Alfonso Ochoa Vega
Best Pamboli in Mallorca
Trying a Pa-amb-oli is definitely a must when you visit Mallorca. Pa-amb-oli literally translates to Bread-with-oil and in some would call it a type of open-face sandwich, but that's boring, pamboli sounds funnier, and we can assure you it’s simple but very yummy! Locals practically have it as a meal option for breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack, and/or for dinner. You might drop the butter for life after trying it.
We'll start with the instructions to build a proper Mallorcan Pa-amb-oli:
Step 1: Grab a slice of Mallorcan Bread (preferably toasted). Editors note: DEFINITELY Toasted.
Step 2: Cut a Ramallet tomato* in half and rub its content on the bread.
Step 3: Pour some olive oil on top (the amount is personal. ED Note: More than what you think is right, is better)
Step 4: Sprinkle some salt on top (The better the salt, the better the pa-amb-oli. Flor de sal de Es Trenc preferably. Local from Mallorca!)
Step 5: The classical option here would be the ‘mixto’ version, decorating the slice with some Serrano Ham (or hand-cut Iberic Ham if you're feeling fancy) and local cheese. A vegetarian option would be with some ‘Trempó’ salad or avocado on top. Some local olives or 'Fonoll marí' (Samphire) on the side, and done! Bon profit!
* Ramallet Tomato is a kind of tomato which characterizes for having a very thick skin. Not great for cooking it whole, hence the rubbing.
During our trips, we recommend a few places to try-out this Mallorcan sandwich, depending on where your itinerary takes you. These are some of our favorite places:
Cycling Planet Café & Shop, Alaro: our local bike shop, so this will always be at the top of our list. A very cool venue where you’ll find classic pa-amb-olis to modern versions with avocado, alfalfa, or even Nutella. We regularly work here because we love their coffee. The owners are always smiling Laura and David.
Ca’n Mir, Pollença: Tapas bar in the old town of Pollença owned and run by our friend and chef Luis. If you get the chance to go there, tell him you're with us :)
Quitapenas, Valldemossa: Cute little place in the marvelous town of Valldemossa. Amazingly elaborated pa-amb-oli options with some of the most carefully selected cured meat, sausages, and other toppings you will ever find on a pamboli. As their motto says: Simple Local Food, that could be an understatement.
Can Salom, Petra: classic cyclists stop on the square. The director, called Joan is super friendly. Just tell him you're coming on behalf of Barbara Mesquida Mora, it's a running joke, he might invite you some awesome cakes.
Foc i Caliu, Selva: this place specializes in grilled meat, but you can order some proper pa-amb-olis here too. We had one with tender grilled meat and veggies on top actually, and it was amazingly good! Something different for sure!
S’Hostal, Montuiri: many local cyclists stop in this town for a pa-amb-oli. S´hostal is the place where the farmers back in the days used to stop for the night in their commute to sell goods, so expect nothing fancy, but the pa-amb-olis are big and good.
Es Brollador, Esporles: One of the many bars and restaurants along the main road in the quaint town of Esporles. Watch cyclists zoom by as you sit on the terrace and enjoy your meal.
El Convent, Puig Santa Magdalena: You’ll have to climb a 3km steep hill to get some amazing views and be able to try their ‘make-your-own-pa-amb-oli’ at their buffet on the top. At least you’ll have a downhill just after lunch.
Would you like to try building your own version at home?
These are the basics with products you might find around:
- Good thick-sliced bread.
- Special tomatoes (to rub) that are almost too ripe, so extra juicy
- Good extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt (preferably laminated, not too thick)
- Toppings: get creative!
Good luck and enjoy!