Many of the locals in Palma regard Santa Catalina as their number one place for a good meal, especially with the variety of cuisines on offer. Whether it’s food on-the-go or a long lunch of several courses and local wine, there is something to satisfy every appetite. Regularly updated menus keep the avid foodies on their toes and with word travelling fast in Mallorca it doesn’t take long for places to get fully booked. So dive straight in and get your tastebuds tingling with this list of our top 17 restaurants in Santa Catalina.
Santa Catalina has it all. Find out everything you need to know about living in Palma’s buzziest neighbourhood in this definitive area guide.
17. SumaqFor the best Peruvian cuisine on the island head straight to Sumaq on the corner of Calle de Cotoner, where you will be served wonderful dishes from talented chef Irene Gutiérrez’s home country. The ingredients are fresh, tasty and locally sourced from nearby Mercat de Santa Catalina. It’s a true gastronomic adventure that local residents return to time and time again.
16. DukeFor those with a love of the ocean, and a chilled laid-back vibe, pop in to Duke’s on Calle Soler, where the walls are lined with surfboards. Don’t be surprised if you leave checking the wave forecast while enjoying locally-sourced food. And while eating elegantly might feel out the window at Duke’s, remember that it is exactly the point. This is a laidback joint for foodies who just want to get stuck in. A great place to come as a family.
15. El Txoko de MartínFrom cod with a traditional Basque leek sauce to Galician beef, there is no beating chef Martín Berasategui at Northern Spanish cuisine that feels high-end without the haute. This 12-time Michelin-star chef is in Santa Catalina on one of the busiest junctions in the neighbourhood – Plaza del Pont. A great place to meet a group of friends and enjoy top quality food in a relaxed atmosphere.
14. Bistro EsenciaUnassuming from the exterior, Bistro Esencia is one of those places that you might walk past without realising how special it is. Génova-born Luciano is a chef that cooks from his heart and heritage. Reinvented Italian dishes are the main focus here but there are some welcome Mallorcan influences to enjoy too. It is homely inside and perfect for a romantic dinner or a quiet drink with friends. The atmosphere feels personal and not unlike sitting in someone’s living room. Read more
12. Santa Restaurant & BodegaDark and mysterious Santa Restaurant & Bodega is located on the busy main street, Calle Fábrica. This is a restaurant that is loved by residents and visitors alike. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, chef Bernabé Caravotta (from Vandal) is in the kitchen and is renowned for his experimental cuisine. Secondly, the menu is themed by the seven deadly sins. An evil culinary twist seductive enough to lead diners astray – perfect if you’re looking for something that’s a little bit different.
11. StagierOn 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.
10. Market KitchenLocated just opposite the market, this cosy corner restaurant is decidedly British with some light Mallorcan touches too. Husband-and-wife team Rob and Amber Kirby are at the helm, pleasing the city with their take on Fish and Chips (with beer battered cod) as well as other dishes like “London Calling” Salt Beef Bagel and Chicken Caeser Salad. The restaurant is small with just a few tables so be prepared to book in advance – especially on Sundays for their full English roast.
9. IsaanIsaan is exactly what you need when you are craving fresh flavours and some of the best Thai cuisine outside of Thailand. The newest Thai on the Santa Catalina block dishes up mouth-watering dishes, both fragrant and spicy. Isaan is perfect for groups and couples alike, or head in solo for lunch and watch the masters at work in the open kitchen. Isaan is here to stay.
8. VandalVandal is dark and imposing on the outside, but step inside and be prepared to be thrilled by excellent service and innovative food. The partnership of chef and sommelier results in colourfully plated dishes that are packed full of flavour. Do note that it can often be loud, so it may not be ideal for an intimate romantic meal.
7. KOH MallorcaKOH Mallorca goes right to the top, proving once again that restaurant visionaries Edgar Lagassi and his team at Five Senses Collection know what they’re doing. This is South East Asian cooking with the approach of some serious talent. The menu offers an appealingly eclectic array of Thai and Vietnamese-inspired dishes and the interior design – by Aggi Bruch – transports you to somewhere beautiful in the range of Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City.
6. MorrofinoOff the beaten track and just far away enough from Santa Catalina’s thronging streets, Vinazo Morrofino sits adjacent to the hubbub on quieter Carrer de la Indústria. As you dine your eyes will surely be drawn to the hundreds of bottles lining the walls, each available to enjoy with your meal or purchase and take home to savour later!
5. Mr. XiaoForget MSG-laden, batch-cooked Chinese fast food crammed into plastic containers! Instead, soak up the trendy ambiance at Mr Xiao’s, and enjoy impeccable modern Chinese cuisine at one of humming Calle Fabrica’s most popular go-to eateries. The fashionable interior is filled with exuberant Asian elements woven into the décor. Don’t miss their famous Peking Duck, it has a reputation for being the best in town!
4. SenderoSendero brings together quality Mediterranean food and excellent welcoming service in the centre of Palma, just minutes away from Santa Catalina. This small but elegant restaurant immediately catches the eye with its bright and modern décor. Every colourful creation is served with originality and care, showing a deep respect and value towards local ingredients. Loved their red tuna tartar with green gazpacho!
3. MolaBasking in all-day sunshine from its prime position opposite the Santa Catalina Market, Mola seductively beckons passers-by to indulge in a long lazy meal. This outpost leans toward fresh Mediterranean-Asian cuisine, with hints of flavours from far-off lands such as Peru, Hawaii, and Morocco. Try the weekday ‘Lunchbreak Menu’ which offers a wonderful sample of such flavours!
2. NUSStriving away from the more baroque spaces in Santa Catalina, NUS proposes a concept that revolves around honest simplicity, with quality and care for the dishes at its core. Local chef Irene Martinez, has now embarked in her own journey providing hearty Asian inspired food rooted that follows the natural flows of local produce. The cozy and homely atmosphere invites you to delve into the experience with naturality and engage in conversation.
1. MamboMambo brings to Palma all the elements for an utmost enjoyable experience with the feel of a big-city bistro. Its classy urban style of the décor, the real-life show by chef Gabriel Conti and the team behind the open kitchen and the balanced selection of dishes using only the freshest ingredients and the most delicate presentation, give Mambo the right to be my number one restaurant in Santa Catalina.
Santa Catalina can easily hold its head high and stand shoulder to shoulder with Soho when it comes to food. From Michelin starred chefs, to late night diners, pizza-on-the-go to raw food bowls, you would be hard pushed to find such a diverse gastronomic offering outside of London and New York. It’s an absolute gem of a neighbourhood for lovers of all things foodie.