Photo credit: Tapas de Portugal. Source: Tapas de Portugal Facebook page
As you might know, part of what makes Macau so awesome is its unique blend of both Chinese and Portuguese cultures. This not only makes the way of life so special and diverse here but also makes for a varied dining experience. We’ve come up with a list of the best restaurants that offer a taste of authentic Portuguese cuisine in Taipa Village which is coming to be known as the Portuguese food district in Macau. All the following choices have quite an interesting Portuguese wine list as well.
TAPAS DE PORTUGAL
(See featured image above)
The owner has reinvented his restaurant’s concept, giving people a new way to taste traditional Portuguese food. Besides grilled squid with olive oil, several codfish dishes, seafood rice, duck rice and suckling pig, this joint in the center of Taipa Village welcomes customers to try their contemporary tapas. Although their name may suggest that they’re Spanish, they are in actuality very Portuguese! Curious? It’s just a bus ride away and they are blessed with an incredible rooftop that can be rented for events with an amazing view of the neighborhood.
Opening hours: Daily, 12:00pm–12:00am
Comida Portuguesa O Santos
What at first seems to be a small food joint tucked in one of Taipa Village’s most busy streets is actually an ample two-story restaurant with a big collection of football teams’ scarves downstairs. Owned by a great Portuguese cook from Alentejo, O Santos offers a range of typical Portuguese dishes such as roasted octopus, cozido (a traditional stew made with boiled vegetables, a mix of meats and rice), giblet rice or beans stew (feijoada, in Portuguese). The staff are friendly and eager to help, dishes are served quickly and portions are quite generous. O Santos allows you to ask for half servings too, which is good if you’re sharing or eating alone.
Opening hours: Wednesday–Monday, 12:00pm–3:00pm, 6:30pm–10:00pm
Don’t be fooled by the exterior, A Petisqueira is a good place to go for roasted dishes, such as codfish or octopus. It’s common practice in Portugal to have a bread basket with butter and sometimes olives and pâté as entrée. A Petisqueira is one of the best places to start getting in the mood for lunch: the bread is warm and it goes perfectly with the melting butter. José Lúcio is Petisqueira’s owner and opened this tiny joint in 1993. The restaurant remains in its original location, an unusual thing in a city where there’s always somewhere being relocated, closing and opening. Lúcio’s reputation in the food world precedes him; he used to work with his uncle at Pousada de Coloane (Cheoc Van Beach) and as a chef at Hotel Lisboa’s restaurant, Galera O Guincho.
Opening hours: Tuesdays–Sundays, 12:30pm–2:15pm, 6:45pm–10:00pm
A Petisqueira 15 Rua de São João, Taipa Village, +853 2882 5354
This spot is located in front of Allfama, far from all the hustle and bustle of Taipa center. Adega has all the typical dishes one expects when thinking of Portuguese food. These include (a really good) duck rice, seafood rice, fried shrimps, steaks, stewed clams, and grilled fish. The menu also has something inspired by the local custom of sharing food: a tasting mix of several dishes, from where one can choose meats, snacks, salads or fish. These sharing sets come with three different recipes each. Adega Velha’s owner, Marco Policarpo, is also managing three other restaurants in Macau: Banza, Metropizza and Boa Mesa. Policarpo used to work at Ou Mun as well, a busy and well-known restaurant and cafe on the Macau side.
Opening hours: Daily, 12:00pm–3:30pm, 6:00pm–11:00pm
In 2015, Macau got a bit more Portuguese with the opening of the first Portugália restaurant outside its birthplace. This joint, known for its Portugália style steak (with a secret and perfect sauce), has a 90 year history starting in Portugal and presently has almost 30 restaurants throughout the country and one overseas branch in Macau. As you can see, Macau is so unique it even gets its own Portugália, which is a big deal for any Portuguese person in town. Although the dishes are a bit pricier than in other Portuguese restaurants in town, their signature dish is really worth it. Besides their steak, there’s also codfish, seafood dishes, croquettes and cold octopus salad. For updates and to see their updated offerings, check their Facebook page.
Opening hours: Daily, 12:00pm–10:00pm
LE CESAR OLD TAIPA
There’s already a Le Cesar close to Taipa Central Park. Opened in 2017, Le Cesar Old Taipa has the most exquisite sea bass lemon rice in Macau, especially because it’s different (more creative) than the Portuguese-style rice restaurants often serve. They also have great meat offerings and interesting starters, like their puff pastry stuffed with chèvre, apple, and honey. Aside from that, there’s always the classics: cheese and smoked sausage’s tapas, grilled fish, octopus salad, among others.
Opening hours: Monday–Friday, 12:00pm–3:00pm, 6:00pm–11:00pm; Saturday–Sunday, 12:00pm–11:00pm
IN PORTUGUESE FOOD
This is the perfect example of a place that started as a hidden gem and still remains that way, depending on the mealtime. At dinner, it can be busy, but it’s an amazing place to have drinks during sunset, or grabbing some appetizers with friends! Some dishes at In Portuguese Food might be pricey, but overall, the menu offers a wide range of options and an interesting drinks menu, with champagne sangria too! The terrace sits on the restaurant’s upper floor and offers a great and unobstructed view of Taipa Village, which is as relaxing as it is satisfying. For regular updates and menu offerings, check out their Facebook page.
Opening hours: Tuesday–Friday, 11:30am–3:00pm, 6:30pm–11:00pm; Saturday–Sunday, 11:30am–11:00pm. Closed on Monday
This article was originally written by Leonor Sá Machado in September 2018 and updated in November 2019.