Chiringuito checklist

Whoever decided every beach in Ibiza should have a little place where you could buy refreshments is a genius. Gone are the soggy sandwiches wrapped in wilting cling film of your childhood beach days. Nor will beachgoers be held hostage by spotty teenagers scooping out undercooked and over salted hot chips over a sand encrusted Formica countertop. In Ibiza, we have transcended all that and arrived in style in the epoch of the chiringuito.

The word itself was born in the 19th century sugar cane fields of Cuba. For morning break, workers would brew thick, strong coffee in a sock and squeeze out a stream of it, or a ‘chiringo’, into their cups. It wasn’t long before some clever entrepreneurs set up little shacks at the side of the fields where people could stop by for a little chiriniguito, or to translate directly, a little stream.

There’s no explanation as to how the term hopped countries and took up residence in the Balearics, however in Ibiza a chiringuito is traditionally a beachside shack used by fishermen to cook up their catch of the day. Today, it’s an Ibiza institution. Locals are fiercely protective of their favourites, often picking the beach for the quality of its chiringuito (many don’t even have names) and not its sand or sea. From fine dining to ice creams and crisps each has its own personality and charm, which makes beach crawling in Ibiza particularly pleasurable.

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