It has long been known that Madeira Island is not only synonymous with nature and a good climate. The Pearl of the Atlantic is also known for being the perfect destination for a nice gastronomic vacation, given the vast offer of flavours.
In Madeira Island, the cuisine is not only tasty and diversified but it is also made from ingredients of local origin. The volcanic soil, the subtropical climate, and the proximity to the sea allow Nature to be generous, offering the possibility to take several biological products from the land, which are used in many traditional dishes.
Madeira’s irresistible delicacies
Curiously, the Madeirans have the ability to take the same ingredient and cook it in different ways, allowing you to experience different flavours that are a delight to the palate. In Madeira Island, simple recipes allow you to taste something new every day. Fresh tuna, limpets, fried mackerel, swordfish, trout, or a beautiful fish stew, tuna steak, and mackerel with villain sauce are great options to start… Although you can never forget the famous Espetada, the best-known speciality, made of cubes of beef seasoned with garlic, salt and bay leaf, roasted over a wood fire on a bay leaf stick, accompanied by bolo do caco – a round, flat bread, usually served with garlic butter -, fried corn, home fried potatoes and salad. Very popular is also the Picado, a delicacy that invites sharing, served on a platter that can have different sizes depending on the number of people, where everyone bites directly with a fork. It consists of cubes of beef sautéed with sauce, fries, tomatoes, and olives.
Irresistible is to taste a good sword sandwich, skipjack sandwich, beef tongue sandwich, or a delicious nail in the bolo do caco. At Christmas time, in Madeira Island, there is no escaping the typical wine and garlic meat on bread to be accompanied by a hot drink, cocoa.
But there’s more… Açorda à moda da Madeira, cozido madeirense, bacalhau de São Martinho, sopa de trigo, canja de galinha caseira, is the comfort food that leaves anyone’s mouth watering.
Local fruits and typical Madeira desserts
To finish, delight yourself with the tropical fruits that grow on Madeira Island. Mangoes, papayas, avocados, grapes, prickly pear, nêsperas, araçás, figs, surinam cherry, and passion fruit. Many of these fruits give origin to typical desserts, such as puddings, ice creams or sorbets. In the confectionery, the local cheesecake and the famous honey cake stand out, traditionally associated with Christmas, a perfect accompaniment to Madeira wine and homemade liqueurs, such as tangerine or passion fruit liqueurs.
Suggestions of restaurants to visit on Madeira Island
Restaurante Faísca – Ribeiro Frio, Madeira Island
Casa de Palha – São Jorge, Madeira Island
A Pipa – Porto da Cruz, Madeira Island
Abrigo do Pastor – Camacha, Madeira Island
A Poita Restaurant – Madalena do Mar, Madeira Island
Vila do Peixe – Câmara de Lobos, Madeira Island
Santo António Restaurant – Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, Madeira Island
O Lagar Restaurant – Câmara de Lobos, Madeira Island
Casal da Penha Restaurant – Funchal, Madeira Island
Deserta Pequena Restaurant – Câmara de Lobos, Madeira Island
Casa de Pasto Justiniano – Chão da Ribeira, Madeira Island
Muralha’s Bar – Caniçal, Madeira Island
To get to know Madeira it is imperative to let your stomach conquer you. Madeira Island has restaurants for all budgets, from the most economical to the most luxurious, from the most traditional to the most modern, restaurants with fish and seafood specialities or snacks and meat. On your next visit to Madeira, we suggest you visit and try the flavours spread all over the island, from north to south, east to west.