Madeira Islands

Last update: August 2023

Gastronomy of Portugal

Autonomous Region of Madeira

Gastronomy and Good Wines

Land of Fishermen, the Madeira Archipelago has a varied gastronomy based on fish, shellfish and seafood. Meats are also prepared to satisfy all tastes, as is the case with Espetada, one of the most popular specialties among Madeirans.

Espetada típica da Ilha da Madeira, Portugal © Confraria Enogastronômica da Madeira, ilustração
Espetada typical of Madeira Island, Portugal © Madeira Enogastronomic Brotherhood, illustration

In Madeira, in addition to the abundance of fish, this is the land the famous Espetada (like a generous meat skewer) and of good soups.

The Fish

There are many fish found in Madeira. However, one of the most typical is the famous black swordfish from Madeira.

"In the middle of the Atlantic, the archipelago's fish and shellfish are tasty and traditionally cooked, such as black scabbardfish fillets or tuna steaks, served with crispy corn fried. Or delicious octopus and seafood, starting with limpets, snails and many others" [Visit Portugal].

Find out more: Fish in Madeira Kitchen

The Meats

"In terms of meat, the most traditional dish is the famous beef skewer on a laurel stick, which gives it an unmistakable flavor. Homemade couscous is also very popular, wheat soup, and garlic meat" [Visit Portugal].

Find out more: The Meat in Madeira Kitchen

Cozinha da Madeira, Arquipélago da Madeira,Portugal © Internet, ilustração
Madeira Cuisine, Madeira Archipelago,Portugal © Internet, illustration

The Soups

Soups also deserve a separate chapter. From popular and traditional soups - cabbage soup, watercress soup, fish soup - even the most sophisticated ones found in Funchal restaurants.

Find out more: Madeira Cuisine Soups

Some Madeira Specialties

In addition to the very traditional Espetada de Vaca, other specialties that visitors must try are: Madeira-style black scabbard fish, scabbard fillets, Madeiran stew, octopus and minced meat, to name just a few of the best known dishes of Madeira cuisine.

Find out more: Madeira Specialties

Funchal: Where to eat

The capital of the Madeira Archipelago, historic city and great center tourist destination in Portugal, is the fourth most visited city in the country.

According to the report recently published by Bloom Consulting, the fourth place, considering its variables and including the overseas archipelagos, it is the city of Funchal, on the island of Madeira, behind only Lisbon, Porto and Cascais.

Porto Santo: Where to eat

Porto Santo is an island in the Madeira Archipelago, famous for its incredible beaches and for to be, since 2020, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

The municipality of Porto Santo occupies the entire area of this island, whose capital is city of Vila Baleira.

Porto Santo is home to some of the most incredible beaches in Europe, which is why which is why it is a great tourist destination.

Learn more: Porto Santo, Madeira

Vinho Madeira, Arquipélago da Madeira,Portugal © Internet, ilustração
Madeira Wine, Madeira Archipelago, Portugal © Internet, illustration

Madeira Wine

One of the best-known wines in the world, Madeira Wine, enjoyed both as an aperitif and as a digestif, it is the great ambassador of this region of Portugal.

Learn more: Madeira Wines


Lovers of good food will have many opportunities to taste the typical snacks and specialties of the varied and traditional cuisine of Madeira.

Learn more: Madeira Cuisine

Famous sweets

Madeira Island, Land of Sugar, has a world of sweets and desserts to discover. The highlight, in this chapter see below are the delicacies made with sugar cane honey:

"The sugar cane honey, a product made from the sugar cane in the region, is a great ally of Madeiran sweets. Through it, many recipes gain a very own. The honey cake and the honey scones will probably be the best known Madeiran sweets" [Visit Madeira].
Sweets da Madeira, Madeira Archipelago,Portugal © Visit Madeira, illustration
Madeira Sweets, Madeira Archipelago,Portugal © Visit Madeira, illustration

Confectionery and Desserts

In Madeira as in Mainland Portugal, sweets are plentiful and varied. One of the highlights is the popular Bolo do Caco.

"The bolo do caco cannot be missing. But this is not a cake, but a bread baked on a piece of of tile, which usually accompanies the kebab with garlic butter. Also with sweet potato makes bread in Madeira: the appetizing sweet potato rosquilhas. The Queijadas and the fennel sweets are also very popular" [Visit Portugal].

Top Cities

Greater Lisbon

In addition to the largest urban agglomeration in the country (Lisbon), Sintra, Cascais, Loures, Almada and Oeiras complete the podium of the Top 5 largest cities in Portugal.

Greater Porto

In the north of the country, in Greater Porto, other important cities are Vila Nova de Gaia, Braga, Matosinhos, Gondomar and Guimarães.

Learn more

Main cities

+ Portugal

Guide to Portugal


Travel around Portugal


Tips for visitors

Travel Tips

Guide to Wines of Portugal
Portuguese Cooking Guide
Guide Lisbon
Olive oil from Portugal
Guide to Algarve
Guíde to Porto