Eating out in Madeira
Thanks to its fertile soil and abundant fish, Madeira's traditional dishes are very healthy. Fish dishes, like scabbard fillet, tuna steak and escabeche tuna, and meat dishes like the traditional brochette and marinated meat, accompanied by the traditional fried corn and tasty Bolo do Caco bread, are a must for visitors to the island.
In Madeira and Porto Santo there are restaurants for all tastes, from the most modern and sophisticated eateries with international cuisine to regional restaurants and welcoming, traditional taverns.
And here we go…
Cervejaria Alemã (Caniço de Baixo), Santo António, As Vides and 'Adega da Quinta' at Quinta do Estreito (all in Estreito de Câmara de Lobos), Miradouro (São Roque), Montanha (Estrada Conde Carvalhal), Zarco’s (São Gonçalo), Portela à Vista (Portela)
Restaurants specialized in fish:
By the Sea (Praia Formosa), Doca do Cavacos, Marisqueira o Barqueiro (both at Centromar), Lido Mar (in Lido), Jaquet and O Jango (both in the Old Town), Bar Amarelo and Palmeiras (both in Caniçal)
Local and international cuisine (moderate to average price level):
Almofariz, Monumental Grill (all Ajuda area), Sol y Mar, Chanceler, Terrace d’Ajuda, Moby Dick, Paradise (all Lido area), Solar d’Ajuda (also Mexican specialties), Casa António, White House, Ca T’Espero (all Rua da Casa Branca – Lido area), O Túnel (also English food – near Vila Ramos), Tasca Espanhola, (also Spanish specialties – opposite Savoy Hotel), Os Combatentes, Almirante Reis (near market in the Old Town)
International and regional/Portuguese specialties (higher price level):
Tropical, Tokos, Casa Madeirense (all Estrada Monumental - Lido), Brasserie and Fora d’Água (both at the Lido Promenade), O Mediterrâneo (CC Monumental Lido), Jardins do Infante, Espaço Café (near Savoy Hotel) and Golden Gate (city centre).
First class and 5-star-hotel restaurants (upper price category):
Quinta Palmeira (next to Savoy), Villa Cipriani (next to Reid’s) and…almost every bigger 5 & 4 star hotel usually has at least one outstanding restaurant, mostly offering excellent international specialties and buffets that is open to the public!
Chinese and Indian food & Italian pastas and pizzas & hamburgers:
If, even on your holidays, you just cannot be without your Chinese or Indian food, pizza or hamburger, don’t worry, there are plenty of these specialized restaurants, pizzerias, fast food places and snack bars to be found spread all over the city centre of Funchal, in the Lido area, in the proximity of big hotels and in all bigger shopping centers.
Funchal’s historic Old Town has very much to offer from the tourist point of view, which is also the reason why you will find many traditional and long established restaurants here. They are already well known to many tourists who return to Madeira year after year and always go back to these restaurants for another tasty lunch or dinner!
The choice is not easy here as there are plenty of restaurants and snack bars, mostly all of them offering regional specialties as well as international dishes. Just stroll along and let your senses decide! Price level in this area is in general a bit higher than in the old town but it is still reasonable and anyway…how often in your life can you enjoy a nice lunch or dinner while watching a famous cruise ship coming in?
Have your lunch or dinner with the locals!
We can also safely recommend you to join the locals in the small restaurants and snack bars spread all over the narrow back streets (like ‘Rua da Carreira’, ‘Rua das Murças’, ‘Rua do Bispo’, ‘Rua Queimada de Cima’, ‘Rua Queimada de Baixo’) in Funchal where you will often find freshly prepared daily dishes at extremely reasonable prices. Try them; you’ll be pleasantly surprised!