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The best restaurants in Madeira for 2024

Os melhores restaurantes da Madeira
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Bolo do Caco with garlic butter. Meat kebab aka Espetada da Madeira. Limpets on the grill. The delicacies of Madeira don’t stop there.

In this article, I’ll show you my favorite Madeiran restaurants so that you can try them on your next trip to the island.

Explore the local cuisine with these food tours

Lá ao Fundo, Funchal

Of course, my favorite restaurant in Madeira leads this list. Lá ao Fundo is located in the old part of Funchal, close to the streets with decorated doors.

Don’t expect to find the traditional Madeiran kebabs, but dishes that get inspiration from African lands, such as the Mozambican curries.

But Madeira is well represented here by the fish that make up some of the dishes of this fantastic restaurant. The high-quality tuna or swordfish never disappoint.

As it is one of the best restaurants in Funchal, you should reserve a table before you go.

Restaurante in Madeira - Lá ao Fundo Funchal
Restaurante Lá ao Fundo Funchal

Looking for accommodation in Funchal? Discover some of the best hotels in town.

Engenho Velho Restaurante, Arco da Calheta

This restaurant is one of the discoveries on my last trip to Madeira. I stayed at the Engenho Velho Hotel, and when I decided to try their restaurant one night, I had a pleasant surprise.

The well-seasoned limpets were a luxurious first introduction. I followed it with the Espetada à Engenho, which combines the traditional meat kebab with other elements such as bacon, peppers and onions.

The wine cellar is very well stocked, and the service was top-notch!

O Virgílio, São Vicente

I had never been to O Virgílio because, from the outside, it looked like an expensive restaurant, but the tuna belly on the menu caught my attention the last time I went there. And it didn’t disappoint!

Besides having prices well within the range of what is normally charged on the island, the portions are quite generous, and the dishes arrive at the table with plenty of quality.

Nothing like giving new places a chance!

Tuna belly in O Virgílio restaurant, in São Vicente, Madeira

Braseiro Grill, São Vicente

It’s a very standard restaurant, serving bolognese, risottos and pizzas. But here, you can also count on a good grill that serves well-done meats.

It’s not a phenomenal restaurant, but the food is good. Its location right in front of the beach and a terrace on the second floor make it a good option if you are walking around the northern part of the island. Oh, and the prices are also quite inviting.

Viola, Câmara de Lobos

This restaurant in Câmara de Lobos is excellent off the beaten track if you are looking for a good quality Madeira kebab at a reasonable price. You can have an “espetada” for two, of loin, for just over 10 euros! And, in case you’re not so hungry, you can opt for a half kebab and even half Bolo do Caco with garlic butter.

This restaurant fills up quickly for its quality and price (despite having a reasonably large room). Go early, or you risk having to wait your turn outside.

Restaurante A Viola Câmara de Lobos

Polar, Câmara de Lobos

Another great discovery from my last trip to Madeira! It’s amazing how this island continues to surprise with good restaurants.

Polar came about by luck, on the recommendation of a Madeiran friend. The locals undoubtedly know the best restaurants to go to.

The star of the house here is the Espetada à Madeirense, which arrives at the table succulent and in generous portions. Maybe it deserves a little more bay for my taste, but it’s a beautiful espetada and at a very affordable price.

Definitely worth the trip. But since it is a very popular restaurant, get there early or try to book in advance so the trip won’t be in vain.

The traditional Espetada à Madeirense in Polar, a restaurant located in Câmara de Lobos, Madeira

La Parreira, Campanário

Well, here’s a different experience for eating a Madeiran-style “espetada”. La Parreira is not just any restaurant. Before you sit at the table, you will have to go through different stages.

Let me explain.

When you arrive at La Parreira, you will find a butcher shop on one side of the street. That’s where you go in to choose (and pay for) the meat you will eat. Then you go next door to the cafe, where you select (and pay for) the side dishes and drinks.

Once you have passed these two stages, cross the street to the restaurant itself, sit down at the table, and wait for them to serve you everything you chose before.

Be aware that the portions of the side dishes here are pretty generous.

Casa de Pasto Justiniano, Chão da Ribeira

If you go to several restaurants in Madeira to try the famous kebab, you will see that it comes to the table on a metal skewer in almost all of them. However, the authentic Espetada à Madeirense began by being cooked on a laurel stick.

Today, there are few places where this happens, but this is still the tradition at Justiniano’s.

This small restaurant is nestled in the middle of the mountains and already in the Laurissilva Natural Park area, so the trip there is well worth it.

Restaurante Justiniano
Restaurante Justiniano Madeira

Note: I was at this restaurant in March 2023, and it was closed for renovations. I hope it will open soon, but please call before you go to confirm.

O Farolim, Ponta do Pargo

Good limpets and a well-composed wine list attract me most about this restaurant, although the meat dishes are also of good quality.

This is a great restaurant to go to after watching the sunset at the westernmost tip of Madeira Island.

O Farolim Ponta do Pargo
O Farolim Ponta do Pargo

Joe’s, Jardim do Mar

It is an old classic, especially for the surfing community that visits Jardim do Mar. 

At Joe’s, you can order limpets or try the Chicken Piri-Piri. But the charm of this place is the conversations that occur between a coffee, a Coral (local beer), or a snooker game.

And speaking of classics…

Taberna da Poncha da Serra d’Água

It’s not a restaurant, but it deserves to be on this list of places to visit in Madeira. It’s unthinkable to visit the island without making a stop at the “church,” as many call it.

At Taberna da Poncha, in Serra de Água, you can find the best Madeiran Poncha. Besides the classic Poncha, you can try passion-fruit Poncha, tangerine Poncha, and Pescador-style Poncha.

If you aren’t a fan of this local drink based on sugar cane brandy, you can always opt for a Nikita, which combines beer and ice cream, or a non-alcoholic Nikita (ice cream with pineapple juice)… my favorite!

Food around here is only in the form of peanuts accompanying the drinks and whose shells – don’t be surprised – are always thrown on the floor.

Taberna da Ponca de Serra d'Água Madeira

Where are the best restaurants in Madeira?

And we came to the end of my list of the best restaurants in Madeira. If you know any other restaurant and believe it’s worth trying, put it in the comment box below.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends on social media. Please help me spread the word!

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Know the best restaurants in Madeira to taste the island gastronomy... and some more.
A note from Marlene

The opinions expressed in this post about restaurants in Madeira are from my personal experience, and I paid for all meals. However, I can’t be responsible for any situation that goes so well for one of the readers.


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Marlene Marques

Marlene is the creator of Marlene On The Move. A journalist by profession, she created the blog to share her adventures around the world. It is not unusual for her to set off to discover new countries and cultures with a surfboard as luggage.

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