As a travel blogger and self-confessed foodie, there’s nothing I like more than traveling to a new destination with a long list of culinary treats to sample during a stay. What I find fascinating about Mallorca food, is that it’s been honed to perfection over centuries.
In this article, I’ll detail the heritage of these foods, show you must-try Mallorquin dishes and provide information on the best places to taste them. Let’s dive right in!
Hi, I’m Timon!
I’ve experienced the heartbeat of Spain firsthand. Over the last five years, I’ve immersed myself in the dynamic cities of Spain, truly living the Spanish way. My insights into this beautiful country are rooted in genuine experience.
Mallorca’s Food Heritage
Throughout the centuries, Mallorca has been home to Phoenicians, Romans, Moors and Catalan civilizations. They all left their culinary mark on the island, and today, menus are infused with a combination of Mediterranean, Arabic, and Catalan influences.
There’s a common theme with Mallorca food. The recipes are focused on acquiring fresh, seasonal produce from land or sea. Simple ingredients, readily available year-round, made complex by using a combination of herbs and spices.
As food is a fundamental (and fascinating) aspect of Mallorcan culture, I recommend taking a food and drink tour to familiarize yourself with the main dishes. First-timers to the island can enjoy food and drink tours, trips to olive oil factories, or learn how to make traditional cuisine during a fun cooking class.
In fact, there are dozens of things to do in Mallorca relating to food discovery, so let’s take a look at the top 15 local dishes to try while you’re here!
Top 15 Local Dishes in Mallorca
Mallorca food caters to all palates – whether you describe yourself as carnivore, pescatarian or vegetarian. The dishes known as sobrassada, tumbet or ensaïmada may not mean anything to you now, but by the end of this article, you’ll be an expert in all things Mallorcan cuisine!
This popular cured sausage originates from the Balearics, Sicily, and Sardinia. The soft textured sausage meat, which can be eaten hot or cold, is a blend of minced pork loin and bacon enhanced with spices such as paprika.
It is often served with a fried duck egg on top, as a croquette, or it can be sliced like chorizo. A preferred way of Mallorquins is to spread it on toasted bread accompanied by soft cheese or honey.
If purchasing sobrassada in a delicatessen such as Colmado Sant Domingo in Palma, look for PGI quality designation. This is only awarded to Mallorca sobrassada made with pork or black pork derived from fig-fed pigs on the island. Alternatively, try this yummy dish at Celler Pagès in Palma.
Perfect for vegetarians and vegans, tumbet or tombet is a Mallorcan dish made from aubergines, red bell peppers and potatoes fried in olive oil. The ratatouille-style dish can be served as an accompaniment to meat or fish or eaten on its own as an entrée.
It’s perfect for eating on cooler evenings and during winter months. Plus, tumbet is served in most traditional Mallorcan restaurants throughout the island.
3. Coca Mallorquina
This typical Catalan dish can be found in northern Spain, the Balearic, Andorra, and France. It’s one of my favorite dishes – as it can be eaten in a fancy restaurant or on the go.
Coca is similar to pizza. The base is a thin flatbread made from fresh yeast dough, and it can be topped with any garnish of your choosing – savory or sweet.
The traditional “Mallorquina” topping consists of locally grown red and yellow peppers, garlic, onion, and spinach. However, other variants of ‘coca’ include meat, anchovies, potatoes, or even dried fruit!
You can sample the dish at Forn de la Pau – a 500-year-old bakery in Palma, or at Ca’n Molinas in Valldemossa.
This mouth-watering pastry is a familiar sight and typical of Mallorca. It dates back to the 17th century and is often eaten by locals for breakfast.
As with many Mallorcan dishes, there are several variations. You can feast on the original ensaïmada, discover “tallades’, made with pumpkin and sobrassada (a traditional carnival treat), or try it filled with delicious sweet cream or chocolate.
Ensaïmadas are available in most Mallorcan bakeries, but if you want the best, head for Inca. Family-run bakery Forn de Sant Francesc won the prize for world’s best ensaïmada in 2017 and it’s still famous to this day. The pastries are baked traditionally in an artisanal Moorish oven inherited from the owner’s great-grandparents. If you’re staying in the capital, I also recommend C’an Joan de S’Aigo in Palma.
5. Arroz Brut
Arroz Brut is a typical dish of the Balearic Islands – once known as “dirty rice” for its color. It’s been a long-time staple of the Mallorcan diet, cooked using fresh, seasonal ingredients and flavored with saffron, cinnamon, and paprika.
There are many different recipes to try. Meat eaters can opt for arroz brut laced with snails, sobrassada, or pork, and vegetarians can substitute these for mushrooms, peas, and peppers.
The savory rice casserole is a warming dish often cooked at home, but if you prefer to let someone else do the hard work, try it at one of my favorite restaurants – Es Guix near Lluc.
6. Frito Mallorquin
Frito Mallorquin consists of fried liver with peppers and potatoes. It can be made with pork or roasted lamb, with some versions even containing seafood.
This traditional dish is said to derive from Arabic or pre-Sephardic cuisine. The ingredients are fried with olive oil, potatoes, and onion – with fennel, cinnamon, and laurel being added for a flavor boost.
I enjoy trying dishes like this in non-touristy towns like Inca or Sineu, and they make really good frit Mallorqui at Ca’n Pedro de Valldemossa.
7. Lechona Asada
Roast suckling pig has been a popular dish in Mallorcan food culture since the mid-19th century. It’s a simple dish – served with sliced potatoes and seasoned with rosemary, salt, lemon, and wine.
It was a meal preferred by the upper classes and often served on holidays and celebrations. It also features in Mallorcan stories known as “rondales.” In some restaurants, the dish is presented as the entire pig, as it would have been in medieval times.
8. Pa amb oli
Pa amb oli was originally a peasant dish in Mallorca. It was easy to make, cost very little and was filling to eat after a long day working outdoors. The simple recipe consists of tomato, garlic, and olive oil on toasted white bread. Occasionally it’s topped with ham or local cheese.
You’ll find versions of pa amb oli all across Spain. It’s known on the mainland as “pan con tomate”, and its popularity is increasing with visitors.
I sampled pa amb oli at QuitaPenas, a charming tapas bar in Valldemossa. However, if you wish to try a unique version, Es Llogaret in Palma holds first place for pa amb oli served with roasted peppers, sweet tomato salsa and cod.
Trampó or trempó is one of my favorite Mallorcan dishes to eat on summer vacation. It’s essentially a salad to eat as a starter or side to your entrée. It’s often placed in the center of a table as a sharing platter and consists of flavorsome, fresh ingredients, including tomatoes, onions, and green peppers drizzled in olive oil.
It can be served with tortilla, meat, or fish, and you can also try the equally delicious coca de trampó – vegetables on Mallorcan flatbread.
Sample a delicious version of trampó with fresh shrimp and citrus fruits at Sa Figuera in Port de Sóller.
Rubiols are Mallorcan pastries, traditionally half-moon shaped – served at parties and celebrations. Some say the pastry dates back to medieval times, and others say it is of Jewish origin, related to unleavened Passover pastries.
The rubiol can be sweet, or savory – filled with everything from jam, chocolate and Mallorca cheese, to meat, fish and spinach with pine nuts and raisins.
They are sold in bakeries like Fornet de la Soca in Palma. If you’re tempted to sample it here, their specialty is pumpkin-filled rubiols!
11. Llom amb Col
Another classic dish is llom amb col. This dish has been consumed for many centuries on the island. It consists of a tenderloin of pork with sauteed cabbage, raisins, garlic, and pine nuts, traditionally served from a clay pot. Each household cooks its own variation of the recipe, with some people adding bacon, mushrooms, nuts, or wine.
It’s a hearty, filling lunch or dinner dish that can be enjoyed in Palma, Sóller and off the beaten tourist path. My favorite restaurants to dine on llom amb col include La Balanguera in Palma and historic Celler Sa Travessa in Inca.
Llonguet is a freshly based Mallorcan bread bun. It’s small and oval with a light texture, a crunchy crust, and a central groove. It’s ideal for filling with your favorite sandwich ingredients!
On the Spanish mainland, sandwiches like these are often called “bocadillos”. In Mallorca, the bread bun is so famous that a route is dedicated to it in Palma!
I enjoyed trying the llonguet at La Tertulia, a part café/part theater serving authentic local cuisine in Palma.
Panades or Empanadas Mallorquinas are a combination of Jewish, Arabic and Catalan cuisine, typically served at Easter and celebrations in Mallorca.
Empanadas are usually folded over, similar to a pasty or calzone pizza, but these are more reminiscent of a pie. They are filled with meat – usually chicken, lamb, or sobrassada, or fish and peas, then seasoned and baked for around an hour in the oven.
The panades at Panaderia Pasteleria Reina Maria Cristina in central Palma are legendary, plus they have vegetarian options too!
Bunyols were popular street food snacks during the time of Moorish rule in Spain. Today, the delicious deep-fried doughnuts are served on food stalls at fall festivals. They are similar to buñuelos found in mainland Spain.
There are different types of bunyol to try – the original ‘bunyol de vent’ accompanied by honey or sweet sugar, or ‘bunyol de forat’ enhanced with cinnamon, lemon zest, and mashed potato.
You’ll often find the best ones from vendors in Palma’s old town. I also recommend Xurreria Rosaleda – they serve churros too!
15. Queso Mallorca
Mallorca cheese is often served solo or with fruit and nuts following a meal. It’s also used in Catalan cuisine, macaroni, sauces, and as fillings for rubiols. It’s made from goat, sheep, or cow’s milk with cheese strengths ranging from semi-cured to aged/mature.
As Mallorca cheese is island produced, it has Protected Designation of Origin accreditation. I like to go straight to the source to sample some of the best. Formatges Burguera, on the road to Colonia Sant Jordi, is one of only a handful of remaining Mallorca cheese producers. They receive organized excursions and offer tastings of their products in-house.
Culinary Culture of Mallorca
The above foods are all culturally significant in Mallorca. They symbolize the history, fertility of the land and the rich bounty obtained from the seas. The dishes are heavily influenced by seasonal availability of ingredients; therefore some are only available at certain times of the year.
For example, arroz brut and panades may contain different meat, fish, and vegetables in different seasons. Bunyols are more readily available in fall when the weather cools, and Llom amb Col is more of a winter dish too.
If you want a deeper dive into local ingredients, why not visit one of the grocery stores in Spain to get a better feeling for the food?
Vegetarian Food in Mallorca
Twenty years ago, if you ordered vegetarian food in Spain, you would be presented with a plate of tomatoes and onions drizzled in olive oil or a bowl of gazpacho. And those would be the only options on the menu! Thankfully, this is changing.
On the list above, around 8 of the 15 dishes, including tumbet, trampó, pa amb oli, arroz brut, and bunyols cater to vegetarians! There are also dozens of tapas dishes suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Palma de Mallorca: A Food Paradise
Palma de Mallorca is the heart of the island’s food scene. I love walking around Mercado de Santa Catalina, sampling sobrassada and coca Mallorquinas. I often pop into Forn Fondo for llonguets and rubiols. Plus, it’s the best place to try different ensaïmadas.
On my last visit, I dined at La Balanguera and Celler Pagès where I tried various Mallorcan food with pleasing results!
Eating in Deià and Soller
The enchanting town of Deià, Mallorca is home to a host of foodie hotspots. The hilltop hideaway caters to those seeking typical Mallorquin gastronomy or something a little different.
When I visit, I head for Es Raco d’es Teix with its delectable tasting menus or the equally alluring Restaurante Sebastian. Although their menus don’t feature the traditional rustic dishes in our list, there are elevated versions, perfect for a special occasion.
In nearby Soller, Mallorca, one of my favorite eateries is Ca’n Boqueta. It’s in the town center, set inside a typical Mallorcan house. The rustic ambiance, patio overlooking orange trees, and tasting menus are worth the trip. If it’s Michelin star dining you seek, head for family-run Bens d’Avall on a cliffside by the sea. They serve refined Balearic cuisine from fresh, seasonal produce.
I also recommend stopping at Sa Fabrica de Gelats, an artisanal ice cream shop in town. It may not be fancy, but it’s a must if you have a sweet tooth. They have over 40 flavors and use citrus fruits from Serra de Tramuntana to create refreshing sorbets.
Where to Stay in Mallorca: The Foodie Edition
If you’re wondering where to stay in Mallorca, close to great food options and places of interest, these luxury hotels are sure to appeal.
Best Luxury Stays in Mallorca
Son Brull Hotel & Spa in Pollensa is less than 30 minutes’ drive from some of the top Mallorca restaurants on this list in Inca and Lluc. Surrounded by countryside, on the edge of Pollensa town, the hotel features an outdoor pool, spa, and its own restaurant 365. The chef sources seasonal ingredients from the hotel’s own garden to create flavorsome dishes.
Conclusion: Mallorca Food
There’s no greater way to learn about a culture than through its food. It enriches a vacation, bonds you with the destination, and gives you greater insight into its rich history.
In my mind, Mallorca is the ultimate foodie destination – a place where locally sourced produce is the star. If it’s your first time here, I recommend taking a guided food tour to sample a few dishes. And, when you find your favorites, head to a local bakery, market, or restaurant on the above list to enjoy a delicious Mallorcan feast!
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