Your favourite beach restaurant has been packed away, and those famous dining destinations you visit every summer have shut up shop for six months, so where on earth does a hungry island visitor – or resident for that matter – go to eat in the off-season? The truth is, the winter is really the time that many of Ibiza’s best restaurants really come into their own. It’s the perfect time to explore the island’s inland villages and sample the many menu del días (traditional set lunch menus) on offer.
You’ll discover secret little spots in the hills for a romantic evening, snuggled up with your loved one next to a cosy fire, or the best fun and festive places to plan a big reunion dinner out with friends you haven’t seen since May. There are some wonderful places to eat in winter, whatever the occasion, and some great offers too if you know where to look. Our team of year-round island experts have done all the hard work for you – trying, testing and most importantly tasting their way around Ibiza to bring you this list of winter restaurants.
For a leisurely weekend lunch or indulgent romantic dinner, the charming and intimate A Mi Manera – found on the famous San Juan restaurant road in the island’s north – is an ideal spot. The quaint and cosy interior works equally well for a group of friends celebrating, as for a couple looking for a secluded supper, thanks to the traditional farmhouse layout of the restaurant. The Mediterranean menu has a strong Italian family influence, with authentic homemade pasta and fresh garden produce from the restaurant’s own backyard farm featured in many dishes. The charcoal grill uses prime cuts of Wagyu, Kobe, and Black Angus beef, alongside mouth-watering local pluma Iberica. Open for lunch and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays, and for long lunches on Sundays complete with live music in the sun-drenched garden. Keep your eye on their social media for other special events including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve feasts.
The undisputed king of the San Juan restaurant road, Bambuddha has been known as an iconic summer dining destination for the past 20 years, but this winter, to the island resident’s immense pleasure, the legendary MediterrAsian temple continues serving up its signature cuisine until the end of the year. Open weekly from Wednesdays till Sundays from 7pm, island residents receive a 20% discount once you’ve sign up for their Resident Members card. On Wednesdays, it’s all about the six-course Chef’s Special for just 45€ per person, whilst Sundays play host to The Infamous Bambuddha Buffet, an all-you-can-eat feast featuring all the restaurant’s classic dishes plus some new favourites for only 35€ per person. On other nights of the week, the à la carte menu covers all your dining desires, drawing on only the finest ingredients and a healthy amount of local produce. Bambuddha is also open on Christmas and New Year’s Eve – reservations highly recommended so you can celebrate in style.
For fad-free raw, plant-based and vegan cuisine, botanical eatery Wild Beets, in the centre of Santa Gertrudis village, covers all the bases. A popular destination for healthy eaters in the north of the island, it’s often said that you can tell when winter has arrived in Ibiza because the stylish floating fireplace is re-installed to replace the fans in the light-filled restaurant interior. The extensive menu features carefully calibrated dishes combining fresh, local and seasonal produce with nature’s healthiest ingredients, so whether popping in for a quick juice and a tofu scramble, a coffee and raw Beetroot ravioli, or settling in for a long leisurely lunch over a quinoa and hempseed Protein bowl, there is something tasty for every occasion. The regularly returning local crowd makes for a friendly vibe whatever the time of day, and children are catered for too, making this a handy pit stop after the school run or a run-around in the village playground.
For mouth-watering Italian influenced cuisine served in a cosy deli-style restaurant, head for hip rustic eatery, Bottega Il Buco in the chic village of Santa Gertrudis. The first international outpost of the acclaimed NYC restaurant brand by Donna Lennard, the Bottega Il Buco team host buzzing aperitivo sessions from Monday to Saturday throughout the winter from 5pm until 7pm, giving guests the chance to sample some of their signature ancient grain focaccia with its endless variety of toppings, along with delicious wines and bespoke cocktails. On sunny winter days, the terrace is a gorgeous spot to linger, whilst in the evenings the snug interior makes a great place to meet friends, or settle in for an early supper. The menu is inspired by local produce and ingredients, along with some hard-to-find Italian delights, which can also be bought from the store itself should you wish to recreate the Bottega Il Buco magic at home. The restaurant is also hosting a special Christmas lunch, with limited seating so reservations are essential.
For a winter lunchtime destination with wow factor, famed island restaurant La Escollera on the rugged and deserted Es Cavallet beach is hard to beat. Often crowded with tourists in summer, as soon as October hits, this stunning unspoiled beach in the heart of the Las Salinas nature reserve is transformed into a natural paradise, enticing island residents out of their winter hibernation. The sunny and expansive La Escollera terraces boast views across the waves to Formentera and the iconic Dalt Vila, making it a stunning spot for lunch. Don’t be surprised to find the alfresco spaces full if you turn up on a sunny day without a reservation, but there’s also a huge interior, boasting those same views – also ideal for days where it’s a little chilly outside. The traditional Mediterranean menu has been passed down through generations of the owners’ family, but in recent year’s it’s also been tweaked to include some creative vegan options. Must-tries are the classic paella recipe, Black Angus sirloin and salt-baked dorada, while sushi lovers will also be impressed with the extensive options on offer. Open 365 days a year, with a friendly and fun atmosphere, La Escollera is a treat to return to again and again – no matter what the weather.
If the thought of spit-roasted chicken or ribs makes your mouth water this winter, then look no further than La Chickeria in Santa Gertrudis – open all year round from 12.30pm until midnight. Recently opened this summer – you’ll find it next to the Spar supermarket on the main road through the village – this is the fifth eatery, from the Dutch Van’t Spit group, who have a chain of these family-friendly concept restaurants in Holland. Focusing on antibiotic-free chooks grown naturally and free-range, the 100% plant-fed chicken is then expertly roasted by ‘Spitmaster’ chefs on Spanish charcoal, using custom-made grills for that perfect smoky yet juicy barbecue flavour complete with crispy skin (everyone’s favourite part). Homemade sides of chips, corn, salads and sauces complement the package, and the whole shebang is also available for takeaway if you don’t mind the wait. With a buzzing front terrace, a cosy interior and a secret garden in the back, there’s always space for your get-togethers, catch-ups or date nights. Live music takes place in the garden on weekends, so be sure to check out La Chickeria’s social media for line-ups special events.
When looking for a winter dining spot to settle down for a while, to catch up on some remote work, to host a meeting or just to go over the dally gossip with a friend, make a beeline for the all-new Ve Café, adjacent to W Hotel on frontline of the southern end of the promenade in Santa Eulalia. The bright and colourful seafront terrace is ideal for basking in the winter sun or keeping an eye on the kids playing on the beach, and the stylish interior features free high speed WiFi and handy power sockets for your laptop or phone – ideal for travellers and corporate nomads alike. The 100% plant-based kitchen menu offers tasty winter warmers, like sweet potato soup or roasted vegetables with tahini and lemon, alongside the restaurant’s signature staples of Buddha bowls and hummus bowls, all made with locally sourced produce and organic ingredients. Of course with so much good healthy stuff in the main courses, it’d be a sin not to linger for dessert – these indulgent delights are definitely worth saving room for. Open daily from 9am for breakfast, and until 5pm for lunch.
Healthy eating isn’t just for summer, so if you find yourself craving some serious goodness and food that sustains, make Passion Café your year-round restaurant of choice. Two of the brand’s six locations, Passion Marina and Passion Santa Eulalia remain all winter, from 9am until 5pm daily, with a fresh and hearty winter menu perfect for filling breakfasts, brunches or warming lunches. From Buddha bowls, black bean burritos and Beyond Burgers, to avocado fries and delicious dahls, the vegan and vegetarian options are second to none, although there’s also something on the menu to satisfy the carnivores in your group too. Chicken, salmon, hearty curries, deluxe burgers, steaming hot soups, keto-friendly dishes – the options are almost endless. With the island’s most extensive and creative drinks menu (from ‘trendy’ lattes and health-boosting shots to smoothies, juices and more), plus desserts that are the icing on the cake (pardon the pun), it would be easy to spend the entire day here. Both restaurants are blessed with enormous sunny terraces, so even if you might be a wearing a scarf, it’s still possible to pretend it’s summer as you sip your super greens!
When it comes to the art of a really great burger, beef, chicken, vegan or otherwise, Project Social in Santa Eulalia has pretty much reached perfection. The extensive range of toppings and fillings may take a while to sample (all the more reason to visit!), but once you’ve found your favourite, you’ll be back, like so many others in this part of the island. In winter, the friendly vibe and regular faces makes this a vibey destination whatever the time of day, and the many special offers keep Project Social affordable for locals too. From Monday to Friday, the Breakfast Club includes a coffee and a juice for 10€, with a menu packed full of everyone’s favourite morning dishes (think pancakes, avo toasts, acai bowls, full English and veggie brekkies), while the 11€ Lunch Menu features burgers, ribs or hearty salads with a choice of drinks. Everyone’s favourite Fish & Chip Fridays, and traditional Sunday Roasts with all the trimmings on the weekend give you even more reasons to spend time here, and did we mention Backgammon Club, Tequila Thursday and the nightly Hours of Happiness?
A good lunch in Spain always involves a menu del día, and tucked away on an unassuming side street in the village of Santa Gertrudis, you’ll find one of the island’s best at Can Mimosa. The 200-year-old converted farmhouse has a lovely sunny courtyard perfect for whiling away the lunchtime hours, and the weekly changing menu makes the most of locally sourced seasonal produce, including ingredients plucked straight from the restaurant’s own vegetable allotment right outside the kitchen door. A choice of three courses costs just 17.50€ and includes plenty of vegetarian or vegan options. Time-honoured dishes like chickpea broth and endive salads are served with baked dorada or vegetable cous-cous, with classic such as apple crumble or crema Catalana for desserts. Sundays in the garden are all about traditional Sunday Roasts (reportedly the very best on the island), served with Bloody Marys and a side of live music for a truly sociable way to enjoy the weekend. A New Year’s Eve feast is also in the works – the perfect place to fuel up before heading out to party.
In Ibiza – even internationally – Passion Café is renowned for its healthy, colourful and creative cuisine. It’s responsible for some of the most Instagram-friendly dishes on the web, however a lesser known fact about Ibiza’s most-loved café empire is that it is also home to the one of the best cups of coffee in Ibiza. The Passion commitment to coffee harks back to as early as the 80s when a young Lana Love would visit her older brother and his wife in their beautiful apartment in Belgrade. She recalls looking up to her glamorous sister-in-law, who would talk about the arts and use products from Germany – which included, among other things, Nescafé and condensed milk. “She just had this finesse about her,” Lana recalls. “She’d make coffee and we’d sit and sip it for hours… I am sure this is where my obsession with coffee began – though the Nescafé days are long gone from my life! People often don’t realise I have more passion for my coffee, and even my coffee machines, than I do for fresh juices!”
Over the years – as her personal journey saw Lana move to London followed by Ibiza – the love of coffee continued to grow. Evolving into a well-travelled coffee connoisseur, her addiction was not fuelled by caffeine addiction; rather, a pure unadulterated passion for flavour, ingredients, techniques and of course, that magical scent. It made sense then, when Lana launched her own café that she would seek out and serve the very best coffee she could find. Back then (in 2002), Illy coffee was the best to be found on the island. Today however, as Passion has grown to include seven different locations across Ibiza, her roast of choice is an exclusive bespoke blend created by on-island artisans Meke Coffee Roasters. The team behind Meke share Lana’s pure passion for coffee, and worked tirelessly alongside the Passion founder, roasting, roasting and roasting some more, until they reached the perfect blend. Described by the brand as a ‘delicious espresso blend that brings a nutty, chocolatey flavour to the cup with just a hint of fruits of the forest’ – a sip of it’s described (quite accurately) by Lana as heaven. Whether you like it straight up as an Americano, a double espresso, in a latte, a flat white, a cappuccino, cortado, macchiato or Bulletproof – the custom Passion blend is what gets Ibiza’s coffee cognoscenti going.
Any self-respecting coffee enthusiast will tell you, a good blend does not necessarily guarantee a good cup of coffee. There are other aspects to consider when it comes to the art of making a good coffee, such as equipment, cups, cleanliness, freshness, water filtration, milk quality (if that’s how you take it) and of course, the skills and experience of the barista making the cup in question. Passion Cafés take all these elements very seriously, starting with the investment in high-tech La Marzocco coffee machines (“When it comes to my coffee, I spare no expense!” laughs Lana) which are meticulously maintained in order to preserve the integrity and consistency of Passion coffee. Not only is the Meke Coffee Roasters Passion blend very freshly roasted, it’s also ground seconds before going into your cup. The water used is the very best filtered water and milk is organic and high-grade – be it coconut, cow’s, almond, soya, cashew or oat. “I have to give a lot of the credit to our baristas,” says Lana. “They are really amazing and true coffee nerds themselves. You can have all the best toys and ingredients, but you really need to have their skills too. Our baristas are top notch.” With a high volume of coffee being ordered on a daily basis, the Passion baristas are like the ninjas of Ibiza’s coffee culture.
In addition to all the coffee classics, each Passion also boasts an extensive menu of ‘trendy lattes’ – matcha, pink, turmeric, charcoal, frozen and many more – which sees their artistic skills taken to another level, and gives those who (gasp!) don’t drink coffee the opportunity to experience latte art and coffee culture without the caffeine hit. “When someone tells me they don’t drink coffee… I’m in disbelief!” says Lana jokingly. While the combination of a coffee lover, her own custom coffee blend and seven cafes in which to indulge in her obsession may sound like a recipe for disaster (or a very hard-thumping heart as an occupational hazard), Lana says she generally sticks to one strong coffee in the morning (opting for the authentic ‘Bulletproof’ – made with double espresso blended with MCT coconut oil, collagen and a dash of oat milk) and another pick-me-up in the afternoon. “I like that afternoon coffee to be sharp and black,” she says, with a distinct look of love in her eyes.
If you’re yet to sample the caffeinated delights at Ibiza’s home of health and happiness yet – you’re in for a treat. And once you’ve taken your first sip of that steaming hot cup of liquid black goodness, you’ll very quickly come to realise where the ‘happy’ part of that tagline comes from.
Passion Café was the first of its kind in Ibiza, offering holidaymakers healthy alternatives to burgers and fry-ups in an otherwise touristic zone. The Passion ethos being love all, serve all meant meals were presented in a healthier manner – think burgers with gluten-free bread, vegan mayo and organic ingredients. At the time, the appearance of a veggie burger on the menu was something totally new to Ibiza. Passion Café filled a much-needed gap in the market and quickly earned a reputation as the place to get your health fix in Ibiza. Fast forward to 2017 and there are now six Passion pit stops on the island’s gourmet map, spanning the entire island. It has evolved into a full-service breakfast, lunch and dinner destination, and no longer serves red meat in any of its locations for ethical and environmental reasons. Over the years, Lana has continued to pioneer the introduction of superfoods and healthy ingredients to Ibiza – she was the first to add quinoa, açai, raw cacao, maca, matcha and turmeric lattes to her menus (not to mention many more – the list goes on), long before they were ‘buzzwords’ – and others were quick to follow. The most recent addition to the Passion stock room is CBD oil, served up in the lovely calming ‘Legalise Happiness’ drink, designed to help to ease stress and anxiety, in addition to easing and preventing a variety health issues.
With the 2017 season in full swing, Lana is now up to her elbows – quite literally, if you see her at work in Passion Pantry, surrounded by tubs of superfood powders – in health and happiness. Passion has already gone through 100 kilos of raw cacao, 100 kilos of chia seeds, 50 kilos of maca powder, 30 kilos of goji berries and 20 kilos of bee pollen this summer and still counting – a sure sign that islanders remain devoted to the brand for their daily or weekly dose of health and wellness. And the constant smiles on their faces as they walk out of their chosen Passion – Marina, Santa Eulalia, San Jose, Playa d’en Bossa, Bfit and Passion Pantry – are evidence of the happiness element, plain and simple. Passion is renowned for its extensive menu selections, with the philosophy of offering something for everyone lasting to this day. It’s important to note, despite some beliefs, Passion does not only cater for vegans and vegetarians. Meat eaters and fish lovers will also find many options to sate their appetites. It’s all about finding the perfect choice to suit your mood and your dietary requirements. “The passion menus have been designed with people on their holidays in mind,” explains Lana of the epic A2 doubles sided menus that greet diners in vibrant colours. “The options tick so many boxes. We have plenty of amazing things for meat and fish eaters, but a lot of attention and love has gone into catering to those who have strict dietary requirements, health issues, are vegan or vegetarian – we’re never going to just offer a green salad of friend potatoes as options!”
Starting the day right has always been a priority for Passion clients – after all, it’s the most important meal of the day, right? “Breakfast at Passion is not something you quickly grab on the way to work,” explains Lana of the concept. “It’s more like the brunch style indulgence you’d have on the weekends.” After all, in summer, every day is like a weekend in Ibiza. “Passion breakfast is more like a ritual,” she continues. “The menu is so extensive and complex it’s like going out to lunch or dinner in a fancy restaurant – it’s a high-end breakfast. The preparation of some of our dishes is so complex, especially compared to say, a grilled steak with mashed potato!” Whether you opt for a luxe avocado toast creation or a dish complete with Haloumi, salmon or indulgent pancakes, each dish is chock-full of goodness and made using the very highest quality ingredients on the market and designed to keep you going throughout the day. The Açai bowl is currently winning the award for ‘most Instagrammed dish in Ibiza’, with Lana seeing her beautiful creation tagged in more posts per day than anything else. “We’re really known as the place to go for breakfast in Ibiza,” says Lana proudly. “From early in the morning, right through until lunch we’re serving breakfast and brunch. Of course, you can get the typical tostada, croissant or coffee if that’s what you want, but the beauty of the menu is it’s not like other places. It’s not necessarily something you’d eat every day – but then, we do have people who come for breakfast every day and they can never eat the same thing twice in a week.”
Lunch by the sea, lunch in the hills, lunch after your workout, lunch over your emails or lunch before you hit the beach – all of the Passion Cafes can cater to all these midday cravings and much more, with special attention paid to vegans, vegetarians and the health conscious. “There are so many beautiful restaurants in Ibiza,” says Lana. “But unless you eat meat, chicken or fish, sometimes it’s hard to survive on side dishes alone. At Passion, we offer really great things for meat eaters, like our famous burgers, chicken salads and shwarmas among other things, but I find those people who are following a certain lifestyle or diet – whether for health reasons or by choice – are always so grateful at the options they find at Passion.” It’s important to note in addition to variety and quality, freshness is 100-percent guaranteed when you dine at Passion. The fast-paced nature of the venues means there’s no chance of eating a day-old sweet potato or grain – as fast as the fresh fruit and veggie deliveries come in to the restaurants, they are prepped, cooked and sent out on your plate. “You can really taste the freshness in our food,” says Lana. “Everything is prepped and made to order daily.” For Lana, the most appealing thing on the Passion menu for lunch is being spoilt for choice. “I get told off by my chefs and management for the menu being so big,” Lana laughs. “But it works. The variety is at the core of what the Passion concept is. We understand vegetarians and vegans still want to be presented with options, and to leave feeling full, after eating nice big a plate full of flavours and textures. A lot of thought has gone into the menu. It’s like a matrix behind the scenes here, with such a huge amount of ingredients – fruit, vegetables, grains, tempehs and tofus, Haloumi, herbs – being prepped and stored. But there is something for everyone and on the rare chance you can’t find something you want, you could curate your own dish with everything we have available.”
Each and every Passion has a different ambience by night, but the one thing they have in common is food that feeds the soul. At Passion, you can grab an early dinner after you’ve been on the beach all day or tuck into something healthy and light that won’t make you tired before you hit the dance floor later. Sit beneath the stars in front of the sea and soak up the romance in Santa Eulalia or in the Marina, dine on clean and healthy cuisine after a luxurious afternoon in a spa or grab a takeaway meal – served in environmentally friendly vegware of course – if you just want to get home fast but don’t want to compromise on quality. “One of the things people really appreciate at Passion for dinner is the abundance,” says Lana. “You get a great sized portion for the price – you very rarely need to order three courses as our mains are so big. It becomes very affordable for a night out. It’s also a lot lighter than a lot of other restaurant food – our meals won’t make you feel tired before you go out. You’ll feel satisfied.” Organic wines and beer are available however Lana says most of Passion’s after-dark clientele aren’t looking for a boozy dinner. “People come to us to get the things they can’t get anywhere else – they still drink green juices and protein shakes with their dinners!” Over the years, Passion has become famous for its delicious desserts and if you are still peckish after your meal, the carrot cake or decadent chocolate brownie with ice cream are perfect to split between a few friends… or take home for later! “We’re starting to see a lot more people come to Passion for dinner this year,” says Lana. “Passion is no longer just considered a breakfast or lunch destination. A meal at Passion is like a special event, no matter what time of day.”
It would be remiss not to give a special nod to the Passion drinks menu – with two pages dedicated to amazing beverage concoctions (a whopping 150 drinks in total across the venues). Drinks at Passion can range from a lush, fresh juice to wash down your brekkie with or a meal replacement style protein shake. Superfood smoothies, cutting-edge hot drinks and health-boosting shots are all part of the Passion package. “The menu would be even bigger if I could fit more on there,” Lana admits sheepishly. The scope for delicious liquid refreshment is endless in her eyes. “When I first opened Playa d’en Bossa, we had an A4 menu of drinks, but it was mostly juices and smoothies. Over time, it’s evolved to include elixirs, what I like to call ‘trendy lattes’, hot superfood drinks, healthy shots, parfait shakes and so much more. This year we’ve also introduced a new range of Passion cold-pressed juices that have 1.5 kilos of fresh organic fruits and vegetables in each serving, and due to the high-tech machine they are made with, they last for up to 30 days because all the bad bacteria has been eliminated in seconds during the making.” This means Passion lovers can now stocks up their villa or boat fridges, or curate their own detox without having to drive to the restaurant each day for their health fix. You can also enjoy them at Agroturismo Atzaró, whoe were so impressed with the new Passion cold-pressed juices that they are now serving them as refreshing, healthy drink alternatives for their guests. Impressive. Last of all, Passion’s own coffee blend – a custom roast by the island’s own organic coffee masters Café Mekes that was presided over by self-confessed coffee addict Lana – has become somewhat of an institution around the island. “I almost can’t get my head around the insane amount of takeaway coffee we sell these days,” says Lana in disbelief – thankfully her takeout containers and cups are all eco-friendly so this increase is sustainable. “We only use organic milks – you’ll never have a GMO soy with a fake vanilla taste here – and we go through cartons so quickly (every couple of minutes), there’s no chance of the milk spoiling.” The Passion coffee machines are also state-of-the-art, and are cleaned and maintained with the precision of a Formula One car to ensure total coffee perfection.
The Passion promise goes beyond just offering healthy eating options. Lana is also passionate about creating awareness within the Passion community, which tends to also be made up of like-minded conscious souls. Takeout is served in the aforementioned sustainable veg-ware, vegan and vegetarian options are a plenty and fruit, veg and meat is all organic where possible. Quality, above all, is premium. Large portions, exceptional produce and creative taste sensations are accessibly priced – offering value for money is another of Passion’s practices. On an island where healthy-based gimmick restaurants are popping up like mushrooms after a rainstorm, it’s good to know there is one (or six, as the case may be!) you can always trust. With 16 years of experience to draw from, it’s not about trends or fads – it never has been. Everything on the Passion menu has been researched thoroughly, sourced ethically, and tried and tested passionately before being added to the menu. Open from 9am until midnight daily, that’s all the more reason to indulge your Passions, my dears…