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Insider's A to Z of Ibiza - G is for Gastronomy

Highly recommended eats

Contrary to clichéd popular belief, not everyone comes to Ibiza for the rave. The island holds a million different pulls for those who choose to live here, but one common thread that is shared across the board is most definitely food.

Ibiza is home to a remarkable number of culinary champions ranging from the humble home cook to the mighty private chef. In the winter in particular, much bread is broken and one of the local's pastimes is most certainly eating - something we find very little time for in the summer. Think BBQs on the beach, al fresco lunches and late night dinner parties. We absolutely love spending hours gossiping over a table of fine wine and good grub!

So I thought I'd point out a couple of edible highlights on the island. Good food is a plenty, but here are a couple of the local's faves...


Pastis

Located by the side of Plaza Del Parque, the all-year-round social hub in Ibiza Town, you could easily miss Pastis if you didn't know it were there. But don't be fooled by the discreet little doorway. Beyond the plush red velvet drapes, lies an incredibly chic and exclusive French gourmet restaurant which takes pride in its cuisine and wine to the nth degree. With no more than 10 tables cosily scattered on the chequered tile floor and a bustling open kitchen, this petite little bistro will transport you to the heart of decadent Paris. The attention to detail both in terms of food quality and service will leave you feeling spoilt rotten. This place is our number one choice for special occasions and luxurious treats.

Insider Info - The French Onion Soup could possibly be the best in the world. Do have a Pastis at the bar as an aperitif before you sit down for your sumptuous meal, and be sure to try the homemade caramel vodka shots as you attempt to digest at the end of the night.


La Oliva

La Oliva can be found in what is fondly known as ‘Restaurant Square' in Dalt Vila. Just at the top of the ramp, lies Plaza De Vila and a plethora of tourist friendly and not-so-cheap eateries set amongst the cobbles. A popular fixture for any visitor. If you continue through the square and up the hill a little onto Calle Santa Cruz, you will find a smaller and less noticeable restaurant with just 3 or 4 tables out in the narrow street. La Oliva is a family owned restaurant that has been passed down through the generations and is now run by Lisa Salle, who will welcome you with a wide smile in just about any language. The food speaks for itself. Local Mediterranean dishes are lovingly prepared and presented as art on a plate. Massively on-point service lifts the eating experience into the higher echelons. An absolute must for a high level holiday feel, even for us locals!

Insider Info - Book ahead to make sure you get a prime people-watching spot on the paved terrace. You could even pop into La Mezcaleria (see D is for Dalt Vila) which is directly opposite for a very mischievous aperitif. Oh and the rack of lamb. The rack of lamb! It leaves us speechless...

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La Bodega

Trundle back down the ramp and tucked beneath it by the Old Market is La Bodega, by far the local's favourite tapas restaurant in town. With impressive high ceilings and rustic stone walls, the venue itself is breathtaking. Run by a hardworking and fun-loving team, expect a fantastic array of superb tapas accompanied by a brisk and friendly service. There is something for everyone here on the extensive menu and the lively atmosphere makes it a brilliant all-round experience.

Insider Info - Get there early and perch at the bar and ask Edu to make you a Hendricks and tonic. Served in a huge fishbowl glass with refreshing slices of cucumber, we often pop in just for them alone! If the waiters like you, they will leave you with a selection of bottles of their homemade liquors at the end of your meal. Hierbas, limoncello and a host of other things with no names. You have been warned...

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Bambuddha

A venture out of Ibiza Town is always worth it when at the end of the rainbow lies the opulent Bambuddha. Located on the San Juan Road and set within a magnificent oriental style zen garden, Bambuddha epitomises fine Asian dining Ibiza style. An ever popular spot for the discerning local, the low lighting, immaculate service and mouthwatering modern high-end Asian cuisine makes Bambuddha the only place to go for some grown-up exotic fun with a side order of beautifully presented food. Utterly sublime.

Insider Info - Deep at the back of the restaurant lies a nightclub and Tantric Sex Shop ,which occasionally play host to some of the wildest parties the island sees. If you're around for their opening, closing or especially their legendary Halloween Party, make the effort to swing by (early though. The queues to get in can be epic) and witness the island's finest letting their hair down in the most sinful of fashions.

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I must add that this is the tiniest taster (pardon the pun) of the culinary delights that our wonderful island has to offer. There are tiny kitchens in local cafés that will blow your mind (Comidas San Juan in Ibiza Town for example), agroturismos serving up fresh food from their organic gardens (La Paloma and Can Gasi spring to mind), luxurious beach restaurants (Yemanja and El Chiringuito) and a whole host of tapas and pintxo bars (El Zaguan and Can Terra are definitely worth a mention). So get your gastronomy on! In between all that clubbing, you can discover Ibiza through the power of your tastebuds.

Next week, H is for Hierbas. The island's indigenous liqueur and the taste of Ibiza.

Insider's A to Z of Ibiza


WORDS | Leena Sharma

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