O Tasco

Serving local tapas and cocktails (and a friendly smile), O Tasco commands a legion of fans from around the world that return for the bean-and-chorizo starter, grilled limpets, octopus salad, maize cubes and so much more. Wines are well chosen and reasonable. After dinner you can head down the road for a cocktail at Barreirinha Bar Café with live music or a passion-fruit poncha in the bars below.

  • +351 291 623 374
  • Go to Website
  • Rua Bela São Tiago 137
    9060-019 Funchal


This trendy restaurant serves consistently great food – most of it locally sourced and prepared in a contemporary way. A venture by Portuguese chef Julio Pereira (who has also opened Akua on the same quiet street), it’s almost impossible to get a table here on the weekend. The seats outside are the best, but if you like watching the kitchen work, perch at the bar.

Belmond Reid's Palace

The buffet lunch by the pool serves a rich buffet of glorious salads for a set price. Anyone can go, and the beautiful poolside setting is a chic vision of Madeira you won’t forget soon. The buffet menu changes daily and offers such beauties as lobster-and-avocado salad and a selection of tiny, irresistible puddings that seem to pile effortlessly on to the plate.

  • +351 291 717 171
  • Go to Website
  • Estrada Monumental 139
    9000-098 Funchal

Il Gallo d´Oro

Celebrating the win of a second Michelin star this year, Benoît Sinthon has blossomed into one of the best chefs in Portugal. He brings a French twist to local dishes and champions the produce of Madeira. Book a table outside as the terrace has views of the gardens and sea. The impressive wine list has over 400 choices, including some elderly vintages of Madeira wine dating back to 1860. The same group is opening a Japanese concept restaurant Avista nearby which also looks promising.

  • +351 291 707 700
  • Go to Website
  • The Cliff Bay
    Estrada Monumental 147
    9004-532 Funchal

Lá Ao Fundo

Just by the historic fortress of São Tiago (built in 1614 to keep away the pirates), chef Jaime Cruz has taken inspiration from his Indo-Portuguese heritage to create a fusion of cultures in this restaurant. The menu includes steak on volcanic stone, his family’s curry recipes, tuna tataki and a range of exotic, exciting flavours. Tables outside are preferable, even in winter, as you get to see all the local goings on.

  • +351 964 527 912
  • Go to Website
  • Rua Portão de São Tiago 17A
    9060-250 Funchal

Gavião Novo

Set on the ancient street of Rua de Santa Maria, the touristy restaurant mecca of the old town. This is a tried-and-tested local favourite where you can enjoy traditional Madeiran recipes in a cosy setting. Be careful not to bang your head on the century-old stone arches as the space inside is petite. Let the waiter guide you through which fish is best on the day and what wines he recommends. We love the octopus carpaccio, fish soup and (if you order ahead) the wonderful lobster rice.

  • +351 291 229 238
  • Go to Website
  • Rua de Santa Maria 131
    9060-291 Funchal

Restaurante do Forte

Known for its concept fine-dining menu (fancy tablecloth sculptures and wine included), Restaurante do Forte is considered the ideal celebration choice for a special dinner by visiting guests. You couldn’t get a more fairy-tale setting, inside the 17th-century São Tiago Fortress, just by the sea. You can imagine the epic battles with marauding pirates set within these huge walls as you sip the sparkling wine. For a large private party, book the rooftop terrace, which has a sensational view over the harbour and space to dance the night away.

Quinta da Casa Bar & Restaurant

Dinner on this terrace is one of our favourite pastimes. When the nights are mild, sit outside in the wicker chairs of the scented garden, which is never too busy, and has just a handful of tables lit by flickering candles. Relaxed elegance is the mood here, with tasty Portuguese classics and international dishes designed for sharing. The cod á bras, runny eggs and Portuguese farinheira are a good choice to get you going, followed by the tuna tataki. There’s an excellent choice of Portuguese wines, which is appropriate as the restaurant and estate, is owned by the Madeira wine-producing Leacock family.

Atlantic Restaurante

Here location is key, as it’s one of the few restaurants in Funchal with an amazing sea view terrace which is not within a hotel. Although the restaurant belong to the local members-only swimming club, Clube de Turismo, it welcomes everyone. Lunch or dinner offers classical international dishes with favourites including the Café de Paris steak and black-ink seafood linguini. Weekends can be busy and seafront tables are best booked in advance.

Doca do Cavacas

This ticks all the “what Madeira is all about” boxes. The restaurant is perched above the beach with natural rock pools below, near fisherman shacks with an authentic offering of seafood and fish from the sea. The Ronaldo family are regular attendees, and we all come back for the combo of tough-love service, simple decor and delicious food. The terrace above is lovely – be there in time to watch the sun disappear behind Cabo Girão, the second highest sea cliff in Europe.

  • +351 291 762 057
  • Go to Website
  • Rua da Ponta da Cruz 66
    9000-250 Funchal

Abrigo do Pastor

In the center of the island, on the road from Camacha up to Pico do Arieiro, this theatrical mountain lodge decked out with hunting trophies and fireplaces and serves hearty Portuguese food, ideal for cheering up colder nights. Everyone loves the leitão (roasted piglet), traditional beef espetada and mountain soups. Sunday lunches are very popular with the locals as are weekend dinners, so book ahead or risk a long, hungry journey back.

  • +351 291 922 060
  • Go to Website
  • Estrada das Carreiras
    9125-080 Camacha

Santo da Serra Golf Club Restaurant

Set in a mountain village called Santo da Serra, this is a good option for a pitstop or lunch on a drive around the island. Have lunch on the terrace or clubhouse of this prestigious golf course, which has hosted more than 20 European Tour golf events. Expect stunning views of the Desertas Islands, Machico valley and sea. Restaurant favourites include the prego no bolo do caco (steak on the local bread) and mountain soups. Try the honey cake.

  • +351 291 550 100
  • Go to Website
  • Santo António da Serra
    9200-152 Machico

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