Years of having the pleasure of eating out in Mallorca mean that, when someone asks me for a recommendation, I know just where to send them. Give me a few keywords like ‘buzzy’, ‘elegant’, ‘trendy’ or ‘cosy’ and I’m immediately flipping through my mental Filofax of island eateries.
When a friend or acquaintance asks for ‘romantic’, many restaurants come to mind. Mallorca, with its balmy nights, to-die-for views and spectacular settings, seems tailor-made for memorable occasions with a loved one, and these places in particular ooze romance.
A romantic restaurant can take many forms. Here’s my selection running the whole range, from simple beach spots and countryside hideaways to ravishing mountain retreats and chic roof terraces.
20. Sa Sal Restaurant, Port CristoA hidden gem in the back streets of Port Cristo, this is my personal favourite on the east coast. German chef/owner Mario Hekke and his team create delicious and beautifully-presented Mediterranean dishes.
TIP: Dine in the candlelit walled garden at the back for that extra- special romantic atmosphere.
19. Restaurant 19 Livingdreams, Santa MariaThis fusion restaurant in the centre of the island (Santa Maria) is housed in an old town house with a stunning garden and shady terraces to relax and enjoy the views. Service is good and the food is an interesting mix of local and Mediterranean with a hint of Asian influence.
16. El Olivo RestaurantAs Hotel La Residencia’s main restaurant, you can expect a dash of the sublime with your romantic meal at El Olivo. Famous guests like Princess Diana and Harrison Ford have added to the sense of glamour, and the fine Mediterranean dining here, with views of the mountains, is fittingly elegant.
13. Zaranda Restaurant, CapdellaThe only two-star Michelin restaurant on Mallorca this is the place to book when you want an orgy of gourmet delights – the creativity of the dishes prepared by Fernando Pérez Arellano are well deserving of the high praise Zaranda receives both locally and internationally.
Tip: The restaurant’s terrace makes for a much nicer dining experience.
12. Restaurant Sebastian, DeiáAnother personal favourite… this well-known and much loved restaurant in the beautiful mountain village of Deiá is certainly worth a visit if you love good food and friendly relaxed service, in rustic surroundings. But book in advance…. Click here for the full restaurant review of Sebastian’s in Deia.
10. Sadrassana RestaurantAnother ‘Night Manager’ setting, this unique restaurant housed in a 19th-century manor house is soaked in atmosphere. Linger over exquisite tapas, fish or meat, and follow up with drinks in the bar if you wish; Sadrassana stays open and buzzing until the early hours. One to have fun seeking out in Palma’s old quarter.
9. Sushi Bar Sant Francesc HotelOne great insider tip is the panoramic rooftop Sushi Bar at Sant Francesc Hotel – one of Palma’s top hotels. The views across the city and cathedral will take your breath away, and the sushi menu (with a few non-sushi options) is excellent quality. Undeniably romantic, and also wonderful for a pre-dinner cocktail.
7. Salvia Hotel RestaurantThis is the restaurant we choose when we have friends visiting the island and want to give them a special treat. The dishes prepared by German chef Martin Winkler are consistently good and we love the healthy combination of ingredients and flavours at Salvia Hotel Restaurant. Highly recommended particularly for celebrations.
5. Es Pinaret RestaurantThe most perfect setting for romance comes courtesy of this off-the-beaten-track restaurant with its enchanting garden. Situated up a track off a side road from Ses Salines to Colonia St Jordi, Es Pinaret can be a little hard to find, but this only adds to the sense of being away from it all – and you’re rewarded with world-class food.
Tip: The lobster spaghetti is exceptional.
4. Agapanto RestaurantSóller harbour has its own special magic at night, and the moody ambience at Agapanto perfectly fits the natural setting. Great care is taken over the Mediterranean – Mallorcan menu, with lots of extra touches added. The mountains, sea and music make this place a little bit magic.
3. Las Terrazas del Bendinat RestaurantSoftly lit and pine scented, Las Terrazas del Bendinat is a gem of a restaurant in the south west. Hotel Bendinat is one of Mallorca’s most emblematic stays and its restaurant is big on the classic, semi-formal eating experience, meaning men should wear long trousers. Ladies, you can glam it up for this one.
Tip: Share a knockout paella.
2. Maricel RestaurantThe scene for one highly charged scene in BBC hit drama ‘The Night Manager’, Maricel has a swoon-worthy setting right next to the Med. Part of the exclusive Hospes hotel, it does sensually-concocted dishes perfect for a romantic tryst.
Tip: The breakfasts here have been voted best in the world.
1. Bens d'Avall RestaurantCountless anniversaries have been marked at Bens d’Avall, and with good reason; this perennial Mallorca favourite matches sublime food with a sublime setting. Perched above the Med in between Deià and Sóller, it boasts ravishing terrace views, gracious service and winning ‘New Mallorcan’ food. Special.
Tip: Always, always book in advance.