Where to eat in Madeira
Where are the best places to eat 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 and the Madeirans rely on tourism so their service and warmth is genuine. If you have any recommendations, or a listed restaurant has changed since COVID19, please email Mark Blezard at firstname.lastname@example.org
FUNCHAL - eating out
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.
The Golden Gate Cafe - Av. Zarco 2A, centre of Funchal. Reopened in 2017 and is a spectacular venue for both lunch and dinner. Tel 351 291 222 978. Full of history, the Golden Gate is one of the oldest establishments in the city and must not be missed.
Mark Blezard says, "A spectacular building, great location, service, and food. What's not to love about the Golden Gate?"
Theos - next door to the Golden Gate, 351 291 607 055. Easily missed as it is upstairs but this really is an excellent restaurant and must be sampled for lunch, dinner or both!
Mark Blezard says, "It took me years to find this restaurant due to its location upstairs, it is now one of our must-visit venues each trip. Do not miss it!"
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 - Taberna Ruel, Old Town, Rua de Santa Maria, https://tabernaruel.com,
tel: (+351) 291 231 720
In the second alley behind the main Old Town one where a taxi may drop you off. This is one of the best restaurants in the area. Alley seating plus a courtyard in the back. Great service & food and wonderful staff. Highly recommended.
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.
Grill House - Chimarrão - Forum Madeira, Top floor of the shopping centre (a 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.
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, a 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 the 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 .
Mark Blezard says, "A small, formal dining area. Very good food, and the owner can prove quite entertaining!"
Indian - Taj Mahal - Next to the Carlton Hotel (now Pestana) - 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)!
Modern - Praia Formosa Cafe - On Praia Formosa Beach promenade, the one with blue and white stripes
A great cafe with excellent food and service. Extremely good value for money too. Have a beer, snack, lunch or dinner (open all day).
Mark Blezard says, "This is my local. I can't wait to return here. The food is good and the staff lovely. I just hope they've survived the COVID downturn."
Modern - Magic Tea House - If you walk down to Praia Formosa beach and turn left, walk across the beach and through the tunnel (far end of the beach) there is another walkway up to Magic Tea House. Great food and service.
Traditional - Cá Te Espero - Up a short hill from Tokos Restaurant - Rua da Casa Branca, 40, - tel 291 765 096
A 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-hand side. The restaurant is well above local standards plus an excellent wine list (but beware of the Rothschild!!)
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 seafood platters (lobsters can come in at 90 Euros +) and steaks.
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 - 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 outdoor 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. Slightly more expensive than some of the other restaurants but equally more up-market silver service. Note, for 15 Euros the restaurant will collect you in one of their classic cars.
Chinese - TE Oriental - About 15 minute walk into town from the apartment (towards town) along Estrada Monumental close to the Lido, - tel 291 771 643. Chinese restaurant with a 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 Savoy 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 in Madeira
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 (the road between the Savoy 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 www.belmond.com/reids-palace-madeira
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.
Mark Blezard says, "If you are on a budget this is the place to blow it! If nothing else, visit for a single cocktail and sit by the window or outside on the balcony. Dress smart or you'll feel out of place. Simply perfect."
Funchal Old Town, full of restaurants and character
The Atlantic Restaurante off Estrada Monumental close to the Lido.
Restaurante Tokos, In the Hotel Zone. Filipe with his famous fish selection
Praia Formosa Beach, below the apartment
Rue Da Carreira, in the middle of Funchal, is a pleasant pedestrianised street with several restaurants
Restaurante do Forte
At the very end of the Old Town in Fuchal, something different where you can dine in the old fortress.
Quinta do Furao
A wonderful place to eat in Santana, North Coast
The Ritz Madeira, one of the oldest cafes in Madeira with great atmostphere and food.
If you like Portuguese Green wines why not check out www.iberian-green.com