01 Nov Market Hopping in Ibiza
Much of a restaurant’s magic resides in the market produce that goes into prepping its menu. The quality of these ingredients, in turn, depends on securing trustworthy suppliers, who can guarantee steady deliveries and the top quality we require. At Es Torrent, we have quite a few direct suppliers (fishermen, farmers, olive growers, butchers, etc.) but, mostly, we go to market. We love being the early birds at our favorite stands and choosing the freshest produce – fish straight off the boat and just-picked vegetables.
Ibiza, in fact, is an island with a long tradition of markets. The oldest market still in operation is Mercat Vell (Old Market) at the foot of the walls in Ibiza Town, whose stalls offer excellent fruits and vegetables. It is located in Plaça de la Constitució (Constitution Square), where the farmers of yore used to gather to sell their produce, long before the present-day building existed. A structure was finally built in 1872 in the form of a small Greek temple.
However, because this venerable old institution is located in a pedestrian area, it is tricky for restaurants (who are always in a hurry) to use it regularly. For this reason, the market we use most often is Mercat Nou (New Market) on C/ Canaries, 5, in the city’s old expansion district next to the Peace Park. Not only are there a good number of high quality fishmonger’s, butcher’s and spice stalls, but also green grocer’s who supply the vegetables we need when our farmers run out. It is the largest market on the island and offers the widest selection of goods and produce. However, it is not the only one.
The next largest market is Es Mercat in Santa Eulària des Riu (C/ del Sol, s/n), which, although it is too far away for our day-to-day shopping, offers many excellent fishmonger’s, green grocer’s and butcher’s. It is located behind the Town Hall, next to the car park. Sant Antoni, as well, has a small market, largely in disuse with only a few stalls left, but those that remain are of superior quality. Its name is: Es Clot Marès (C/ Bartomeu Vicent Ramon).
Nor can we fail to mention the local farmers markets that dot the island. In Ibiza Town, there is one on the street Vicent Serra i Orvay 16, and in Sant Antoni there is one next to the parking lot in Ses Variades, at the intersection of C/ Madrid and C/ Vara de Rey.
There are also small shopping hubs where you can find all the staples. The main one closest to us is Can Bellotera on the Sant Josep Road, km 1.6. They have practically everything one needs: fishmonger’s, butcher’s, green grocer’s, wines and spirits, etc.
Our customers often ask where we obtain the produce we serve. This post is our best attempt at an answer. Though, naturally, we like to keep a few secrets. Bon appétit!