Vegan Survival Tips for es Mercadal, Menorca: Restaurante Molí d’es Racó

Please note: This article was first published on The Vegan Tourist and last updated October 27, 2013. I deleted inactive links on 28 November 2021. I could not verify that the restaurant is still in business.

My spring vacation on the island of Menorca, Spain, is but a distant memory. Nevertheless, I still have three more articles about Menorca that I want to post on this website. Somehow I never quite got around to writing them, but today’s finally the day. Sunday, October 27, 2013, 4:00 AM.

© Ingrid Haunold

First, I’d like to tell you about my visit to Restaurante Molí d’es Racó in es Mercadal. The town of es Mercadal is situated at the centre of the island, along the main road (Me 1), and you can’t miss the restaurant. It’s located inside an old windmill, which towers over the town. This family restaurant is huge – three dining rooms seat 200 people – and I would imagine that quite a few tourist buses stop by during the high season. But don’t let that deter you. We had a late lunch/early dinner there at 3:45 PM on a Saturday afternoon during the off-season (April 27, 2013), and the restaurant was packed with Menorcans. We were lucky to get a table, and I didn’t notice any other (non-Spanish speaking) tourists at the restaurant during our visit. It’s clearly very popular with the locals, too.

© Ingrid Haunold

Our friendly waiter spoke a little German and I was able to explain to him what “vegan “meant. He assured me that one of the island’s specialties – oli i aigua (tomato soup with figs) was 100% vegan. I wasn’t – and still am – not sure about the broth. It’s difficult to explain to a non-vegan that even vegetable broths aren’t necessarily vegan, so I usually never order soups at restaurants. But there weren’t many vegan choices at Restaurante Molí d’es Racó, and as oli i aigua is one of the very few Menorcan dishes that are (supposedly) vegan (the other being pa amb oil and variations thereof), we went ahead and ordered it. It was delicious.

© Ingrid Haunold

My second choice – oven-baked aubergines stuffed with breadcrumbs – didn’t impress me. Again, the waiter assured me that this dish was vegan, but I couldn’t help wondering about the breadcrumbs. What can I say, the devil’s in the details – not all kinds of bread are vegan. Aside from that, I didn’t much care for this dish anyway. I’m not much for soggy breadcrumbs, vegan or not. I wouldn’t order it again.

I ordered fried potatoes as a side dish, and this was a big mistake. I love potatoes, but these were fried in the same oil as all the other dishes – the restaurant specializes in meat and fish – and the potatoes had a fishy flavour to them. Don’t order them; in fact, don’t order anything fried.

Unfortunately, this leaves you with very few choices at Restaurante Molí d’es Racó. In addition to what I ordered, there was also a mixed salad on offer, but that was about it in terms of vegan choices. The restaurant did serve a small bowl of olives as a free appetizer (very good, I ate them all), and we also ordered some bread, so there was plenty of food to eat – we didn’t leave hungry. Have a salad, order the soup, and enjoy the atmosphere of this unique Menorcan restaurant.

Prices are moderate at Restaurante Molí d’es Racó. The soup was 6.50 Euros per person, the stuffed aubergines with the fried potatoes cost 6.95 Euros, and an order of bread per person was 65 cents. Mineral water (1 litre) was 2.65 Euros.

Address: c/Major 53 , es Mercadal, Menorca

Opening hours: daily 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM, and 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM

Phone: +34 – 971 – 375 392

Website: inactive. This restaurant may no longer be in business.

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