This week saw Ibiza shift into Phase Three of the Spanish government’s de-escalation plan, which gives islanders the freedom to enjoy the best Ibiza has to offer – as much of it that is open, for now, that is. More and more Ibiza restaurants are opening their doors, in a slightly more limited capacity and adhering to the new health, safety and social distancing protocols – we say the more the merrier. Below is part two of our two-part guide to the best places to eat in Ibiza in June, from Dalt Vila and Marina Botafoch to Santa Gertrudis, San Juan, San Lorenzo and San Rafael, plus more – watch this space for the best beach restaurants next week.
When Pedro Cervero, Holly Rees Thomas and chef Tim Payne opened their gorgeous finca restaurant Can Mimosa Ibiza this time last year, they had planned to become a year-round hub for island residents seeking great quality food, warm service and an all-round laid-back ambience that felt like the Ibiza of old. The restaurant celebrated its first birthday this week, after working hard throughout the lockdown to provide home delivery to hungry islanders in isolation – from Sunday roasts to barbecue packs and ready-made meals. Thankfully now, Can Mimosa Ibiza is now open to one and all, from Tuesday to Saturday from 1pm to 5pm for lunch, then again from 7pm to 11pm for dinner. Sundays is an all-day lounge-around lunch affair from 1pm for the roast and barbecue. There’s a daily menu del dia, a new seasonal evening menu and all-day fish and chips on Fridays, all to be enjoyed in the charming garden – its status as island social hub has been immediately resumed.
From week one of the lockdown, the team at Nagai remained busy feeding Ibiza’s sushi and fusion cuisine lovers – albeit via home delivery. These days, Chef Reina is still in her kitchen but now customers are allowed to come to her, from 7.30pm to late from Monday to Saturday. Start with a bespoke cocktail by the bar, then take a seat on the starlit terrace, where you can feel right at home as you choose between the island’s best sushi and sashimi, and signature Nagai dishes such as Japanese curry, tempura langostinos and veggies, fennel tartare, agedashi tofu, beef pad kra pao, black cod, karaage and so much more. There’s a true sense of community amongst the Nagai regulars – you can be sure to see someone you know, in addition to being warmly welcomed like an old friend by the team.
Perched on an unassuming little corner on the cusp of Marina Botafoch, Mikasa Ibiza is a boutique hotel that welcomes islanders – and later, people from all over the globe – to enjoy its two chic terraces, complete with views over the Marina and to Dalt Vila. The venue, which is normally open all year round, reopened its restauarnt Kasamore last week to the happiness of residents looking for a place to enjoy sundowner cocktails and Mediterranean classics like mussels with marinara sauce, grilled fresh carabineros, Andaluz style calamari or a hearty Burrata salad. There’s also delicious rice dishes, such as lobster risottos, mushroom and truffle risotto or linguini with pesto, plus fresh fish, succulent cuts of meat and more. A daily menu del dia is an affordable way to tuck into three courses, while bespoke cocktails and a great wine list are ideal to wash it down. Be sure to either arrive or stay for sunset – the views are incredible.
Like a glowing beacon on the left hand side of the road as you’re heading up to San Juan, Shamarkanda is a fusion restaurant of epic proportions, offering a soulful collection of dishes from all around the world, hopping from cultures, flavours and textures for a one-of-a-kind dining experience in Ibiza. Now open from Fridays to Sundays, from midday until late, the gorgeous space is ideal for catching up with friends for a sunny lunch or a decadent dinner alike. Fridays in June are ‘Gastro Fridays’, with a special set menu on offer for just 18€, designed to showcase the new 2020 menu. On Sundays, enjoy live music in the garden – which has been laid out to respect the new social distancing measures of course – from 4.30pm. Reservations are essential.
If comfort eating during lockdown has got you seeking a more healthy alternative back out in the ‘real’ world, or if you’re naturally a vegan or plant-based food enthusiast, Wild Beets in Santa Gertrudis serves up some of the most creative and taste sensational healthy food in Ibiza. An institution in Ibiza for its iPurify juice cleanses, raw desserts and of course, its tasty plant-based menu, Wild Beets is also a hub for parents on the post-school run hunt for somewhere to catch up with friends, check emails or just enjoy a great meal. While school runs are a thing of the distant past right now, that’s no reason not to return to your favourite healthy eatery – open from 10am until 8pm daily, plus… kids are always welcome!
In just two short winter seasons (literally in the case of 2020, which was unexpectedly cut m-u-c-h shorter than the first), Casa Maca’s in-house restaurant has established itself as the place to eat, drink and socialise in the off-season, as well as in summer. The impressive open-air barbecue is the major drawcard, along with fresh veggies plucked directly from the onsite farm. Dine alfresco on the fairy-lit terraces, which make it easy to be responsible and socially distanced from the next-door table, and take in the iconic view of Dalt Vila in the distance – if that’s not enough to make you swear allegiance to your island home after all these months indoors, well… perhaps the Balearic soundtrack will help you get a little teary-eyed. Just a few minutes outside of Ibiza town, Casa Maca has plenty of parking and is easy to access from anywhere on the island – opening on Friday June 12, 2020, reservations are highly recommended. For the next few weeks, the restaurant will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 7pm.
Just a little over a week until hip Santa Gertrudis hangout Finca La Plaza reopens its stylish little picket gate to island residents. Put Friday June 19, 2020 in your diary – and we’d advise you to make a reservation too, as openings are proving to be very popular right now – and call on your nearest and dearest in Ibiza to join you in the beautiful garden restaurant, where festoon lights hang casually between palm trees and the scent of the grill wafting out from the kitchen is one of the most deliciously tantalizing aromas you’ve ever experienced. With a Mediterranean focus, all dishes are made using season, local and organic produce where possible. This is not just another farm-to-table claim to fame – Finca La Plaza work with local farmers to source their high quality payes chicken, spring lamb and more, only looking to the mainland and beyond when it can’t be found in Ibiza. Support our local farmers, by supporting the restaurants they supply.
It’s been a long time between lunches at The Giri Café – the gorgeous garden restaurant in the heart of San Juan in the island’s north – and the news that it is reopening just in time for the famous Noche de San Juan on Tuesday June 23, 2020 has got island residents buzzing. While the charming little village won’t be able to host its regular fire-jumping Midsummer celebrations to celebrate the night of its patron saint, the restaurant’s re-opening will no doubt be lit – after the initial opening dinner, The Giri Café will be open from Wednesday to Sunday, for lunch and dinner. In addition to the beautiful garden space, the restaurant also boasts a spacious – and easily socially distanced – interior that’s ideal for those nights when it’s still a little cooler up north after dark. Reservations recommended.
There are only a few tourist-free days for Ibiza residents to enjoy all the farm-to-fork goodness at La Veranda, the stunning countryside restaurant housed within the iconic Atzaró Agroturismo. When the hotel reopens on June 26, 2020, so too does the restaurant and its stunning onsite farm, bringing back lovely sunny lunches looking out over the orange grove. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t book a table at La Veranda once the borders are open – Atzaró has always welcomed locals and been a much-loved resident’s hangout over the years – it’s just that this may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (we really hope it’s only once!) to simply relax with just your family, friends and fellow islanders and really savour these authentic Ibiza experiences without any rush or stress. Only 50% of the restaurant space will be used during this time too, so reservations are recommended.
Set in the heart of the area are The Giri Café and The Giri Residence, two contemporary establishments that have been uniquely shaped by the spirit of San Juan and are now intrinsic to life in the village. It wasn’t always so, of course. San Juan existed – going about its daily business – without the Giri for decades. The structures of each property had former lives; the hotel, was a dilapidated, centuries-old building that once housed the local girls’ school, while the restaurant was two adjoining terrace houses, whose original owner still lives in the village to this day. Around 12 years ago however, there was a stirring in San Juan, as some foreigners came sniffing around these properties, initiating the start of a long-standing love affair…
In any small town, anywhere in the world, newcomers are eyed with a combination of suspicion, intrigue and genuine interest. San Juan is no different, and when the team behind The Giri brand appeared on the scene, the locals were wary. A little-known fact about the hotel and restaurant name is that it originated from the Spanish slang for foreigners: guiris. Rather than try and fight their newfound reputation, the new business owners simply rolled with it, respecting their roles in the village hierarchy. Plus, it made it easy for any early deliveries to be made, with a simple hand gesture pointing suppliers to the ‘the guiri hotel’. At the time of acquiring the land on which The Giri Residence now stands, most property developers in Ibiza were firmly focused on the south, where business was booming and tourists were flocking. Yet the team behind The Giri were captivated by the north of the island, feeling a strong connection with its sense of identity – an identity that was already so different from the rest of Ibiza. They were attracted by the raw, unspoilt rustic charm of the area; the overall tranquillity and feeling of space; the feeling of truly being away from it all. There was something special about San Juan…
As construction and development started – first on The Giri Residence, which opened in 2009 followed by The Giri Café in 2010 – life went on as normal in San Juan. The strong local characters, some of whom have spent their entire lives in the village, had their own livelihoods to maintain: farmers tended to their crops and animals, the fishmonger sold the best catch of the day to his loyal clientele, the pharmacist kept villagers healthy and the tobacconist not only kept people in cigarettes but also served up glasses of homemade Hierbas at the end of a long workday. Abuelos (grandparents) would get the grandkids dressed up and take the family out for a pre-dinner stroll in the village square and weekends revolve around the beautiful whitewashed church – be it a wedding, a mass, a funeral or a local festival, always celebrating life. Fast forward to 2017 and not a whole lot has changed in the village. The neighbouring farmer holds up traffic each evening, as he pulls his tractor to the side of the road as he dashes into the fishmonger to pick up supper for the family. Kids play football in the cobbled square until they’re called in for dinner, and families on their nightly walk are a common sight. Men sit in the Tabacs, smoking and sipping beer and Hierbas as they put the world to rights before heading home for the night and a group of elderly ladies converge on the lovely park bench beneath a giant tree to comment on life as it goes on around them.
As all of this unfolds like clockwork every day, The Giri contributes its own type of magic to the landscape and culture of San Juan. As their desire to respect the ethos of the location and preserve the heritage of each building became apparent to the locals, The Giri were soon enveloped into the San Juan fold. The connection between the two is a proud one; The Giri have proven their loyalty to San Juan and in turn, San Juan has grown fiercely loyal to The Giri – these days, you can’t have one without the other. In the restaurant, the fish comes directly from the fishmonger next door. Organic veggies are grown in their own backyard, or bought directly from the same farrner who holds up traffic in his tractor. The meat, where possible, comes from local farms and eggs, of course, are collected from happy hens running free in nearby fields. Nature is in abundance in San Juan, with rolling green hills everywhere you look, beautifully contrasting with pretty whitewashed houses and apartments on cobbled streets and in the surrounding forest.
Mornings in San Juan emerge like a clean slate. Everything is new again; clean, quiet and laidback. Breakfast is served in The Giri Café garden and it’s easy to feel connected with nature – flowers vibrantly burst forth from the earth and the air is sound-tracked only by pretty little birds tweeting in the treetops. The pace picks up to a buzz after midday, as the village slowly wakes from its slumber. The restaurant attracts a mix of locals, hotel guests, parents after the school run, those looking for a pre-beach fuel up and visiting foodies who know The Giri Café purely by reputation as a place who creates cuisine from the heart. Nature really turns on a spectacular display from about 7pm – sheep from the adjacent farm come to the fence and bleat, as if to announce cocktail hour. At the same time, the sun begins its descent behind the hills in a display of magical golden hues that later turn from pink, to purple and then a blanket of deep, deep blue peppered with twinkling stars. Dinner is a stylish alfresco affair, with an elegant ambience that still manages to fuse with the rustic charm of the village outside. As most diners leave The Giri Café, the view of the church beneath the glow of the moonlight is always a breathtaking sight – devoid of human traffic, just classic Mediterranean beauty.
One doesn’t need to spend much time in the village of San Juan to fall under its spell. Somewhat inexplicably this village has never fallen prey to commercialisation or over-development, becoming so much more than just another pit-stop on the tourist trail. While it does attract free-spirited expats who are looking to escape the trappings of city life, it is always a more alternative lifestyle they seek. There is an unspoken rule to respect local traditions and inhabitants – perhaps this is why as the island continues to evolve, San Juan remains, a micro-climate of Balearic authenticity. Much like the Ibiza of old times, the rich dine next to the less fortunate and no one bats an eyelid at celebrities in San Juan. There are more beat up old bombers than Range Rovers seen on the streets and free parking is in abundance. Superyachts and VIP parties are concepts best left to the south of the island; here, the pace of life is slow, steady and accepting. At the heart of it all, The Giri is found embracing and simultaneously enhancing all aspects of village life. Here in San Juan, truth, beauty, freedom and love abound…
When it comes to ‘best restaurant’ lists about Ibiza, The Giri Café is oft-referenced and highly regarded. The taste of authenticity, a true farm-to-table ethos and exceptional service are at the heart of the restaurant’s philosophy –as the hand-painted sign above the kitchen pass states, they firmly believe ‘cooking with love provides food for the soul.’ Now, in 2017, The Giri brand adds an additional culinary string to its bow, with the introduction of exclusive private dining experiences at their San Juan luxury boutique hotel, The Giri Residence. To those who have had the pleasure of spending their precious holiday time within the sanctuary of The Giri Residence, its in-house kitchen concept is nothing new. An insider’s secret perhaps. As a matter of fact, it’s been there longer than its famed, neighbouring sister restaurant, however until now, has been exclusively reserved for the use of the hotel’s guests. With only five suites in the hotel, the cuisine offering is ultra-personal; think only the best the seasonal, local and organic ingredients whipped into amazing bespoke meals to suit each individual diner’s tastes and dietary requirements.
Due to the hotel’s intimacy and discretion, the all-new private dining experience is limited to just a few tables per night throughout high season. Dine in ‘The Living Room’ at The Giri Residence – the elegant interior dining space or in a private Balinese hut on the pristinely manicured lawn by the swimming pool, nested next to a rustling wall of bamboo. The choice is yours, but chances are you’ll have the space to yourself, for the ultimate in romantic dinner dates or the most exclusive of small group dinners, with a maximum of six people per table. Meanwhile, the setting at The Giri Café is quite the opposite. As the sun sets, the place is illuminated softly and the buzz builds to a delightful crescendo while people from all walks of life flock to the famous eatery to try its signature cuisine, check out its stylish setting and be a part of the northern nightly culinary scene. People watching is all part of the process. Outside, beautiful rows of rustic wooden tables are lined up against walls of tall bamboo – just like the huts next door – that become part of the restaurant’s soundscape.
When it comes time to order, the sky really is the limit at The Giri Residence – head chef Carlos has a blackboard menu of specials written up, but this is merely a starting point. Getting to know his clientele, their likes and their dislikes, is all part of his job description – and then fusing his knowledge with the ingredients he has sourced that day to create the dinner of their dreams is the challenge. It is recommended to leave yourself in his highly skilled hands – yet if there is a specific desire you are craving on any given day, be sure to let him know prior to arrival and he will ensure it arrives on your plate. Over in The Giri Café, the a la carte menu has been lovingly honed over seven years of service. This is the only place where you can try signature dishes such as the avocado cheesecake (read more about its legendary status here), the scallop tartare (and more on that here) delicately eaten from a lime wedge or the elegant wakame salad. New seasonal dishes are added as ever-changing specials on a nightly basis, and with each new year, come new additions to the menu guaranteed to win hearts with every bite.
There is a reason The Giri Residence‘s legions of loyal fans return year on year, trusting chef Carlos to interpret their tastes – his intuition is so spot-on, it is like having your own personal chef who has worked with you for most of your life. After designing your perfect menu, Carlos cooks it with passion and delivers it to your table the very second it is ready: ultra-fresh, ready to impress. He will talk you through the flavours involved in each dish, should you wish to know more. If not, he is more than happy to allow you to sample for his approval. Within The Giri Café, the multi-staffed kitchen runs like a well-oiled machine, with everything being prepared ‘just so’, each and every time. There is a place for everything, and everything in its place. Every dish must be presented and garnished to The Giri high standards – delivered to your table by a slick, well-trained (but happy and smiling) team of professional waiters. Your glass is expertly topped up before you’ve realised you need it; your every whim is expertly catered to.
For those seeking an ultra-personalised experience, dining at The Giri Residence is like being in the home of an old, well-travelled and stylish friend – without the obligation to bring a great bottle of wine or your best banter! What was once a secret, is now open to the public – but with very limited availability, advance reservations are essential. This laidback yet luxurious experience will obviously appeal to VIPs and those seeking romance or discretion, there is another on-island group who may find it ultra-appealing: hard working locals. After all, when you’ve spent your entire week with clients, customers, students, suppliers or guests, sometimes you just want a wonderful night out in a cool restaurant minus the air kisses associated with some of the more social hotspots of the island. The Giri Residence gives you all the culinary satisfaction, minus the need to socialise or schmooze.
However, there are always those diners who thrive on the action. On seeing who is there to see and be seen. On socialising with friends, or spontaneously making new ones. On who is wearing what, who’s sitting with whom and what’s on the specials menu tonight. For these people, it’s all about dinner at The Giri Café. Both restaurants offer truly fantastic gourmet experiences and are must-tries for any foodie worth their Salinas salt. It’s the tale of two kitchens – all the more reason to visit The Giri my dears…
In pride of place in the charming main square of San Juan, The Giri Café is so much more than a restaurant. Over the past five years, it has earned a well-deserved reputation for its fresh and flavoursome cuisine – where the true focus is on organic and high quality produce, allowing the purity of the natural flavours to shine through, from hearty meat dishes and fresh, locally caught seafood to vegetarian and vegan dishes alike. Nowhere is this more apparent than the new season lunch menu. Served up daily from 12pm until 4.30pm, The Giri Café lunch dishes are beautiful to look at and even better to taste, with fresh flavours and colours almost leaping off the plates. With a set a la carte menu alongside daily specials based on seasonal produce with one fish, and one meat option, the choices are plentiful with something to suit all appetites and dietary requirements.
Standout dishes on the new menu include the rich, delectable beef cheeks served atop sweet celeriac mash and topped an old-school style red wine and bone broth reduction, with home grown baby carrots and apple slices to add some crunch and sweetness. The clean, light and tasty salmon tartar with mango also includes freshly cut chives and a unique sesame mayo – beautifully decorated with edible flowers from the onsite garden. Another popular option is the homemade falafel veggie burger served in a warm pita bread, topped with tomato and tahini dressing, homemade tzatziki and fresh crispy cucumber and fragrant rosemary straight from the garden. A true taste sensation – savoury, healthy, fresh, crunchy and warm. Finally, great wines, aromatic coffee, herbal teas, fresh juices and an array of great desserts (well worth saving room for!) complete The Giri Café lunch offering.
The stylish garden space at The Giri Café features plenty of shaded spaces to take respite from the midday heat, with dappled light accentuating the rustic table settings. Rows of tall bamboo rustle in the breeze creating a relaxing ambience, as the sleepy morning café vibe turns into a lovely, lively buzz as the afternoon customers make their way into the garden. The Giri Café attracts diners from all walks of life – holidaying and local families, the international jetset, born and bred locals and bohemian Ibiza old timers alike. The combination of cuisine, the laidback setting and fascinating people watching make for a wonderfully authentic Ibiza lunch experience. Whether you choose to make it your first pit stop in the north before hitting the beaches for a late afternoon swim, or pop in for an apres-shopping, swimming or siesta bite – let there be lunch!
Now entering its eighth season, the little hotel with a big heart exceeds every expectation. Making guests happy is what makes them tick, and drives them to innovate with every new season. Surprisingly, The Giri Residence – extremely intimate with just five suites – is still one of the island’s best-kept secrets. As the hotel evolves on every level, there are no bells and whistles. No songs and dances. There is no ego. It is a quiet achiever. They simply let their guests feel the changes, upgrades and improvements via personal experiences.
Stepping out of the huge wooden doorway into the charming village of San Juan is the first fairytale moments you’ll experience at The Giri Residence, but it certainly won’t be the last.
Adding luxury and glamour to the heart of a rustic countryside village – a combination rarely found in Ibiza – style seeps out of every corner of this design hotel. But this aesthetic is merely a first impression. Authenticity is found beyond its beauty, starting with its magical location. The village of San Juan is the real Ibiza. In the heart of the countryside, it is off the beaten track, immersed in nature, yet the island’s contemporary offerings are easily reached within a 20-minute drive. The hotel, its home base and local community are intrinsically connected – San Juan is a big part of what makes The Giri Residence so special.
One of the elements that makes The Giri Residence unique in Ibiza is the highly intuitive service. The team (almost a one to one ratio with guests) are there when you need them, invisible when you don’t and above all, capable of creating exceptional holiday experiences. Staff are highly trained to ‘read’ guests in order to allow them to deliver the style of holiday they desire. The Giri Residence provides guests the space and freedom for guests to retreat in privacy, or the warmth and interaction for a more social stay – the choice is yours. The team also goes above and beyond the call of duty to arrange anything you need while exploring the island, or to experience within the hotel walls. The international guest list proves it resonates with people from all corners of the world – everyone is welcome here.
Intimate in size, yet grand in nature The Giri Residence offers the same high-end services as a luxury resort, with more flexibility and personalised attention.
Head chef Carlos has been at the helm of The Giri Residence kitchen for eight years and is on hand to personally curate meals for each guest, in addition to creative daily specials. Ultra laidback, Carlos subtly interacts with guests then sources organic produce from his own vegetable garden plus fresh local seafood and meats to create meals tailored your tastes and dietary requirements. Passion for his craft is evident in every dish. How and where you choose to dine at The Giri Residence is up to you. Take breakfast by the pool, lunch in the garden, dinner over candlelight in the dining room. On colder evenings, cosy up by the fire or on a hot summer night, snack on the open-air terrace or just kick back in your suite and order room service. For those nights when you want to step out in your finest, the hotel’s renowned sister restaurant The Giri Café is right next door, and you’ll never have to worry about finding taxis, or being a designated driver!
Step inside the luxurious in-house spa and relaxation is guaranteed. You’re in the best of hands, quite literally, with two therapists delivering an array of Ayurvedic treatments in addition to classic massage styles. Meanwhile, in the great outdoors, the dedicated yoga instructor offers one to one sessions in the morning sunlight, plus weekly drop-in classes while a personal trainer can put you through your paces surrounded by nature – be it in the campo, on the nearby beaches or onsite. Magazine-worthy interiors, spacious suites, spa-like bathrooms, lush green grounds and a sparkling swimming pool set the scene for your stay, but it is the little extras that make a holiday at The Giri Residence unforgettable. Guests may come to Ibiza with a list of ‘must-dos’ however once they’ve been enveloped into the Giri world, and really, truly relax, it can be easy to forget about previous expectations and just enjoy the moment. It’s all about that feeling…
In the early days, it was a fiercely guarded locals’ secret, but as with anywhere serving up high quality home style cooking in a gorgeous surrounding, word started to spread and its reputation grew. And why wouldn’t it? A gorgeous contemporary interior, fusing modern Ibicenco style with Indonesian chic and natural materials; a breezy, sun-drenched garden dining space, where sunflowers shoot up towards the sky and bamboo rustles in the wind; views across the campo and a laidback atmosphere that makes anyone feel at home.
But the secret of The Giri Café’s success goes way beyond aesthetics. Danish restaurateur Rosa Pil Hidebrandt is behind The Giri Café, possessing a passionate, pure and professional philosophy when it comes to food and the overall dining experience. “I believe great food should be enjoyed without pretentiousness,” says Rosa. “This is truly the spirit of Mediterranean cooking, where we have our roots.” First things first with food. Focusing on sustainability and locally sourced produce is The Giri Café’s number one priority. The fresher and closer to HQ, the better, with a carefully tended vegetable garden taking pride of place in the terrace area, with ingredients plucked just hours (if not minutes) before they make it to your plate. If it’s not grown directly onsite, it’s come through a carefully developed relationship with local farmers or producers in mainland Spain, all engaged in organic, ethical and responsible farming methods.
Once the ingredients hit the kitchen, the magic really starts to happen. “The best ingredients allow recipes to be simple and straightforward, bursting with nutrients and life,” says Rosa of their food philosophy. Seasonal dishes are carefully designed to be feelgood and healthy, unpretentious and pure. The Giri Café menu is a delight to the senses. “We want to eat good food with honest tastes that our great grandmothers would recognise,” says Rosa. In addition to the natural goodness packed onto each plate, every dish is a feast for the eyes in addition to the stomach. “We aim for a rustic yet polished presentation,” says Rosa, as colours collide and bright vegetables decorate beautiful plates. Forget nouveaux or molecular cuisine – here, the chef simply works with what he has on his doorstep in terms of decoration. No fancy gimmicks; just a sprinkling of edible flowers, fresh herb, truffles, roasted nuts and more.
Once the dish arrives to your table, this is where the true Giri dining experience comes into play. It’s all about biting into different textures, breathing in the delicious aromas, tasting the honest-to-goodness, great home made food. “Our food is about fragrance, crunchiness and letting natural flavours combine,” explains Rosa. “Different textures have to work together, either unifying or juxtaposing their differences, but always with an aim to bring pleasure to the palate.” Flavours are enhanced rather than masked, leaving each natural ingredient to shine in its crunchiness or its special flavour. Food from the heart – each new mouthful is truly a delight. The icing on the Giri cake is the exceptional standard of service. Each and every team member pours pure passion into whatever they do, from beautifully setting the tables in the mornings to the warm welcome each customer receives as they step over the threshold – The Giri team are definitely not restaurant robots on autopilot! “All staff members have their own personality, smile and sparkle,” Rosa says.
The Giri Café occupies an almost sacred space in San Juan – once a free-for-all hangout for the bohemians and hippies of the 60s and 70s – and it was important to the owners that its new incarnation to keep this warm and welcoming vibe. “We look at everyone who walks through our doors as either already a friend, or one soon to be,” says Rosa. “By embracing that idea, we know every guest will have exceptional service, outstanding food and hopefully will know that whenever they walk into our restaurant, that they are coming home.”
Something that’s remained a well-kept island secret (until now) however, is the fact The Giri Café also remains open from morning all the way through to night – there’s no break in service between lunch and dinner like many other establishments, in keeping with the restaurant’s ethos that absolutely everyone is welcome, at any time of the day or night. It is during the tranquil hours between about 4pm and 8pm, when The Giri Café garden is drenched in glorious, golden Ibiza sunlight. Enormous bright blooming yellow sunflowers and tall bamboo reeds sway softly on the summer breeze while oversized daybeds (complete with camouflage netting shade casters) beckon provocatively like a mirage amongst the suntrap. Come and laze on us, they seem to whisper. Kick your shoes off, grab a magazine from the restaurant’s extensive collection, and just relax… you’re in a happy place!
Offering the perfect respite from overcrowded Ibiza beaches – which pretty much hit their peak at about 4pm daily, with temps of over 35 degrees, hordes of people, overcrowded restaurant spaces and the squeals of hundreds of holidaying children as they splash and play in the sand, plus the click, click of relentless paddleball getting j-u-u-s-t about too much to bear – The Giri Café is Ibiza’s very own garden of Eden, a little slice of paradise in the island’s north that’s ideal for when you’re ready to leave the beach, but not quite ready to go home. Lush green gardens and grass replaces pesky sand and once you’ve found your perfect spot, you can continue soaking up the sun (or shade if you’re starting to feel a little crispy!) in a much more chilled environment. Kids are welcome of course – as always at The Giri Café – though the bat, balls and sandcastles are replaced with colouring books and a shaded tepee for fun and games.
The afternoon snack menu is a varied selection of light bites and plates perfect for sharing, ranging from the restaurant’s famous salmon toast – homemade focaccia topped with marinated salmon and tartare cream with rocket and soy-peanut vinaigrette to homemade hummus with pappadums – the perfect combination of crispy and creamy. Then there’s the more traditional afternoon tea style offerings of coffee and cake, and for those with a sweet tooth, The Giri Café will spoil you for choice! Think avocado cheesecake and organic ice cream for the little ones (and grown-ups should they prefer!). Freshly pressed juices give refreshing afternoon boosts, homemade lemonade or jugs of sangria are the ultimate thirst quenchers, and the cocktail menu is available all day long.
Indeed, there are some stylish and sophisticated spaces serving up a more gourmet affair around the island, however when the bill arrives you can be left wondering if you’ve just had a three-course dinner with wine! Those who know – and especially those who know the value of a good breakfast – head to The Giri Café, in the heart of the village of San Juan in the island’s north for their morning fuel-up. The beautiful garden restaurant has been one of the island’s best-kept secret breakfast hotspots for the last few years, as the team continue to build on the menu concept each season, slowly, organically. Accessibly priced, diverse and delicious.
Breakfast is served for a two-hour window from 10am until midday each day – ideal for sun-worshippers on their way to the beach, perfect for parents, post-school run and spot-on for late risers. It’s a very laidback vibe – but not so far as you have to get up to order and pay at a counter. The renowned Giri service is always in full effect, with warm and welcoming waitstaff delivering your morning coffee, freshly squeezed juice or herbal tea to your table with a smile as you relax and ease into your day. Take a seat on a daybed in the garden and soak up the morning light, or take in the views of the countryside from a table on the sun-drenched terrace. Got some emails to check? You’re more than welcome indoors, where your laptop or iPad screen is shaded from the sun but enormous windows allow fresh air to flow through. San Juan is sleepy in the mornings. The ambience is tranquil. At The Giri Café, it’s all about feeling (and tasting) good.
The taste, of course, is what has made this beautiful eatery become the secret star of Ibiza’s breakfast scene. A grown-up, internationally themed gastronomic menu focusing on goodness, locally grown ingredients and freshness, you’ll find a variety of options to suit all taste buds and appetites. It’s not about hangover breakfasts, or fast food-on-the-go. There’s no coffee in paper cups or juice in plastic bottles. It’s all about taking your time, enjoying the moment, and relishing the flavours. Free-range eggs come direct from the island’s happiest hens, and you can have them served perfectly poached (an art in itself) atop lightly toasted brioche style buns spread with locally made sobrasada (cured sausage), melted cheese and crispy onion. Salty, savoury and special. Or perhaps you prefer a healthy slice of rye toast, smothered in creamy homemade guacamole before your poached egg is placed on top, and sprinkled with fresh pomengrate seeds and edible flowers? You can also opt for scrambled, with a side of tomatoes and mushroom if you’re craving something hot and hearty.
The breakfast menu is not all about eggs however – Greek yoghurt served with homemade marmalade, granola and red fruits is a big bowl of goodness for those on a health tip, while the American style pancakes with maple syrup and fresh fruit are a wonderful morning indulgence. Giving the New York brunch classic a unique island twist, marinated salmon focaccia toasts (a Giri signature dish) with a zesty citrus taste are served atop a brush of homemade tartar sauce with rocket and soy dressing. Given that we are indeed in Spain, and The Giri Café is situated in a typical Spanish village on the Spanish island of Ibiza, it would be rude not to give a nod to the local favourite, and thus crispy toast served with tomato and Serrano ham or cheese is also on the menu. Forget the rock-hard baguettes smothered in day-old tomato found in bars around town – think succulent vine ripened tomatoes, melt-in-your-mouth ham and sharp, delicious cheese. Additional toast toppings include whipped goat cheese with walnuts and agave syrup, or the all-time classic, butter and marmalade.
A concise juice menu has been concocted by The Giri Café team, personally trying and testing recipes until they are j-u-s-t right. Fruits and veggies are grown locally – many onsite in the garden – and are fused with superfoods such as chia seeds, açai and ginger among others. From the simple taste of sunshine in a glass (freshly squeezed Ibiza oranges) to antioxidant-packed blends, health-boosting green juices and homemade lemonade and shakes, it’s the perfect way to start the day. For many, the caffeine fix is essential in the mornings and the organic and sustainable blend from Honduras and Brazil, hand-roasted right here in Ibiza, doesn’t disappoint, while tea lovers can choose from Chai, fresh mint, ginger and lemongrass, organic white or good old fashioned Earl Grey.
Every plate on the menu is just the right size to dine alone, or can easily be ordered as a spread and shared across the table. The presentation is simply beautiful, each plate a thing of beauty that inspires gratefulness for the abundance you’re receiving before it has even crossed your lips. There are no tricks at The Giri Café. No gimmicks. Just delicious, homemade food in an authentically beautiful Ibiza setting. The island’s best wake-up call…
At first glance when arriving into the main square of San Juan by night, you don’t see a stand-alone ‘café’ anywhere. A church, yes. A paved plaza, sure. A few shops, an estate agency and a pharmacy among other storefronts. Your typical Ibiza village. But as you sharpen your vision and look a little more closely, your eyes can’t help but be drawn to a set of open ancient double doors with some low seating outside and soft lighting emanating from within. Welcome to The Giri Café… by night.
One of the most loved restaurants in the north of the island, The Giri Café is famed for its sun-drenched garden and laidback atmosphere by day. But as darkness envelops the sky in Ibiza and the moon comes out to play, the distinctive laidback garden oasis is transformed into a stylish and sophisticated dining destination, showcasing a night concept is perhaps a side to The Giri Café that is lesser known to island visitors; it’s the darker, sexier side… Boasting a (slightly) more formal ambience, intimate lighting and a modernised take on the already appetising menu, this sleeker, more complex version of The Giri Café is the perfect place for group celebrations, romantic dinner dates and late night cocktails alike.
Where style and service are more relaxed and casual during the day, by night you can feel comfortable to glam yourself up; wear that special dress, step into those stilettos, put on some lipstick and relish the memorable experience as service is stepped up a few notches and finely tuned to a more fine dining style, with the same welcoming warmth you know and love from the daytime service. You will be received as a friend at The Giri Café, but you can also be sure the maître d has their eagle eyes on your table to assist you with anything you desire throughout your evening, be it wine, cocktails, menu suggestions and more. Cuisine is at the heart of the night concept at The Giri Café. The evening menu is an amped up, more elaborate version of its daytime selection. Think delicious Mediterranean cuisine spiced up with exotic flavours and tastes, where texture, taste, colour, contrast and structure mingle together to create an explosion for the senses and a journey for your palate. The healthy and fresh food (plucked from the onsite garden where possible) ethos of the restaurant continues after dark, however the presentation and platters are taken up a notch. With a focus on fresh seafood changing daily based on the island’s best catch of the day, a selection of slow cooked mouth-watering meat dishes and light and refreshing tartares and ceviches, there is something to suit all appetites.
Start with the outstanding octopus tartar and be tantalised by the velvety, lush texture of the fish and the way it tastes paired with a coriander-rich, creamy hummus. Indulge in the 10-hour slow cooked lamb, served without its bone so the meat simply falls apart upon piercing it with your fork, perfectly complemented with a side order of fries seasoned with fresh rosemary and garlic. The buck doesn’t stop at your main meal – far from it in fact, as The Giri Café’s dessert menu is something to write home about; imagine a fluffy cloud of light, almond butter cake topped with strawberry chutney, a double dose of whipped cream and a light dusting of mint, orange zest and toasted almonds to create a frenzy for your taste buds. The Giri Café by night succeeds in creating an extraordinary gastronomical dining affair well worth the drive to San Juan from any corner of the island. This is what entices the loyal old and curious new clientele of The Giri Café to make this beautiful northern village a must-visit destination every season. Those really in the know also book a room next door in the namesake boutique hotel, hidden behind another subtle doorway just metres away, making the Giri experience carry on from day, to night, and into the day again…
Over the past few years, The Giri Café in the beautiful northern village of San Juan has earned itself a well-deserved reputation as the place to be for a countryside escape. It’s no surprise, with world-class daily breakfast and brunch, an impressive juice menu, ever-changing daily specials, the special Sunday artisan and organic market on their doorstep, and a beautiful garden space to relax in that gets even more beautiful each year, as the plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables come into their own. But there’s another side to The Giri Café, one that is well-known to local lovers of gastronomy but lesser known to island visitors, and a side worth getting to know if you have yet to discover it. After dark, The Giri Café is transformed into a stylish and sleek fine dining destination, with a (slightly) more formal ambience, soft and elegant lighting and a streamlined menu concept. This grown up, more sophisticated Giri big sister is perfect for romantic dinner dates, group celebrations and late night cocktails, bringing an all-new element of evening appeal to the tranquil village. For The GIri Café, it’s a tale of two restaurants. All the more reasons to visit San Juan, my dears…
By day: It’s a totally relaxed and tranquil aesthetic. Anything goes – wear flip flops, flowers in your hair, throw a kaftan over your bikini if you’re popping in on the way to the beach… By night: Make the most of the experience and dress up a little more – after all, experiences are always heightened with high heels and jewellery, right?
By day: Stroll on in to The Giri Café and make yourself at home. Pull up a sofa, take a table in the garden or under the beautiful bougainvillea – wherever you feel happiest! By night: Reservations are recommended, and you’ll be warmly greeted at the door, and then led to your table by The Giri Café’s experienced maître d, who is on hand to assist you with anything throughout the evening.
By day: Sit in the sunny garden under a protective shaded cover and listen to the sweet sounds of the countryside – from birds tweeting to sheep bleating and baa-ing in the surrounding fields. By night: Enjoy the blissfully tranquil evening ambience of the candlelit garden space or within the stylish main terrace – outside, you’ll hear the sounds of the bamboo rustling in the breeze and inside, be treated to The Giri Café’s carefully curated playlists.
By day: Tuck into casual light bites, snacks and salads or order from the changing lunch special menu, with an emphasis on freshness and lightness, and of course, good health. By night: The healthy and fresh food philosophy continues, but presentation and platters are stepped up a notch, focusing on fresh seafood prepared in innovative ways, succulent meat straight off the grill, rich and authentic curries, divine risottos and more. Be sure to save space for the specialty desserts…
By day: Choose your favourite from the new fresh juice menu, sip on herbal teas and aromatic coffee, or perhaps indulge in a crisp white wine By night: The Giri Café bar becomes about the impressive cocktail list – made up of bespoke and classic blends – and the exquisite wine list can be matched to suit your meal.