Travelling opens your mind to the world. It gets us out of our comfort zone by exposing us to things we don’t see in our daily lives, and expanding our perspectives, beliefs, and opinions. Seeing new places — whether it’s in your own city or across the world — broadens our worldview. Even our taste buds get to travel the world, trying new things just as we are.
As globetrotters, Schön! invites you to explore the unexpected flavours, textures, delicacies and more throughout the globe.
There is a fantastic epicurean world of the best of the old and an evolving revolution of the new on this island. Primarily centred in Palma, there are plenty of culinary destination havens to be found throughout this magnificent island. Regardless of wherever one stays, an excursion into Mallorca’s capital — the heartbeat of this exciting and succulent gastronomic movement — needs to be factored into your plans.
Equally, if one is primarily based in or around Palma, one needs to take advantage of the litany of gourmand excursions that this paradise of an isle has to offer. It can be very easy to settle for what is conveniently located in the small radius of your locale, without venturing further afield, especially as time is precious when on holiday.
Below is a simple guide to facilitate your choices of eateries and destinations that will help you avoid the pitfalls and disappointments that come if your food compass comes down to restaurants that have a well-oiled PR machine (or even worse: Tripadvisor.)
A busy little brunch cafe found on the corner of Avenue Argentina in trendy Santa Catalina caters to all, including the healthy vegan and vegetarian crowd till 4 pm. This is one of their 2 locations that offers a damn good breakfast and they actually know how to cook an egg. They are friendly, efficient and reasonably priced.
Schön!’s tip = Wander around to the Santa Catalina Market after breakfast for a swift cana (draft beer).
Address: Carrer d’Anníbal, 1, 07013 Palma, Illes Balears
Phone: +34 613 01 22 45
Set in a tiny corner of the fish market, Mercat Negre is one of those rare finds of culinary creativity with a punk-esque irreverence that provides dishes of sublime fish-based tapas, which changes from one day to the next, under the showmanship of Chef Pau Navarro and his crew of Santi and Uri. While the market gathers momentum, the wine begins to flow, as the standing-only crowd grows. One seems to forget time and falls into an easy rhythm of just one more dish.
Pau is a master of keeping you there and it is infectious, til the party starts to thin out as the market draws to a close in the late afternoon.
Schön!’s tip = Go early if you are going to lunch elsewhere, as it is a fabulous opening gambit.
Address: Sección pescados, Plaça de l’Olivar, 07002 Palma, Illes Balears
Phone: +34 663 90 90 53
A seriously exceptional restaurant located on the outskirts of Palma, not designed for your average tourist. La Tabernita is for the gourmand who wants the best steak on the island. The setting is off the side of an industrial road and the interior is a proper smokehouse, which is all part of its charm. This establishment is run by a husband-and-wife team. Chef Jose masterfully works the open flame pits in perfect harmony with his wife Chef Esther running the kitchen, and they know their business.
The menu is a delight of delicious starters that are both interesting and executed to perfection. It is easy to go a little crazy when ordering, as everything piques your interest, so sharing is the name of the game. When you order, you will be asked to choose your beef, since it’s all about the steak. Variations of aged beef are on offer (minimum 1 kilo) and are cut in front of you, then the pit master does his magic. Surprisingly, the prices are not outrageous but the experience is.
The service is impeccable, the wine list mirrors what is demanded by the menu and the desserts are delicious. You leave with only one thing in mind and that is: when are we coming back.
Schön!’s tip = Book well in advance as it is only open for lunch Mon thru Fri and asked to be seated by the fire.
Address: Camí de Jesús, 28, 07011 Palma, Illes Balears
Phone: +34 971 25 30 84
Tucked away in the heart of Palma, is a modern and inviting setting, where tacos are treated with reverence and skill. These guys know what they are doing from start to finish, including a fantastic bar, outstanding tequila and perfect margaritas (made with all-natural ingredients at the bar). You will not find triple sec here!
The menu is made up of an array of delicious traditional Mexican staples that complement “The Stars of the Show”…The Tacos! They offer a fantastic variety that ensures there’s something for everyone.
Schön!’s tip = Try the taco of the day.
Address: Plaça Nova de la Ferreria, 5, 07002 Palma, Illes Balears
Phone: +34 685 74 15 48
Clandesti is Chef Pau Navarro‘s famed nighttime culinary cabaret. Located in an old mechanic’s garage, it has been transformed into an innovative space consisting of one very long wide bar with a few tables along the back wall, that accommodates 28 comfortably. The menu is always a surprising revelation of 11 to 15 courses, which Pau conjures up, working with seasonal fish, game and produce from far and wide, as well as the very best from the island.
The wine cellar is a veritable “Aladin’s Cave.”The thing about Clandesti is that it’s a full-on and all-round sensory experience, that does not fail to deliver in any facet. There is only one seating at 8 pm and doors shut at 8:15 pm. It’s a show and it works because of Pau, as he is truly a “Gastronomic Ring Master” and the leader of the new epicurean movement in Mallorca.
Schön!’s tip = Must make reservation. Best seats at the end of the bar next to the wine cellar.
Address: Carrer de Guillem Massot, 45, 07003 Palma, Illes Balears
Phone: +34 663 90 90 53
Conveniently located close to all the main hubs in Palma, this chic cocktail bar has remained relevant for many years. The glory of this establishment is that they execute the classics seamlessly and stock the bar with an interesting and broad array of spirits across the board, which ensures you can always find whatever your “poison of choice” is on any given evening.
Schön!’s tip = Fantastic Martinis, Great Playlist and goes late.
Address: Pg. de Mallorca, 24, 07012 Palma, Illes Balears
Phone: +34 871 90 43 87
words. Karina and William Annesley
photography. Karina Annesley