Buy your fresh veg in the Old market located in the center of Mahon, its open all day and has a Supermarket in the basement, for the basics (don’t buy for veg or meat here). We buy our meat in the market. The market shops are arranged in a square with the veg shops on the left hand side and the meat at the top. The most expensive fish comes from the old fish market next to the place you have just bought your veg. It’s got a great atmosphere. To find the locally caught fish you need to find the fish shop that acts as the outlet for all the locally caught fish. It’s along the harbour opposite the place where the fishing boats are. It often has a couple of green chairs outside. It’s on the left as you travel along the harbour rd. with the harbour on the right. Try the locally caught Minorca prawns and a must is the local harbour grown mussels. Nothing beats fresh Sardines, cooked on the barbi at home. Try cooking Octopus! Buy a mid sized one, get it skinned and cleaned by the fishmonger. Its best to buy a ready prepared one. Put the thing whole into simmering water add a whole onion. The Octopus is cooked when the onion goes soft. You need to bash the thing on a stone floor a few times before you cook it but chucking it in the freezer is better. Once cooked cut it up and sprinkle-smoked paprika over, serve warm or cold with olive oil and crushed garlic. Or do what the Spanish do, get a ready prepared whole one, defrost, heat in a pan and add the garlic, oil and smoked Paprika. Next, the big Sunday thing is Paella. The fish market tends to stock up for the Spanish on Saturday with the ingredients for wonderful Paella. Red Mullet, locally raised mussels (you can see the floating mussel beds from the villa terrace.) a few prawns some of the Octopus you cooked before, that soft onion and a few more. And off you go using the Paella pan and gas ring in the Barbi area.
Two new big supermarkets have opened on the Mahon industrial area. Macodona that is really busy with what we think as the best fish stall and fab veg. Location- toward the end of the industrial center, go back towards the Airport, rather than going back along the main rd. go across the main roundabout, into the industrial estate, at the first small round about turn right and follow this rd until the end and you will see the supermarket ahead of you. It’s well signposted. The other one called Benicia is harder to find but it’s on the same estate, when you get to the first supermarket, turn left and head south, the building is green with large slates, the bread is very good as is the Veg. They have a good supply of most goods over two floors. It’s a good place to replenish those broken glasses!
Going for coffee From the market where you bought your veg, leave this on your left, heading up the hill, it’s the first coffee shop on the left at a junction. A local place, ask for the chocolate cake and or the Spanish egg and potato omelets, this comes with bread etc., very reasonable and a sort of Hopper painting in a Spanish form. Very local…
The main squares have a number of coffee tourist bars these are good place to sit and watch the world go by.
Next to the town hall, a small newly completed coffee place, good paintwork and green and dark timber floors, cool inside, great coffee and pastries with lots of outside seating.
New development in the old fish market, a really good tapas bar, good for coffee and snacks.
Restaurants Experimenting with Spanish cooking, using the superb, fresh ingredients from the local shops will mean that you will be tempted to produce your own gastronomic delights at Villa D'Este, however, the island has many restaurants to try. Some are superb and some disappointing but you will soon find your favorites.
Here are some of our tried and tested: TERRA- great for imaginative tapas, either for when you fancy a small bite or a feast. Along the harbour towards the end of the road. The set menu is outstanding and costs about 28 euros each. A great cook with a brilliant palate. +34 971362015
AMARRE- a very small restaurant /cafe which can just about seat 15 at a push but worth a try. It is about half way along Mahon Harbour with dark red awnings and is run by Fabio a young Italian man who has recently taken it over. Try his delicious Pulpo with creamed lemon potatoes- good with a simply cool bear or house white. . +34 871711897
WEPI - Brother and sister team, Danny and Emma run Wepi and pride themselves on great service and good food. They do just about the best burger you can imagine, however, if you want to give yourself a real treat, try out their filet of local beef with foie gras- it is delicious. There is a very good wine list and Danny's recommendations are reliable. This is a restaurant for those in the know as it looks modest from the outside- last time the Red Arrow team came to Menorca they chose WEPI. Tel +34 971 35 48 18 - booking is advisable during the summer season. You will find Wepi about half way along Mahon Harbour
TAVERNA D'ES PORT- just along from the ferry terminal in Mahon, is very popular with locals and visitors and is perfect for sitting outside - try the local mussels, cheese topped aubergine, octopus and the patatas bravas with aioli and chilli oil is a must. The owner, Xavier and his family work hard to make a success of the business and provide good value and friendly service. Open all year.
CAN BERNAT DES BERNAT - If you fancy a local rural restaurant, then look no further that the country restaurant on the way towards Fornells, Can Bernat des Grau it's just past the turning to ES Grau on the left. They do really good fish but their beef is also amazing. http://www.canbernatdesgrau.com/
CAP ROIG is a really good fish restaurant with an outstanding panoramic sea view. It is perched above the rocks on the right as you travel towards Mesquida. Good value for simple, fresh, grilled fish such as sardines or Lubina. Remember to ask to see the fish and be careful not to be caught unawares by a large bill when you order expensive fish per kilo. Prices are usually on a board just outside the entrance. www.restaurantcaproig.com
PAN Y VINO- a favorite place to go when you fancy a special evening. It is near St Lluis and set in a charming landscape with dry stone walls, narrow lanes and whitewashed buildings. The restaurant is very attractive and you can eat in the attractive Minorca garden or in the old farmhouse. The warm welcome from the husband and wife team is second to none and the food is imaginative, delicious and well presented. www.panyvinomenorca.com