Palma – Ca’n Joan De S’aigo

This chocolate and dessert cafe was opened in the eighteenth century, one of the earliest of its type in the country. The cafe has a feeling of heritage, it reminded me of some of the older cafes in Trieste. Anyway, it was also one of the relatively few locations in this part of Palma that was open in the afternoon, and since it was well reviewed, I felt a little visit was necessary.

Grand surroundings, but the environment still felt informal and comfortable. The service was attentive and engaging, with the staff members smiling and greeting customers promptly. Some reviews said that customers should order at the counter, but there seemed to be a full table service in operation when I was there. It was helpful that there were menus in English, although the pastries section still used the Spanish terms and that’s understandable as there’s probably no obvious English word, but I did quickly rush to Google to find the most local option that I could find.

Thanks to Google, I made a decision. This spiral pastry is a speciality of the Balearic Islands, the Ensaïmada, and I went for the Chantilly Cream option. It was a larger pastry than I was expecting with a generous filling of cream, with the pastry being light and sweet. The coffee was also entirely acceptable, with a rich taste. The pastry and coffee came to around £3.75, reasonable given the comfortable and historic surroundings.

At lunch-times and during the evenings, it’s apparently often so busy that a queue forms and there can be quite a wait for a table. I can see why, there’s some tradition here and it’s the original branch as a couple of other cafes have been opened by the same family. It was also notable that when I was in the cafe there was a mixture of locals and tourists, rather than it just being a tourist trap.