As you might know, part of what makes Macau so awesome is its unique blend of both Chinese and Portuguese cultures, which not only makes the way of life so special and diverse here, but also makes the local restaurants great. Here’s a list of the best places that offer a slice 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.
What at first seems to be a small food joint tucked in one of Taipa Village’s most busy streets is actually a quite ample two storey restaurant with several windows upstairs and 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). Staff are very nice and eager to help, dishes are served fast and portions are quite generous. O Santos allows you to ask for half servings too, which is good if you’re sharing or alone.
O Santos 20 Rua do Cunha, Taipa Village, +853 2882 5594
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 a roasted dish, such as codfish or octopus. It’s common practice in Portugal to have a bread basket with butter and sometimes olives and pâtés as entrée. A Petisqueira is one 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 something being relocated, closing and opening. Lúcio’s reputation in the food world proceeds him: he used to work with his uncle at Pousada de Coloane (Cheok Van Beach) and as a chef at Hotel Lisboa’s restaurant, Galera O Guincho.
A Petisqueira 15 Rua de São João, Taipa Village, +853 2882 5354
Opening hours: Tuesdays–Sundays, 12:30pm–2:15pm, 18:45pm–10:00pm
TAPAS DE PORTUGAL
The owner here 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 and duck rice and suckling pig, this joint in the center of Taipa Village welcomes customers to try their contemporary tapas. However, these are Portuguese rather than Spanish, which give them a twist. Curious? It’s just a bus ride away and they are blessed with an incredible rooftop that can be rented for events and has an amazing view towards to neighborhood.
Tapas de Portugal 9 Rua dos Clerigos, Taipa Village, +853 2857 6626
Opening hours: daily, 12:00pm–12:00am
This is one of the newest restaurants in the area. Allfama sits further away from the main part of Taipa Village, but it’s a must visit, for sure. Besides offering a quite generous lunch set menu (includes soup or salad, a main dish, a drink and a dessert) during weekdays, it also has dishes somewhat difficult to find in Macau: alheira (Portuguese meat sausage generally served with French fries and rice), fish açorda (Portuguese bread and fish porridge seasoned with cilantro and pepper), amongst others.
Allfama 94 Rua de Fernão Mendes Pinto, Taipa Village, +853 2857 6062
Opening hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10:00am–11:00pm, Weekdays 11:00am–10:30pm
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 on 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, a busy and well-known restaurant and cafe in Macau side.
Adega Velha 643 Rua de Fernão de Mendes, Taipa Village, +853 2857 6950
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 yet perfect sauce), spread its wings 90 years ago in Portuguese, having 11 restaurants throughout the country and the one in Macau. As you can see, Macau is so unique it even gets its own Portugália, which is a big deal for any Portuguese. Although the dishes are a bit pricier than in most 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.
Portugália 2-6 Rua dos Mercadores, Taipa Village, +853 6280 3992
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.
Le Cesar Old Taipa 300 Rua Direita Carlos Eugénio, Chun Weng Kok G/F, Taipa Village, +853 2857 6682
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 12:00pm–3:00pm, 18:00–11:00 Saturday and 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 quite that way, depending on the meal time. At dinner, it can be busy, but it’s amazing to get drinks during sunset, or grabbing some appetizers with friends! Some dishes at In Portuguese 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.
In Portuguese Food 86 G/F Rua Correia da Silva, Taipa Village, +853 2857 6700
Opening hours: Tuesday–Friday 11:30am–3:00pm, 6:30pm–11:00pm; Saturday and Sunday 11:30am–11:00pm. Closed on Monday.