La “Isla Mayor” is the largest island in the Balearic Islands and has become one of the most favored islands of the Mediterranean for investors, second-home buyers, and holiday-makers.
There are many places to start a restaurant business in Mallorca. Whether beachfront or one of the beautiful villages across the island. In the capital Palma or at one of the marinas. The possibilities are infinite.
But what are the best places on the island? These are the 15 best locations where to open your restaurant business in Mallorca and guarantee your business to start from the pole position.
- Palma de Mallorca
- Puerto Portals
- Puerto Adriano
- Puerto Antrax
- Port of Sóller
- Port de Pollença
- Cala Ratjada
- Cala d’Or
- El Arenal
- Ca´n Pastilla
Palma de Mallorca
The first time I visited Mallorca, back in March 2000, I fell in love with the Island immediately. Whether you arrive by plane or from the sea by ferry or cruise liner, your view is immediately captured by the Cathedral or better said: “La Seo” which dominates Palma, the capital of the Balearic Archipelago since the opening in 1229.
The old town of Palma is one of the most fascinating and charismatic places on the whole island. While you walk through the small streets around the Catedral, you get the feeling of being transported back to the time when the Saracens were navigating across the Mediterranean. An absolute must is the Abaco Bar, just a minute away from the Palacio March, the homonymous palace of the famous bankers family.
The whole area around the Cathedral, Paseo Maritimo, and the Lonja, are undoubtedly the first places of interest and an excellent place to check for your project. However, in the last years, another part of the town has been established as the “restaurant-go out” area.
It is the neighborhood of Santa Catalina. Here an infinite variety of Bars and restaurants offer all types of food. Around the “Mercat” which is the fresh-food market, a square building right in the middle of the neighborhood, you´ll find an endless number of breakfast & brunch restaurants that open early in the morning, when the market gets busy.
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Later on, some more places open for lunch. The market now closed, and those who opened early in the morning start to close down. This is the time when people meet in Santa Catalina for the “aperitive hour.”
So, if you are looking for a place to be in Palma, Santa Catalina should awaken your interest, and I recommend you to spend a whole day there to understand the timings and see what type of businesses gets busy. Get to know your future customers.
Another part of the city you must consider is the more “chich” one, which is the neighborhood of “Jaume III.” Here is where the big firms have their showrooms. If you want your business to be in the city center and surrounded by the biggest and internationally established firms like the most prominent lawyers and accountants or even Mallorca Sotheby’s International Realty, then this is your place.
A few kilometers from the center, Portixol, a former fishing village has enjoyed significant investments and improvements over the last years,
and has been established as a new “hang-out” for those who want the good gastronomic offer and the magic flair of the beachfront village.
Reachable by bike or by foot from the Paseo Maritimo and only minutes away from the Catedral, but as well right on the drive to the airport, Portixol is absolutely a visit worth to check availability of business premises.
There are significant differences in asking prices and the required amount of money you need to establish a new business in these areas. But Palma is busy all year round. While other regions depend more on the seasonal factor, Palma is the heart of the island and will guarantee a more continuous income stream to your business. And this is a good starting point.
Let’s stay in the South-West of the Island for now and see what places fall into the best selection for opening a restaurant business. English speaking customers majorly visit this area.
Magaluf is undoubtedly one of them. There is a significant number of accommodations and clubs, as well as bars and restaurants. This town is well prepared to receive “party-hungry” folks who come each summer and during the bank holidays to party here. This is where the famed luxury beach club Nikki Beach Mallorca found its location too.
If your preferred customers are the Junger ones, then you are at the right place in Magaluf. But not only. Indeed there is a lot to do as well for families, and the large sandy beach is an attraction for itself too. Even though the place where in the past criticized due to an exaggerated party smooth, recently, considerable investment has been made to bring Magaluf back to the places to be.
There are many exclusive spots on the Island. Still, if we can make a comparison, then Puerto Portals is for Mallorca what Puerto Banus is for Marbella, on the Costa del Sol in Andalusia or Saint Tropez on the French Cote d’Azur and Portofino in Italy.
Yacht owners from the international jet set come to Puerto Portals, whose marina offers more than 600 berths. It is the place to see and be seen. The fact to have, perhaps dinner next to a famous actor or businessman makes it an ideal attraction point for not-only the rich ones.
Puerto Portals should be without a doubt on your top 10 list when looking to open a restaurant business on Mallorca.
Port Adrian has become the place to be for many millionaires. In 2012, after a restyling by the famous architect Phillipe Stark, the port re-opened. Even though I realize that this is a spot for just a few of you, owning a business at Port Adriano goes far over the simple fact of running a restaurant.
The 4000 square foot commercial area, running parallel to the docks, offers unique shopping and dining experience. Your future guests will walk down from their superyachts directly to enjoy a brunch or dinner at your place.
Party service and catering is a must and significant opportunity in all this area surrounded by exclusive properties. Customers with very high expectations and visa-gold cards in their pockets look forward to getting the best offer and service.
With more than 450 berths and a lot of restaurants and cafés, Port d’Andratx is one of the places where you can still enjoy watching the fisherman doing their daily routine work. Andratx town is just 5km away, and many people drive down to the port for lunch or dinner or enjoy the view sitting on one of the many terraces.
Whoever does visit by car Mallorca for the first time will probably visit Andratx because of its position. From here, it is only a few kilometers to Sant Elm, the starting point for boat trips to the little island of Sa Dragonera.
Probably to run a restaurant in this corner of the Island would mean to work just during the season. However, it is one of the most beautiful places in Mallorca, and it’s worth exploring.
From Sant Elm, a winding but lovely drive through the “Sierra de Tramuntana” will bring you to Valldemossa. However, the easiest way is to drive directly from Palma towards Nord and get there in about 20 minutes.
If there are many sights you can choose from when you visit the Island, Valldemossa, together with Soller, is more a must. They are imperatives. If a tourist misses them, he’s missed Mallorca.
Whether they come from the hotels scattered around the island or from one of the many cruise ships which stop at Palma`s Port, thousands of tourists drive up the valley to Valldemossa every morning to visit one of the world’s most famous buildings.
The Carthusian Monastery of Valldemossa has become the most visited great site on the whole archipelago. Better known as the place where the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin and his lover, the French writer George Sand, spent the winter of 1838-39, staying in rented rooms in the monastery.
Valldemossa is one of those places where you dream of having a Restaurant Business. You will find no sales in any real estate agent about commercial sales for Valldemossa. It happens very rarely to see here a sign with “Se Traspasa.” But it happens!S
Owning a restaurant here means that, in the season, about 5000 and more visitors per day could potentially see your menu. Of course, depending on the location. But the center is so small that you walk through it within minutes. You´ll understand that it is up to you how many will open the door and try your food.
If you want to get the remote possibility to own a business in these kinds of places, you will need to build some friends and have “your man” on the front and ready to make a call when the opportunity comes along.
Valldemossa is even busier than Palma related to the residents, but most people leave the town again in the afternoon or early evening. Take also into account that Mallorca is visited every year by thousands of bikers.
And you will see them everywhere on the island, as well in Valldemossa. Here your guests would be locals clients, guests from hotels and apartments next to the center of the town, but as well from all over the island and visitors from the cruise ships, too. You can imagine how busy it gets over the day. And this is also similar in the next town we will visit.
The real “Queen” of the Tramuntana is Sóller. Once Isolated from the rest of the island, this beautiful and authentic town became wealthy because of the valley’s abundant citrus groves, which were exported over the years directly from the “Port of Sóller.”
There is a train which arrives directly from Palma. It is called the Ferrocarril de Sóller, and thousands of tourists walk down from the little train- station to the town center.
Here, in the Plaza de Constitucion is where all happens. The iglesia de Sant Bartomeu, or “Catedral de Sóller ” dominates the szene and all over the square there are cafés and restaurants with terraces where to enjoy the magic moment.
Sóller is another place where to own a restaurant could be the fulfillment of a dream. But not so far away from here, there are a few other places you should visit before making any decision.
Port of Sóller
The first one is Port of Sóller, which was once the only connection to the world for the inhabitants of Sóller, apart from a few tortuous roads which climb through the Tramuntana mountain and before they build the tunnel which allows you now to get from Palma to Sóller within a 20-minute drive.
Well, the Port of Sóller is, without a doubt, another exciting place where to run a restaurant business. Visited by many tourists, Port of Sóller offers an excellent infrastructure and is far away from the big bustle of the island. It has its charm.
When you drive from Sóller to Port of Sóller, you should make a stop in Fornalutx, a little, charming town in the middle of the Tramuntana.
The other place you will fall in love with is Deiá. From here, you could drive back over Valldemossa or even do the exploring tour the other way round. Deiá is the top place where just a few people have the privilege to live. Just a few restaurants are operating here, and chances are quite limited to get your hands on one of those. But I like to think that nothing is impossible. It depends all on the right moment and the right connections. We will carry on with our tour and drive to the next stop, towards the north coast of the island.
The first of our next two stops on this discovering tour will bring us to the northern coast of Mallorca, where we are still far away from the big trouble of the south and where we continue to enjoy the fascinating view of the Tramuntana mountain.
As we come closer to the coast, we will discover white, sandy beaches which probably you wouldn’t expect.
Pollensa is an ancient, small, beautiful town like you have seen in the area of Valldemossa and Sóller, with attractive narrow streets and a typical main square, the Plaza Mayor, dominated by the Parroquial church dating back to the 18th century.
Opening a restaurant business in Pollensa means relying on local customers and excursionists, from early in the morning until and including dinner time. From here, within a few minutes, you can drive to the beachside, where we stop next.
Port de Pollença
This family-friendly former fisher village, situated on the upper side of the homonymous bay, is offering all types of accommodation. Excellent restaurants and a sandy beach make it the perfect place for families.
But as well for biking and hiking friends who want to make their starting point for tours into the Tramuntana or to the Cap of Formentor, the eastern end of Majorca’s Formentor peninsula. So if you dream of a restaurant business in the last corner of Mallorca, then you could have a look at this part of the island.
When you visit Alcudia, take into account that this area consists of three parts. Alcudia town, Alcudia beach, and the Port of Alcudia.
Over 200 accommodation possibilities are counting rental offers and hotels, and a 3,5km long, withe sand beach makes Alcudia the perfect place to create holidays for families, party lovers. Still, there is as well enough space to find a tranquil corner for those just looking forward to having a rest and enjoying the Mediterranean flair.
The big offer of watersports like Paddle boats, SUP, kayaks, windsurfing, and all the other imaginable activities from jogging, volley to gyms, and so on make this part of the island a big attraction point for all kinds of tourists.
Port of Alcudia, which offers ferry connections to Menorca as well as to Barcelona, is a marina with over 700 berths, surrounded by restaurants and shops.
The nearby medieval town of Alcudia is visited by nearly all people who spend their holidays here, but as well from all those driving through the Island and looking forward to discovering all the beautiful corners that Mallorca offers.
The existing service and restaurant offers are high, but chances are high, too, to find an excellent opportunity to start a restaurant business in one of these three spots.
This busy fisher port is the center of an area which is particularly loved by german tourists and many have their second homes here. This town gets especially active in the summer, and to take into account when planning here business is that people do not randomly pass through it.
To get here, for example from Palma, you have to drive a quite long way for “Mallorca´s” distances. But do not underestimate the commercial potential of the town, where more than 70 hotels are waiting for sun-hungry guests. Over 40 from these are four stars hotels!
All the eastern part of Mallorca is more isolated than the rest of the Island, and who of you is looking for a quiet place where to open a restaurant, is here in the right place to start more in-depth research.
The area is dotted with Fincas owned in significant part by Germans, but not only. The central spot of the whole region is Cala d´Or, which has nothing to envy to the other luxurious marinas on the island like Palma, Port Adriano, or Andratx.
From the very beginning, it was built trying to maintain the maximum of his originality. The marina offers 600 berths, and all you need to have an exclusive stay. From here, you can discover a more significant number of “Calas” where to enjoy the beauties of nature.
Without a doubt, one of the best places in the whole south-east was to own a restaurant business.
Not far away there is a small town which you should visit too. Santanyi is a pretty, rural, and authentic Mallorcan small town.
On your way back to Palma, you can make a stop at El Arenal, which was one of the first spots of Mallorca´s tourist era.
Situated only a few kilometers from the airport and about 15km from Palma, El Arenal is still very much on demand because of its long sandy beach.
Most guests here are young Germans who party all night and part of the day, too. And so it is for sure an excellent place to make good turnovers with a restaurant business, but it is not the place for those wanting to relax and enjoy a quiet beach day.
To finish this Island tour, we stop in Ca´n Pastilla, right next to the airport and well situated between El Arenal and Palma. It is a perfect place for family holidays but offers much more. The promenade is the ideal location for a restaurant business.
If there is any other place that you want to explore online while you are preparing your visit I recommend you to visit abc-mallorca.com, probably the most informative web you can find to know the secrets of Mallorca and not only.
Mallorca in numbers
Over ten million tourists visit the island every year, and the touristic infrastructure has grown accordingly. Mallorca counts 8 Michelin stars distributed in 7 restaurants over the island and an infinite number of establishments of any nature. From bars, breakfast & brunch places over to any category of restaurants.
Just on Tripadvisor, there are listed more than 6000 restaurant-establishments of all sorts, over 2000 hotels, 5000 apartments, 20 golf courses, and a wide variety of agencies dedicated to all kinds of outdoor and indoor activities.
Mallorca is the main base of operations for many leaders in the Hospitality Industry like the large group “Globalia,” which includes about 20 enterprises like Air Europe, Halcón Viajes, Travel Plan, Geomoon, Groundforce and so on. And many other giants in the industry like Melia Hotels International, Barceló Hoteles, Riú Hoteles, Hotelbeds Slu,
Fiesta Hotels & Resorts, TUI España, and so on. The list goes on and on.
From large marinas to small idyllic fishing ports, Mallorca offers over 14.000 berths for yachts of all sizes.
The port of Palma offers a connection to all the other islands in the archipelago as well as to the Spanish mainland.
Cruise liners from all the major ship-companies do stop at Palma´s marina, right next to the “Real Club Nautico,” from where every summer starts the famous Regata Copa del Rey.
And the airport, which is about a ten-minute drive from the center of Palma connects the island to all the major cities of Europe.
How to find the right business
If you have decided to open a Restaurant business in Mallorca, but you don’t know the Island enough to search in the right corner, I recommend you to make a list of priorities.
If you come from this industry, you know what I am talking about, but if you are a newbie, you must consider that running a restaurant, a bar, or any other type of establishment will steal your time, at the beginning all your time.
The more you can merge with what’s around you, the better your business will run. The most significant advantage of living in Mallorca is undoubtedly the fact that nothing is farther away from the capital than a 30-minute drive.
If you have a family, you must find the right place where to live. You need the right infrastructure for your kids, and so on. If you can find the business in the same area, it would be the top for your quality of life.
luxury hotel pool and summer vacation
However, you will have to invest some time to do an “in situ” research, and the better you are prepared, the easier it will be to find your dream location.
Agencies will offer you what they have on their list and what they think is good for you, but you should research the market by yourself, checking some offers before you contact any agency.
Even though the most offers you will find online are older and not anymore on the market, some of them are still available, and you could get some first impressions of asking prices.
Once you have an idea of what you are looking for and what the market is offering you should spend some time on the Island and drive around, looking for “Traspaso” or “for sale” signs and checking the actual offers in the local agencies which will inform you about the details.
My advice is to invest some time in creating a relationship with the agents. In Mallorca, there are many real-estate agencies focused only on millionaires’ villas. And the moment you enter their premises, you will notice a quite “expressive” non-interest in your request, but believe me that even here it’s about you what you can get as information.
The market in Mallorca is very clearly sub-divided, and each agent covers a specific area. In the end, it is a small Island and people know people! If you can snatch a smile even to the hardest “agent,” you are one step closer to getting that “secret-tip”….do you remember when I told you about getting your hands on a Business in Valldemossa or Sóller?
When I was researching the market myself a few years ago for a business, my partner Javier and me, we spent days talking to the same person and drinking coffee just to get that one name. And guess what? We got our information. But we invested time and were patient.
Once we were trusted, they opened the doors like we knew each other since our childhood. It was one of the most incredible times in my life as an entrepreneur. Santorini in Greece is the only place that I remember where things were similar. It is such a great feeling when you get accepted that you feel honored. I love these people and hope you will too.
Again, if you have the experience, then you will know how to proceed, but if you have not or have gone through bad experiences, then I recommend you go on slowly and check all with the Lupe. When people get the feeling you are hungry, they tend to sell to you their dream, which, perhaps, didn’t come true.
But you should go very, very analytic through the buying process. You need to do your numbers and have a crystal clear idea of what you need. Do not let other people sell you their poetry. Ask for “the numbers” and licenses. Look for a good adviser. If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true!
Here are some pages which will be a good starting point for your research:
Running a restaurant on an island isn’t much different from the mainland. And Mallorca is well prepared to satisfy any need you might have. Almost all big providers are concentrated around Palma. Just google “mayoristas mallorca,” and you’ll find all you can think of.
Best cargo connection via air as well as via sea do guarantee a continuous restocking of any type of merchandise. But you should visit the local producers, too. Starting with exquisite Marmalades, Oranges from Sóller, olive oil and olives, mushrooms, pumpkins, wine, sobrasada sausages, honey, almonds, and so on.
But as well the well-known salt from Ses Salines d’es Trenc, in Colonia Sant Jordi or the Licor de Hierbas, available as seco (dry), semi (half-dry) or dulce (sweet) and the Palo de Mallorca.
And to finish the wide variety of wines and beer which will surprise you. There are about 70 wine producers in Mallorca. The reference on the Island for wine is Catavinos, one of the most important distributors in the Balearic Archipelago.
And if you want to explore the beer-world in Mallorca, these are all micro-producer: Beer Lovers in (Alcúdia), Galilea (Puigpunyent), Cervesa des Pla (Algaida), Forastera (Molinar), Sullerica (Sóller), Myq (Alaró), Tramuntana (Palma), Nau (Santa María), Talaiotika (Felanitx), Cas Cerveser (Puigpunyent).
Vantages to live in Mallorca
Let me just quickly resume here the main reasons why so many wealthy people decide to build their second home on this Island. Indeed I think it is a combination of many factors.
Mallorca counts about 300 sunny days per year. The Mediterranean weather, with mild winters and hot, sunny summers, which are a bit sultry but tempered by sea breezes, makes life quite comfortable. The average temperature ranges from 9.5 °C in January and February to 24.5 °C in July and August.
The infrastructure all over the Island merely is best, and the flight, as well as sea connection, make it easy to reach this Archipelago. The Island has sprinkled with high quality built villas, and there is no limit about extra wishes and luxury accessories.
During the summer, it is hectic, everywhere over the Island, but out of the high season and during the winter, those who have decided to live here can enjoy this Mediterranean pearl in total peace.
Only Palma continues to be busy in the winter. Of course not like during the summer, but at least it is a 500.000 people town. This detail could be, by the way, important when you´ll decide where to open your restaurant lifestyle business.
Should you consider exploring one of the other islands in the Archipelago?
I have dedicated this article only to those places on Mallorca that I think you should visit to find the best location for your restaurant.
However, if you have the time, possibility, and curiosity, then you should pop over to the minority Islands, too.
Menorca will offer you a much more quiet and relaxing panorama; however, during the summer season, it is a real secret spot and gets quite busy, too. The Island counts a population of 67.000 and 8 municipalities. La Ciutadella and Mahon are the two main ones.
Good flight and ferry connections make Menorca easy to reach from Mallorca as well as from the mainland and the rest of the major European cities. The touristic infrastructure is well prepared to receive thousands of tourists who visit the island every year.
From party time in the bigger towns, relaxing in the sun on the fabulous beaches, or just walking through the spectacular nature. There is something for everyone and with as well enough business opportunities to explore.
Ibiza is reachable by plane and ferry as well as Menorca and well known as “The Party Island” of the Balearic Archipelago, with an infrastructure prepared to receive principally a young and wealthy public, who comes here in the summer to party non stop.
One of the busiest spots in the whole Mediterranean, this beautiful Island, is for sure the spot where you´ll have one of the most significant returns on your investment. However, the needed amount of investment is probably the highest, too.
Formentera, the last frontier and probably the most exclusive island in the archipelago, is only reachable by boat from Ibiza and in the season from the mainland, too.
This small and exclusive island is undoubtedly the most challenging and most expensive place where to look for a business opportunity. However, as always, I would never exclude any situation if it falls into my possibilities.
Making a holiday at the Balearic Archipelago, which combines the Mediterranean flair and the Spanish way of life, can be an unforgettable memory.
Those of us dream of owning the perfect lifestyle restaurant business, and combining it with an ideal location, surrounded by the beauty of a Mediterranean Island, will fall in love with Mallorca, no doubt.
However, when it comes to searching for suitable business premises, you´ve got to stay calm and concentrate on your priorities. The island has huge different spots, and each of those has different types of opportunities that must serve a specific type of customer.
Have a clear understanding of what exactly you are looking for and avoid falling into the trap of guessing. Guessing is not a good business plan!
Good luck, and enjoy your journey.