A subtle evolution is turning the area around Palma’s Avenidas into a local foodies’ destination. Just off the busy inner ring road, you’ll find great eateries including Basic, La Mémé, Claxon, Casa Maruka, Buscando El Norte, Clandestí, Arume, and La Parada. And all are a short walk from the railway and bus station and underground car parks.
La Parada (Spanish for ‘the stop’) is the latest addition to this burgeoning gastronomic scene. Located in Palma’s original colonial-style railway station building in Plaza de España, it’s adjacent to the Estación Intermodal.
You have to go inside to appreciate the two-year planning that went into this project. The owners worked with designer Marga Rotger (who did Palma’s Nakar Hotel interiors) to create something that would impress even in cities like London, New York or Madrid. Marisa Ruiz, one of the owners, told us: “We wanted to make a cool oasis in downtown Palma, where you can eat and drink in a relaxed friendly atmosphere.” They have succeeded.
The servers’ distinctive uniforms complement La Parada’s stylish design. However, it’s not all about appearance, because the waiting staff members are also efficient and friendly.
The cuisine is described as ‘traveller’, reflecting global culinary influences. This food is created by an enthusiastic kitchen brigade that makes everything in-house, from locally sourced high-quality produce. They even cut and cook the potato crisps!
The menu is divided into six ‘paradas’: Pizzas & Co, Burgers & Co, ‘Fritos’, Natural, ‘Vermutería’, and ‘Canalla’. These are all under the control of Andalusian head chef Nacho Amores, whose experience includes working at Santi Taura and Cap Rocat.
La Parada is open for breakfast (in the café area), drinks, lunches, afternoon snacks, dinners, and cocktails. We opted for lunch, finding a pleasing buzz of conversation. To start, we shared some ‘Fritos’: highly recommended croquettes and moreish langoustines with basil and home-made chili dipping sauce.
Next, we tested fish and meat main plates. First of these was the Mallorcan skate – marinated in red miso and wrapped in banana leaves, then cooked on the Kamado grill. This innovative dish was both delicious and satisfying in size. Our flavourful ‘picaña’ of Black Angus with a Peruvian (Lima) sauce was served on a hot rock atop a wooden platter; the high quality of the meat was evident. We finished with La Parada’s version of lemon pie.
You should book if you want to enjoy the Friday-night live music or the five-course Xperience surprise menu (Monday to Thursday) for up to 12 diners – watching the culinary action from a seat at the counter.
Not surprisingly, it seems that everyone wants to stop at La Parada.