Best Restaurants in Madeira

Best Restaurants in Madeira

Top rated restaurants of Madeira; an honest review of the best flavors, presentations and experiences from around the island.

Fortaleza de Sao Tiago, Funcal

Best Restaurants in Madeira

Fortaleza de Sao Tiago (Fort of St. James) is in the upper part of the old town district of Funchal. This top-rated gourmet restaurant is located in a 17th century fortress overlooking Funchal with breathtaking views of the cliffs and Atlantic Ocean. For a truly unforgettable dining experience, you can arrange to be picked up at your hotel or house in a 1934 Plymouth or a classic Austin 12 and chauffeured to the fortress for a night of dinner, drinking and dancing to live music, visit https://forte.restaurant/ for more information and scheduled events.

If you are planning on an engagement, this location would be unforgettable memory. Imagine being chauffeured in a vintage car, a private table on the top of the fortress overlooking the Atlantic Ocean while watching the sunset and listening to live music downstairs. For you nostalgic folk, the upstairs can also be rented for events like receptions and weddings.

Lá Ao Fundo, Funcal

Such an amazing culinary experience, hats off to the chef! We had a friend join us with specific culinary needs who requested a few ingredients to be excluded from the plate. The chef personally joined us tableside to verify her restrictions and made her a special meal using other suitable ingredients. Every plate was phenomenal, well presented and the flavors blended exceptionally. I highly recommend using an online source like google or trip advisor to see photos of the food here, the descriptions didn’t do it justice. I asked the staff to surprise me with a meal for dinner because I couldn’t decide. They were quite excited to help and presented me with the prawns for dinner. This was the best Prawns that I have ever had, expertly cooked and resting on a bed of green rice and dressed with a sauce that I could only dream of cooking myself, I would not hesitate to return and ask to be surprised again.

Sabores do Curral, Valley of the Nuns

View From Sabores do Corral
Photo taken down the street from Sabores do Curral

When arriving in Curral das Freiras by car, you have a decision to make, left or right. I suggest you first look dead ahead and visit Sabores do Curral for a tasty treat at the head of the “T” intersection with amazing views and intoxicating smells of the menu cooking on a wood fire. The homemade garlic bread is a must, crunchy outside while soft on the inside smothered with a healthy helping of a garlic and butter spread. This is no ordinary garlic spread though, the herbs are grown locally in the volcanic soil and have an amazing flavor as do the vegetables. The carrots, onions, zucchini, garlic, and potatoes all have amazing flavor that I have never tasted before, even organically grown on my own farm. From Sabores do Curral, you look straight down the Valley and see the terrace lined homesites, Chesnutt trees clinging to the cliffs talked about in my post Mystical Mountains of Maderia, the name says it all! and small waterfalls running down the cliffs. The food was great, unique and ALL LOCAL products from the valley. The cheesecake was definitely worth mentioning; light and fluffy filling with a sweet earthy flavor that caught me off guard at first. After realizing that this area is local ingredients only, I realized this pastry chef was able to gently blend Chesnutt’s into the cheesecake for a unique take on my favorite dessert. Well done guys!

A note: arrive early for the spectacular views, the sun sets rapidly here, and you will miss your chance. I had individual plates and NOT the Buffet downstairs, it wasn’t open and I have no info on the quality however, given the quality upstairs, I’m sure it will meet all expectations.

https://www.facebook.com/oseurestaurante/ their pictures don’t do them any justice!

Lily's Grill and Bar

Lily’s Grill and Bar was an unsuspecting treat located at the center of the East end of the island. You will need a car to get here; the hill is steep but definitely worth the drive. They had great food, amazing service, and even better prices. This was seriously the best steak I had in all of Europe, not the best I’ve ever had (close though), but I would not search out another restaurant on the island if you want a great T-bone steak. If you like mushroom gravy sauce to go with your steak, this is a must have! It isn’t offered on the menu with this steak but ask and you won’t be disappointed. The view is terrific during the day however disappears quickly with the sunset, arrive early for a view with dinner. Every plate which passed by being served to other tables made me incredibly envious until I received my order; it was quite evident that much care and effort went into every plate served.


Gavino Restaurant -Bar, Funcal

In the historic center near the painted door project, if you like people watching, Gavino’s restaurant and bar is a great location to grab a drink and watch the uniqueness of people. These adult beverages were mixed to perfection, the wait staff was incredibly friendly and even gave recommendations to where the locals hang out and best things to do on the island. This is where I fell in love with Pohcha.


Polo Norte, (West End)

Best Restaurants in Madeira

Polo Norte was a great find on a stormy December afternoon. They are well versed in seafood, preparation, and presentation. Not a culinary hot spot however, it was December and they rose to the challenge. We ordered our meals with wine, and it was suggested we change our wine selection to the cheaper house wine because it would pair with our meal selection better. The octopus was great only needing a little salt, potatoes and vegetables were prepared well, being topped with a garlic butter and paired with garlic bread. I would not hesitate to eat here again.

Sea View Rooftop Restaurant and Bar (West End)

Best Restaurants in Madeira
Photo taken from Sea View Rooftop

Great location on the western part of the island overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Stunning views with shelter from the wind, this outlook is a great location to grab a Drink, Café or a Tea. We had already eaten lunch, so we did not try the food however, the drinks were exceptional. This was the best loose-leaf tea on the island and the only place that made a proper American Hot Chocolate. Interestingly, hot chocolate in Portugal and Spain is served as a thick sauce with the consistency of ketchup for dipping churros in and not really drinkable FYI.

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Benjamin Phillips

Benjamin Phillips

Travel Blogger

I have a passion for sailing, traveling and seeing local attractions; the amazing people I meet and the memories I have are my inspiration to keep going. I seek out local attractions usually not listed on other sites and blogs, visit the places that the locals inhabit and purposely avoid tourist traps.

I hope to see you out there!

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