It’s true that the smartest solution to a challenge is often the simplest. If your challenge is finding something fresh, healthy, and sustaining when you’re out – without visiting a restaurant – Simple Smart Food lives up to its name.
The first of Palma’s two Simple Smart Food Bars opened in Santa Catalina in October 2016, close to the parish church. The concept is that you order your food at the counter of the open-kitchen area and it’s freshly made for you whilst you sit and wait – listening to the appetite-stimulating sounds of chopping, blending, and juicing. Once it’s ready, you collect your order from the counter.
You can eat indoors here but I noticed quite a few people calling in for take-out orders. For anyone working in the area and in need of a feed, Simple Smart Food offers a much tastier (and healthier) alternative lunch to any plastic-wrapped mass-produced sandwich.
Simple Smart Food lives up to its name in both its style and its food-and-drink offering. The building and interior design are contemporary with a hint of industrial-chic vibe and a relaxing ambience indoors.
It’s a popular place to meet with friends, but anyone visiting on their own will feel comfortable too.
Choose from cushioned banquette seating with coffee tables, stools at shelf-tables in the windows, two tall tables with high chairs, and a wooden table for eight that’s ideal for sharing. When I visited, two customers were working on laptops (no password is needed for the free WiFi here).
If you’re on your own and prefer not to engage with electronic devices whilst eating, the small cabinet by the ‘living’ wall, has a selection of newspapers, magazines, and books. Some funky background music was playing when I visited.
Three friendly guys were working in the open-kitchen area behind the counter, wearing black Simple Smart Food t-shirts, bearing the slogan ‘Not just another juice bar’ on the back. It is, indeed, far more than that.
All the packaging at Simple Smart Food is made from renewable resources – such as bioplastics made from corn starch, and sustainably produced cellulose – and is 100-per-cent compostable. This admirable initiative is another reason to visit.
What I ate and drank
I went alone on this visit, for a quick but nutritious lunch before an important meeting. The menu is seasonal and offers healthy all-day breakfast choices, sandwiches, salads, soup of the day, and sweet treats – including vegan and raw cakes supplied by the Lloseta bakery Mrs Sweet. Drinks include Illy coffee, teas (including organic and infusions), fresh juices, smoothies, and different-flavoured ginger shots. A choice of organic rice, almond, soy, coconut, and oat milks is offered.
Simple Smart Food isn’t a vegetarian eatery, but the sandwiches and salads include vegetarian options. I chose the Beet Salad: a generous bowl of well-dressed chopped beetroot, goat’s cheese, young spinach leaves, apple, walnuts, and chilli. It was satisfying and delicious and all the better for giving me that virtuous feeling of nourishing myself.
The choice of cold-pressed juices is good, but I decided on the smoothie named Violety: a drink and dessert all in one. It’s a delicious and not-too-sweet combination of avocado, strawberry, blueberry and non-dairy milk, blended to an appealing shade of pink. I’d intended to finish with an Illy coffee, but felt sufficiently satisfied by what I had already had. I’ll go back another day for a coffee…
Well worth a visit if you like food and drink that’s prepared on the spot in front of you – and don’t mind the DIY aspect of placing and collecting your order at the counter.
I paid13,50€ for my salad and smoothie and felt this was good value, given the quality and generous portion of each item.
Good to know
Apart from in high season, it’s usually possible to find a pay-parking space in the street. The small park adjacent to the church is a good spot to enjoy a take-out order on a fine day. If you’re in the centre of Palma, you’ll find the other branch of Simple Smart Food in Plaça del Mercat.
Open in Santa Catalina from Monday to Friday 08:00-17:00h; Saturdays 09:00-16:00h; Sundays and holidays 09:00-15:00h.
Written by Jan Edwards
About the author
Jan is an English freelance writer, blogger, and radio broadcaster, who moved from Oxfordshire to Mallorca in 2004. She and her husband – aka The Boss – have since lived in rural tranquillity in a solar-electricity-powered finca near Manacor. They share their property with eight cats – only one of which moved to the island with them.
A former BBC local radio presenter, Jan hosts a weekly show on the English-language station Mallorca Sunshine Radio.
Jan has had numerous Mallorca-related articles published in print and online. She also blogs about her country life on www.livinginruralmallorca.com and two favourite subjects – gastronomy and hospitality – on www.eatdrinksleepmallorca.com. She has had several short stories published and is currently writing a novel.