Food in Madeira is so amazing, diverse and delicious, we can easily put it among the best Madeira tourist attractions. But what food to try in Madeira when traveling around the island, to taste the traditional and local cuisine?
Best food in Madeira – what to eat and drink?
Exotic fruits in Madeira
Here in Europe we are not use to having freshly picked up mangoes, papayas, bananas and passion fruit. But due to the mild climate, Madeira is full of these exotic fruits.
Travel tip: The most known market in Funchal has loads of exotic fruit, but be aware that the prices there are high. You will pay 19,80€/kg for passion fruit. Not far away from the market, we have found a small fruit and veggies shop and guess what, the prices were half lower than at the market; passion fruit (9,80€/kg), mango (4,50€/kg), papaya (3,30€/kg), bananas (1,30€/kg), strawberries (3,90€/kg), tomatoes (2€/kg).
Street food in Madeira
Forget about burgers and kebabs, as you will not be able to find that on Madeira. The best street food in Madeira is their local garlic bread Bolo Do Caco. The bread is done as a toast on which they put lots of butter and garlic. If you are not into the basic variety, you can also add cheese, bacon, meat or tuna.
Travel tip: Bolo Do Caco is a really nice snack. It is good and also very affordable – the price depends on the type, but you will pay from 2-3€ for it.
Lunch or dinner in Madeira
No matter if you like meat or fish, Madeira will offer you both. But to be honest, Madeira seafood is something you sure don’t want to miss when visiting this amazing island. One of the best known fishes is scabbard fish, which does not look very attractive as a catch, but it is pretty good on a plate. It is normally served fried.
We also tried grilled limpets (muscles), calamari, shrimps, tuna… And everything was amazing!
If there is one food to eat in Madeira and if you enjoy meat, you must stop for their Espetada – grilled meat on long sticks. We have eaten ours at a local restaurant La Cala in a small town Carnical. The place is nothing fancy, but the food is delicious and also fairly priced.
Desserts in Madeira
We admit, we did not taste much of desserts. In fact, we have ordered Madeira cheesecake once and it was not bad, just a bit too sweet for our taste.
We also did not miss the Madeira sugarcane syrup cookies and Bolo de Mel (Honey cake). Both were really good and you should definitely try them.
Beverage in Madeira
Who would ever imagine that such a small island like Madeira can offer so many types of local drinks? Did you even know that Portugal was once one of the largest sugar cane exporters due to Madeira? Even nowadays Madeira grows sugar cane and mostly uses it to produce sugarcane rum.
The sugarcane rum is the basic for its local drink Poncha, made out of rum, honey and juice (orange, passion fruit…). A glass of Poncha will cost you from 2-3€.
Guess what, Madeira is also known for its good wine and beer.
Don’t forget even on delicious freshly squeezed natural juices like mango, papaya and our favorite, passion fruit. The price depends of location, but expect to pay something from 1,80€ to 3,00€.
Culinary in Madeira is not just about food – in our case it has lots to do with finding a good coffee to start the day with. No matter how many cafés we have visited in Madeira, we could not find coffee with a normal name, like café latte, macchiato etc. Well, we did find cappuccino eventually, but to our surprise it was served with cream and not with hot foamed milk.
Madeira might be best known for its nature and hiking trails, but food of Madeira will also not be a disappointment. Believe it or not, but you might fallen for Madeira solely for its food – we surely did.