Self Catering in Madeira
There are literally hundreds of bars and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets in Funchal. Be prepared to be "pitched" by the waiter as you walk past, especially when passing the harbour-front cafes and old town, so stand your ground if the restaurant is not what you are looking for. Sometimes it is easier to simply say that you have already eaten! Most offer good value for money but if you are on a limited budget watch out for the "free" snacks that can mysteriously appear with your first round of drinks. Often garlic bread or soft cheeses, depending upon which restaurant you are in, if eaten they can be charged to your bill!
Modern - The Ritz - As you approach Funchal centre on Av. Arriaga (opposite the park and taxi rank). Great service, food and outdoor dining. Music outside and evening entertainment. You'll almost certainly pass the venue which has been serving visitors for over 100 years. Not to be missed for a drink at very least.
Asian Fusion - Restaurant Sheng - Close to the Carlton Hotel (walk right down the hill) - Rua Imperatriz Dona Amélia - tel 291 228 552
A very modern, stylish restaurant offering a mixture of dishes from across the far east. A must for fans of chinese, Thai, and Japanese foods.
Chinese - Grande Muralha - Old Town - Largo do Corpo, no.21 - tel 291 235 7700
Under the same management as Restaurant Sheng (above), the food and service are both good. Being in the Old Town, it has plenty of tables outside in the alleyway.
Traditional - Restaurante O Tapassol - Old Town, close to cable car - Rua D.Carlos I, No. 62 - tel 291 225 023
Traditional dishes, two floors with upstairs opening out to a popular veranda. A change of ownership has realy improved this restaurant.
Traditional - Casa Portuguesa - Old Town - Travessa das Torres , - tel 291 228 446
A very good restaurant with all indoor dining but live music from Juan Caldarado who you will probably see playing the guitar in the centre of town during lunch (trademark hat!). He plays from 7.30 to 9ish here.
Traditional - Le Jardin Restaurante - Old Town, next door to Tapassol Restaurante- Rua D.Carlos I, - tel 291 222 864
A very good restaurant offering traditional dishes with flambe specialities. Same owner as Tapassol (above) and excellent service.
Grill House - Chimarrão - Forum Madeira, Top floor of the shopping centre ( short walk from Vila Formosa ) - tel 291 210 026 623. www.chimarrao.pt. Part of a Portuguese chain and they do amazing buffets for just a few Euros. All sorts of meats are cooked on a skewer and then delivered to your table, one after another until you tell them to stop! They make great Caprianas drinks too!!
Italian - Dona Amélia - Close to the Carlton Hotel - Rua Imperatriz Dona Amélia 83 - tel 291 225784. www.donaameliarestaurant.com.
Two floors of very good Italian cuisine. Slightly more expensive over local restaurants but very well presented and authentic. Same owners for neighbouring restaurant Casa Velha, Rua Imperatriz Dona Amélia 69.
Traditional & International - Patio Restaurant - City Centre, off Rua Carreira, No 43 (look for the Photography Museum) - tel 291 22 73 76.
One of my "must visit" places, great for just coffee & lunch as well as dinner. Like the Golden Gate Cafe, this is part of the old traditional Madeira where you can imagine what it was like being an explorer in the 1930's. Great service and atmosphere. Hard to find, look for a courtyard with a small entrance right off the street (one of the back streets with all the small shops).
Chinese - China Town - Close to the Hotel Zone- Centro Comercial Monumental 1, Loja 31 - tel 291 765 457
Very large, modern, traditional Chinese restaurant.
Traditional - Cusémio's - Old Town, close to cable car - Rua de Santa Mario N. 169 - tel 291 224 007
Once frequented by Michael Winner, very good experience mixing local dished with Fado singing. Also linked to Bar Marcelino 'pao e binho' just around the corner. Both well worth a visit!
Modern - ATLANTIC Restaurante - Estrada Monumental 179, - tel 351 291 761 703, Facebook
A 20 min walk from the apartment (just past the Lido next to Vidamar Hotel), a stunning setting for lunch on a nice day. Great food and service, recommended
Traditional + African Influence - O Jango - Old Town, close to cable car - Rua de Santa Mario 166, - tel 291 221 280
Traditional mixed with the African influence in Madeira. Small yet very popular restaurant. Booking is recommended.
Traditional - Restaurante Tokos - Close to the former Crown Plaza Hotel, CS Resort, - Estrada Monumental, 169, - tel 291 77 10 19. In my opinion, one of the best restaurants in Madeira. Booking is essential! Owner/chief Filipe dos Ramos will welcome you personally and show you one of the best local fish selections on the island, featured to the left. An experience not to be missed, both the food and Filipe . www.restaurantetokos.com
Indian - Taj Mahal - Next to the Carlton Hotel - Rua Carvalho Araújo, - tel 291 228038
If you missed "English" food the Taj Mahal serves an excellent "English styled curry." Modern, good service, and very popular being so close to the Carlton and Savoy. Recommend booking for 7-9pm sittings.
Indian - Indian House - Rua da Carreira 144, - tel 351 291 241 653
Nice food, hotter than I expected for Madeira (reference the Madras)! http://indianhousetandoori.com
Modern - Praia Formosa Cafe - On Praia Formosa Beach promenade, the one with blue and white stripes
A great cafe with excelent food and service. Extremely good value for money too. Have a beer, snack, lunch or dinner (open all day).
Traditional - Cá Te Espero - Up a short hill from Tokos Restaurant - Rua da Casa Branca, 40, - tel 291 765 096
Lovely small restaurant serving very good local dishes, especially the local favourite Espada and banana
Traditional - Quinta Palmeira - Close to The Savoy Hotel - Ave. do Infante, 17/19, - tel 291 221 814A "complex" of cafe style and arts & crafts facilities on street level with an 'a la carte' restaurant down the steps to the right-handside. The restaurant is well above local standards plus excellent wine list (but beware of the Rothschild!!) www.quintapalmeira.com
Indian - Bombay Palace - Close to The Lido & Cliff Bay Hotel - Rua do Gorgulho, - tel 291 763 110
Clean, spacious and good service.
Traditional - Casa Madeirense - Estrada Monumental, 153, - tel 291 766 700
Good restaurant, especially the sea food platters (lobsters can come in at 90 Euros +) and steaks. www.casamadeirense.com
Traditional - Celeiro - Rua dos Aranhas, 22, - tel 291 23 06 22
Lovely little restaurant, better than average,small amount of outdoor seating.
Traditional - Jardins Do Infante - Close to the old Savoy Hotel site (now rubble) - Ave. Do Infante, 56, - tel 291 226 083/4
Very good food with plentiful seating outside
Chinese - Sun China Restaurante - Close to The Lido & Cliff Bay Hotel - Rua do Gorgulho, - tel 291 772 934
Very good Chinese restaurant with quite a few out door tables too.
Traditional - Solar D'Ajuda - Just up the hill from the Lido
Outside is not very imposing but it serves first class food at a reasonable price. It gets crowded so either book a table or arrive after 8.30pm. Try the steak on the stone. (John & Barb, June 2008).
Traditional - Restaurant do Forte - Is the old forte & art gallery at the very end of the Old Town. tel 291 235 470. www.grupo-forte.com/. Slightly more expensive that some of the other restaurants but equally more up-market silver service.
Chinese - TE Oriental - About 15 minute walk into town from apartment (towards town) along Estrada Monumental close to the Lido, - tel 291 771 643. Chinese restaurant with quite impressive frontage of red lights and glass. Offer a take-away service too.
Traditional - CV, Casa do Vizinho - Close to the Savoy Hotel - Rua Imperatriz Dona Amélia 74 (road between the Sayoy and Carlton) - tel 291 281 515. Nice restaurant with traditional dishes plus a few more tastier options. Many Madeiran dishes are quite dry but this restaurant offered some options with lovely sauces.
Drinks & Entertainment
The Casino - Close to the Savoy Hotel - Ave. Do Infante
Good fun and not too costly, you can play the tables with bets from 2.5 Euros so not intimidating either. Quite often there are shows on too. I believe you can gain access for free if you buy a drink or just a few Euros if not. Previous guests have rated this venue, I think it’s worth a visit if you fancy going into town for more than just a meal.
The Prince Albert Pub - Close to the Savoy Hotel - Rua Imperatriz Dona Amélia (road between the Sayoy and Carlton) - tel 291 235 793
Well, every country has one & it’s opposite an Irish Bar too!! It does come in handy if you can’t get “the match” on the cable TV at Vila Formosa, it has EuroSport 2 on constantly...in English of course!
Pestana Miramar - Just before the bridge into town, opposite Reids, about 20 minutes walk - tel 291 706 100. See here
They offer the best cocktail bar in Funchal plus the hotel has live music and dancing on every night bar Monday (on the 5th floor and open to non-residents) Look for the sign “Cocktail Bar”. It does have a great restaurant too if you decide to stay.
Reid's Palace - the most famous hotel on the island and one of the first! Just at the start of Estrada Monumental overlooking Funchal bay
Great for cocktails with an amazing view and service of course. Budget 50 Euros for two but, in my view, well worth it! Dinner options for non residents too.
Outside of Funchal
Santana, North East Madeira - Hotel Quinta do Furao, Achada do Gramacho, 9230-082 Santana, Madeira. tel 291 570 100. www.quintadofurao.com
A hotel with wonderful restaurant. If you are out on an island tour with a taxi driver ask to be dropped here for lunch. The restaurant is first class and has plentiful seating outside with views from a balcony a few hundred metres above sea level.
email me your restaurant suggestions and comments
Funchal Old Town, full of restaurants and character
Restaurante Tokos, In the Hotel Zone. Filipe with his famous fish selection
Praia Formosa Beach, below the apartment
Restaurante do Forte
At the very end of the Old Town in Fuchal, something different where you can dine in the old fortress.
Rue Da Carreira, in the middle of Funchal, is a pleasant pedestrianised street with several restaurants
The Atlantic Restaurante off Estrada Monumental close to the Lido.
Quinta do Furao
A table with a view! This place is in Santana, North Coast
The Ritz Madeira, one of the oldest cafes in Madeira with great atmostphere and food.