Palma’s 30 ‘must-try’ Restaurants 2023

Find out which Palma restaurants made it onto HC's hot list for 2023

There are many, many average restaurants in Palma. There are even many good ones; but only a small proportion make the journey to greatness. In a city with a flourishing food scene which attracts a certain breed of well-travelled gourmet, a number of restaurants have made the grade. Food, ambience, décor and service combine to create that certain magic.

Over the years I’ve dined at more Mallorca restaurants than I can remember, but some I go back to time and time again. Here are my personal favourites of ‘must-do’ restaurants in the city of Palma.

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30. Isaan Thai Cuisine

Sometimes only great Thai will do, and Isaan delivers perfectly. A team of Thai cooks take great care in preparing real Asian dishes, served in simple, chic surroundings. You can opt to eat at a bar looking into the open kitchen if you wish, watching the chefs do their authentic Thai thing. An exciting new addition to the burgeoning Santa Catalina food scene.

29. El Camino

A relatively new concept in Palma, El Camino is much like a traditional tapas bar save for the bar itself, which is the longest bar you’ve ever seen. The team, led by Eddie Hart, is great, as is the ambience; the food wonderfully fresh and flavoursome. Tapas for taste and style aficionados. Recommended if you are 2 but for a large group it’s not conformable.

28. Aromata

Opened in 2014 by Mallorcan born, Michelin-starred chef, Andreu Genestra, Aromata is located in the historic Sa Nostra Cultura Centre in Palma. I especially love Aromata for its beautiful 17th century courtyard and big stone archways – it just oozes that feeling of being in the Med. Andreu Genestra is one of Mallorca’s beloved chefs, owed to his back to the land approach to cuisine. A real local favourite.

27. La Vieja by Jonay Hernandez

La Vieja is quite comfortably Palma’s trendiest place for tapas. There is no restaurant in the capital more hip and colourful than here. Expect to find delicious food served in innovative ways – forget the traditional white plate! Here head chef and owner Jonay Hernández is imaginative with food, bringing plenty of character and vibrancy to this quirky restaurant in Plaza Raimundo Clar.

26. Adrian Quetglas

This Argentinian-born chef is a big talent. He made his name on the tough Moscow restaurant scene and has not stopped since! His restaurant has shot to the top of our list for a superbly creative and well-priced lunch menu that should not go amiss in Palma. His food is reflective of his travels, bold in presentation and beautiful in flavour. If you have an important lunch date in Palma, Adrian Quetglas would be my top choice.

25. Dins

Dins is the new restaurant at the stylish El Lorenç Hotel which sees chef Santi Taura do exactly what he does best – deliver exceptional Mallorcan cuisine. Whenever Santi cooks there is always this lovely personal tone that makes you feel like he’s cooking just for you. Here it’s no different, Dins promises fabulous food from Mallorca’s most beloved chef.

24. Fera

There are no shortage of eateries doing Mediterranean-Asian fusion cuisine, but Chef Simon Petutschnig is a master. Fera’s location is within a renovated palace just off El Borne. It has an exclusive air and lunch in particular is surprisingly good value. We’d certainly recommend dining in their beautiful garden, complete with tropical plants and palms. This restaurant is so worth a Michelin-star – we have our fingers crossed for them!

23. Stagier

On the outskirts of Santa Catalina is Stagier Bar, opened in 2018 by chef Joel Baeza and partner Andrea Sertzan. This intimate, laid-back restaurant consists of just seven tables – a real privilege when you realise how great the food is! Joel has worked in several Michelin restaurants, meaning that all his tapas dishes are served with a twist of flavour and a touch of magic. Don’t expect just ordinary Mediterranean cooking here, Joel knows how to incorporate his Chilean heritage into his cooking.

22. Vandal

Vandal is the wild card on my list. Imagine an edgy, busy, noisy restaurant in somewhere like New York’s Tribeca and you get the idea. The cocktails here are some of the best, inventive and absolutely delicious. The ambience here is dark and quite noisy which will not suit everyone but its highly creative cuisine and outstanding wine pairings definitely earn Vandal a top spot.

21. Sadrassana

One of my personal favourites, Sadrassana wins on every count for food, décor and ambience. With such sensuous surroundings – luxurious wallpaper, vintage mirrors and sparkling chandeliers – there’s a real sense of escapism when dining at the restaurant. This is the place to come at night for tapas and wonderful Mallorcan food (dinner only). Art takes centre stage beside the menu – one of Palma’s best-renowned galleries, Galeria Horrach Moya, is upstairs.

20. Market Kitchen

This is a British experience away from home. The restaurant is small with just a few tables so be prepared to book in advance. The menu is British through-and-through with a base of locally-picked ingredients, many of which come from the market located just opposite. I love the warmth and enthusiasm of the couple who pour their heart and soul into the place.

19. Mestís

It’s frequently said to trust where the locals go, and if you do you’ll end up at Mestís. A cosy little eaterie in Santa Catalina with good food and nice friendly service. Fun, colourful and trendy, from the décor to the quality menu, that stacks up across breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.

18. Brasa Madre

Hidden on a back street in the centre near La Lonja, you’ll find this family-owned Argentinian restaurant offering good cocktails and typical meat dishes. Known for their Dry Aged meats as well as fish and seafood from the Mediterranean. I loved the enthusiasm of the team and there seems to be many regulars when we visited.

17. Blanc

A local hotel chain that are trying to do it differently. HM are bringing the vegetable garden to the city with their km0 experience. Their Mediterranean concept is rooted in local ingredients, with an extensive and well-tended plantation of fruit trees and native aromatic plants. Check out Blanc for a bright spacious setting with good wholesome food at excellent value.

16. Vinazo-Morrofino

Off the beaten track and just far away enough from Santa Catalina’s thronging streets, Vinazo Morrofino offers delicious food in a wine cellar. Expect influences from Mediterranean, French, Japanese and Latin American cuisine – all expertly wine-matched. This is the place to go in Palma for wine lovers!

15. Mr. Xiao

A stylish Chinese restaurant in Santa Catalina – there are so few good Chinese restaurants in Mallorca so check it out. Order the Peking Duck the day before – it’s not the best I’ve ever had (I like my duck shredded rather than sliced) but it’s certainly very good and possibly the best you’ll find on the island.

14. Hemudu

For a delicious Chinese lunch for a ridiculously low price! It’s not your typical Spanish-style Chinese restaurant, but offers authentic dishes in a modern and fresh décor. It’s very meat and fish oriented, but even a vegetarian can manage to get some good green dishes. I love the midday buzz – full of happy diners ‘in the know’!

13. Restaurant Xalest at Hotel Concepció by Nobis

The chef at the helm is Xema Álvarez who wowed judges at the 2019 TaPalma and won, beating 50 top chefs in the city. His menu at Restaurant Xalest is reflective of his creative talent, offering a colourful array of Mediterranean cuisine. I love the stylish décor and the food is great too! Perfect for sharing tapas.

12. Raw & Grill The Brasserie at Hotel Cort

We hosted our hc/ Connect & Grow business networking lunch here in February 2023 and so many of our members said it was one of our best lunches ever, and that is saying a lot, as we only go to the best places for our business lunch. Swen, the hotel manager, and the team, are so welcoming and show their genuine delight in you enjoying the best of what they have to offer.

11. Bistro Esencia

This one captures everything I love to offer our foodie readers and followers – it’s small, it’s quite hidden away in Santa Catalina, and it’s the creation of a young talented couple who do what they do with such a sense of passion and heart. You’ll fall in love with them and the cute surroundings on the first visit and keep coming back because you like them. This year they’ve introduced lots of new vegetarian dishes.

10. Lume & Co

It’s very close to my neighbourhood and we have grown to love it over the past year. It’s very relaxed and easy going yet the food and service are slick and attentive. We enjoyed our Easter lunch here and we were very impressed with the confident management on such a busy day. A great place for a celebration with a big group of family and friends.

9. Sendero

Sendero brings together quality Mediterranean food and excellent welcoming service in the centre of Palma, just minutes away from Santa Catalina. Every colourful creation is served with originality and care. A small, cute place, with a very talented chef and an enthusiastic maître d’ – the food is great too!

8. El Txoko de Martin

The chef with his name on the door has countless Michelin-star restaurants across Spain, this is his offering in Palma and it is certainly top-class. Assured, undemanding cuisine made with top-quality ingredients and creative twists in all the right places. Check it out for the experience and you won’t be disappointed.

7. Urba

This is Santi Taura’s cosmopolitan offering at the stylist 5-star El Llorenc. Available for dinner and lunch, the restaurant offers a beautiful a la carté menu as well as an exciting tasting menu. Visit between May and October and enjoy their breathtaking rooftop experience. Delicious unpretentious food, memorable views and décor to die for!

6. Cantina Panzá

This is our go-to place for a lunch at a ridiculously low price… We love you guys! A top-class professional team that consistently delivers. This is a spot that’s deservedly at the forefront of a memorable experience when visiting Old Town Palma around lunch and dinner time.

5. Mola

I love fusion food made for sharing and Mola certainly delivers. Its prime position opposite the Santa Catalina Market, seductively beckons passers-by to indulge in a long lazy meal. They offer a refreshing weekday ‘Lunchbreak Menu’ as well as an a la carte selection of firm favourites. Give Mola a try and it may as well become a favourite for you.

4. Le Bistro

Lucky ones might stumble across Le Bistro Ocho Kitchen – the cosy yet refined culinary offering from the boutique hotel, Ocho Suites. It’s my favourite relaxed place with chic design, fabulously attentive and friendly service, the best ingredients and delicious unpretentious food. Their citrusy and spicy oyesters have the reputation of being the best in town!

3. Nus

Girl power! This young talented local chef Irene Martinez has worked with some of the best chefs on the island and is now putting her unique stamp on the culinary landscape in Palma. Delicious red shrimp omelet, lemon fish nigiri, delicate tuna tartar or traditional Chinese sea bass are just some of her delicious creations. Check out NUS, you won’t be disappointed.

2. Vida by Um

This place ticks all the boxes. It was my top recommendation in 2022 and it is still a firm favourite. Enjoy sushi, champagne or cocktails at the new Tree House and watch the sunset over Palma. Then pop downstairs to Vida by UM for a delightful dinner with a striking lush ambience, music and elaborate food.

1. Mambo

Of all the restaurants I’ve tried so far this year, this is my favourite. Elegance, sophistication and refined food, it’s top-class from every perspective. A young, talented couple who are obsessed with getting the details right – the décor, the service, the food tick all the boxes. Check it out while you can still get a table. It’s my top recommendation for 2023 so far!

As you can see from this list, variety is what makes the modern Mallorca food scene in Palma so exciting. Eating terrifically well in the capital city can be done at all price points – it just takes a little insider knowledge. I hope you’ll relish the challenge of seeking out those places that deliver unforgettable dining experiences. And if you want to read more in-detail reviews of the restaurants that have made it to this list, you can find them all here.