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Menú del día - Ibiza-style lunch

Set menus offer great prices and variety

Eating out is one of those pleasures that most of us, truth be told, don't do every day. In summer in Ibiza of course, you'll see restaurants thronging with people and humming to the sound of chinking cutlery. In between the tourists and in lots of local restaurants, lunch is the time for the ‘menú del día' being enjoyed by locals. These menus are available all year round and offer a good amount of food at reasonable prices.

In winter, you'll also see some good deals from some top end restaurants taking part in seasonal set price menu offerings, either evenings only or both lunch and dinner. Currently, across the island, there's Gastro Days offering a set menu for €20 and in and around San Antonio, there's the Restaurat festival which offers a set menu for €15. The minimum you get is a three-course menu with some top-notch food, which would normally cost way more. If you are a gourmet on a budget, this is for you.

Plenty of choices for good food

There's quite a lot of choice for diners and you can get to go to some great places for very little and get fed very well. For restaurateurs, this is a great way of filling their establishments during the day and night. All over the island you'll see that lots of restaurants offer the lunchtime menú with prices usually hovering around the €12 mark as an average price guide. I've met Spanish people holidaying here who just go for these menus so they are fed for the day. It's great for a break from work or a nice inexpensive meal with friends and everything in between. I sometimes even do it solo, so I don't have to cook and wash up, so its perfect for lazy people like me.

Here we pick out some of the best offers for great food in the menu del día offers from low to high; most places start at 1pm, which is when workers take their lunch breaks and service for lunch is usually around two and half hours. You'll see all kinds of deals: usually it's three courses, starter, main and desert with or without a drink included. In Ibiza Town you'll find Los Bodegueros, close to the well-known Plaza del Parque. Here you get traditional Spanish fare using local products from Ibiza for €12 for three courses and a drink. Again in town, for the same price and the same deal Ke Kafe offers a more Mediterranean menu courtesy of its Moroccan chef: expect things like chicken or vegetable couscous, Greek salad and prawn tempura.

Up North

Heading north east in Santa Eulalia, a culinary heartland of the White Isle, is one of the oldest restaurants in Ibiza, Royalty. This place is often considered THE place for menú del día in this town. For €14 you get three courses and a drink, with dishes such as tomato soup or salad to start and mustard chicken or flounder with lemon for mains. Es Pins in San Lorenzo offers its fixed price menu from Monday to Friday. It's a great place for some traditional Ibicenco food and is known for its great take on the local dessert, ‘graixonera'. Here for just €11 you get a trio of locally inspired courses. In San Carlos, S'Argentera's 3-course deal comes in at just €10 and offers you a mix of the Spanish and Ibicenco.

Then scooting over west, there's a well-established favourite Chimichurri on the Cala Conta road, which offers two differently priced menus at lunch on weekdays at either €9.50 or €10. You can have steak cooked on their specially made Argentinian grill and fit in a starter of chicken soup or a plate of broad beans. Dessert isn't included, though a drink and a coffee at the end is.

Filled bellies

Farther down the road is Contra Vent, known for filling many bellies very well. It does its weekday 3-course menu for just €9.80 and it changes regularly. This is a place to totally enjoy pigging out. Finally, and to end with a flourish, there's Villa Mercedes in San Antonio, set in its own pretty gardens. They do a weekday menu for €15 giving you a spot of high-end gastronomy with things like salad with three types of tomatoes from Ibiza, the much-sought-after beef from the Galician Blonde breed with a mushroom sauce and hake stuffed with smoked salmon and served with leeks.

There really is a great lot of choice out there and we hope you enjoy trying out some of our selections. Winter is the time to feed your body and the best thing is both your belly and your wallet get to be fatter.

WORDS | Julian Heathcote

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