Gastronomy is a significant incentive when traveling to Mallorca thanks to the island’s winning combination of tradition, haute cuisine, fast food, and the variety of healthy options for all tastes.
If you are a food lover, you cannot leave without visiting at least one or two of Palma de Mallorca’s most emblematic areas and markets. You will enjoy traditional local fresh produce with innovative food stalls and bars where locals and visitors enjoy good food and a laid-back atmosphere. Allow us to introduce you to some great spots in the heart of the city.
Located west of Palma center, outside the city walls of Es Baluard, Santa Catalina district has become a sought-after neighborhood in Palma. People refer more and more to it the Soho of Palma due to its unique mix of cultures, from the Mallorcan lady wheeling her trolley as she goes about her daily shopping routine to the Swedish expat wearing the latest fashion trends. This area has conserved many of its typical one or two-story houses featuring balconies and Mallorcan-style shutters, small gardens, or patios. You will also find some of the grander, Modernist-style houses which graced the neighborhood at the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th century.
Santa Catalina has also become a good weekend plan and a cost-effective alternative to sit-down restaurants. The covered market bearing the same name is Palma’s oldest food market, predating L’Olivar and Pere Garau. The building we know today was built around 1920. It brings together some 50 of the best small, local artisan food producers, tapas bars, bakeries, and connoisseurs.
The food sold ranges from ready-made fresh fruit salads for the tired tourist to literally fresh out of the sea, still moving crabs and lobsters; quality meat, hams & sausages, including Sobrassada, the island’s best-known cured meat; cheeses, local and seasonal vegetables, and fruit; pickled foods and olives; wine and pastry products, such as the popular ensaimada, or the rectangular quartos, traditional cakes like those made in the local convents.
But it’s not just the sheer quality of food that makes Santa Catalina’s market special. The market is also a point of reference to expand one’s culinary knowledge, a place to explore, to ask questions, to discover new flavors, and to experience a unique atmosphere. A haven for anyone mindful about the quality and origin of the food they eat: chefs, restaurateurs, passionate amateur cooks, or simply food lovers.
Santa Catalina Municipal Market Opening Times: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Saturday (check the particular stall opening times).
Located in Palma’s old town, around the majestic La Lonja building (Former Maritime Trade Exchange), one of the island’s Gothic masterpieces, the La Lonja district is one of the vibrant nightlife areas in Mallorca, offering a great selection of restaurants and bars and clubs. Here you can enjoy Spanish nightlife in its purest form.
A day of exploring in Mallorca deserves a delicious ending. We could not sign off without mentioning Ca’n Joan de S’Aigo, the town’s oldest ice cream and chocolate shop. Whether in summer or winter, there’s nothing better than one of their homemade ice cream accompanied by an ensaimada.
Read also Gastronomic Market Mercat de l’Olivar