If Aiyanna Ibiza had been around when the global hippie community descended on Ibiza in the 60s and 70s, those early bohemian travellers would have felt completely at home. Fast forward 50 odd years and arriving at Aiyanna Ibiza – which opened on the on the beach at Cala Nova in 2017 – is like stepping back in time, to a simpler era of peace, love and happiness. Today, it feels like this rustic, colourful east coast restaurant has been here forever and the restaurant is now adored by locals and visitors alike.
The blend of influences that is so vibrantly represented at Aiyanna Ibiza – both in the gentle, natural style and the flavours on the menu, is indicative of the melting-pot culture of Ibiza’s own heritage, where everyone is welcome and the relaxed ambience is effortless. Settled into the rocks of a sandy cove just mere steps away from the sea, Aiyanna Ibiza is an enclave of raw, natural materials that blend seamlessly in to the stunning location. Bare wood floors, driftwood-inspired furniture with plush sofas and deeply comfortable bucket-chairs invite you to stay for hours and soak up the beach-life atmosphere. It also just-so-happens to be one of the island’s most Instagram-friendly destinations.
Basket weave, raffia and hessian design features lend a feeling of recycled and repurposed sustainability, that sits easily in the stunning natural environment with an air of unobtrusive chic. The brightly coloured umbrellas fluttering in the Mediterranean breeze are fashioned from handmade Guatemalan kites, adding a stunning kaleidoscope of vibrant hues to the soft and neutral background palette. The crisp cotton shirts worn by the friendly, smiling Aiyanna Ibiza staff are also handmade, from fabrics procured in Africa and artfully stitched into bespoke uniforms by a wonderful local designer, Ivonne Carolina, who also has her own workshop and boutique onsite.
Here lies the charm of Aiyanna Ibiza; it draws on global influences, styles and cultures, presenting them in a way that is pure Ibiza. This abundant array of influences and characters translates into an environment and a menu that are eclectic, creative and universally inspiring. Unsurprisingly, for a beach restaurant that is the ‘little sister’ venue to established island favourite Amante Ibizaon the nearby Sol d’en Serra beach, the dining experience at Aiyanna Ibiza is exceptional. The menu consists of beautifully curated dishes made with ingredients that are a tantalising mix of seasonal, local produce and middle eastern spices and flavours – combined in harmony for a unique twist on traditional beach club fayre.
Many of the fresh ingredients are grown in Aiyanna Ibiza’s very own organic garden, bringing a garden to table ethos to the menu. The restaurant’s attention to clean-eating, plant-based dishes means vegetarians have plenty to choose from, and in addition to a selection of hearty vegan dishes, some simple ingredient swaps can create further vegan options from the extensive options. Many of the dishes are designed to be shared for light, laid-back lunches or snacks in the sunshine, although the main course menu of meat, fish and veggie dishes can be quite tempting to keep to yourself!
A classic Aiyanna Ibiza starter of middle eastern Mezze is an ideal sharing platter of hummus, muhammara and babaganoush with crisp fresh vegetables for delectable dipping. The Turkish pide is like a middle eastern pizza, with a base of spelt flatbread topped with olives, rocket and cherry tomatoes and a delicious feta and pistachio cream. Moroccan spiced chicken comes with a freshly picked salad, drizzled with with a delicate soya dressing and shavings of Parmesan. The spiced green taboulleh with edamame, lentils and avocado is a riot of colours, while the flavour is a master class of Turkish delight.
When it comes to mains at Aiyanna Ibiza, the perfectly roasted whole sea bass is an established favourite where the simplicity of freshness sings from the plate, while the slow-cooked lamb with a ras el hanout marinade invites more complex, layered flavours of cumin, cadamom, paprika and ginger. The homemade burger hits all the right notes, topped with Mahon cheese and truffle mayonnaise, while the 100% vegetarian ‘Beyond Burger’ is endlessly satisfying for non-meat eaters.
The unique and varied menu at Aiyanna Ibiza is a draw in itself, but there’s plenty more to enjoy and to keep you wrapped up in the bohemian vibes from first thing in the morning right through till night. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, yoga classes take place on the wooden decking overlooking the sparkling sea, followed by a light buffet breakfast that is included in the price of the class. If you’re not up for a downward dog first thing in the morning, you can come for freshly pressed juices and the full breakfast menu that’s on offer until 12.30pm.
Lunch starts at 1pm and the kitchen is in action all the way through until midnight, so you can settle in for the day, or if you prefer some time with the sand beneath your toes you can choose from a range of take-away picnic dishes, served in plastic-free, sustainable packaging from the Airstream food truck. A spirit of multi-culturalism and vibrant diversity is the continuing theme throughout the Aiyanna Ibiza calendar of events. The monthly full moon extravaganza has a world party flavour, with musicians and dancers from all corners of the globe taking part while bi-weekly art exhibitions, showcasing island artists alongside international talent, nurture that feeling of unity Ibiza has always been known for,
Like Ibiza itself, the unique charm of Aiyanna Ibizais intrinsically noticeable and tangibly felt but not as easy to exactly define. The words carved into the wooden menu holders probably come closest, where it is written: ‘Aiyanna Ibiza embodies the spirit of Ibiza, capturing the vitality and beauty of this incredible island.’ We couldn’t have put it better ourselves…