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 favourite restaurant and the winner of Madeira-Web best restaurant award 2020 is again The Ritz Madeira, a grand cafe located in one of Funchal’s most emblematic buildings, on Avenida Arriaga in the cities central pedestrian boulevard next to where the cruise ships disembark their passengers at the marina. It has a large outside seating esplanade under sun shades overlooking the beautiful municipal gardens. We love the Ritz for people watching, its freshly baked cakes, homemade gelato, its fresh local fish, full restaurant and snack menu all day, its 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/showroom upstairs hosts a spectacular dinner show starring Sian Lesley and her dancers. Sian performed for many years at the Moulin Rouge De Paris, the Lido De Paris, Las Vegas and most of the regular visitors to Madeira will know Sian from her years at the Casino da Madeira, and guess what! She just got better. We give this our vote for the best night out on Madeira Island bar none, all for 45 Euros (per person) including dinner and all drinks. Doors open for dinner at 7:15pm, followed by a spectacular show after which you can dance the night away. At certain times of the year the dinner show is sold out so it’s advisable to book online, or when you arrive in Madeira at the Ritz reception or by phone.
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.
The Ritz Madeira is one the island busiest Cafes/restaurants/bars due to its great location, good value food and drink and friendly staff.
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 in 2020.