Restaurants in Madeira = a jungle because there are so many. During a press trip to this beautiful Portuguese island, we got to visit several different and they were all great and special. In this post, we share the restaurants that we think deserve the attention and we let you know why you should go there! But first, let’s get to know some dishes and drinks that you need to check out while visiting Maderia.
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What do you eat in Maderia?
You can eat anything you want (obviously) but there are several dishes that are “special” for the island and that are worth checking out. Even if Madeira is part of Portugal, there are many dishes that are local and that you really can’t find on the mainland of Portugal. Here is a list of several typical local dishes of Madeira:
- Peixe Espada com Banana – It is said that Madeira is the only place in the world that serves this dish. Whether it’s true or not, we don’t know but it sure is special. It’s black scabbardfish fried with banana. This creates a unique flavor that you’ll either like or dislike.
- Bolo De Caco – Named after the stone it’s cooked on, this is the regional bread of Madiera and it’s often served with garlic butter. To say that it’s soft is not making it justice. Bolo De Caco is often served as a starter.
- Picadinho – A dish that is great for sharing in its simpleness. It’s like a stew made of beef or veal, fried with Morangueiro wine. It is often served with french fries.
- Espetada – Made on a skewer, it looks cool and is a popular way of cooking in Madeira. Traditionally, the skewers should be made from bay laurels so they get a special flavor. We had meat skewers at Adega da Quinta (read more in the article below). However, the skewer was made of steel.
- Lapas – Also called Limpets. Like clams but more chevy. They can also be found at restaurants in the Azores. Lapas are often served in the pan that they are fried in.
What do you drink in Madeira?
There is a lot to drink while being in Madeira. Actually, you can drink whatever you want. But there is a couple of special drinks that you should not miss while visiting the island of Madeira.
- Madeira wine – Wherever you go and whatever restaurant in Madeira you visit – they all have one thing in common. Of course, it’s the Madeira wine. It’s a fortified wine, similar to the mainlands Port wine. However, it’s stored in the attic instead of in a cold cellar, like with port wine. Read more about our visit to the Madeira Wine Company here.
- Poncha – Also called punch. It’s made from Aguardente, honey, sugar, and lemon juice. Then they add different fruit juices. Make sure to try it out!
- Brisa – A local company that makes different kinds of soft drinks. Make sure to order your cola or orange drink from this company and support the local businesses.
Restaurants in Madeira that you want to visit
There are a lot of restaurants in Madeira that are worth to visit. We got to check out seven different places all around the island and we loved all of them. We can recommend each and every one of them and they were all different and special.
Adega da Quinta
This is the place to visit if you want some really nice Espetadas. The restaurant is cozy and feels like coming into someone’s home. We got Bolo De Caco as a starter with a lot of small tapas-like dishes. With the skewers, we got both french fries and some sort of fried corn (that was delicious). We both loved the way that they served the Espetadas.
For dessert, we got a passionfruit cake and a fruit salad. The restaurant is also focused on wine and serve a large variety of wines from the region. The place is also a hotel so yes to all the hotel guests that have the restaurant that close to their room. And the portions are huge so you will not be hungry when you leave.
Information about Adega da Quinta
Address: R. José Joaquim da Costa, 9325-034 Madeira, Portugal.
Opening hours: Daily 12:30 – 15:30 and 19:00 – 22:30.
Website for Adega da Quinta.
Restaurant Vila do Peixe
This is the place to visit if you want some fresh fish. If you prefer meat – the restaurant Vila do Carne is right beside Vila do Peixe and they have the same owner. Here, we got to eat three different kinds of fish (scabbard, grouper, and tuna) and they were all tasty and good. Our favorite was scabbard fish belly. If service-minded places are your thing, this is the place to be. They constantly fill up your glass with both water and wine. For dessert, we got ice cream with coffee, vanilla, and chocolate flavor.
We got a tour of both restaurants and next time we are in Madeira, we will check out Vila do Carne. Both restaurants have the same special feeling to them.
Information about Vila do Peixe
Address: Rua Doutor João Abel de Freitas 30A, 9300-048 Câmara de Lobos, Portugal.
Opening hours: Daily 12:00 – 22:30.
Website for Vila do Peixe.
MAKTUB Paul do Mar
This restaurant is located about an hour from Funchal, Madeira. And in all honesty, we were not too happy that we were going for an hour to get to the restaurant. Well, that was until we came to MAKTUB and saw this incredible place. The place is perfect for watching the sunset (even though we missed it). The vibes of the restaurant are awesome! Previous visitors have left nice messages and signatures on the walls. I drank a really nice Mohito and Mini had a beer.
There are wind chimes, a bike and a hammock in the ceiling = what a great idea! As a starter, we got mackerel. It was prepared in the most awesome way! They brought it raw and then they torched it right in front of us. It was the perfect amount of salt and really nice placed on a plate that resembled a tile. The main course was a red snapper and it looked so nice with the edible flowers that I didn’t want to eat it. Everything with this was awesome and we would love to be back here.
Information about MAKTUB Paul do Mar
Address: Avenida Pescadores Paulenses nº 160, Madeira 9370-545 Portugal.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday 14:00 – 00:00.
Facebook page of restaurant MAKTUB.
Patio das Babosas
We got the pleasure of having lunch in this restaurant. Located on top of the Monte Parish, the view from here is spectacular. This is the place where Mini fell in love with Peixe Espada com Banana, the fish with a banana dish. I ended up having a risotto with shrimps. The food was great and there was so much food – we could not finish it all!
Make sure to ask for a table outside because there you will be able to enjoy your meal in a beautiful environment. There are many great restaurants in Madeira and this is one of them!
Information about Patio das Babosas
Address: Largo das Babosas 16, Funchal, Portugal.
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 – 22:00. Sunday: 10:00 – 20.00.
Facebook page of Patio das Babosas.
Hostel Santa Maria
Ok, at first, when we heard that this was a hostel – we were surprised because of the name. How good can the food be at a hostel? Turns out that the answer is “really good”! This was one of the more elaborate restaurants that we got to visit. Here, we got to try out the drink Poncha and boy was it good. And we also drank Barbusano wine, a wine that has somewhat of a salty flavor due to its place of growing (that is close by the sea).
Mini had salmon for dinner and I ordered the black Angus steak on the stone. This was the first time that we had dinner cooked on a slab of granite. However, I loved, loved, loved this way of eating and felt that this was such an amazing experience. The only downside was that the heat from the stone – I became super warm! When visiting the restaurants in Madeira, make sure to visit Hostel Santa Maria.
Information about Hostel Santa Maria
Address: Rua Santa Maria 143A Old Town, Funchal, Madeira 9060-291, Portugal.
Opening hours: Daily 12:00 – 23:00.
Website for the restaurant Hostel Santa Maria.
Aqua Natura Madeira Hotel
Located in Porto Moniz, close to the natural pools. Here, you can eat great food while watching people swimming in the natural pools below. This was the first time we tried Lapas. So how were they? As long as we didn’t look at them they were really good. But then I made the mistake of taking a closer look at them and then they weren’t as good. Don’t get me wrong, we still finished them all.
After the Lapas, we had lasagne and it was both good and nice plated. We both love food where you can feel the chef’s love within the dish – something that we could feel here. A great restaurant in Porto Moniz.
Information about Aqua Natura Madeira Hotel
Address: Frente de Mar de Porto Moniz, Porto Moniz, Portugal.
Website of Aqua Natura Madeira Hotel.
Estalagem da Ponta do Sol
A really nice restaurant that is more high end. Here you can eat modern food but with a local twist. Mini had the fish and I had a steak. We were sitting inside but they also have a balcony where you can be seated. The food was really good and the portions were generous.
And it continued with generous desserts after our dinner. Estalagem da Ponta do Sol is a nice restaurant that we can recommend to everyone that is in Maderia.
Information about Estalagem da Ponta do Sol
Address: Caminho do Passo, 9360-529 Ponta do Sol, Portugal.
Website to Estalagem da Ponta do Sol.
There are a lot of restaurants in Madeira and we will continue to visit them – one by one the next time we are on the amazing island!