Sa Foradada is one of those eateries you remember long after the summer tan has faded. Famed for its traditional paellas cooked over a wood-fired grill, its unique setting and ambience make it one Mallorca’s most memorable experiences.
In 1972 Emilio Fernandez leased the rustic little property and created his informal cliff restaurant. Today, his daugher Lidia runs Sa Foradada.
You can’t drive here: either arrive by boat or walk down the mountain through the Son Marroig estate. If you come by boat, look out for the landmark rock with a hole in it – from which Sa Foradada took his name. Anchor in this area and take the steps directly up to the restaurant.
Walking down makes it a more memorable experience, although it does mean an uphill hike after a generous serving or two of paella and maybe some wine. To start, park the car at the top (near the Son Marroig house), and look for the wooden signpost ‘Bar Sa Foradada Rte’. Clamber over the stile at the gate and head down the mountain track. Along this route you’ll pass ancient olive trees and enjoy increasingly gorgeous Mediterranean views. You don’t need hiking boots, but we do recommend shoes suitable for walking over terrain that can be a little rough underfoot in places.
After about 40 minutes you arrive at Sa Foradada, fresh air and exercise having whetted your appetite. Here’ll you find simple décor, with quirky rustic touches such as strings of garlic and dried peppers hanging from the ceiling. Pretty much open to the elements – apart from the roof – it operates from March to October.
Sa Foradada offers three types of paella: mixed, seafood, or vegetable. Order separately or take one of their set paella menus, which include a mixed salad, dessert, water, wine, and coffee. Alternatively, select from the menu of snacks, salads, grilled fish, meat dishes, and home-made desserts. Crowd-pleasers include garlic prawns, croquettes, traditional ‘pa amb oli’ and Spanish omelette.
Watching your paella cooking over the coals and enjoying the delicious aromas of food and woodsmoke are just part of the pleasure of this place. Next there’s the pleasure of eating authentic paella in Sa Foradada’s unforgettable location. And you don’t need to worry about the calories: you’ll work off some of those walking back up to your car at Son Marroig …