Amongst many things that attracted me to Palma during my first visit back in 2015 there were this city´s countless little independent cafés – each of them uniquely charming and cosy. I love the fact that Palma is not filled up with uniformed global chains on every corner, although a few have crept in over the years. Instead, most cafés here are unique, charming and very welcoming. Over the years, while writing my columns, I have spoken to many café owners in town and some have become dear friends.

One such unique place is Café Riutort, where I don't know the owners, but have been enjoying their great coffee and homemade pastries for years. Last spring one of my girlfriends suggested that we go there for lunch; I was pleasantly surprised, and we have been repeating the experience every couple of weeks ever since.

Each day there is one “menu del dia”. You can order only a starter, only a main dish, or combine the two, if you are hungry enough, and save a few euros in the process. Even though a single menu choice might sound limiting, I have not been disappointed so far. Obviously, there is other food on offer as well and I have seen plenty of tasty looking llonguets being dished out of the kitchen at regular intervals.

As my friend, her little son and I ordered - and waited a little longer fur our food than we would have liked - I had time to observe the place. As I decided to write about Riutort before coming for that lunch, I looked at it with a fresh pair of eyes, like I was there for the first time. I loved the DIY, “rough at the edges” feel of the place. This was contrasted sharply by some pastel coloured sea life artwork on one of the walls. The tables and chairs were mismatched, but worked together perfectly, giving of an air of a cool, yet completely unpretentious place.

The crowd was a mixture of of all ages, but slightly more leaning towards the young. I think I heard mostly Spanish and Catalan, and some English, but this was definitely not a tourist trap. In fact, it was so far as you can get from a tourist trap, despite its proximity to La Rambla. Just local people, enjoying local food.

Now, the food… Each time I came here, it was super fresh and excellently prepared. The dishes are typically made using local, seasonal produce and this week was no exception. Today's starter was a generous portion of hummus made out of white beans. I never knew this was a thing, but I thoroughly enjoyed both its mild yet earthy taste and a slightly- smoother-than-usual texture. This was sprinkled with some wild greens, crumbly white cheese, crushed hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds. In addition there was a thick round slice of roasted aubergine smeared with a slight spicy sauce. The whole dish was served with half a slice of excellent sourdough bread, courtesy of Thomas Bakeshop (whose apple strudel is the best I have ever had outside of Austria - but I digress, apologies!).

The main dish was just as good and just as colourful. On a bed of some thick chunks of the abovementioned bread, there was a generous portion of steamed Swiss chard, some other greens, six or seven large chunks of roasted pumpkin, some wafer thin slices of pickled beetroot and a sprinkling more of pomegranate seeds. This was topped up by a perfectly poached egg, for an additional helping of protein.

I have a saying, when I eat something particularly delicious that is also good for me, that “my stomach is smiling”. Well, it was definitely smiling after that meal at Riutort! This lunch also made me think of my poor mother, who spent the best part of my childhood trying to get me to eat any vegetables. Here I was, licking both bowls clean and thoroughly enjoying the experience. Who would have thought?

Related news

I need to mention that these healthy meals can be accompanied by some equally delicious freshly squeezed juices. This time I opted for apple, and it served me well. There was no time for Riutort’s always excellent coffee this time, but I have noticed that they had San Augustin’s Santa Barbara blend in the mills (stylish packaging!) and I will definitely be back to try that with some home-made cookies very soon.


Daily menu 12.50

Freshly squeezed apple juice 4.60

Total 17.10


Café Riutort

Carrer del Carme, Palma

971 09 27 24

Instagram: @caferiutort