Formentera and its cuisine: between local dishes and gourmet specialties you will be spoiled for choice.
The typical cuisine of Formentera is very tied to the traditions of the island, as well as to the seasons and its particular bond with the sea: it is precisely the autochthonous products that are the privileged because, its status as an island, makes it vulnerable to a “mass trade”. Although very simple, the raw materials used by the restaurants in Formentera are reinvented in a very original way, giving life to typical dishes of great quality: payesa salad (with dried fish), fried octopus, squid “a la bruta” (with their own ink) or fish stew.
But the island also offers other native products that we recommend you try or buy to have some of Formentera on your tables: the goat cheese, a very widespread product with a strong flavor, can also be found flavored with different herbs; or the honey, which owes its excellent quality to the dry climate and the absence of chemical products (depending on the season, you can find it flavored with thyme or rosemary, aromatic plants that grow wildly on the island); or even the dried figs that for a long time were the omnipresent food in the larders of each islander. Today they are very appreciated for their intense flavor, often enhanced by anise and laurel with which they are flavored in the production process; accompanied by cheeses and almonds, they are also an excellent dessert.
And it is with desserts that we conclude this little excursus on the typical dishes of Formentera: at the end of the meal, order a flao (a fresh mint cheese pie) or the orelletes (anise flavored) or the more popular greixonera (made with ensaimadas).
Digest everything with an excellent glass or “chupito” of hierbas, a liqueur made from herbs typical of the Pityusic Islands (be careful, its alcohol content varies between 25 and 30 degrees); if you are lucky you will find those who produce it with the island’s aromatic plants.
The wines deserve a separate chapter: Formentera boasts a great tradition of viticulture with 80 hectares of vineyards. The vineyards are well cared for and their particular condition of “isolation” preserved them from the attack of the phylloxera, which destroyed most of the European vines during the second half of the nineteenth century. Many villagers produce small quantities for daily use, but there are two large wineries that deal with mass consumption: Terramoll and Cap De Barbaria. Both produce wines of excellent quality thanks to the meticulous care with which each process is faced.
We did not talk about the popular paella or the aioli sauce, which you will find in almost all the restaurants in Formentera, but we preferred to focus on local products rather than dishes of Spanish cuisine, spread throughout the nation. Tasting the typical cuisine is certainly one of the things to do in Formentera during your stay.
Where to eat in Formentera? Here are some of the best restaurants in Formentera:
CHEZZ GERDI: by far one of the best restaurants in Formentera. Located in Es Pujols, along the wooden boardwalk that leads to Punta Prima, this place was the oldest bar on the beach. Today it is an exclusive location that enjoys a priceless sea view. The staff is composed of expert chefs, sommeliers and scrupulous waiters: under the leadership of general manager Claudio, at Chezz Gerdi your dreams come true.
The most glamorous aperitifs in Formentera are held on the outdoor terrace. The hippie van located in front of the entrance is famous and much photographed. Inside there is also an exclusive boutique. The cuisine blends traditional Italian and Spanish dishes and offers local proposals cleverly reinvented. High price. Tel.: (+34) 648-020106
CAN CARLOS: located in Sant Francesc, it is one of the most elegant and trendy restaurants in Formentera. Its owner, the young Francesco Manzoli, is a brilliant and cosmopolitan entrepreneur. At Can Carlos you will breathe refinement and cordiality, taste dishes prepared exclusively with the best raw materials and experience a real culinary experience.
The location is treated in detail, a magnificent dehor, lit up like a starry sky, will literally make you fall in love with this place. Recommended to book. High price. Tel.: (+34) 971-322874
CASANITA – CANTINA Y PESCADO: located in Es Pujols, it is a must stop for food lovers. All dishes are based on fresh products and the catch of the day is often included in their tasting menu, which we recommend you try. Special and flavorful combinations will make you come back here year after year.
Attentive service and prices in line with the island’s restaurants. Ideal for couples and groups of friends. Booking recommended. Medium-high price. Tel.: (+34) 679-217310
A MI MANERA: this restaurant located on the road to Cala Saona is a real enchanted garden. You will dine under a roof of stars wrapped in an elegant and relaxed atmosphere at the same time. Here most of the raw materials come from the restaurant’s vegetable garden and the fish is always fresh.
The service is impeccable and the wine list well assorted. Recommended to book, ideal for a romantic dinner. High price. Tel.: (+34) 971-322903
ES MOLÌ DE SAL: elegant restaurant located near the beach of Ses Illetes. Housed in an old mill, it is one of the most chic places in Formentera. The splendid terrace that overlooks the sea is the destination of many celebrities who never fail to attend this exclusive place. Probably the best location in all of Formentera competing with the equally famous Chezz Gerdi restaurant.
The dishes are refined and the prices adjusted to the proposal. Also recommended for an aperitif. High price. Tel.: (+34) 971-187491
LA CAVA: typical Spanish restaurant located on the promenade of Es Pujols. It is very colorful and evocative: the wall that surrounds it outside is decorated with numerous colored shutters and, climbing up a small ladder, you can dine on a small but delightful terrace facing the sea.
Run by Spaniards, it offers excellent fish cuisine at reasonable prices. Absolutely to try seafood paella and grilled fish. It does not accept telephone reservations, once you arrive you must put yourself on the waiting list. Medium price. Tel.: (+34) 971-328296
BOCASALINA: it is one of the best restaurants in Formentera and is located on the Es Pujols seafront. Elegant and refined, here the attention to the client and the service offered are undoubtedly excellent. It offers a menu of both meat and seafood and every dish is studied in detail. The wine list is wide, able to satisfy even the most demanding palates.
Beautiful sea view. Recommended to book, ideal for a romantic dinner. Medium-high price. Tel.: (+34) 971-329113
ES CALÓ RESTAURANT: this restaurant, located in the village of the same name, offers a beautiful view of the sea. It is possible to dine on the large terrace and the cuisine includes numerous proposals of fresh fish. The service is attentive and never intrusive.
Also frequented by those who live the island by boat, there is an efficient tender service. Recommended to book in high season. High price. Tel.: (+34) 971-327311
CAN RAFALET: located next to the hotel of the same name, it is located in village of Es Calò. Its strength lies in the wonderful terrace overlooking the sea from which you can admire one of the most beautiful views of the whole island. The service is fast and courteous. Try the Galician style octopus and the St. Peter’s fish fillet.
It is advisable to book at least a couple of days in advance if you wish to have dinner with a sea view table. Medium price. Tel.: (+34) 971-327077
LA MARITERRANEA: if you want to eat a delicious paella you have to come here. Located in the pedestrian street of Sant Ferran, this place, not very big, is specialized in paella: you will find all kinds, from the traditional one to the squid ink (superb if accompanied by the aioli sauce).
Thanks to the experience of the two owners, who do their utmost to offer the highest quality, each dish will be explained and proposed without artifice. The quality of the rice and the relaxed atmosphere will win you over. Also try the unusual proposal with bacon and mushrooms. Do not overdo it and leave room in the belly for the tasty cheesecake. It is also essential to book a few days in advance. Medium price. Tel.: (+34) 674-274298
PINATAR: typical Spanish restaurant located in the centre of Es Pujols. Very nice location, thanks to the simply furnished courtyard, which allows you to dine under a roof of stars. Both paella and grilled fish are recommended. If you want to taste some tapas, Pinatapas is next to the entrance of the restaurant.
Very interesting also the fact that they also do home delivery service. For those who want to dine at home as if they were in a restaurant. Medium price. Tel.: (+34) 971-328137
CA NA PEPA: located near the main square of Sant Francesc, this restaurant is furnished with taste and originality. In addition to the outdoor patio, which will entice you to relax away from the scorching sun of Formentera, there is a beautiful internal garden where you can have lunch in the shade of a fig tree. The menu offers fresh pasta and excellent quality fish. Do not miss the desserts.
The name means “the house of Pepa” and refers to the dane of the former owners. Also open for breakfast and brunch. Medium-high price. Tel.: (+34) 971-321091
QUARTIERI SPAGNOLI: Neapolitan pizzeria opened in 2013, is located in a secluded street a few steps from the square of Sant Ferran. In addition to the ground floor there is a splendid terrace with a few tables that enjoy a view of the town square.
The proposed pizzas are all designed by the Neapolitan chef who leaves nothing to chance. Worthy of note is the Margheritona pizza with crust stuffed with ricotta. Absolutely the best pizzeria in Formentera. Pleasant and dynamic environment. Reservations are recommended. Medium price. Tel.: (+34) 609-415350
FONDA PEPE: among the restaurants of Formentera, it is considered a real institution! Located in the pedestrian area of Sant Ferran, near the central square, it is cheap and very popular even after dinner for a beer with friends. In the 1960s it was the destination of many island hippies who loved to spend their evenings in front of this place; even now you can breathe a simple and informal atmosphere.
Unfortunately reservations are not accepted and it is the norm to do a bit of queue at the entrance. Cuisine and service are friendly. Low-medium price. Tel.: (+34) 971-328033
PELAYO: having lunch in this place is a real life experience. Located along Playa de Migjorn, it is a very spartan chiringuito famous for the great Sunday paella: a team of chefs work tirelessly to create a paella that can feed around 200 people! Arrive early and don’t miss this show absolutely.
The environment is very informal and the atmosphere is festive. Order even a litre of sangria and indulge in one of the most beautiful Sundays of your life. We recommend booking. Low-medium price. Tel.: (+34) 669-984008
SA PLATGETA: located along the magnificent Migjorn beach, it enjoys a magnificent sea view. If you are looking for an authentic and spartan place, then Sa Platgeta is for you. Like so many other restaurants in Formentera, it is run by Spaniards and offers traditional dishes and plenty of fresh fish.
The location is wonderful: eat in the pine forest, surrounded by the scents of the island. The service is courteous and fast. Recommended for groups of friends. Medium price. Tel.: (+34) 971-187614
ES CODOL FORADAT: is located in the long and wild Migjorn beach, exactly at Km. 8.9. This Spanish restaurant has a magnificent beachfront location and serves traditional dishes. The environment is informal and the atmosphere very pleasant. We recommend trying it both at lunch and dinner to enjoy the spectacle of nature: by day a crystal clear sea full of nuances, in the evening in the moonlight.
Among the dishes offered, we recommend paella with lobster and duck with apricot. Very friendly service. Medium price. Tel.: (+34) 971-328281
SA PALMERA: Spanish restaurant located on the promenade of Es Pujols, it is ideal for those wishing to continue the evening browsing the numerous stalls of the adjacent market. Spartan restaurant, with essential furnishings, offers simple and well executed dishes. The portions are plentiful and, in the large menu, we recommend the fried musky octopus (chopitos) and fresh sardines available only on Tuesdays and Fridays.
It doesn’t accept reservations. Ideal for those who want to enjoy a great meal and are not looking for an elegant restaurant. Recommended also for lunch, thanks to the wonderful sea view. Monday closed. Low-medium price. Tel.: (+34) 971-328356
CASADELA – CANTINA Y PESCADO: belongs to the managers of the aforementioned Casanita; this restaurant is located in the heart of Sant Francesc. It is furnished with care and the result is original: walls painted with feminine faces and unusual colors are the setting for an excellent quality kitchen.
Be advised by the helpful staff and you will not be disappointed. Booking recommended. Also excellent is the 5-course tasting menu for € 40, excluding drinks. Medium-high price. Tel.: (+34) 622-495125
MACONDO: pizzeria (but also restaurant) with a cheerful and spartan atmosphere, located in the heart of Sant Ferran. Run by Spaniards, if you want to have fun and be in company this is the right place. It is certainly one of the cheapest restaurants in Formentera.
There are numerous outdoor tables where, in addition to eating an excellent pizza (large and thin), you can easily make new acquaintances. The service is quick and always smiling. Low-medium price. Tel.: (+34) 971-329069
CAN PASCUAL: restaurant located in Es Calò, has recently been renovated in its furnishings; it offers Spanish cuisine and many fish dishes. The beautiful internal courtyard is treated in detail, you will eat wrapped in the scent of maritime pines and you will be served and advised by the very efficient staff.
We recommend paella and mixed grilled fish. The artisan hierbas served at the end of the meal is also excellent. Medium price. Tel.: (+34) 971-327014
CATERINA: located just after Es Calò, along the road leading to La Mola, this restaurant offers a truly fantastic location. Immersed in the Mediterranean scrub you will taste refined dishes presented in an excellent manner.
We recommend trying the burrata with patanegra. The professionalism and friendliness of the owners is renowned. Absolutely not to be missed. Medium-high price. Tel.: (+34) 971-327472
CAN CARLITOS: located in La Savina, comes from the fantasy of the aforementioned Manzoli (Can Carlos). In a suggestive location where you can admire a fantastic sunset, here you will delight your taste buds with a typical Spanish formula: tapas.
You can taste them in many different ways, all masterfully executed by Nandu Jubany, a renowned Catalan chef. The balance between traditional cuisine and innovative combinations will leave you speechless. Medium-high price. Tel.: (+34) 617-755742
CAMINITO: elegant Argentinian restaurant located just outside Es Pujols in the direction of the port. You can taste the typical recipes of Argentine gastronomy, with imported meats and numerous specialties. The fillet is the main dish of the house.
Recommended for both a romantic dinner and groups of friends. It is possible to reserve a table by the pool. The wine cellar is also excellent. Medium-high price. Tel.: (+34) 971-328106
S’AVARADERO: located in a magnificent location, on the promenade of Es Pujols, this restaurant enjoys a beautiful panoramic view. Run by islanders, it offers traditional dishes but also an excellent meat proposal.
In the varied menu, we recommend the mixed grilled meat that will allow you to taste different cuts, all of excellent quality. Very popular, booking is recommended especially if you want to dine on the terrace. Medium-high price. Tel.: (+34) 971-329043
JUAN Y ANDREA: located on the beach of Ses Illetes, it is probably among the most chic and fashionable restaurants in Formentera. Opened about 30 years ago, when there was still no road and here we arrived only by sea, still today it is very frequented by those who live on the island aboard their boat; not by chance the tender service is one of the most requested.
It is here, that very easily, you will meet VIPs and celebrities of all sorts and data-cfasync="false" data-cfasync="false" types. Open for lunch only. Magnificent location but the quality / price ratio is certainly not the best. High price. Tel.: (+34) 971-187130
EL MIRADOR: located in an enviable position, as the name suggests, it has the advantage of having a large terrace from which to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the island. It is located on the slope to go to El Pilar de la Mola and is run by Spaniards.
Among the many dishes, we recommend the excellent fish paella, to avoid spaghetti with clams. Interesting the dessert menu thanks to the presence of some local proposals. Quiet and informal environment. Recommended at sunset for the breathtaking view. Medium price. Tel.: (+34) 971-327037
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