Hurrah! Tasty food that won't break the bank on the White Isle
Eating out in Ibiza: it’s all plates of €400 sushi and magnums of Cristal with Paris Hilton, right? Nope – at least, not if you follow Homemade's expert foodie guide.
Whether you're there for a long weekend or lucky enough to bag a few weeks in the summer, we've got a selection of places that should be easy enough for you to tear yourself away from the beaches or clubs to feast in. Loved by locals (and us), here's the places to make like an Ibizan for long, lazy lunches and delicious dinners. Just don't forget the little shot of hierbas liqueur at the end of your meal – for digestion purposes only, of course. ¡Salud!
Just a few minutes' walk from the port in Ibiza Town, this joint is seriously old school. There’s no reservations and there’s often a queue out the door – but don’t be put off by this; it’s worth the wait as it’s decent, homely cooking at an even better price. Start off with their excellent croquetas, jamon or a whole Spanish tortilla, then move on to fried squid, steak or whole fish, all served with potatoes and salad. Order a glass of wine, and the whole bottle will be put on your table for you to help yourself – that’s just the kind of place this is. A full dinner for two with a bottle of wine will be about €50 in total. Yep, we told you it was good value.
If you’ve been for a little walk around Dalt Vila or the Old Town (and do go: it’s very pretty when the sun sets, and the Museum of Contemporary Art at the centre is also worth a visit), don’t bother with the touristy restaurants at the heart of it. Yeah, they’re probably OK – but walk down the drawbridge to the fortress and visit La Bodega instead. Know for its hearty tapas, for fish lovers we’d recommend the octopus and ceviche, and you have to try the big, melting bowl of Provolone cheese, to be scooped up with fresh bread. The mini spicy sausages were super-tasty, as was the classic patatas bravas. It’s also worth sticking around after dinner, as it gets pretty lively at their cocktail bar later on. Dinner for two with drinks will cost around €70.
Heading out of Ibiza Town and to the inland town of San Lorenzo, you'll find a little restaurant that's definitely worth the taxi ride (or bus, if you’re really on a budget). This is a lovely converted farmyard finca made over with the sweetest décor: it's all fairy lights, flowers and candles in the garden of an evening – so pretty. The food has an Italian twist but might offer mozzarella salad to start, or their famous grilled aubergine and tahini dish (very delicious) or some antipasti. The steak is unbelievably good here – charred and salty on the outside and perfectly pink in the middle – while the fish dish of the day will always be tasty, and make sure to leave room for dessert. It’s a family friendly place, so feel free to bring the kids – just make sure to reserve a few weeks in advance at peak holiday time. Dinner for two with drinks will be about €100.
After spending the day at the beautiful Cala D’hort beach (and watching the sun set over the mystical Es Vedra rock), you’re probably going to be pretty hungry. So for seafood with a view, hit up Es Boldado. Perched up in the cliffs, ask for an outdoor seat with a view and feast on plates of beautiful garlicky clams or mussels, whole grilled fish and their big, freshly made dishes of paella. You probably pay a little more for the view here, so it's not strictly a budget place. But you know what? We reckon the epic scenery makes the food taste all the better. Dinner for two with drinks around €120.
Essentially, the greatest grill on the island. Based out in San Rafael, this is a no-frills, old-fashioned restaurant that’s honed its craft in grilling meat, fish and veggies to perfection. This is solid island cooking at its best and a favourite with the locals, who come back again and again for their grilled pork with potatoes, peppers and onion, T-bone steak to share and other traditional countryside fare. Booking is definitely recommended, and again, ask for an outdoor table: it can get super-smoky inside. Dinner for two with drinks will cost approximately €80.
Need somewhere to roll home to after dining?
If you're in Ibiza town and near Dalt Vila, try a room at La Torre de Canonigo (double rooms from €200), one of the few hotels up in the fortress and designed to fit in with the 14th-century vibe – only with a bit of luxury and a pool, too. Or for a more budget stay, there's the Vara De Rey guest house (from €55), which is simple but charming with much of the town and beaches within walking distance. If you like your settings a bit more upbeat, one for the party people is the very Miami Beach-like Es Vive (from €120). It's just a short taxi ride away, with its own mini-nightclub for guests and a gorgeous rooftop terrace.
Near San Antonio, there's the famous Pikes Hotel (Ibiza Rocks House) (from €159), which has rock'n'roll running through its veins: back in the 1970s and 80s, everyone from Grace Jones and Freddie Mercury to Wham! partied here – and the latter's Club Tropicana was filmed around the pool there.
There's the small but perfectly formed Boutique Hostal Las Salinas (from €90), which has won plaudits in the Best of Ibiza awards and is within walking distance of the super-cool beach clubs of Las Salinas. Elsewhere, Atzaro (from €170) by San Lorenzo is a fancy spot up in the hills set in an old converted farmhouse with a spa to chill out in, too. Because it's a tough life in Ibiza, isn't it?