Mallorca has exerted an alluring call to British sun-seekers for decades. Magaluf loving families mingle alongside ravers and partygoers, all acquiescent to the magnetism of the discos and beaches. Yet there is much more to Mallorca. The picturesque countryside and secluded clear-watered coves all play a part to mellow hearts of visitors to this diverse island in the Med. Puerto Pollensa exemplifies Mallorca’s more refined, relaxed and traditional alter-ego.
Marooned in the island’s lush north, an hour or so drive from the airport, beside a long sandy bay, Puerto Pollensa is a Mecca for cyclists and hikers, for food lovers on the hunt for limitless grazing – and maybe, these days, it’s possibly as famous for its colourful sunrise as it is for its frequent cameos as an eye-wateringly beautiful location for TV programmes such as the BBC’s ‘The Night Manager’. The unmistakeable Spanish passion for food lingers and whether seeking Paella, rustic Mallorcan stews, tapas like Pintxos, or even ultra-modernist Eur-Asian fusion cuisine, few are able to resist Puerto Pollensa’s unmistakable charms.
5 Favourite Puerto Pollensa Restaurants
In this article, I wanted to personally recommend five out of the scores of wonderful restaurants in Puerto Pollensa. I made a short-list by talking to ex-pats living in and around the town via social media and online forums, finding out where they eat rather than simply heading to the Tripadvisor 4 or 5 starred tourist spots. I also spoke to staff at my hotel – the excellent Hoposa Pollentia, the guys at the bike hire company and with the bar staff in the bars along the seafront. The five restaurants I recommend herein are places I dined at during my stay. I’ve also listed a few others suggested to me by the locals that I just didn’t have time to visit. Maybe next time, for there will be a next time, I will be able to try them too.
I travelled to Puerto Pollensa in October 2019, before COVID-19 was a thing. My objective was to escape the stresses of a particularly tricky business deal I’d been dedicated to for almost two whole years. I planned to hike, cycle, relax and, most of all, eat delicious, varied food and drink fine Spanish wine. I was not to be disappointed, Puerto Pollensa is blessed with a broad choice and quantity of quality eateries. Wherever you go there are vast galleries of Pintxos (pronounced ‘peen-choss’, and literally meaning ‘tooth-pick sized’) available. This Basque take on tapas is a truly Spanish, and pleasingingly Mallorcan experience, and wins hands down against the sausage and egg lunchtime offerings one might assume might be offered in many Spanish beach-side resorts.
I have not been paid, nor asked, to mention or promote any of the restaurants, hotels or other businesses mentioned in this blog post. The following are purely my views. Here are the five restaurants I tried and loved.
Portofino is a little Italian place with typical Spanish influences originating from the decades that the proprietors have spent on Mallorca. The restaurant is squeezed in between the Carrer Do Joan XXIII road and the Carrer de San Pere alleyway (the latter lined with several other tempting restaurants). The rear entrance from San Pere is a narrow passage through an arched doorway and is a lovely way to enter the restaurant, as you walk under the archway, the cosy outdoor enclosed courtyard appears, with its atmospheric glowing festoon lights hanging from grapevines and a gnarly old olive tree.
The spaghetti al vongole (clams) was delicious. For lovers of pizza, then the menu also appeals as there are two whole pages of pizza choices, including a selection of calzone. Each pizza’s topping has a distinct Mallorcan twist with the use of local herbs, vegetables, seafood and meats. The prices are very reasonable and the portions large. Having lived in Rome for almost two years, I can personally recommend the authenticity of this Italian ristorante but also enjoyed the Spanish influences and flavours.
La Llonja is towards the higher end of the scale yet this fine dining establishment still has a relaxed air about it. Probably edges itself into the 2nd place as my favourite of the 5 restaurants I tried, due to the delicious food and the romantic location. Well worth splashing out for, at least once during your stay.
The dress code is relaxed, smart-casual. I wore jeans and a casual, open-necked shirt.
The view across the marina creates a great setting for a meal and the service is, as seemed par for Mallorca, friendly and efficient.
There are meat or vegetarian dishes available, but as this is a seafood restaurant, sat right by the sea, it only seemed right to focus on the delicious fish and shellfish on offer. There isn’t a huge menu but the dishes on there are expertly cooked and flavoured but not overly flamboyant. I had grilled sardines for starter followed by the John Dory which was melt-in-the-mouth delicious.
Booking is highly recommended, as even in October the restaurant was busy the night we were there.
Cellar La Parra
Despite visiting Puerto Pollensa in October, the evening temperature remained at around a very pleasant 18 degrees so, unfortunately, we didn’t get to sit by the roaring fireplace as depicted on the restaurant’s website (Cellar La Parra). However, that was a minor gripe as the whole experience of eating at Cellar La Parra was exceptional. The menu is varied and carries a whole host of local dishes. We avoided the temptation of the highly recommended Paella, and instead opted for local dishes of lamb and seafood.
If you can only dine at one restaurant whilst in Puerto Pollensa, make it Cellar La Parra. Ensure you reserve a table well in advance though as the restaurant is often fully booked.
Bodega Can Ferra
Can Ferra is one of the many rustic restaurants on the narrow pedestrianised alleyway of Carrer San Perp, just off the main promenade. There are inside seats if you prefer, but the atmosphere is much better if you go for one of the alfresco tables in the busy little alleyway out front. The grilled calamari was especially tender and lightly flavoured, as fresh as it can be, being so close to the harbour. Prices are on the lower end of mid-range and good value compared to the restaurants on the seafront.
We wanted to try paella whilst on Mallorca and had heard the Balaeric Island’s own version was one of the best in the whole of Spain. We asked around and the consensus seemed to be that Los Faroles was one of the best three, with the best being Cellar La Parra but when we saw the menu there we wanted to try some of the more unusual traditional Spanish fayre on offer instead.
The waiter who served us was really friendly and chatty, telling us at great length where the ingredients were sourced (all locally) and how the chefs masterly pulled together the dish over many hours that day. The Paella wasn’t disappointing and though, it has to be said, not as delicious as the one we’d experienced in rural Murcia, was delicious and perfectly cooked and balanced with the right amount of core ingredients. My only gripe was the wine list was overpriced compared to the rest of Puerto Pollensa.
Los Faroles is easy to find, right on the promenade opposite the main marina.
Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks
When you’re just looking for a quick snack or a delicious breakfast or lunch, then there is a generous selection of places serving delicious, good value food.
Ca Les Monges has some fantastic fresh, local baked cakes and bread and delicious freshly made sandwiches. Try the Cardenal de Font de Baix for one of the most underrated sweet treats in the whole of Spain. The coffee and ice cream is also top-notch here.
La Bodeguita also serves dinner but is great for Colombian style pastries and delicious lunches.
Store Fermentor is grander than it sounds, a great outdoor dining area service delicious coffees, light meals and snacks. In the evening it becomes a great place to get a steak cooked to perfection on the outdoor wood-fired grills.
Where to Drink & Kick Back
Though, to its credit, Puerto Pollensa is not overrun with bars like the more touristy resorts such as Magaluf or Palma Nova. It does, however, possess a more than ample selection of bars in all shapes and sizes. As per our restaurant selection, we went from what the ex-pats on the forums recommended. Here are the ones we tried and enjoyed:
Cantina del Moll Nou, affords great alfresco drinking and dining amongst the clinking rigging of the boats moored in the harbour. It specialises in great wine from around the Balearics and Spanish mainland, as well as further afield.
Norai is a busy little bar and also sells a delicious range of Pintxos, a kind of Mallorcan tapas, that’s great along with a beer or bottle of wine, or as a quick lunch). For views try the Llengire Hotel Bar which though a little way out of town has an amazing (if a little expensive) wine cellar. Or try the very popular (and seemingly secret) Yacht Club.
Our hotel bar was also good, set in a contemporarily decorated patio at the front of the Hotel Hoposa Pollentia. With sweeping sea views, a relaxed atmosphere and regular low-key live music, such as jazz, it made for a great way to start or end an evening.
Chiqueringo was one of our favourites, tucked away at the end of one of the marina’s piers, with great cocktails and a selection of craft beers and, you guessed it, a panoramic sea view.
How To Get There
Jet2 and all the budget airlines fly at least twice a day to Palma airport. It’s then about an hour’s taxi ride to Puerto Pollensa itself, costing about €50 each way. Jet2Holidays also offer package deals including the Pollentia hotel (see below) and I found these were sometimes cheaper, sometimes more expensive than booking the different elements separately, so a bit of research is worthwhile.
Where tO STAY
If you’re travelling without children, I can highly recommend the Hoposa Pollentia hotel. This recently renovated, adults-only boutique-style hotel is right on the seafront overlooking the promenade and the beach. It’s about a 5-10 minute walk from the centre of Puerto Pollensa, a lovely stroll along the wide pedestrianised promenade. Because it’s just outside the main area, it’s very quiet yet only a few steps from a collection of bars and cafes, and it also has its own excellent outdoor bar area. Opt for a sea view room if you can, you’ll never get bored by the gradient of purples, reds and oranges of the sun rising over the ocean (the title image for this blog was, and the one on the left, were taken from our balcony). We paid the equivalent of £130 per night for a deluxe sea view room, including breakfast, in early October.
Places to Go, Things To Do
This part of the island is quiet, rugged and a veritable paradise for walkers and cyclists. As well as the enormous soft sandy beach in Puerto Pollensa itself, there are also numerous secluded bays within walking or cycling distance, all with swimming opportunities in opal blue, warm waters. Alcudia Old Town is worth a visit with its ancient city walls and higgledy-piggledy cobbled streets, with numerous pretty bars and cafes.
Cycle to Alcudia and the bay spattered coast nearby along a car-free cycle lane with ocean views, hiring mountain bikes from Bike Island Mallorca in the centre of town on Carrer de Fermentor. Bike hire costs about €35 for a day, including helmets, pump and water bottles, and includes insurance. The hire shop can also arrange guided cycling tours and hire out road bikes and electric bikes if you prefer.
Another scenic day out can be had by walking from the Northern end of Puerto Pollensa (by the roundabout on the Fermentor highway) along the scenic, rugged Val de Boquer path, with cacti, and uninhibited views. Trek down to the secluded beach which is surrounded by steep, jagged rocks and kissed by the most amazingly blue sea at the bay of Cala Boquer.