Santa Eulalia: the gastronomic heart of Ibiza
- Recommended for:
- Beach, Family, Food and Drink, Mid-range
Planning a holiday in Ibiza and want to combine a family-friendly resort with some great places to eat and drink? Then Santa Eulalia's the place you need to be...
Santa Eulalia is only a 20-minute bus ride from Ibiza Town, but it's a very different animal from the party resort. Two child-friendly sandy beaches front a town that, while not offering the throbbing nightlife of San Antonio or Ibiza, is truly a foodie heaven.
Where to eat and drink
Calle San Vicente is known locally as Restaurant Street and it’s the place where tapas bars and pizzerias rub shoulders with Indian, Mexican, Chinese and Thai outlets. Al fresco dining is the order of the day and there is something to tempt every palate.
For traditional Spanish food, our favourite place was Rincon de Pepe (C/San Vicente 53; 971 33 13 21), a very friendly tapas bar with an excellent selection of dishes including meatballs, salt cod balls, pimientos de padron (deep-fried salted chilli peppers) and rice with prawns. With drinks, the four of us ate for under €45. Even if you don’t need to, visit the loo; otherwise you will miss their legendary terrapin pool.
The Royalty tapas bar (C/San Jaime; 971 331819) on the corner of Calle San Vicente is hard to beat for price. We took advantage of their special offer - nine very tasty tapas dishes with a bottle of cava for just €30. For a drink afterwards, we visited Sandy’s (C/San Vicente 25; 971 338 622). Set in one of Santa Eulalia’s oldest fishermen’s houses, the bar is named after original owner Sandy Pratt, who in his time served cocktails to Errol Flynn, Terry Thomas and Freddie Mercury. Cocktails cost from €7.50, and are best enjoyed on the rooftop terrace.
If you fancy a really good paella, Restaurant Ca Na Ribes (C/San Jaime 67; 971 33 0060, www.ibiza-restaurants.com/canaribes) knocks out a very good one and throws in a flask of sangria, all for just €14.25 per person.
Curry fans will find Santa Eulalia more expensive: we paid €80 for starters, main course and drinks for four at Bollywood (C/San Vicente 28 Bajo; 971 33 0849), but then the excellent chefs are from Gujarat and Nepal.
The town’s marina boasts not just awesome yachts but some pretty amazing restaurants, like La Cucina (Puerto Deportivo Sta Eulalia 6; 646 363 402), where you can get excellent pasta and pizza with fabulous garlic bread at around €80 for four, including wine. Save some bread for the harbour mullet - they will leap for it.
On the seafront promenade, the excellent Chinese buffet selection (€13.95 per person) at Delicia de China (C/Paseo Maritimo 82; 971 33 2728) has a seemingly never-ending supply of crispy Peking duck plus a chocolate fountain for the sticky at heart.
Best way to finish the day, for me, was a guilty pleasure - a pint at the Ring O’Bells pub just outside the marina (www.ibiza-spotlight.com/ringobells/). It might not look much but let’s face it, at €2.50 a pint, you can’t go wrong.
What to do
IbizaTown, with its museums and medieval citadel, built for defence against pirates, makes a great family day out. The town is also packed with restaurants and shops, and its pre-club paseo offers a fabulous free cabaret, as hedonistic exhibitionists and extravagant she-males strut their stuff. Getting there takes about 20 minutes on the local bus and fares are good value at under €2, even if children over five count as adults. Buy your tickets at the bus station before boarding.
Local buses will also take you to Es Cana for the Wednesday hippy market or to the beautiful bay of Cala Llonga, but it’s more fun to take the ferry boat from Santa Eulalia’s jetty. It's a bit more pricey than the bus, at €9 return, but it's much more pleasant and you are on holiday, after all.
For our younger traveller, a day at the Aguamar Water Park in nearby Playa d’en Bossa served up plenty of thrills for only €10 (€18 for grown-ups). The local beach is great for people-watching, too, especially the Space (http://www.space-ibiza.es/) pre-club party. Watch out for the beach bar prices though - I paid €17 for two beers, a coffee and a diet coke.
Where to stay
We booked a package with Thomson (Tropic Gardens in Santa Eulalia was well equipped and had a bedroom and studio with extra beds. It provided an excellent base to enjoy everything the resort had to offer, a great pool and some blessed air conditioning for our two-week stay.