Food Glorious Food: 10 Traditional Ibiza Dishes You Must Try

This past Sunday saw the “Arroz de Matanza World Championship” in San Antonio where 40 teams competed to impress the judges with their version of one of Ibiza’s most famous traditional rice dishes. Cati Ribas of Sant Gertrudis Driving School won for the 3rd consecutive year in what was a fantastic festival of food and drink that was enjoyed by over 2000 people eating and drinking to their hearts content.

San Antonio – Jan 2016
In celebration of Ibiza’s fine food tradition here’s 10 local delicacies that originated on the island using local produce and which still continue to this day.


1 Ensalada Payesa  

Made from potatoes, roasted peppers and boiled eggs and combined with sliced ​​onions, fresh tomatoes and olives this tasty starter can be accompanied by dried fish in oil. Perfect for the warm summer months

2 Sobrasada  

The main pickings from the “matanza” (slaughter of the family pig- see arroz de matanza) sobrasada is made from the lean meat of the pig and some belly pork, all minced and mixed with paprika, salt and spices. It’s heavy and hearty and is quite delicious as a starter or snack on warm toasted bread.


3 Arroz de Matanza

Arroz de Matanza is one of the most distinctive, rich and tasty dishes from Ibiza’s gastronomic history. Mixing rice with pork and herbs in a rich sauce it was usually eaten only once a year using the leftovers from the ‘matanza’ (when Ibicencan families traditionally slaughtered their pig in December to give them enough sustenance for the cold winter months, one large pig would give out enough food for a family to survive).  Now this typical dish is served daily in many restaurants on the island.

4 Sofrit Pages

Veggies look away now! A delicious dish using lamb, chicken, pork, sobrasada and potatoes prepared in a large skillet with spices and garlic. Recipes change from family to family but it’s a great comfort food and hangover cure but don’t count the calories as it’s not exactly your 5 a day. One plate is usually more than enough. Guilty pleasure!

5 Bullit de Peix 

The definitive Ibiza dish for fish lovers carefully prepared using different types of fresh catch in a stock. Part soup, part casserole, part stew depending on your viewpoint but always amazingly tasty. This is a delicacy nowadays and prices can be high but if you are a foodie then this dish really needs to be tried to be believed.


6 Flaó  

The definitive traditional Ibiza dessert with its distinctive flavour and soft texture made with eggs, fresh cheese (or cottage cheese), aniseed and mint leaves. Eaten as a dessert or an indulging mid-morning accompaniment with your tea or coffee.

7. Orelletes  

These biscuit type sweets are named after their shape that resembles an ear. Made with flour, lemon zest and aniseed, fried in oil and dipped in lots sugar (who needs a diet anyway!).  Traditionally made for Easter but now easy to find throughout the year. Eaten as a dessert or snack and usually accompanied by a glass of sweet wine or herbias.

8 Greixonera

Ibiza’s version of good old bread and butter pudding which is made from leftover ensaimadas (a local sweet bread). Normally served as the desert on a local ‘menu del dia”. Heavy and hearty and the perfect precursor to an afternoon siesta. You are in Spain after all. 


9 Vin Payes 

The islands’s take on your dads homebrew originally made for the long winter months as an accompaniment for the matanza on the cold winter nights. Homemade dark red wine made with grapes crushed by the feet of the local younger generation. Add gaseosa (lemonade) for a fruity cocktail that ‘gets the job done’.

10  Hierbas Ibicencas

A true marmite of liqueurs, very sweet tasting, you’re gonna either love it or hate it!  Made and produced in Ibiza by local distilleries using herbs from the island. If/when you get the taste it will become part of your Ibiza culinary experience with most restaurants offering you a shot of hierbas on the house at the end of your meal.

So not only is the white isle blessed with amazing beaches and scenery, over 300 days of sunshine every year and a world famous nightlife scene it also has some of the best family restaurants in the Med.

Ibiza Beach Bed Backlash

Trouble is brewing for beach clubs and restaurants who continually charge large amounts of money for sunbeds on public beaches.

Since the new year there’s been a growing noise on the white isle led by the left wing Guanyem political party and also local journalists who say that these ‘high end’ beach establishments are privatizing public spaces and have no right to charge such sums of money when it clearly states that there is a maximum amount that can charged per sunbed. 

Currently beach establishments pay for the beach concession but have guidelines to what they can and can’t do. Some get round the maximum charge by offering a ‘minimum’ spend’ per sunbed serving food and drink such as sushi, champagne and other luxury items whilst the clients are relaxing in the sun. Now some of the local population have had enough and say that if these clients want to eat and drink then they should go into the private part of the restaurant and not do it in the public area of the beach. They feel they are being excluded even though the beach is a public area where they just want to lay down their towel and have a swim. 

With Ibiza relentlessly heading towards a more upmarket crowd and with the big shift of political power in the last local elections from right to left it seems inevitable that something will have to give sooner or later.

Sant Josep Mayor Josep Mari Ribas has already bowed under pressure and promised to decrease the number of sunbeds and parasols in his municipality by 900 and remember Sant Josep covers major beaches such as Cala Bassa, Cala Tarida, Cala Jondal, Las Salinas, Es Cavallet and Playa d’en Bossa. Sr Mari Ribas has also categorically stated that large ‘Balinese’ style sunbeds are not allowed on public beaches. Even Vicent Torres, president of the island council, has weighed in saying that the situation “completely distorts the coastal landscape of Ibiza”.

So as we approach summer don’t be surprised if there’s a sacrificial lamb or two along the way as the town halls pay lip service to those who got them elected. Vive Le Revolution 

10 Things you MUST do in Ibiza in 2016


HAPPY NEW YEAR! Now that the festivities are finally over it’s time to focus on the summer. New year/new goals as they say so here’s a few suggestion of what you can do this coming year on the White Isle.


Photo:Piers Dupoy

Time to get spiritual and be drawn to the ‘magnetism’ of this stunning mesozoic limestone rock rising over a quarter of a mile from the ocean. If you are of an emotional disposition then take some hankies and be careful not to propose to the person next to you.

Cost: Zero investment for priceless memories


Photo:Daddy’s Got Sweets

Relaxing pursuits are all good and well but Ibiza without excess is like Jack Daniels without Coca Cola so throw caution to the wind and don’t stop until your voice has gone, your mouth is full of ulcers and your credit card can take no more, health permitting of course. Note:mobile phone likely to go missing

Cost: How long is a piece of string and who are you partying with? Try Clockwork Orange Ibiza 2016 – the original hellraisers


Photo:Stephen Mills

Ibiza is hippy at heart so pull on your flares, put flower chains in your hair and experience one of the many flower power festivals throughout the year; San Antonio in Jan and Oct, San Jose in March and Pacha and Destino during the summer. Peace out Man!

Cost: A trip to a charity shop and the loss of your inhibitions for a night


Photo:Walking Ibiza

All those tracks, coves, beaches and hidden gems that you never even knew existed. There’s so much more to Ibiza than sun, sea & party, you just have to care enough to bother. This is the REAL Ibiza!

Cost: 15-99 euros will give you enough dining stories for a lifetime – see Walking Ibiza for more details



This world heritage site is the heart of the island and you might think that you know the old town but not until you hear first hand of its history can you truly appreciate how far the island has come over the last thousand years. Let international actress Paz Vega guide you through the streets

Cost: Rent an Audio Tour from the Ibiza tourism office


Ibiza is known for excess buts it’s also famous for holistic spirituality and relaxation. Your body needs recuperation and there’s nothing better than a relaxing day at one of the many spas now on the island.

Cost: Massage from 40 euros with Kerry or a full spa day at Atzaro for 120 euros including a delicious lunch


Photo:Claire B

Catching the sunset is easy but the sunrise is more of a challenge. Set your alarm or stay sober enough to experience a modern day wonder as night turns to day on the worlds most famous party island. Watch out for the walk of shamers on your way home.

Cost: A long siesta if you take the 2nd option



A few over priced beers and a bottle of French plonk should start the process nicely. Stop sneering and start enjoying, it’s Ibiza and nobody cares who you are back in the real world

Cost: about 100 euros…..for starters. Try Ocean Beach for a fun day out


Ibiza is all about the big names in the big clubs so what better souvenir than you getting up close and personal with a world famous DJ so get your camera phone at the ready, wait for the right moment and give it your best sullen pout. Remember that grinning like a Cheshire cat is not cool. As they say: If it’s not on Social Media it never happened

Cost: The loss of a little self respect is a small price to pay for all those likes on Bragbook. Likes = popularity, right? 


Photo:Ibiza Speedboats

It’s amazing how many have never ‘made it’ over to the true Jewel of the Med. Only 30 mins by boat lies somewhere that will truly blow your socks off, if you were wearing any that is (note: flip flops and socks are unacceptable at any time)

Cost: Private speedboat with Boat Charter Company from 80 euros per person or 29 euros return with Aquabus for the ferry and 10 euros for a ham baguette from the local bakery. Cheaper than flying to Barbados.

These are just a few ideas, have I missed any or can you think of anything that others should know about? Contact me on Twitter, Facebook or email. Roll on Ibiza 2016!