Madeira Restaurants

The majority of Madeira’s restaurants serve Portuguese cuisine, and you'll find many casual, family-run eateries and snack bars serving similar dishes to those on the mainland. Most offer the Portuguese version of bouillabaisse, caldeirada de peixes variados, a slowly simmered combination of fish, shellfish, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and olive oil, and carne de vinhos e alhos (pork

marinated in wine, oil, garlic, and spices, then gently boiled and quickly browned over a high flame). At the higher-end, restaurants serving more international cuisine with a modern flair tend to be attached to upscale hotels, such as Il Gallo D’Oro at the Cliff Bay, and Uva at The Vine.

Though the Portuguese traditionally eat late, dinner in Madeira tends to be on the early side, running from about 7 till 9:30 or 10. In high season, it’s best to make reservations for dinner to avoid missing out. The midday meal is usually eaten between noon and 2 pm since many shops and museums still close for lunch, though more tourist-oriented restaurants serve all day. In general, smart-casual resort attire is the norm.

Many of Funchal’s restaurants have long catered to northern European tastes, and several still serve bland meat dishes with boiled vegetables. A new generation, however, serves a more interesting mixture of local and international cuisine. The best places to head are Funchal Marina and around the Old Town. Top international restaurants can be found in the hotels, such as Les Faunces (top international food at Reid's Palace), Il Gallo D’Oro at the Cliff Bay, which boasts a Michelin Star, Uva at the Vine hotel, and Casa da Quinta at Quinta da Casa Branca.

Less expensive regional specialties can be found in Câmara de Lobos and villages around the island.

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