Santa Catalina el barrio trendy de Palma
04 March, 2016
Santa Catalina is now Palma’s fashionable quarter. Located just outside the erstwhile walled city west of Palma, in recent years it has undergone a facelift, turning it into a more spacious, more integral, must-visit district of the city.
Owing to its proximity to the harbour, it was originally a fishing quarter. In the 18th century some industrial activity emerged in the area, as evinced by the iconic Es Jonquet windmills and the aptly named Calle Industria. However, it reached the peak of its industrial expansion and development in the late-19th and early-20th century. Dating precisely from that period are the Modernist-style houses spread across the district, some of which were built by the Indianos on their return from Cuba.
Santa Catalina is a district of one- or two-storey houses, with balconies and Majorcan blinds, and small interior gardens or patios. A stroll through its quiet streets attests to an unusual mix of people, including a good number of foreigners that have succumbed to this quaint old fishermen’s quarter and have decided to settle there.
The hub of the area is the Santa Catalina Market, a veritable neighbourhood meeting point. Housed in a building dating from 1920, it preserves much of its original charm and is the ideal place for shopping for fresh, seasonal produce, most of which is sourced locally.
One of the claims to fame of Santa Catalina is the large number of restaurants that have opened there in the last few years, making it the perfect spot for ending a day’s sightseeing through Palma with a rewarding culinary experience. Among the standout venues we find:
Cantina Patrón Lunares. Located on the premises of the mutual benefit society, Montepío del Arrabal, it features highly poetic interior design in which the maritime and industrial past merges to perfection with vintage furniture and craft objects. The restaurant offers traditional island cuisine enhanced with seafood dishes from further afield.
Restaurante Duke. Here, the menu faithfully reflects the taste of the owners, who are great travellers, as it is characterised by dishes from all over the planet. The small interior is decorated with surfing motifs and photos of their journeys and is the perfect spot for eating wholesome food based on original recipes in a peaceful setting. We recommend ending off the meal with a mojito, which are mouth-watering.
Restaurante Hanaita. Despite the plain, rather dowdy decor of this small venue, it is undoubtedly one of the best Japanese restaurants in Palma, featuring excellent quality dishes.
Restaurante Xoriguer. Located on the Calle Fábrica, this is one of Palma’s classics. It also features some excellent, traditional Basque cuisine, and a wide variety of splendid meat dishes, including the best Kobe and Black Angus beef.
Gin Burger. As its name suggests, this cosy, modern locale offers delicious hamburgers which you can wash down with a magnificent gin tonic – they carry a large variety of gins. The venue is suitable for all guests, including vegetarians and celiacs, who have also been catered for on the menu.
Apart from its culinary offerings, Santa Catalina has also become a hub of the city’s artistic activity, which is centred around the Teatro Mar i Terra.
Now that you’re genned up about Palma’s trendiest district, all that’s left is for you to book your Vueling and enjoy it.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
04 March, 2016