There’s nothing I like more than sharing my secret foodie pitstops around Mallorca. Read on for a few of my favourite places to stop on a bike ride, and after a day’s cycling Mallorca’s hilly climbs, you can feel wholly deserved of it.
Coffee & Cake
When taking a milky coffee or creamy hot chocolate in Mallorca, it is traditional to combine it with a freshly baked pastry. In Mallorca we have our own particular baked treat to have with a hot drink. If you stop by the historic village of Valldemossa (and many of my cycling itineraries do), you’ll have a chance to partake in this Mallorcan ritual. There are two types of pastry to enjoy; both taste great dipped into hot chocolate (which is particularly popular in the cooler months and at Christmas). One is the ensaïmada, a spiral-shaped dough baked plain or filled with pumpkin jam, whipped cream, chocolate…, dusted with sugar which is crisp yet creamy. Coca de patata is actually made from potatoes and its secret ingredient is the pork lard which makes it extra tasty. Combined with the pretty backdrop of Valldemossa and the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, your quick bike break turns into something memorable – look around and see Mallorquins doing exactly the same as you.
Salty Seaside Lunches
When you’re on holiday, it can be an almost overwhelming challenge to find a restaurant that’s in a great location and serves traditional, good quality food. And with only a week or so in your destination, you don’t want to waste time on a bad meal! That’s where I come in. Allow me to make a recommendation which is in an impossibly pretty location by the sea and serves exactly the kind of food you’ll want to eat on holiday. I’m talking about Restaurant Cala Barques, which overlooks the sublime cove of Cala Sant Vicenç in the northeast of the island, near Pollença and the famed lighthouse bike ride. Whether you’ve just sweated it back from the lighthouse or not, the food is always fantastic whether it’s fresh fish, simply grilled with a squeeze of lemon or a wonderful paella, filled with prawns, mussels and vegetables. Other speciality are gazpacho and black rice. It’s the ideal spot for a long lunch and the promise of a nap or swim after lunch on the beach before you ride home.
The Tradition of Tapas
You mustn’t leave Mallorca without trying our tapas. Unlike other regions of Spain, we don’t automatically give out tapas with every drink, you tend to go out for a tapas meal and enjoy a wealth of different bites alongside some lovely Mallorcan wine. That said, there is one spot where I’ll often stop for a pre-lunch drink and tapa; it’s a bar in Palma called Can Joan Frau located inside the Santa Catalina Market where us, locals, gather to catch up and socialise so you can really feel like you’re in the know! I love the way in which our tapas varies from the mainland – a speciality to look out for is ‘Frito Mallorquin’ – a mixture of lamb meat with vegetables and potatoes, all cut into small pieces. Mallorcan sobrassada (sausage) on bread and drizzled with honey is another delicious tapa along with more simple but equally tasty offerings such as padron peppers or plump olives.
Always Ice Cream
Of course, ice cream is always a big part of holiday especially if you’re travelling with the family. In Mallorca it’s part of our way of life, especially in the hot summer months, when even us Mallorquins need to cool off! Over the years, the ice creams parlours are becoming ever more experimental but for me, you can’t beat the traditional flavours and ambience. I recommend you try either Can Joan de s’Aigo or Can Miquel, both in Palma, which are family-run cafés which perfect the art of ice cream making – try classic almond or hazelnut.
Hopefully I have tempted you to think about a visit to Mallorca where you can eat your way around the island too – in between cycle rides of course!