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Ibiza Winter Restaurants - Sabores Naturales, San Juan

Sabores Naturales in San Juan is a charming, quirky, family-run restaurant and an absolute delight for vegetarians. We went, we ate and we loved it!

The little restaurant of Sabores Naturales in San Juan in the north of Ibiza is a place of many pleasant surprises.

For a start, with its unassuming and modest exterior, you could be forgiven for walking past and hardly noticing it as you make your way along San Juan main street, but dear readers, please believe us when we say that walking past this particular little gem without calling in and sampling at least some of their delights, is a thing you definitely do not want to do.

Originally opening in 2002 as a take-away only (a service which is still available), family-run Sabores Naturales is a totally vegetarian restaurant…this in itself was no surprise…but what did surprise us was the range of food available. In all honesty, I actually thought that it was "just" a vegetarian pizza place…wrong!

Owner, Ivan, explained that today's Special of the Day was Polenta con Verduras - a corn dish with vegetables - and directed us to the blackboard displaying the Dishes of the Day, of which there were seven in total, ranging in price from €11 to €16. In addition, there is a set menu del dia, consisting of salad, pizza slice, drink and dessert, plus a breakfast menu and a whole host of pizzas, salads, baguette sandwiches and toasted sandwiches to choose from.

This is before we get to the huge selection of drinks; natural juices and fruit shakes, non-alcoholic fruit cocktails, teas and infusions, lassi, beer and wine. Oh, and did I mention a tantalizing selection of home-made cakes, biscuits, truffles and pastries?

The interior of the restaurant is small and cosy with interesting artwork and quirky little signs adorning the walls, but it being yet another sunny Ibiza winter day, my friends and I decided to eat in the courtyard, and made our choices from the Dishes of the Day; Gnocchi with spinach and ricotta, and vegetarian hamburger for my two dining companions, and a slice of Pizza Reina for me.

Sipping a glass of ecological wine which was surprisingly (yes, again!) smooth and fruity, as we waited for our lunch to arrive, my friends, who are both self-confessed avid carnivores, admitted that they had some reservations as to how they would find this vegetarian food. When it arrived, however, it was a different story altogether.

Within seconds, the gnocchi had been honoured with "the best gnocchi I have ever tasted" award, and our editor-in-chief's veggie burger, complete with cheese and onion and served with side salad, had her allocating Sabores Naturales as her future Ibiza restaurant of choice whenever she is craving good, hearty, healthy food. As for my very generous slice of Pizza Reina, packed with walnuts, mushrooms, courgettes, tomato and Parmesan cheese, although I am usually uninspired by pizza, the wide variety of well-balanced flavours and the perfect texture was enough to have me devouring my lunch in record time, and feeling more than satisfied and happy with my choice.

For dessert, of which we all tried a bit of each others, we opted for spelt biscuit with chocolate, caracola (a kind of doughy pastry), and dark chocolate truffle. Highly deceptive in appearance, the caracola was deliciously sweet and spiced, the truffle extremely moor-ish and the biscuit pure melt in the mouth gorgeousness.

A good strong coffee (available with soy milk if preferred) to round off our lunch, and we were all in agreement; we would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Sabores Naturales as a must-try vegetarian restaurant during winter on Ibiza.

Quick Facts:

What? Sabores Naturales

Where? San Juan

When? Until the end of 2013, every day except Saturday from midday until around 16.00 hrs.
From January 2014 until May, open only on Sundays to coincide with San Juan market from 11.00 until around 16.00

Why? Good quality, healthy vegetarian food in a friendly and intimate atmosphere.

Average Spend Per Head? You can expect to be nicely full when you leave Sabores Naturales for around €20.

Disabled Access? Unfortunately not at the moment.

Room for Improvement? We found the lights in the toilets to be a little bit dim.

Top Tips? Patience! This is a place to relax and allow good, wholesome, vegetarian food to be prepared and served in its own time. It is well worth the wait!

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