The coffee scene in Palma has changed significantly. A few years ago, there wasn’t much more than café solo and café con leche in the bar or cafeteria around the corner. Today you find numerous cozy cafés and cool coffee shops in town. And some places serve specialty coffee to the real aficionados. Great roasts from Mallorca, Barcelona and select manufacturers abroad. Each coffee shop stands out not only for the quality of your favorite caffeine fix but also for its individual style, menu, staff and atmosphere. Let me introduce you to my personal favorites.
Undoubtedly, La Molienda was the pioneer here. Toni Emazabel and Miquel Calvente started with the tiniest coffee shop in Palma but soon expanded and moved to a bigger place. They introduce great coffee from small roasters mainly based in Spain. La Molienda also offers healthy vegetarian snacks and freshly squeezed juices, all made from regional and ecologic products. Here’s where you get the best avocado sandwich with poached egg. If you are lucky you find a place outside on the small plaça to enjoy your breakfast or lunch break under the jacaranda trees. No matter how, the comfy place near the city campus is always busy.
Rosevelvet Bakery reminds me of those small European-style bakeries in Williamsburg. Indeed, Rosita Planisi and Fran Caballero were inspired by their trips to New York when they opened their own café in Palma, naming it after a genuine American pastry: Rose Velvet Cake. And since Rosita is a master confectioner, her pastries and cakes are among the best in town. Rosevelvet’s kitchen also offers a few hearty dishes, for example a mouthwatering pastrami sandwich. Meanwhile, Franer is always on the lookout for the latest premium roasts. Like those from The Barn, the famous Berlin coffee roaster.
La Finca also sources their specialty coffees from select European roasters who use the best beans cultivated on fincas in Ethiopia, El Salvador or Guatemala. Drop in for a cappuccino and a pastry or come for a light lunch. La Finca’s colorful salads are great feel-good food and there’s also a nice choice of tostadas and llonguets on the menu. Joan Pablo and Sebastian are most charming hosts, plus they throw on some of the best playlists. And even this time of year there are tables outside on the sunny boardwalk near the avenidas.
The Mallorcan family business Arabay Coffee has been roasting superior Arabica beans from all over the world since 1952. But it was only two years ago that they established their own café on busy Carrer Sindicat. Relish the espresso of the week, or choose one of the several filters. In summer, variations of ice coffees and frappés are most appealing. For the hungry there are tasty snacks like pa amb oli and wraps just as a choice of desserts and cakes. Every once in a while Arabay organizes barista courses, coffee tastings and workshops around the world of coffee.
Café Riutort is maybe the most urban café in town. A diverse crowd of young and old, working men and women, couples, locals and visitors meet here over a cup of coffee. I love the relaxed atmosphere at Riutort, the friendly staff and the small vegetarian menu. My favorite is their lunch-combo, a light dish with a bowl of soup and a small seasonal salad served on one plate. Leave some space for dessert and an espresso, carefully prepared by Joanaina Rosselló or Albert Comas who have been running the café for three years.
And then there is Mistral Speciality Coffee. If you are near Plaça Major just follow your nose. Until you get to the narrow side street where Greg Schuler and Agata Mikulska are roasting beans. It’s the unmistakable scent of the roasting that leads you to this Seattle-style place. Mistral is literally a coffee shop since this is where they manufacture and sell their roasts that are served in many great cafés on Mallorca. Of course you can enjoy them also right here at their counter.
Carrer del Bisbe Campins, 11
C/ Missió, 15
C/ de la Escuela Graduada, 5
Carrer del Sindicat, 5
Carrer del Carme, 25
Mistral Speciality Coffee
Carrer del Banc, 4