Just an advice: if you don’t like spices like me, ask always what kind of spice the cook is going to use because he (or she) is surely going to use one. The first time we went there we order a seafood stew and we asked not to utilized coriander (cuentros in Portuguese); in fact, the cooked didn’t utilized it but cumin in large quantity. Even worse! Everything you order have three different portion: small, medium and big (and the price are consequent). We found small portion enough and this system very smart. You can eat inside or on the terrace. The ambience is minimal and friendly.
the place is breathtaking. It’s like to dine in the ocean. The service can be even rude (not all of them speak English fluently) but the seafood is terrific and you won’t ever forget the atmosphere. Just an advice: if you don’t like spices like me, ask always what kind of spice the cook is going to use because he (or she) is surely going to use one. The first time we went there we order a seafood stew and what I could smell and taste was only coriander (cuentros in Portuguese).
Favorite Dish: Grilled mix was great
if you are in Santana (and you have to visit it…just be careful to the timetable of the “teleferico”, it isn’t always open) this place can be a nice and cheap opportunity. This bar-restaurant is driven by a family from Madeira who has been living in Paris for 25 years. Food is simple but very good and the people very friendly.
Favorite Dish: cod fish
Superb views of the surrounding hills, the southern coast of Madeira and the Ocean. The food is even better, the best meal in Madeira Island.
Favorite Dish: "Espetada" of Fresh rump of Beef. very juicy & tender meat.
Not especially modern furnished but nice restaurant located in Porto Moniz near the Living Science Centre roundabout (in Moniz everything is 'just near':)
Naturally I tried sea products - tuna steak was great, great, great. "espetada" with parsley and garlic also was yummy. I don't complain about "espetada" with bananas - Madeira delicacy. For all of mentioned meals the best companion is "milho frito" - fried corn-flour cubes (see my separate tip in local customs category).
Good mood is not only because great food but also relaxing atmosphere of this place, ocean in your ears and sun in windows.
In Sao Vicente - in opposite to the sea (on something like promenade) are located the row of restaurants. One of them - more or less in the row centre - is Ferro Velho.
Take a seat outside and ask for some fish dishes. We tried grilled sardines and local specialite - fish called Pargo (eng. red bream). Both were delicious.
My Sao Vicente caves tip
"O Fio" - Casa de Cha/Teahouse - it's the full name of this marvellous place between centre of Ponta do Pargo and lightouse located on the west end of island.
Teahouses are traces of English history on Madeira. During the lazy afternoon you can stop in and drink (no necessary at 5 pm:) excellent tea, a small glass of Madeira wine or/and ask for local cake.
In "O Fio" this relaxing atmospehere is also underlined by extraordinary location. On the hill, near the lighthouse (5 min by car) with tremendous view of ocean you can find charming, traditional house with outside walls decorated by colourful flowers. Lovely!
Interior is modern equipped but comfortable. Try some coffee (or tea), Madeira wine and chocolate cake. Here you can also ask for lunch dishes. And... stare at ocean horizon!!
This is just general advice for eating on Madeira. If you love seafood, this is paradise for you. If you're a meat-lover, try the espetada, it's delicious. In Funchal, there are numerous restaurants, so we won't even mention any of these.
In Jardim do Mar, there are several restaurants. One bar/cafe by the sea where you can get some seafood or a cheap sandwich after spending the day on the rock beach (this is very cheap and cozy). Further up the road, is a more expensive seafood restaurant. Both have excellent viewpoints over the water where you can sit and watch the sunset.
One thing to be aware of is the bad service on Madeira. People work at their own pace and if you aren't used to this or don't expect this, you may be in for a suprise. It may, for example, take 40 minutes to 1 hour to get a beer or chips brought to your table (this is outside of Funchal since the capital is more used to tourists). One pizza place in Ponta do Sol actually refused to serve us. We therfore found it much less of a hassle to simply cook most of our food back at our apartment (the view was better, it was more romantic and we got our food in a timely manner), then occasionally eat out to try some of the local cuisine.
Sometimes it's very difficult to find a good restaurant in foreign countries where we can have diner at about 18:00u. Of course we had our little girl Iris with us and she was only one year old, so needed to go to bed not too late. Usually we had a very good lunch and ate at our diner at home.
But this restaurant had his kitchen open from about 17:30u and that was just good enough for us. Of course we were the only one at that time, but we didn't matter. The food was good and the service even better, because we were helped quickly and with a smile!
Favorite Dish: We had this Mateus Vinho de Mesa at a this restaurant in Santo da Serra and it took us some time to get this label off. But anyway...we were pleasantly surprised by the appealing easy drinking medium dry style with a light pritz and its light fruit flavours. The shape of the bottle is a bit different and can't fit into a conventional wine rack. But that doesn't matter; because it is not meant to be aged so don't plan on keeping it too long.
In Choupana Hills I discovered my favourite hotel of all time (so far) and in its main restaurant, Xopana, I found my favourite restaurant.
I ordered the tasting menu on two occasions as it was just so perfect. In addition to the delightful food, each course is accompanied by a glass of local wine, port, or (of course) Madeira wine.
The hotel itself is the very essence of sophisticated (though not stuffy) perfection, and its restaurant follows in similar fashion.
The decor is modern and simple, the food is a mix of European and Fusion, and the service is the essence of perfect attention without being overpoweringly cloying.
After dinner take a snifter of brandy out to the decking overlooking the pool and view Funchal from six thousand feet, watching the twinkling lights of the City and the twinkling stars above. You will be lulled to a perfect sleep by the food, the wine, and the very wonderment of the atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: The tasting menu - a little taste of perfection in every morsel, with wines to match.
While I wasn't too impressed with Madeira, I was stunned by its gastronomically excellent restaurants.
Ristorante Villa Cipriani is part of the renowned Reids Palace Hotel but is accessed seperately from the street.
Book early to secure one of those perfect cliffside tables overlooking the sea. They are much coveted and hard to come by. The view is second to none - I have posted a couple of pics but they don't even come close to depicting the perfection of the view here.
Although it belongs to the somewhat stuffy Reids, the atmosphere here is far more casual and relaxing.
The food is Italian and very good, though I did eat better at our hotel (more of that in a seperate posting).
You are almost guaranteed to see a famous face or two here.
vagrant is the name of the yact "anchored" between the marina and the path of the main street of funchal by the bay. it's well known because they say it belonged to the beatles once.now it's used as a restaurant, and there yu can dine and spend a gorgeous time.
The "pearl" of the Atlantic keeps the promise of extraordinary holidays with its beautiful scenic setting, mild climate, relaxing ambience, colourful folklore and, last but not least, a most seducing gastronomy
Favorite Dish: .
Madeira's most original dishes excels: the "espetada", a laurel stick spit with carefully seasoned and charcoal grilled cubes of meat. Usually it is served hanging from a special iron device.
this restaurant offers you all that and lot more.
and as you can see on pic we have to go along with they dancing floklore to end a perfect dinner party
Little restaurant, with a great ambiance in old town. Nice people. Don´t miss this restaurant.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish: Sea Foof Rice.
Tomato Soup/Fish Soup/Scabard Fish Chef´s Style/Grilled Swordfish/Paella a la Valenciana/Clams on Cataplana/Clams a la Bolhão Pato/Prawns Indian Style/Bouilliabaisse/Spawn (scabard fish)/Steak "Jango" Style.
The most typical restaurant in Madeira. Dinner is accompanied by live music; fates and the traditional folklore. The service is excellent!
Favorite Dish: The most traditional plate is kebab of cow meat (Espetadas) accompanied of fried corn and sweet potato. It cannot lose the entrances of a special bread (Bolo do caco), nor the passion fruit puding for dessert. Good appetite!