A complete guide on the main restaurants of Formentera and their specialities. In the preface I mention the local dishes that you can taste on the island.
In the beautiful island of Formentera there are many excellent restaurants where you can taste the delicacies typical of the Balearic Islands; the local dishes are obviously for most part based on fish but also shellfish.
Among these we can mention, for example, the alioli, a tasty garlic sauce, similar to mayonnaise, which is usually served as an appetizer with olives; the zarzuela, a kind of caciucco with fish and slices of toast; the amanida de peix sec, a savory dish made with dried fish, tomatoes, potatoes and onions; the caldereta de langosta, a special soup of lobster; the guisat de peix, a variety of Mediterranean stew with potatoes, fish, seafood and shellfish served with alioli sauce; the gazpacho, a cold vegetable soup; the arroz marinera, a seafood risotto and finally the inevitable paella which is widely known for three data-cfasync="false" data-cfasync="false" types: meat, seafood and mixed.
The quantity but especially the quality of the fish that arrives on the tables of the restaurants on the island is very high and for all tastes, among which we recommend lobster and raò, a tasty small fish that is almost impossible to find.
Thyme and rosemary honey have carved out an important space in the local cuisine, not to mention xereques, dried figs and left to dry in the sun with thyme and fennel, and finally the goat cheese, which is produced on the island and is recommended to eat it together with the traditional bread.
As regards the desserts, bunyols are worth a try, typical fried sweets flavored with orange juice or orelletes, which are made with puff pastry and icing sugar. In the Easter period it is customary to eat cheesecakes flavored with herbs, called flaò.
Moving on to the drinks, the liquor typical of Formentera and the Balearic Islands is certainly the hierbas, that is about 25-30% alcohol. There is mostly anise, and other 18 kinds of different herbs. It should be drunk cold and is sweet, dry or semi-dry. Also be taken with ice, it is typically served after dinner as a digestive.
The wine is defined rough and wild, as this beautiful island, and is definitely not recommended for people with sophisticated taste since it is an authentic wine and no frills.
We have selected some of the best restaurants of Formentera:
CAN RAFALET: located in the hotel with the same name, it is one of the best restaurants on the island and specializes in fish dishes, which you can enjoy on the seashore with a beautiful view of the coast. It is situated in Es Calò, right at the base of the climb to El Pilar de la Mola.
The price is very competitive, especially considering the high level of the cuisine, the house specialty is squid, sole and shrimp that are grilled to perfection and the bullit de peix, a dish made of rice with a special red mullet. Last, but not least, is the salad payesa, a typical dish of Formentera with dried fish, bread crust, peppers, onion and tomatoes. It is recommended to book if you want to get a table overlooking the sea. Tel.: (+34) 971-327077
LUNA: very good restaurant in the port of La Savina equipped with a large terrace overlooking the luxury yachts moored, recommended for those looking for good food. The dishes, cooked by a chef of Sorrento in an excellent way, are presented in a simple and sophisticated manner at the same time. Ideal for those who want a romantic dinner by candlelight.
A refined selection of the background music and the staff responsive to customer needs make this one of the best restaurants in Formentera. Both first and second courses are great. The specialties of the house are aubergine soufflé as a starter, while as dessert millefoglie and mojito ice cream are recommended. Tel.: (+34) 971-321585
CA NA PEPA: this nice restaurant, furnished with taste and originality, is located a few steps from the main square of Sant Francesc and has an outdoor patio that offers a relaxed atmosphere typical of this beautiful island. There is also an indoor garden where you can dine under the shade of a fig tree. The name means “the house of Pepa” and refers to the Great Dane of former owners.
The house specialties are ravioli with pepper and pecorino and Argentine entrecote with vegetables, while for the dessert not to be missed are the chocolate with rum and Catalan cream foam. Open all year. Tel.: (+34) 971-321091
PINATAR: this restaurant, located in the center of Es Pujols, was voted best restaurant in Formentera in 2003. After having passed through the large wooden door, the customer will find a modern dining room followed by two terraces, one covered and one under the trees, where you can sit under the stars and enjoy the classic dishes of the traditional cuisine.
The house specialties are the baked fish, fish stew, lobster soup and roast leg of lamb. The price includes a welcome glass of sparkling wine that is served at the beginning of the dinner. It also has a good wine cellar. Tel.: (+34) 971-328137
QUARTIERI SPAGNOLI: Neapolitan pizza place opened in 2013, which has immediately received excellent reviews from both islanders and Italian tourists. Located in a quiet side street, just a few steps from Sant Ferran square. Besides the ground floor there is a wonderful terrace with a few tables so it is highly recommended to book one of these if you want to have a lovely evening and enjoy the real Neapolitan pizza.
Recommended pizza “Margheritone” with crust stuffed with ricotta and pizza “Quartieri Spagnoli”. The low prices, the excellent quality and the welcome you receive make it a must stop place. Tel.: (+34) 609-415350
FONDA PEPE: it is an institution in Formentera because it is the historic restaurant on the island and is located in Sant Ferran. Economic, famous and very popular, hippie and old-fashioned. Paella, sole meuniere and oven-baked fish dishes are excellent.
It was the haunt of hippies in the 60s and it was here that many of the major social events took place, but today is a quiet restaurant where you can still breathe the air of the old days. Unfortunately, reservations are not accepted and long queues at the entrance are the norm. Tel.: (+34) 971-328033
CAMINITO: elegant Argentine restaurant, just outside Es Pujols in the direction of the port, where you can taste the typical recipes of Argentine gastronomy, with imported meat and many specialties. Fillet and entrecote are the best dishes of the house.
The restaurant is very nice, spacious, well furnished, suitable both for a romantic evening with dinner by candlelight at the poolside and for a quiet evening with friends. Here there is probably the best wine cellar of Formentera. Expensive but well worth the effort. Tel.: (+34) 971-328106
CAN GAVINU: excellent restaurant located between Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran, exactly at the 3.3 km of the road leading from La Savina to El Pilar de la Mola. In this place, decorated in typical sailor style with white and blue wood, the atmosphere is intimate and romantic. The trained and friendly staff combined with excellent food make Can Gavinu one of the most appreciated restaurants. The dishes are delicious and careful in the presentation of the food.
The specialties are homemade pasta with seafood, sea bass, mussels and clams sautéed. Delicious sweets. Right quality / price ratio. Italian-run restaurant with a Mediterranean cuisine. Tel.: (+34) 971-322421
PASCUAL: restaurant in Es Calo, highly respected and recommended by the islanders, regular customers of this cosy place.
The only drawback is that there is no view of the sea, but fortunately this deficiency is compensated by good food and really good prices. The restaurant has at disposal a nice terrace, very relaxing place where you can eat in the shade of pine trees.
Specializing in fish dishes and seafood, both the lobster and the arroz a la banda, which is a kind of paella, are excellent. Tel.: (+34) 971-327014
CASANITA CANTINA Y PESCADO: restaurant run by Poldo, very nice person, a leading expert on food culture that will certainly know how to please you. For those who want to eat well in Es Pujols this place is an absolute must. The only negative is that it does not have an excellent location, indeed it is located in a side road of the promenade.
The dishes of the day, off the menu, marked on the blackboard, are strongly recommended as well as fresh fish cooked in a divine way. Impeccable service and top-quality cuisine. Peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. Reservations are recommended because of the high turnout especially if you want to eat on the terrace. Tel.: (+34) 678-900795
CAN CARLOS: this restaurant, surrounded by typical Mediterranean vegetation, is located in Sant Francesc and is now certainly one of the more popular restaurants, thanks to the skill of the Italian chef Franceschino Manzoli, serving delicious seafood dishes paired with vegetables of the island such as carpaccio of courgettes. Tuna carpaccio with pink pepper is also excellent.
There is an external area with a beautiful illuminated terrace where you can taste delicious dishes and enjoy fresh air. It also has a bar area where you can have a drink or a pleasant after dinner. Reservations are recommended. Expensive. Tel.: (+34) 971-322874
PEQUENA ISLA: it is situated in El Pilar de la Mola and is ideal both for the excellent quality/price ratio and for the menu offering typical dishes of the local cuisine.
This rustic restaurant is well known for the peculiarity of the food, including for example: octopus stewed, roasted rabbit, squid cooked in their own ink, in addition to many dishes made of rice. The purpose of the chefs is to make known the recipes of their ancestors, when tourism was not present yet, and the island was inhabited only by farmers and fishermen. This is a perfect place for a dinner after a visit to the nearby lighthouse. You can dine in the comfortable covered terrace or in the dining room, at the back of the restaurant. Tel.: (+34) 971-327068
EL SUENO: this restaurant has distinctive, simple but refined setting, with colored bulbs hanging from wires, sunshade umbrellas and old signs. Not easy to reach, on the road that leads to La Savina turn left in the direction of Porto Saler, continue for a few kilometers until you can see the writing of the restaurant on the left side of the road.
Do not miss the “tour” of appetizers with salmon and tuna tartare, Chinese Seaweed salad, mussels au gratin with sauce, sweet and sour peppers and especially goat cheese grilled. The menu is not very large but the food quality is very good. Quiet and off the beaten track of mass tourism, good alternative to the more well-known restaurants. Tel.: (+34) 971-323213
AIGUA: restaurant which is located a few steps from the port of La Savina. The décor is very sophisticated, ideal for tourists who love trendy places. It also has a magnificent outdoor terrace, large and well organized.
The menu offers specialties both Spanish and European as well as Japanese dishes such as sushi and sashimi. A lot of choice, but surely uncooked foods are the specialty of the house, among these I suggest tartare and carpaccio. Ideal both for a romantic dinner and a quiet evening with friends. Tel.: (+34) 971-323322
SA PALMERA: very recommended restaurant on the seafront of Es Pujols both for the excellent quality / price ratio, generous portions and reasonable price, and the strategic location, ideal for those who want to continue the evening browsing through nearby market stalls.
Besides fresh fish you can eat lobster caldereta or sample one of the best paella on the island. Suggested for those who want to enjoy a great meal and are not looking for a stylish restaurant. Tel.: (+34) 971-328356
EL MIRADOR: it is located in an enviable position, as you can imagine by the name. It has a wonderful terrace where you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the island. With reasonable prices and excellent quality of its cuisine, the restaurant is among the best known and most highly acclaimed, so in high season it is recommended to book with a little advance, especially if you want to dine on the terrace.
The menu offers a wide variety of choices, including meat and fish dishes, which are highly suggested to be served with the house specialty: salad with bread and dried fish. It is situated on the uphill to El Pilar de la Mola. Tel.: (+34) 971-327037
S’AVARADERO: situated in a wonderful location on the seafront of Es Pujols, this restaurant offers a panoramic view of the sea. It is managed for several years by a family that makes traditional cooking a feature of this place.
The food is very good, wide selection of meat and fish dishes, but their specialty is the mixed grill served on a grill that keeps the meat warm without cooking it further. Dinner by candlelight, intimate and romantic atmosphere. Very popular and for this reason you are strongly advised to book. Remember to ask to get a table on the terrace. Tel.: (+34) 971-329043
ES MOLÌ DE SAL: fancy and famous restaurant located in a mill in Ses Illetes beach, with a wonderful view on the sea. The reputation of this prestigious restaurant is mainly due to the relentless series of well-known people who have made it so exclusive in these years, such as the King of Spain, Juan Carlos, who comes here whenever he goes to Formentera.
The specialty of the house is the lobster soup. Highly recommended for the amazing sunset that you can enjoy. Unfortunately, the dishes are not up to the magnificent location where the restaurant is located, the staff is rude and the prices are staggering. Tel.: (+34) 971-187491
JUAN Y ANDREA: it is the most chic and trendy restaurant on the island, on the beach of Illetes, opened 25 years ago, when there was no road and could only be reached by sea. Famous for tender service between the superyacht at anchor and the beach of Illetes where it is located.
The specialties are large shrimps with salt, lobster paella, grilled sardines. It’s easy to meet some celebrities sipping champagne or rosé sangria. The best thing is that the tables are on the sand, among the palm trees, in the shadow of the awnings. Great location but the quality / price ratio is probably among the worst. Tel.: (+34) 971-187130
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