Madeira, its capital Funchal and the island of Porto Santo has some 1,000 restaurants catering for all tastes, from the most modern and sophisticated eateries with international cuisine to regional restaurants and welcoming, traditional taverns, and of course global fast food chains. The hardest part is when it comes to making the right choice to satisfy both your stomach and your wallet!
Thanks to the islands fertile soil and always summer climate, fresh fruit and vegetables grow all year round. With an abundant source of local fish and meat, coming from the Azores islands, Madeira's traditional dishes are tasty and very healthy. Fish dishes include scabbard fillet, line caught local tuna steak and escabeche tuna, sea bass, sea bream, and meat dishes, such as the traditional brochette and marinated meat, often accompanied by the traditional fried corn and tasty Bolo do Caco bread, are a must for visitors to the island.
To try and choose from such an immense variety of restaurants can be difficult as the standard of food preparation and service in Madeira is high. However, our two favourite restaurants and the winners of Madeira-Web best restaurant awards 2018 are:
Il Gallo D'Oro Restaurant. Located at the 5 Star Cliff Bay Hotel it is the only two star Michelin restaurant on the island. Opened in 2004 with its famous French Chef Benoît Sinthon, they were awarded their first Michelin star in 2009 and received their second Michelin star in 2017. For serious foodies, this is your best choice, but please make sure you to reserve a table before your holiday, as seating is limited to 30 people. WEBSITE: ilgallodoro.portobay.com
Our other winner is The Ritz Madeira, a grand cafe located in one of Funchal’s most emblematic buildings, on Avenida Arriaga in central Funchal, with a large outside seating esplanade under the sun shades overlooking the beautiful municipal gardens. Famous for its freshly baked cakes, homemade gelato, desserts, and its luxurious afternoon tea, which can be taken on the first floor open air veranda. The cafés kitchens are open from 11 am to 11 pm, 365 days a year and serves a variety of dishes from light snacks to local fresh fish, and gourmet steaks. Every Saturday night the restaurant upstairs hosts a dinner show starring Sian Lesley and her dancers, dinner starts at 7pm, followed by a spectacular show after which you can dance the night away. The dinner show costs €45 per person including drinks and starts at 7 pm.
Sian started her career at the Moulin Rouge De Paris. She later joined Miss Bluebell at the Lido De Paris and in Las Vegas. After moving to Madeira, Sian starred for many years at the Casino Da Madeira. Today, she performs exclusively at The Ritz Madeira.
So whether its people watching, enjoying a couple of drinks from their wide selection of Portuguese and Madeira wines, nibbling homemade pastries or indulging in some of their homemade unique gelato, snacks or dinner, The Ritz Madeira is our favourite place to be.