27 Best Restaurants in Madeira, Portugal

A Confeitaria

$ Fodor's choice

This excellent coffee shop has a few branches across Funchal, but the best has to be the one on Rua da Conceição, where chairs spill out onto an unnamed square that's cobbled in black and white stripes. Small tables under shady parasols provide the perfect rest stop to grab a bica (espresso) and a pastel de nata (custard tart); step inside and you'll see row upon row of neatly presented cakes and tarts laid out in the chilled counters like gems in a jewelry box.

Ákua

$$$ Fodor's choice

The best seats in this intimate restaurant are at the counter in front of the open kitchen, where you can watch the talented young chefs work their magic with local seafood. Though there are a couple of meat items on the menu, fish is the star, with complex yet delicious flavors and beautiful presentations. Both the small plates as well as the more substantial fish and rice dishes are perfect for sharing.

Rua dos Murças 6, Funchal, 9000-058, Portugal
938 034 758
Known For
  • Delicious house-made sourdough bread
  • Superlative creamy carabinieri (prawns) and seafood rice, and codfish tacos
  • Attentive and knowledgeable service

Barreirinha Bar Café

$ Fodor's choice

A café by day and bar by night, Barreirinha is popular with the locals no matter what time of day you visit. This is partly thanks to its menu of easy-to-eat items like burgers, sandwiches, burritos, and salads, and partly due to its location on a hillside with small outside tables on the terrace overlooking the ocean; huge white parasols shade you from the Madeiran sun while local musicians keep the atmosphere lively.

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Galáxia Skyfood

$$$$ Fodor's choice

Seated on the 16th floor of the Savoy Palace, in a cozy room with painted ceilings, you’ll feel like you’re dining under the stars—and the food will truly transport you to another world. Chef Carlos Gonçalves serves up innovative five- to seven-course tasting menus (à la carte is also available) using local ingredients but with a twist—think traditional cozido panelo (vegetables and sausage) transformed into tasty tacos and creamy rice with nori seaweed and lemon purée.

Gavião Novo

$$ Fodor's choice

It's best to make reservations or arrive early to bag an outdoor table at this cozy, traditional restaurant in the heart of the old town, where they start you off with a complimentary shot of Madeira. The family-run restaurant offers simple yet delicious local food such as expertly grilled limpets, top-quality steaks, and some of the best grilled fish in town.

Il Gallo d'Oro

$$$$ Fodor's choice

Located within the Cliff Bay Hotel, this upscale restaurant serves ambitious, high-end tasting menus, with prices to match. Views are lovely from both the contemporary dining room and the terrace, dishes are presented as works of art, and the extensive wine list showcases bottles from around the world (the excellent sommelier is happy to pair each course with top Portuguese wine, if you choose).

Estrada Monumental 147, Funchal, 9004-532, Portugal
291 707 700
Known For
  • Ingredients from Madeira and the restaurant's own gardens
  • One of the area's best views
  • Wide-ranging wine selections
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch

La Perla

$ Fodor's choice

From the road, this restaurant doesn't look like much: a fading yellow building with a few signs outside to attract the tourists; step inside and you'll be blown away by the views of the valley from the balcony in the rear. There's a huge wood oven where they grill whole chickens, serving the tender meat with generous bowls of bolo do caco.

Estrada Conego Camacho 30, Curral das Freiras, 9030-319, Portugal
291 762 102
Known For
  • Good selection of cakes (including the local treat pastel de nata)
  • Succulent meats roasted over a fire
  • Very inexpensive
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No Sun. dinner

Loja do Chá

$ Fodor's choice

A classic spot to sit back and relax, this quaint tea shop specializes in various herbal and fruit teas, as well as coffees, cakes, and light lunches, that you can enjoy at outdoor tables facing a pretty square. You can pick up teas to take home, too.

O Corsario

$ Fodor's choice

This laid-back beach bar on the sandy shores of Praia da Fontinha is one of the best places on Porto Santo to soak up the island spirit. Parasols made of dried grass shade the tables, which sit directly on the sand; kick off your shoes, grab a cold beer, and watch the waves lap gently on the shore.

Pé na Água

$$$ Fodor's choice

From the sandy shores of Praia da Fontinha, climb the stairs to reach this somewhat hidden spot. Sit outside on the rustic deck shaded by palm trees or dine in the surprisingly modern indoor space and watch the staff grill your food in the open kitchen—and come hungry: Pé na Água specializes in huge pots of seafood big enough to feed a whole family.

Restaurante O Calhetas

$$ Fodor's choice

You can't visit Porto Santo without stopping by this fantastic seafood restaurant on the far end of Calheta Beach. The fresh fish of the day is always your best bet, or try the giant spicy prawns, amêijoas (cockles), or caldeirada (fish stew). There's also a snack bar open all day for drinks and lighter fare.

Ponta da Calheta, 9400-090, Portugal
291 985 322
Known For
  • Perfect spot overlooking the sandy shoreline
  • Free shuttle to and from the town
  • Great place for beers at sundown

The Wanderer

$$$$ Fodor's choice

For the most unique dining experience in Madeira, head to the ground floor of a nondescript shopping mall, where you’ll enter into another world—one only experienced by six lucky diners at a time, who sit communally at one long table. Self-taught Swiss-born chef-owner Selim Latrous, who spent many years in Southeast Asia, incorporates Thai and Indian flavors into his five-course tasting menus; friendly sommelier Christian pairs every dish with unique drinks (either alcoholic or non) while Selim shares the story behind each dish, making for an entertaining and culinarily satisfying evening you won’t soon forget.

Av. do Infante, Funchal, 9000-015, Portugal
915 682 872
Known For
  • Beautifully presented surprise menus
  • Ingredients foraged from throughout Madeira
  • Delightful beverage pairings, including poncha and stout beer
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch

Uva

$$$$ Fodor's choice

You'll find this striking restaurant on the rooftop of The Vine Hotel, where at night the city sparkles below. The name comes from the Portuguese word for "grape," so it's no surprise that wine takes center stage here, with an excellent selection of local vintages that the waiters can confidently talk you through.

Rua dos Aranhas 27-A, Funchal, 9000-044, Portugal
291 009 000
Known For
  • Creative dishes using local ingredients
  • Spectacular views from the huge windows
  • Delicious wines from Madeira and Portugal
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch

Armazem do Sal

$$

Set inside a former salt warehouse, this fashionable restaurant with bare brick walls and a few outdoor tables serves immaculately presented contemporary renderings of Madeiran and Portuguese dishes like black scabbard fish with lime risotto and vegetables from the garden. À la carte lunch and dinner menus are a good deal.

Rua da Alfandega 135, Funchal, 9000-059, Portugal
291 241 285
Known For
  • Delicious "gastronomic tour" set menu with wine pairings
  • Serves the best of local seafood
  • Seasonal produce from local suppliers
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch Sat.

Casa Madeirense

$$$

This restaurant—wedged into a restored house in the hotel zone around the corner from the Cliff Bay Resort—has lavish tile work, hand-painted murals, and a bar that resembles one of Santana's thatch-roof dwellings. The menu is heavy on fresh seafood (trussed lobsters float in a tank by the door) and regional dishes (including espada served many ways, such as with tropical fruit or shrimp), as well as tornedo (meat on a skewer), the house specialty—and, if you're tired of Madeiran food, pizzas.

Estrada Monumental 153, Funchal, 9000, Portugal
291 766 700
Known For
  • Expertly prepared tuna steaks
  • Elegant checkered tables
  • Live seafood "aquarium"
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.

Casa Velha

$$

In the tiled dining room of this well-established restaurant, exuberant floral arrangements, white-lace curtains, and green tablecloths rustle gently in the breeze of ceiling fans, while outdoor tables are set beneath a leafy trellis. The food is prepared with great care, and menus change every few months; starters feature seafood dishes like swordfish carpaccio and mains include pastas, grilled fish, and Chateaubriand.

Corvopan

$
This bakery opposite the seafront doesn't look special from the outside, but when you taste the freshly baked bread and delectable cakes you'll soon see why many locals make this a daily stop. This is the place to be after church on Sunday, with everyone lined up to grab a pastry.
Avenue Marco Marques Rosa, 9240-221, Portugal
291 842 065
Known For
  • Long glass display counter filled with treats
  • Serves a good cup of coffee
  • Smattering of outdoor tables

Golden Gate Grand Café

$$$$

Just across from the tourist office in the heart of Funchal, this restaurant-café has been open for business off and on since 1814; sit in the airy interior, capture one of the tables that flank the sidewalk, or—even better—bag a seat on the balcony. You can pop in for coffee, light local specialties, or British-style afternoon tea, or settle in for a feast of (somewhat pricey) Portuguese dishes.

Museu Café & Petisco

$

This is one of Funchal's coolest café-bars; it's a great spot to hole up for a coffee, cocktail, or even a full meal. Nestled behind the Museu de Arte Sacra, there's outdoor seating facing the delightful main square.

O Celeiro

$$

Traditional Portuguese cooking seems right at home amid the farmhouse decor at this casual spot on a narrow lane near The Vine Hotel. The dining room fills up with business executives enjoying a relaxing lunch and a mix of celebrating visitors and locals at dinner.

Rua das Aranhas 22, Funchal, 9000-044, Portugal
291 230 622
Known For
  • Stucco walls, beamed ceilings, and huge tapestries
  • A range of excellent octopus dishes
  • Algarve-style cataplanas, seafood stews served in copper-lidded pots
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No lunch Sat.

O Forno

$

This storefront eatery is far from fancy—from the outside you might mistake it for a takeout joint—but the wooden benches just inside the door are always crowded because of its excellent oven-roasted chicken, served with salad and fries. It also serves home-baked bread.

Restaurante Convento das Vinhas

$
Perched on a hill overlooking Calheta, this family-run restaurant serves up an enormous range of fresh seafood with an equally expansive selection of wines. The menu is packed with island classics, including grilled scabbard fish served with a sweet banana and passion fruit sauce, served with a healthy side of bolo de caco.
Sitio do Convento, 9370-119, Portugal
291 822 164
Known For
  • Worth visiting for the views of the beach
  • Revolving menu of seafood dishes
  • Great wine selection

Restaurante dos Combatentes

$

The inexpensive lunch specials at this streamlined dining room, just behind the municipal gardens, are popular with Funchal's businesspeople. Big portions of simple Madeiran cooking, such as espada, tuna, and grilled pork chops, are served with milho frito (corn fritters filled with garlicky collard greens); for something lighter, try the sopa de tomate e cebola com ovo (tomato and onion soup, garnished with a poached egg).

Restaurante Mercado Velho

$

This is among a handful of atmospheric restaurants in Machico, set in the former market not far from sandy Praia de Machico. You can sit at the leafy outside terrace that has its own fountain while you enjoy simple dishes or just sip coffee.

Restaurante Ribeiro Frio

$

If you've just visited the Piscifactoría de Ribeiro Frio, this family-owned eatery serves several dishes made with the trout from the local fish farm; the rustic wooden dining room is warmed by a couple of fireplaces. Finish your meal with coffee or tea served with Madeiran honey cake.

Snack Bar Alto Monte

$

If you need refreshment before sledding back to Funchal, stop at the snack bar called Alto Monte, just above the main square of Largo da Fonte. The cozy interior is lined with soccer scarves and hats, while the terrace has soul-stirring views of Funchal unfolding below.

The Dining Room at Quinta da Casa Branca

$$$$

At this formal restaurant in the lovely Quinta da Casa Branca, you can sit beneath ornate chandeliers in the elegant restaurant or dine outside on the beautiful terrace. The menu is not extensive, but dishes such as herb-crusted lamb with chestnuts and eucalyptus are prepared with care using fresh local ingredients; opt for three- or four-course menus with wine pairings, or order à la carte.

Rua da Casa Branca 7, Funchal, 9000-088, Portugal
291 700 770
Known For
  • Historic manor house is one of the prettiest spots in town
  • Peaceful garden views
  • Mix of local and international seafoods and meats
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No lunch