The secret’s out. Ibiza is officially a gastronomic hotspot of world-class proportions. Over the past five years, the food and drink scene has exploded and the island’s restaurants are now overtaking the famous clubs in terms of reputations that precede them. There’s even a road dubbed (un-originally by the expat community) “Restaurant Road”. No prizes for guessing why!
Ibiza restaurants can be very expensive - there is a tendency to hike prices up due to the short span of the season - but there are plenty of cheap eats to be found if you know where to look. Maintaining a good balance between saving and splurging is tricky when there’s so much temptation on offer, but it’s do-able.
Forget your typical mealtimes and just go with the flow. Grab breakfast when you wake up, whether a full English at 9am or a quick croissant and coffee at 3pm, and be sure to indulge in a long lunch, as dinner can often be as late as midnight. Well, it is Ibiza after all…
Chefs hailing from all corners of the globe flock here for the climate, culture and let’s face it, the chance to work hard for six months of the year and then take time off for the remainder. I’m not complaining (well, sometimes in the winter when they’ve gone into hibernation) because it means I can dine around the world over the course of the summer, without ever having to leave my island paradise!
You can lounge in an American diner one day, sit on cushions in a Balinese temple the next, find yourself in a rustic wooden shack by the sea, or dining beside rock stars and supermodels in trendy, modern eateries at any given meal. Of course, there are fabulous typical Mediterranean seafood and grill restaurants along with traditional Spanish tapas bars. I love this diversity.
Because who wants to eat the same thing every night?
A couple of little tips to keep in mind:
* If you’re on a budget, try the typically Spanish menu del dia (set three course lunch). There are some places where it’s as little as seven euros, or high-end restaurants where you can eat like a king for less.
* In my experience, salads are not really the Ibicenco’s forte. A plate of iceberg lettuce, tomato and tinned corn or tuna can set you back up to 10 euros. Just saying. Vegetarians beware!
* Please don’t be tempted by hosts on the street in the tourist traps trying to entice you in for a meal. There’s a reason they have to beg – reputations are well earned in this town.
* Service is occasionally included in the bill, but if not, it’s common to leave 10 per cent of the bill as a tip.
* Many restaurants in Ibiza don’t accept credit cards, so come prepared with cash (I’ve outlined them in my selection for you).
* In the peak of summer, most of Ibiza’s best restaurants are packed to the rafters, so don’t risk not making a reservation.
* You’ll find most menus are in English, but if you make a little effort to learn some lingo before your trip, the service you receive will be much friendlier!
* Ibiza is “in season” from May to October, so be aware that many hotels go into hibernation outside of this period. I’ve outlined the year round options in my selection to make your choice easier.