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Welcome to laid-back, sun-soaked and perennially colourful Madeira. This collection of four Portuguese islands off the northwest coast of Africa is well-known for its rugged landscapes scattered with blooms, snaking levadas (a series of mini canals) and the sweet wine that shares its name. During your Canary Islands and Azores cruise, we’ll take you sailing to Funchal, the fun-loving capital of Madeira, where you can sample classic Madeiran cuisine.
In this ultimate guide to dining out in Madeira, we’ll introduce you to the very best restaurants, bakeries, street vendors and more to seek out in and around Funchal. We hope you’re feeling hungry!
Regional Flavours, Rua da Carreira
Stroll along the bustling Rua da Carreira to find this authentic Madeiran hotspot. Wherever possible, ingredients are sourced on the island, and used to create traditional dishes such as succulent tuna belly and pudim de maracuja, a cheesecake made from sweet and tart passionfruit.
Restaurante do Forte, Rua do Portão de São Tiago
Dining locations don’t come much more dramatic or atmospheric than this. Restaurante do Forte is housed within a 17th century fortress, Sao Tiago, with tables overlooking the ocean. Tuck into mouth-watering, fresh dishes such as sautéed octopus and carpaccio of cod.
Restaurante Mozart, Rua D. Carlos I
This unique restaurant is nestled deep within Funchal’s quaint Old Town. The concept is influenced by the music of Mozart, which is reflected in the refined nature of the dishes (take the ‘Bach’, for example – a carpaccio of beef fillet served with peppery rocket and parmesan) as well as the décor.
Opan Bakery, Avenido do Mar
There are a few branches of Opan Bakery to choose from, and our favourite is on the seafront. This is the place to go for Madeiran favourites such as pasteis de natas (creamy egg custard cakes), as well as pizza slices and coffee. Pick up a few pastries and a fresh orange juice to fuel your walks along the harbour.
Avenido do Mar
Speaking of the waterfront, it’s dotted with plenty of street food stalls and vans for when you fancy a cheap and delicious snack. Think bottles of beer, soft serve ice cream, flaky pastries and more.
Coracao Vegano, Rua do Aranhas
If you’re a vegan, head straight for this little bakery on Rua do Aranhas. Expect plant-based dishes based on Japanese and Caribbean cuisines, such as vegan jerk chicken and teriyaki. The interiors are equally eclectic, featuring spray paint art and a jungle of plants.
Snack Bar Bela 5, Rua Bela São Tiago
This spot in the Old Town is an example of a classic Madeiran snack bar, where you’ll eat cheap and delicious food out on a terrace with a newspaper while people-watching. Order nourishing salads, mixed grills and fresh seafood. Perfect if you fancy something quick and tasty in between sightseeing stops.
Beerhouse, Pontao de São Lázaro
Sip on local craft ale from prime position in the bay at Beerhouse, which has offered up classic Portuguese food and drink for 17 years. The beer is made on the premises using traditional methods, and is completely free from chemicals. Ask for a beer flight to find your favourite.
Madeira Rum House, Rua Portão de São Tiago
From beer, to rum. The Madeira Rum House does what it says on the tin – you can sample and purchase some of the best rum the island has to offer. The owners will be happy to tell you all about the history of rum-making in Madeira, and you’ll get the chance to try rum and food pairings to maximise the delicious taste. This is not just a bar, but an experience, too.
Hole in One, Estrada Monumental
This is the place to be if you like live music and sports games at your bar of choice. It’s always bustling at the centrally located Hole in One, and there’s a wide variety of drinks to choose from, including Guinness, rum and fine wines.
Mercado dos Lavradores, Largo dos Lavradores
This multi-level farmer’s market dates back to 1940 and is located in the town centre. You’ll find a rich selection of local produce here, from fresh seafood to sun-ripened fruit and vegetables – it’s a true treat for the senses. Before you dive in, take a moment to admire the façade: it features tiles showcasing regional emblems. Stop at one of the market’s cafes for an espresso when you need a pick me up.
If your stomach is already rumbling, browse our Madeira cruises now – and remember to pack your appetite.
Athens is packed full of world-class galleries as well as outdoor sculptures and art boutiques. Find out more here.
Amsterdam is well-known for its bustling districts, lively café culture and world-class museums. However, look a little closer and you’ll discover relaxing attractions, from spas to green parks.
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