What Is Café del Mar Famous For?


What makes Café del Mar famous? In a word. Sunset. But there’s so much more to it under the surface that just begs to be explored. 

Situated in Sant Antoni de Portmany, Ibiza, Café del Mar has personified Bohemian Ibiza chic since it opened its doors in 1980. 

With a prime location offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, it’s no wonder this place has become synonymous with spectacular sunsets, ambience, and a unique atmosphere.

What many people may not know is that Café del Mar is not just famous for its incredible sunsets; it’s also the birthplace of a groundbreaking record label born out of the Balearic Beat.

In 1999, it founded Café del Mar Music, which became celebrated for its series of chillout CDs that have been released annually since. These compilations pioneered the chill-out genre, further cementing the bar’s reputation as a haven for lovers of laid-back tunes and captivating views.

I’ve always been struck by the marvellous combination of top-notch cuisine, delectable cocktails, and an unparalleled atmosphere. 

This place truly embodies the spirit of Ibiza, making it a must-experience hotspot for anyone visiting the island. So here is my ode to CdM!

🌱 Café del Mar: The Origin

Founding and Location

Café del Mar was first established in 1980 along the sunset strip in Sant Antoni de Portmany, a beautiful town in Ibiza. Over the years, it has gained worldwide recognition and has become one of the most famous beach clubs. 

The original Café del Mar was the beginning of something new.

Where great crowds gathered in the magical time of unique circumstances.

Jose Padilla

Architect Lluis Güell and Design

Lluis Güell’s design efforts genuinely captured the essence of the Ibizan landscape and incorporated local materials and traditional building techniques into the stunning architecture. 

The overall vibe of Café del Mar is undeniably unique, with both locals and tourists captivated by its sunset views, delicious food, and carefully curated playlists.

You instantly feel the energy and warmth that has made it famous worldwide. And can’t help but admire the creativity of the architect.

🌌 Café del Mar’s Atmosphere

Sunset and Views

Honestly, it’s one of the main reasons I keep going back. There is something about the way the golden hues of the setting sun reflect off the water offering breathtaking views of the sinking star above the sea.

Lounges and Seating

I love how the venue combines beach club, bar, and lounge elements. The outdoor seating area is always in hot demand, especially around sunset, because it immerses you in the stunning views.

Café del Mar isn’t just famous for its sunsets and views – it’s also a cultural phenomenon known for its distinct musical curations. So it’s no surprise that the seating and lounge areas are designed with relaxation in mind.

📸by: Sebastian Coman

🎶 Musical Legacy

Balearic Ambient and Chill-Out

I’ve always been fascinated by the musical legacy of Café del Mar, known for pioneering the Balearic ambient and chill-out genres. 

Offering a unique blend of soothing and melodic tunes, perfect for enjoying the sunset or simply relaxing. 

The chill-out genre first gained popularity in the 90s with artists such as Gary B, who crafted their music with influences from various genres, creating a distinct sound that resonates with the atmosphere.

Compilation Albums

Over the years, Café del Mar has released numerous compilation albums, starting with their first release in 1994, titled “Café del Mar Ibiza Volumen Uno.” 

The late great José Padilla compiled the first six. It was initially available on cassette but soon transitioned to newer formats as technology evolved. 

These compilations provided a platform for artists and DJs to showcase their chill-out music to a broader audience. And the popularity of these albums has contributed significantly to the growth and recognition of the chill-out genre and the Cafe del Mar brand.


Numerous noteworthy DJs have contributed to Café del Mar’s musical journey. They’ve played a crucial role in curating the musical experiences offered at the venue, often performing live sets and creating memorable moments for guests. 

Moreover, these DJs have contributed to the success of Café del Mar by participating in the creation of the label’s compilation albums, sharing their distinct sounds, and cultivating the Balearic ambient culture.

Café del Mar’s association with Eye Q Records, one of the early pioneers of trance and chill-out music, helped to carve out its unique identity in the music industry. 

Over the years, the music label has expanded its reach by working with various artists and DJs, making it a hub for emerging and established chill-out talents.

🔖 The Café Del Mar Brand

Expansion and Global Reach

It has grown into a global brand over the years. Now, franchises exist in various locations worldwide, such as Malta and Cartagena de Indias. Each site draws on its locale in terms of design to ensure that each is as unique as its surroundings. 

Record Label and Collaborations

DJ José Padilla, who gained fame with his chill sunset sets that started in 1991, was the initial driving force behind their music releases. He sadly passed away in 2020, but his influence on the brand continues.

I bought my first CdM compilation in 2001 (volume 8) and discovered my love for electronic, downtempo, and acoustic music for the first time. That particular album was compiled by Luke Neville & Ben Cherill.

Some notable featured artists include Chicane and Moby, proving Cafe del Mar’s music offerings’ dedication to quality and diversity.

Their success through their expansion, global reach, and record label collaborations shows their dedication to providing a unique and enjoyable experience for guests like me who appreciate the finer things in life.

🍸 Cuisine and Beverages

Restaurant and Dining Options

The Mediterranean-inspired cuisine takes full advantage of the locale and makes for a yummy experience. 

The dishes here cater to a range of tastes, from light bites to full meals. Some of my personal favourites include fresh oysters, grilled prawns, and paella.

Here’s a quick preview of the types of dishes you might find:

  • Starters: Gazpacho, tuna tartare, and smoked salmon
  • Main Courses: Black rice with calamari, seabass fillet, and Ibiza-style beef stew
  • Desserts: Tiramisu, chocolate mousse, and local pastries

Sunset Bar and Cocktails

The main attraction for me at Café del Mar is its famed Sunset Bar. This is where you can enjoy the most iconic sunsets in Ibiza while sipping on some of their signature cocktails. 

The panoramic views of the coast and the enchanting ambience set the mood for a memorable evening.

Some of the must-try cocktails include:

  • Sunset Negroni: A twist on the classic Negroni with a hint of passion fruit
  • Mediterranean Margarita: A refreshing blend of tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime, and basil
  • Balearic Mojito: A vibrant mix of rum, fresh mint, lime, and a splash of Cava

The atmosphere at the Sunset Bar effortlessly transitions from day to night, making it an ideal spot to relax after a day at the beach or before heading out to party at one of Ibiza’s famous clubs. 

In addition to the great food and drinks, Café del Mar also hosts various music events throughout the season, drawing in crowds from all over Europe to experience its laid-back vibes and stunning sunsets.

📲 Digital Presence

YouTube Channel

As a fan of the chillout genre, I’ve grown to love their YouTube channel for the sheer vastness of the collection. The channel houses more than 200 videos, a mixture of full-set recordings to singles from the label itself. It’s a gold mine, trust me!

Streaming Services

Their digital repertoire often incorporates excellent sound quality and unique styles. I particularly enjoy the blend of house, downtempo, and ambient tracks that are carefully curated into their playlists.

  • Spotify: This is my go-to app for building the perfect chill-out playlists. The fact that Café del Mar has a strong presence here makes it even better.
  • Deezer: Another platform where I found their chillout tracks that suit my taste.
  • DAB Radio: I sometimes stumble upon Café del Mar tunes while listening to digital radio stations. It’s always a treat when that happens.

Café del Mar’s digital presence has been a crucial factor in keeping the charm of their chillout music alive and accessible. 

The expansion into various platforms allows fans to dive into their soundscapes and journeys of relaxation and serenity.

📅 Café del Mar Today

Events and Performances

Whenever I visitI’m always amazed by the variety of events and performances they offer. They frequently host live music, focusing on electronic and chillout genres, catering to a diverse audience. 

Besides that, they organise special theme nights and celebrations to keep things fresh and exciting for locals and tourists alike.

Legacy and Influence

Over the years, the Café del Mar has significantly impacted the music industry, particularly in the electronic and chillout genres.

As a result of its success, the café has managed to expand into a fully-fledged music label. These factors have helped establish Café del Mar as a household name, symbolising the best of Ibiza’s chillout and electronic music scene.

It’s always incredible to see how the café, which started as a simple bar in San Antoni, has grown into a global lifestyle brand. 

This growth has allowed them to open entertainment venues worldwide, sharing the Café del Mar experience with a broader audience. 

My experiences there have definitely left a lasting impression and cemented the special place it holds in the history of music and Ibiza.