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Spanish dishes: From island to island with food traditions

Take a break from tourist traps and enjoy meals at the locals’ favourites

SPANISH FOOD ISLANDS: There are far more to the islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera than bars and night life. The four age-old holiday destinations have their own personalities. They are still the Mediterranean paradise under the umbrella of the Balearic Islands. The food is Spanish dishes, but with a twist and much based on seafood. Each island has its own flavors characterized by tradition – from olive oil to wine, cheeses and delicious desserts to simple party food. And no meal is really complete without the dry-cured Serrano ham.

The dessert called Flaó de Ibiza.
The dessert called Flaó de Ibiza.

Sweet on Ibiza

Spanish foods. Let’s start with something sweet and local on the holiday island of Ibiza. On the menu for Spanish dishes is often the dessert called Flaó de Ibiza. Although flaó is used in other Spanish regions to describe cheese-based specialties, the Ibiza version is a dessert cake. Or a pastry base filled with a mix of fresh cheese, eggs, sugar or honey, lemon zest and fresh mint.

Good in Spanish. To stick to traditions, this cake should be made from cheese from the milk of goat. It should definitely have the taste of anise and anise liqueur. A Flaó de Ibiza was usually made for Easter, but today it is served all year round and has become one of the most common desserts.

Fish served at El Bigotes, Cala Mastella, Sant Carles, Municipio Santa Eulària des Riu, Ibiza.
Fish served at El Bigotes, Cala Mastella, Sant Carles, Municipio Santa Eulària des Riu, Ibiza.

Fishing rights in Ibiza

Spanish dinner. Out there in the Mediterranean, Bullit de Peix is ​​the very symbol of Ibiza’s specialty and Spanish dishes, ie fish and seafood. This is a stew of fish caught in shallow water and served with potatoes and rice. You can find it at all eateries.

Spanish dishes: Other specialties in Ibiza are tapas dishes and Paella de Marisco, a simple seafood paella full of flavor.


Sobrassada - the local sausage - is full of taste.
Sobrassada – the local sausage – is full of taste.

Locals Only

Spanish sausage. It is the name of a recommended and cozy eatery on the Plaza del Parque in Ibiza town. Here, local ingredients are a priority, which means that as a guest you get a kind of farm-to-table experience. Maybe sobrassada is also on the menu – the national sausage on the island made from pork, peppers and spices.
Take a detour from the tourist traps and rather enjoy a meal at the locals’ favorite. Open from lunch until late at night, but closed between November and March.

Queen of Mallorca

In Mallorca you will always notice the almond trees, especially in early spring when they are in bloom. Almonds are used in many dishes and sweets – such as toasted in almond soup and in the chicken dish Escaldums which is served with potatoes and a tasty sauce. No wonder almonds are called the Queen of Mallorca.

Arrós Brut is one of the island’s many stews made from meat, sausages, vegetables, spices and mushrooms. And of course with rice.
I never visit Mallorca without eating Escargot – or snails from the sea. Here, snails with potatoes and a broth made from parsley, garlic, fennel, mint and chili are served.

A salad served at Codol Foradat Beach Club, Formentera.
A salad served at Codol Foradat Beach Club, Formentera.

Fish on Formentera

Classic meals. At Formentera, “Ensalada payees” is a light and nutritious Spanish dish, with the fish “peix sec” on the list. Peix Sec is a Mediterranean fish that is first salted and then dried in the fresh sea breeze in the sun. “Ensalada payees” are among the most traditional and distinctive dishes on the island. Served traditionally with boiled potatoes and seasonal vegetables, such as red and green peppers, onions and tomatoes. In addition, add hard-boiled eggs and dry bread, or bescuit.

Salty temptations

Coca de Trampó is a thin and crispy dough with small slices of tomato, pepper fruit and onion. The dish is inspired by the famous Mallorcan summer salad Trampó, which has the same ingredients. Even if the dough is crispy and not left to rise, it is still kept airy with the help of the vegetables that are put on. Coca de Trampó is in many ways reminiscent of a pizza or focaccia, but if you claim it to the locals, they will always defend their own, lesser known version.

Menorca jam

Menorca is sun, silence and nature, and a coast with idyllic caves and beaches.
Figat is the island’s homemade jam that can be traced all the way back to the Middle Ages. It is made from the last figs of the season towards the end of the summer. The jam is perfect for breakfast or as an accompaniment to cheese. It is prepared by hand by boiling the figs over a flame to a mass. A good place to taste the jam is the town of Ciutadella.

Plenty of tapas in Palma Mallorca.
Plenty of tapas in Palma Mallorca.

Tapas food in Palma

Mallorca has fabulous food and tapas is the perfect way to try different dishes. Many of the local chefs in the city of Palma deliver the most tasty and creative recipes. Sooner or later, tourists will ask the same question; where to get the best tapas in Palma? Here are few of our personal picks of Spanish tapas dishes.

Cafè La Lonja: If lucky to get a table on the terrace, you will have tasty tapas and great scenery to a beautiful square. Inside reveals the long tradition of Cafè La Lonja with Art Deco style, tiled chess-board floor and marble bar.
Address: Calle de la Llotja, 2, Palma de Mallorca.


Anchovies are popular served as today's tapas.
Anchovies are popular served as today’s tapas.

Cafè Es Pes de sa Palla:  After 25 years, this place of Palma´s old town is still going strong. It is a meeting point for coffee in the morning to lunch, and a few tapas in the afternoon. The menu consists of local dishes, mostly seasonal, and cakes from their own bakery. Address: Placa del Pes de sa Palla, 3.

Stagier Bar: The menu is like a best-of tapas, a selection of Latin-Mediterranean flavours.
A joy shared is a joy doubled, could be the motto. Also include some very small dishes. The filled brioches with pork in Peruvian style is just good. As for dessert; Passion fruit with coconut foam and mint takes us to a tropical paradise. Address: Calle Espartero 11.

Simple and tasty: Chicken Mallorca
Simple and tasty: Chicken Mallorca

Typical Spanish Dish

“Pollo al ajillo” is chicken with lot of garlic – or the best garlic chicken made by grandmother. And of course, the Spaniards are right. Unpeeled cloves of garlic are fried in olive oil to flavour it, add some rosemary, thyme and dry sherry or white wine.

Spanish traditional food. Any Foodie guide to Ibiza will include Paella de Marisco. This is a simple seafood paella full of flavour, as you can expect on a fishing island.
Tapas are a big part of Ibizan culture. is an avant-garde taverna with the motto “eat to be happy”. This place offers the best tapas, alongside their own modern creations.
Address: Carrer de Castella 9, Ibiza.


Gudmund Lindbaek
Gudmund Lindbaek
Journalist founded King Goya online travel magazine. Meeting people for engaging stories. I´m off to uncover the best strategies for long life living. This is part of my venture “Around the World in 80 Lanes” – about travel, run sprint, staying fit! I just want a tiny slice of adventures to feel alive, and then excited to return home.


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