Chiringuitos, Ibiza

Chiringuito are restaurants stripped down to the essentials – a view, you are on the sea maybe, you have a table, the wine choice is curated, the fish is super fresh, the grill is hot, the kitchen is on top of itself, the turn around is quick enough, the staff are usually the owners. Good places in that they represent the real values of restauration. Not always cheap-cheap but still good value. Worth looking out for. Wiki tells me loftily that they are a ‘small entreprise in a more or less provisional building’…otherwise known as a shack…This is Ibiza.

Item one: the shack at the crossroads of the harbour at Pou des Lleo is in fact operated by the illustrious and accomplished restaurant of the same name up the hill known for its paella and rice and anything else these fisherman land.

Item two: round the bay a few miles further south, on the beach itself at Cala Masetella which also houses the guide book favourite El Bigotes – fried fish at 12, bullet (the local fish stew) at 2 – is this beach hut that serves grilled sardines, or grilled dover sole. With salad or chips, only these chips are thinly sliced potatoes which you might otherwise call crisps, homemade.

Item three: The receptionist at the smarter Punta de Talamasnca said wistfully – you mean the little place round the corner? Yep. Further south again, almost touching Ibiza town, Maria, Juan and Mari has no web site, has no phone, has no address apart from 07819 Talamanca. No credit cards, cash only. No Booking. Just a queue at the end of Calla Calandria. Five o’clock is probably a good time to get a table for lunch. It is a sort of container kitchen to which sails have been added and tied down with string. The yachts anchored in the bay may be worth more than a central American economy. There is no menu – just a list of fish of the day, each served with the same crisp salad and boiled waxy potatoes. No sauce, no mayonnaire, no ketchup. Just grilled.

In the past it has been called the Fish Shack and you can find that incarnation here

Item four: On the more fashionable northern shore of San Antonio, again near the better known sunset restaurant Hostel del Torre is the seemingly modest Cala Gracionetta which calls itself a chiringuito but it has now morphed into taking bookings, even for your wedding…evolution. Part of the etiquette is you may get offered a free coffee, slaked with loal hooch.

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