Ibizan cuisine is slowly making a mark in the culinary world. Since this tourist island is often frequented by travelers from all over the world, a delightful gastronomic culture has developed in the past few years, characterized mainly by the use of fresh, local ingredients.
How do you define traditional food and drink in Ibiza? Since the island is located on the Mediterranean side of Spain, the food and drinks served in Ibiza are all sourced from the very rich and fertile region surrounding it. Some of the best produce of the region are actually from the area.
The presence of world-class chefs who run the restaurant kitchens in Ibiza villas and resorts has made food in Ibiza town exciting and vibrant, without veering away too much from ingredients located in the area. Aside from traditional Spanish cuisine, many restaurants serve food off the main coast of Spain, Ibizan cuisine that is more typical of the distinct flavors of the Balearic Islands.
- TOP 10 traditional Ibiza dishes
- Typical drinks in Ibiza
TOP 10 traditional Ibiza dishes
Here are 10 traditional Ibiza dishes that you must try on your next visit:
1. Sofrit Pagés
This traditional Balearic stew is a hearty mixture of various meats like chicken, lamb, and the Ibizan sausages sobrassada and botifarra. There are also vegetables like potatoes, peppers, and artichokes. Ibizan cuisine is known for its seafood specialties, and this meat dish is traditionally served only during special occasions. However, sofrit pagés is now available in almost every restaurant that serves traditional Ibizan cuisine.
Do you want to know the sofrit pagés recipe? Check it out here: Recipe.
2. Balearic sausages sobrassada and botifarra
Meat sausages native to the Balearic Islands are typically mixed in with other dishes, or eaten on its own as an appetizer. Sobrassada, dubbed as the national sausage of the islands, is made from ground pork, paprika and other spices. Botifarra is an ancient recipe, an Ibizan version of a blood sausage with spices.
3. Arròs de Matança or Arroz de Matanzas
One of the most traditional dishes in Ibiza, this dish is made of rice, any type of local meat, saffron, and mushroom. It is cooked in a broth that has been reduced. Each Ibizan family has their own special version of this dish. One of the best Arròs de Matança is served in a family-run restaurant in San Carlos called Cas Pages. Cas Pages has been serving locals and tourists alike for 40 years. Their Arròs de Matança is cooked with whatever meat is available such as pork, fish, squid, chicken, and sobrassada.
4. Paellas de Marisco
When directly translated, Paella de Marisc means “seafood paella” in Catalan. Each region in Spain have their own version of paella, and the seafood ingredients of this paella come fresh from the bounty of the sea surrounding the island of Ibiza. The restaurant Cala Es Xarcu, run by a husband and wife team native to the islands, is famous for their seafood paella. The restaurant is a 20 minute drive from Ibiza town, and when you taste their food, you will realize that it is worth the drive.
5. Bullit de peix
Bullit de peix is a traditional Ibizan fish stew. A popular spot for ordering the best bullit de peix is at Es Boldado, a restaurant in Cala D’Hort, Ibiza that overlooks the beautiful Es Vedrà rock. Another restaurant that serves excellent bullit de peix is Es Torrent, located on the South Coast of Ibiza, near the town of Sant Josep.
6. Parrillada de Pescado
Parrillada de Pescado is a Mixed Seafood Grill, which is typically served in beachside restaurants. The day’s catch is what comprises the dish, which is grilled on the same day and served to customers. Aside from local fish varieties such as bacalao (cod), mero (grouper), and rodaballo (turbot), prawns, squid, lobster, and octopus are also grilled. The Fish Shack on Talamanca beach serves the best and freshest grilled seafood. Just say Fish Shack, and everyone knows where it is
Another popular traditional Ibizan dish is zarzuela de mariscos, an Ibizan seafood stew, with a mixture of shellfish like mussels, crabs, scallops, and prawns, with squid and various types of fish. It is cooked in a saffron-flavored stock, usually mixed with lemon juice and bay leaf. It is named after the Spanish word for comic opera or also loosely translated as “variety show”. This means that eating it evokes a symphony of flavors all mixed up together in one delightful dish.
Flaons or flaó (singular form) are filled pastries that are usually circular or semi-circular in shape. The fillings vary according to different areas in the Catalan regions of Spain, but they can be local sheep or goat cottage cheese and ground almonds, or pumpkin jam and honey. Because of its extensive use of cheese in a dessert, it is usually described as an Ibizan version of a cheesecake. Flaons were originally prepared for Easter family gatherings, but these sweet treats can now be ordered all year.
9. Ensaïmada de Mallorca
Another tasty dessert is ensaïmada de Mallorca, made of light, fluffy pastry typically dusted with icing sugar on top. It can also be filled with cream, sweet pumpkin, or chocolate.
Greixonera is another traditional Ibizan dessert, which is akin to a bread pudding commonly served in the British Isles. It is made from leftover pastries or bread, such as ensaimada.
Typical drinks in Ibiza
Sangría is the “official drink” of Spain, and no trip to Spain is complete without drinking it. Sangría is served all over Ibiza, and each restaurant has a special way of making it. It is made with fruits in season such as apples, pears, and oranges. Either way, it is the perfect drink by the beach on a warm summer day.
2. Hierbas Ibicencas
Translated as “Ibizan Herbs”, this is one of the most quintessential drinks in Ibiza. This traditional drink with a 200 year history has strong aniseed flavor, and made from various herbs and flavorings such as lemon, orange, and thyme. People typically drink Hierbas Ibicencas after dinner to aid in digestion.
Thyme-based sweet drink, this is enjoyed as a digestive after a satisfying meal and is notable for its herby flavor. It is also usually a drink taken with desserts. The thyme (frigola) plant grows all around Ibiza and it is harvested in the early summer.
Palo is an aperitif that is typically drunk before a meal in Ibiza. It is made from a plant native to the area called the Quino Calsaya.
Horchatas are frozen drinks typically mixed with ground nuts like almonds or tigernuts. It is actually a traditional Spanish drink, which has also spread to Latin American countries. This is the perfect drink while lounging on an Ibizan beach. Los Valencianos, a casual restaurant in Plaza Antoni Riquer, Ibiza town has very good horchata.
The best way to describe this drink is to compare it to a slushee. It is a refreshing mixture of fresh fruit and crushed ice.
There are many special dishes that can only be enjoyed in Ibiza and best savored while sitting by the beach or looking at the view of the sea and sky. Food and drink in Ibiza is one of the best things about going on holiday in this beautiful Spanish region.