, with the island being understandably known for its fresh fish and plentiful seafood restaurants. Prawns often accompany salads, while a local Menorcan speciality is the dish 'caldereta de llagosta', which is a delicious lobster stew.
Breakfast in Spain tends to be eaten twice and this is often the case in Menorca. The first breakfast is usually a light continental meal, such as toast with butter, jam or olive oil, together with a milky coffee, known in Spanish as 'café con leche'.
When mid-morning arrives, a more substantial brunch-style breakfast follows, usually in a cafe of some kind. This often consists of a sandwich (bocadillo) or perhaps a muffin (mollete), which will likely be served with ham, cheese, sausage or perhaps a slice of Spanish omelette. 'Churros' are ideal for 'breakfast on the go' and these sweet fried dough strips can be found for sale at many street stalls.
Lunch / Tapas Bars
Lunch can be a lengthy process in Menorca and usually starts from 13:00 onwards, with tapas nibbles being a good choice for lunchtime dining. These bite-sized snacks are served with drinks and remain a firm part of Spanish culture. The tapas bars (tascas) are often extremely busy, with choices including spicy potatoes, chorizo dishes, mushrooms, cheeses, mixed olives, toasted ciabatta with tomato, roasted peppers, salads, tortas and sharing platters. Tapas dining is certainly a very social way to eat, particularly on a hot day, when the wine is flowing.
Lunch in Menorca is eaten from 14:00 to 15:00 and locals will frequently follow this up with an afternoon siesta, to sleep away the hottest part of the day. A typical lunchtime dining menu in a restaurant in Menorca may well consist of codorniles emborrachados (roast partridge), fideua (paella with noodles and fish), serviola a la mallorquina (baked fish dish with tomato sauce) and sofrito ibicenco (chicken, lamb and sausages), along with lobster and crab dishes, salads, stews and soups.
Next to the beach, many seafood restaurants remain open all through the day, often boasting al fresco dining overlooking the coastline.
Dinner on the island of Menorca usually commences fairly late, at around 21:00, when restaurants start to serve supper. However, tourists should rest assured that there are always plenty of dining venues that cater for the earlier crowds as well. Those eating out on the north coast, particularly around the picture-postcard village of Fornells, can be assured of a tasty, albeit, pricey meal.