Where to eat out on Mallorca if you’re a veggie

Vegetarians used to get a pretty rough deal eating out on Mallorca, but things have improved immensely for those who choose not to eat meat or fish (and also for vegans). It’s a far cry from our first experience – in 2004 – of taking some island-visiting veggie friends out for dinner.

The two Mallorcan women who ran the coastal village restaurant we visited had always been friendly and helpful in the past and, as it was not the main tourist season, we were sure they’d be able to rustle up something of a vegetarian nature, even though the menu offered nothing savoury without fish or meat. Plate of slightly overcooked cauliflower anyone? Yes, that’s what our friends had for dinner that night!

What a difference a decade makes

Today, vegetarians can even enjoy a gastronomic experience eating out on Mallorca, but confusion still remains in a few quarters about the concept of vegetarianism. We experienced it only this year, when Mallorcan neighbours invited us and a couple of British friends, who have a holiday home here, to a party to mark Sant Antoni in January. Our friends explained that they didn’t eat meat or fish, and then our well-meaning host offered them sobrasada . . . a cured pork product.

I can perhaps understand a Mallorcan farmer (who raises sheep and pigs) not being up to speed with vegetarianism, but I was surprised, just a couple of months ago, by a restaurant in central Palma offering three vegetarian dishes . . . one of which contained prawns, the other, clams!

We are not vegetarians but enjoy some meat-and-fish-free cuisine a couple of times a week. And we have eaten and enjoyed the food in the following places, known for being vegetarian or vegan restaurants:

Bon Lloc – Palma de Mallorca

What a trailblazer this Palma restaurant must have seemed when it opened its doors in 1978, to become the island’s first vegetarian establishment. Open for lunch Monday to Saturday and for dinner Thursday to Saturday, this restaurant is within turnip-tossing distance of the city’s prestigious boulevard known as the Borne. Their cuisine includes vegan and raw dishes, with a four-course set lunch and vegan haute cuisine for dinner.

Interior of Bon Lloc

Interior of Bon Lloc

http://www.bonllocrestaurant.com

Sa Pastanaga – Palma de Mallorca

Opened in 1998, this restaurant owned by Xisca Lladó is a little back-street gem, but I recommend you arrive around 1pm if you don’t want to have to wait for a table. It’s hugely popular, at just over 14 euros for a four-course lunch (with choices, and including bread, olives, and carafe of water). It’s open only on weekdays and for lunch. A great place to refuel after a morning’s shopping (or working).

FB: Restaurant Sa Pastanaga

Bagel – Palma de Mallorca

Not really a restaurant, but a stylish and welcoming little café open throughout the day (but not at night), serving authentic-recipe baked-on-the-premises bagels (with choice of sweet and savoury toppings) and superb Illy coffee – among other things.  The lovely owners Andrew and Stephan are vegans, so vegetarians have plenty of choice. Ooh, and they also serve amazing cakes from Lujuria Vegana.

FB: Bagel

Ziva to Go – Palma de Mallorca

In the Palma district of Santa Catalina, and opposite the covered market of the same name, Ziva to Go is another great lunch stop, offering vegan and raw cuisine. Come for breakfast too – but it’s closed at night.

The attractive interior of Ziva To Go.

The attractive interior of Ziva To Go.

http://www.zivatogo.com

Es Ginebró – Inca

When it first opened, Es Ginebró – owned and run by Joan Coll and his family – was the first restaurant in Inca serving vegetarian food. Today it’s known for organic, veggie, and vegan dishes, and is very popular. They offer a good choice of only organic Mallorcan wines. And if you want to take advantage of those without worrying about driving, the restaurant is only a short walk from Inca railway station.

http://www.es-ginebro.com

Bellaverde – Puerto Pollensa

A recent discovery for us – and what a great vegan and vegetarian restaurant this is, in the resort of Puerto Pollensa. Just off the seafront, it’s next to the Bellaverde Pension and has a really lovely garden and tranquil ambience. We had an amazing lunch here, with four of us trying dishes including the Ensalada Bellaverde (14,50 euros) – served with a scoop of coriander ice cream; Thai vegetable curry with tofu and rice (12 euros), and pink fusili with beetroot cream (9,50 euros). Portion sizes were generous and the flavours were excellent. If only we lived a bit closer . . .

Bellaverde - indoors

Bellaverde – indoors

Bellaverde Port de Pollenca

The garden at Bellaverde in Puerto Pollensa

FB: Restaurante Bellaverde

Fine dining restaurants with vegetarian options

The following are some of the fine dining restaurants on Mallorca offering choices for vegetarians. Whilst I haven’t tried the vegetarian cuisine in these places, I have eaten in them all. If you have tried any of their veggie dishes, I’d love to have your views.

The Michelin-starred Es Fum (St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort) offers a six-course vegetarian tasting menu for 102 euros.

El Olivo at the 5-star Belmond La Residencia in Deià offers some vegetarian dishes on their à la carte menu. Executive chef Guillermo Méndez and his team will create a vegetarian tasting menu, if requested early on the day you wish to dine.

Deia view

The terrace of El Olivo restaurant at Belmond La Residencia.

Valldemossa Hotel & Restaurant offers cuisine for vegetarians and vegans.

The Michelin-starred Simply Fosh, in Palma de Mallorca, will create a superb vegan menu with advance notice.

Another place to mention is Alessandro Di Feo and Gert Hofman’s restaurant L’Ospite (FB: L’Ospite) in Palma. Chef Alessandro serves delicious and authentic Italian cuisine – much of it based on his grandmother’s recipes. Vegan friends have reported having had superb dinners created for them, having given the restaurant 24 hours’ notice.

 

This article by no means covers all of the restaurants where vegetarians can eat a variety of dishes a lot more exciting than a plate of cauliflower (!), so please feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments box. And if you’re a vegan, check out Mallorca Vegan, to find out why this Mediterranean island is becoming one of the world’s leading vegan destinations.



Categories: Cafes and bars, Chefs, Food, Hotels, Mallorcan produce, Michelin, Restaurants, Wine

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. We’ve had good reports of la Golondrina in Palma, but have yet to try it ourselves

  2. Another great place for veggies/vegans is A ma Maison in Santa Catalina Palma as the owner chef cooks from scratch and so caters for all types..

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