17 Best Restaurants in The Azores, Portugal

Ancoradouro

$$$ Fodor's choice
Come to what’s widely regarded as the finest fish and seafood restaurant in town for hearty portions of expertly prepared local delicacies such as cataplana à ancoradouro (seafood stew), skewers of grilled fish and shrimp, and seafood rice with crab claws, shrimp, mussels, and clams. Though the decor inside is simple, the large terrace with wonderful water views is the place to be.

Bar Caloura

$ Fodor's choice
It’s more than worth a trip 20 km (12 miles) east of Ponta Delgada to dine at this popular open-air seafood restaurant with lovely water views; since the place doesn’t take reservations, bring your swimsuit for a dip in the adjacent pool while you wait. The friendly staff will grill up your choice of the fresh local fish on display---perhaps tuna, stingray, or barracuda---but you can’t go wrong with baked mussels in a buttery garlic sauce or just-caught limpet, plus (a rarity for the islands) a well-stocked salad bar.

Beira Mar São Mateus

$ Fodor's choice
Be sure to make reservations for this always-bustling fish and seafood spot—rightfully thought by many to be the best on the island—with pretty views overlooking the marina in the tiny fishing village of São Mateus. You can’t go wrong with any of the freshly caught fish (the restaurant has its own fishing boat), along with limpets, slipper lobsters, and barnacles, which you coax from their shells with tiny forks.
Canada Porto 46, 9700, Portugal
295 642 392
Known For
  • Save room for the gingerbread-like "cake of the Indies"
  • Snappy service keeps things moving along
  • Indoor and outdoor seating with water views
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and 3 wks in Nov.

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Õtaka

$$$$ Fodor's choice

The sophisticated Nikkei-style tasting menus, which mix South American and Japanese style with Azorean ingredients, combined with knowledgeable servers and a welcoming atmosphere (think minimalist wood tables and an open kitchen) add up to one of the finest dining experiences in Ponta Delgada at this always-packed restaurant. Chef José Pereira, who worked for many years in Geneva before heading home to the Azores, uses as many local ingredients as possible in his artfully presented dishes such as crispy nigiri with tuna tartare and Azorean whitefish sashimi with miso and yuzu; his wife Anne Teixeira prepares the decadent tropical desserts.

Praya Restaurante

$ Fodor's choice

Set alongside pretty black sand beach of Praia do Almoxarife, this industrial-chic restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows has an interesting wood ceiling designed to look like waves. It’s not only the architecture that’s different from the Azorean norm, but also the food: though still heavy on the cod, prawn, and octopus dishes, many items have an Asian twist, plus there’s a good selection of meat and veggie items to round things off.

Largo Coronel Silva Leal, 9900, Portugal
292 701 037
Known For
  • Gorgeous setting with views of the crashing waves
  • Superlative prawn curry with basmati rice and yogurt
  • Tasty Azorean black tea crème brûlée
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No lunch Tues.–Fri. Oct.–May

Restaurante Genuíno

$$ Fodor's choice
Come to this charming restaurant with views of Porto Pim beach not only for some of the freshest fish in town, but also to chat with owner Genuíno Madruga, a renowned sailor who was the first person from Portugal to sail solo around the world—twice. The helpful servers will point you toward the local fish that’s best that day, and you’ll dine surrounded by souvenirs collected during Genuíno’s travels.

Tasquinha Vieira

$ Fodor's choice

Though the menu is small and the modern space is tiny, the carefully prepared, market-fresh Azorean plates punch way above their weight. Tasquinha Vieira’s focus is on a “cuisine of proximity,” using top-notch ingredients and innovative techniques while respecting the islands' culinary culture, and you can’t go wrong with any of the shareable tapas-style plates of fish, meat, and vegan options.

Terra Nostra Garden Restaurant

$$$$ Fodor's choice

It seems like everyone at this old-school restaurant tucked into the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel is here to partake of the signature dish: cozido nas Caldeiras das Furnas, stew cooked underground in the hot springs, available in both meat and vegetarian versions. Those with less hearty appetites can opt for a fine selection of fresh fish or Azorean beef; after lunch, your receipt earns you free admission to the lovely adjoining Terra Nostra Gardens.

Bar Praia de Áqua d’Alto

$
There’s nothing fancy about this beach bar where you sit on plastic chairs under umbrellas, but the views over Áqua d’Alto beach more than make up for the basic decor. The extensive menu appeals to all tastes, with choices from local seafood like sardines, cod, and limpets to chicken and pork sandwiches, all of it accompanied by beer or affordable glasses of wine from the islands.

Canto da Doca

$$

When visiting a volcanic island, what’s better than cooking food on your very own hot lava stone? That’s the concept behind this bustling family-owned eatery, in a former fisherman’s storage building near the harbor, where you can choose from a wide selection of fish, seafood, and meat (limited vegetarian options are also available) that you grill to your liking at your table; save room for the cookie pudding, layers of cookie with buttercream frosting borrowed from the family’s grandmother’s recipe.

Casa Âncora

$$$

The open kitchen at this minimalist eatery turns out not only traditional Azorean dishes like grilled octopus and fish soup, but also Azorean fusion cuisine using mainly local products with international inspirations—think fish with lemon risotto and pomegranate. It’s a good place to stop for lunch when driving around the island; when the weather’s warm, you can sit outside on the water’s edge with views of Cais do Pico bay.

Cella Bar

$

This trendy bar and restaurant on the water’s edge is worth visiting just to see its unique wood structure, roughly resembling a whale, as well as the prime views of Faial Island; ask for a seat upstairs on the terrace, especially if you’re here before sunset. Start with a selection of local cheeses to pair with a bottle from the large collection of Azorean and Portuguese wines before sampling a main course “from the sea” or “from the land.”

Lugar Da Barca, 9500-303, Portugal
292 623 654
Known For
  • Interesting architecture
  • Lovely oceanfront setting
  • The freshest seafood
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed last 2 wks of Nov. No lunch weekdays Nov.–Mar.

Louvre Michaelense

$

This charming all-day café-restaurant-cocktail bar dates from 1904, when it sold products imported from Paris; today its glass cases are piled high with Azorean creations from tea sets to hats to jewelry, most available for purchase. Stop by for a healthy breakfast, small plates of local cuisine with a contemporary twist for lunch or dinner, or just to take a break with some local tea or an inventive cocktail or two—and don’t bother trying to resist the house-made desserts calling your name from the countertop.

Mané Cigano

$

An authentic yet welcoming locals' favorite—and Ponta Delgada’s oldest restaurant—serves up a handful of simple and well-prepared dishes along with rotating daily specials in a bare-bones space. The communal tables at this old-school eatery encourage friendly chats with your neighbors as you dine on fried dishes like sardines, horse mackerel, and moray eel, all washed down with homemade Concord grape wine or moonshine.

Rua Engenheiro Jose Cordeiro Antiga da Calheta 3, 9500-310, Portugal
296 285 765
Known For
  • Daily specials like spareribs or stewed octopus
  • Portuguese diner atmosphere
  • Friendly mix of locals and tourists
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No dinner. Closed Sun.

O Chico

$
This is hands down the best place in Angra to try the local dish of alcatra—a sort of beef pot roast stewed in a clay pot with wine—along with other regional specialties like steak with egg, grilled swordfish, and octopus. The atmosphere’s cozy and traditional, with tiled walls and red-checkered curtains; be sure to make reservations as it’s very popular with the locals.

Quinta dos Sabores

$$$$
This charmingly rustic family-run eatery serves an ever-changing menu using produce straight from their gardens, along with other organic ingredients from the surrounding area. The friendly staff serves a fixed menu (cash only) with a tempting selection of homemade dips to start, along with salads, soups, fish, meat, and desserts, plus a reasonably priced selection of wines made by family members on the mainland.

Restaurante Quebra Mar

$
Under the same ownership as the more well-known Beira Mar a short distance away, this simply decorated fish restaurant on the water is more spacious and easy to get into than its sister eatery. Swing by the counter for a look at the fish that’s freshest that day, or the grilled squid or octopus are always a good bet.
Canada dos Arrifes 2, 9700-554, Portugal
295 704 946
Known For
  • Extremely welcoming service
  • Local fish that’s never frozen
  • Family-friendly atmosphere
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues.