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Mallorca bars with tradition: Can Frau

Fifty golden years of service from the same family

For some of the best food in Mallorca at some of the best value for money prices then there are few better places to go than the bar Can Frau in Santa Catalina market in Palma. It's an unprepossessing place that serves up good wholesome typically Mallorcan food to a regular clientele of local people from the barrio and visitors in the know.

can frau, santa catalina market

Can Frau has been in the hands of the same family since 1966, the year that Los Bravos made a rare Spanish entry into the international charts with Black is Black, and England made a rare success in the World Cup. Since those days the bar has been pulling in the punters by serving up the likes of vegetable coca (a Mallorcan version of pizza), panades (savoury pastries), frito Mallorquín made with cuttlefish or lamb, stuffed aubergines, tripe, Mallorquin soups and paella as well as a different staple dish each day.

The only thing that has changed is the wine for sale, for as the Santa Catalina fishermen's quarter has morphed into a trendy, boho chic barrio, the bar's customers have become more demanding and prefer a 'reserva' to a table wine these days.

And what customers the bar has seen in recent years courtesy of one of Palma's very own top chefs Koldo Royo. He was in the habit of taking his celebrity chef pals to the bar when they visited him in Mallorca and the list reads like a who's who of the Michelin star firmament; Arguiñano, Arzak, Berasategui, Santamaría and Adria! In fact Ferran Adria recommended Can Frau as one of the best bars he eaten in for the Spanish national weekly publication 'Magazine!'

The Frau family are in the bar every morning at 5 am preparing the delicious dishes for the day and if you fancy sampling them seated on a bar stool or just standing and chatting at the bar, just follow your nose and the tempting aromas. For the more technically minded orienteers, they're at stall number 9 in the market.

Bon Profit!