The Portuguese legacy is still very much alive in Macau from the local Portuguese community to the culinary and art scene. Macau, with its city of gastronomy UNESCO status, is home to a melting pot of cuisines and one can dine very well without breaking the bank. From street food to private kitchens and Michelin-starred restaurants, the city has it a range of dining options, including many fabulous Macau Portuguese restaurants.
Most of the Portuguese restaurants in Macau are causal rustic establishments where recipes are hearty and portions generous – ideal for sharing.
Here are my favourites that you should check out on your next Macau trip for authentic Portuguese flavours and lively ambience.
12 Macau Portuguese Restaurants
1- A Petisqueira
A Petisqueira is a rustic Portuguese restaurant located at a corner of Taipa Village and you are unlikely to miss it with its exterior electric blue walls.
Book in advance as it’s difficult to get a table at the last minute.
Order the usual suspects here: sauté white wine, garlic clams, a delicious Portuguese wet seafood rice, some codfish cakes to start and finish with the chocolate mousse and the traditional Portuguese dessert “Serradura” over a strong shot of Portuguese expresso.
The wine list is predominantly Portuguese and you might want to give green wine “Vinho Verde” a try – it’s light and refreshing.
A Petisqueira is at 15 Rua de São Joao, Taipa, Tel: +853 2882 5354.
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2- O Santos Comida Portuguesa
Located on the busy Cunha Street in Old Taipa Village, O’Santos opened in 1989 and is where longtime Portuguese expats come to dine and hang out.
The two-storey cosy diner is always bustling, with rustic interiors and an ambience that makes diners feel like they’re dining in the Portuguese countryside.
Hearty portions of classic dishes are made for sharing, served on red checked table cloths.
You must order the duck rice and sauté garlic clams garnished with plenty of fresh coriander and add a side of salad – tomatoes, onions, olives and lettuce with olive oil generously drizzled over.
You’ll want to ask for more bread to mop up the rich, savoury juices.
O Santos Comida Portuguesa is at 20 Rua do Cunha, Taipa, Macau, Tel: +853 2882 5594.
This establishment serves both traditional Macanese dishes as well as the Portuguese classics.
The suckling roast pig over rice is a signature – moist and rich with a crispy thin skin that crackles with every bite.
The simple dish of shrimps in garlic sauce is delightful, and they do a Macanese rendition of garlic, sauté white wine clams with pork.
Historically, this dish was usually ordered over a business negotiation meal – there was no discussion of religion over commercial dealings, but this dish would distinguish the Jewish and Muslims in a social setting.
If you’d like to venture out of the Portuguese menu, order the minchi and Tacho – a winter stew for a taste of authentic Macanese flavours.
Carlos is at Vista Magnifica Building, GF, Rua Cidade de Braga, Southern Macau Peninsula, Tel: +853 2875 1838.
4- Tromba Rija
The Portuguese community in Macao come here regularly for brunch and dinner, tucking into local specialities and a huge array of fresh seafood from shrimps to cured salmon and grilled octopus.
The buffet selection rotates, so you’ll never have to worry about eating the same dishes weeks on end.
Tromba Rija is at G/F, Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre, Tel: +853 2896 2878.
Fado at Hotel Royal serves up contemporary takes on Portuguese dishes, with some dishes cooked and presented tableside.
The name of the restaurant Fado, is an expressive and emotional music genre that originated in the 1820s in Lisbon.
A signature dish here is the Bacalhau à Bras that they cook at the table – slivers of cod cooked tableside with eggs, garlic, and skinny shoestring potatoes, garnished with parsley, black olives and chives.
Be careful not to fill up on the freshly baked Portuguese bread – soft, airy pillows and save room for the range of croquettes, grilled octopus and perfectly executed seafood dishes.
Estrada da Vitoria, n.os 2-4, mezanino do Hotel Royal, (Mezanino entre 2/F e 3/F), Macau, Tel: +853 2855 2222.
Antonio’s in Taipa village is an institution.
The eponymous restaurant of Portuguese chef Antonio Coelho who has made Macau his home for decades and a regular destination for locals and tourists.
Dinner is a lively affair with chef Antonio wielding a large sabre opening bottles of champagne, over live music and carafes of Portuguese red wine.
Start with chorizos and Portuguese cold cuts over a side of crispy, piping hot bacalhau codfish cakes, then tuck into the signature garlic tiger prawns, octopus salad.
Don’t forget to pace yourself and leave room for the hearty duck rice and African chicken.
The atmosphere is relaxed and diners take their time and linger on after their meals, finishing with an assortment of Portuguese cheeses and beautiful vintages of port wine.
Antonio’s is at 7 R. dos Clerigos, Macau, Tel: +853 2899 9998.
7- Tapas de Portugal (by Antonio)
Tapas de Portugal’s menu serves a broad range of sharing plates.
Favourites here include the grilled squid with garlic olive oil, duck rice, roast suckling pig and seafood rice.
The signature codfish à Bras is also worth a try – often known as the litmus test of a good Portuguese restaurant.
For those who prefer a plant-based diet, don’t worry, there are also many Vegetarian choices on the menu from starters to salads.
The assorted Portuguese cheese platter is a lovely way to end the meal before moving along to dessert – traditional Portuguese chocolate cake, chocolate mousse or a crème caramel? If you can’t decide, order all.
Tapas de Portugal is at Rua dos Clerigos No.9, Taipa, Macau, Tel: +853 2857 6626.
The original Portugália is a Portuguese beer house that opened in 1925 in Lisbon.
Their Macau outpost has opened in Taipa Village in recent years, bringing with it its culinary traditions.
The ambience is relaxed and people come here for the special Portuguese steaks that they have been serving up for decades.
Classic Portuguese steaks always come adorned with a sunny side up egg, along with generous servings of fries.
At Portugália’ they take it up a notch and dress it in a creamy sauce for good measure.
Mop up the sauce with your fries or ask for more bread.
We also recommend ordering the codfish à Braz and octopus salad.
Portugália is at Rua dos Mercadores No.5, Taipa Village, Macau.
9- Casa do Porco Preto
The restaurant takes pride in the quality of their farm-to-table meat and produce.
While the menu isn’t exactly slow food like you’d find in Portugal, the family-run business is focused on farm-to-table produce, where they are actively involved in the farming process of raising happy, healthy animals.
The independent restaurant Casa do Porco Preto imports directly from the source – their farm in Portugal.
Proprietress Vanda Rodrigues’ animals are grass-fed and free-roaming, a tradition the family has kept for the last 200 years.
Her uncle chef Fernando has taken over the reins at the restaurant bringing out the best of their farm-raised produce.
The menu is extensive and evolving, but Rodrigues recommends starting with the signature “Leitão Assado” (roasted suckling pig) and “Perna de Cabrito no Forno” (Roasted Goat leg) for first-timers.
I’d suggest gathering a large party so there’s plenty to share.
Casa do Porco Preto is at 310 R. do Alm. Sergio, Macau, Tel: +853 2896 6313
This place is an institution.
Expats from Hong Kong and Macao have been coming here for over a decade.
It’s also become a tourist check-list to dine in Coloane near Hac Sac beach.
The laid-back rustic interiors and outdoor seating make for languid meals over summer nights over pints of beer or Portuguese wines.
The food is simple, homecooked and full of flavours.
The usual favourites here are the garlic clams, garlic shrimp and the roasted fish with the house special olive sauce.
If you’re a big party, definitely order the roast suckling pig to share as well.
Fernando is at Praia de Hac Sa, No 9, Coloane, Macau, Tel: +853 2888 2264.
11- Espaço Lisboa
Located in a quiet corner of the Coloane neighbourhood, Espaço Lisboa serves up wholesome homemade Portuguese dishes.
If you are ravenous and keen to try the classic Portuguese, have the bread stew along with the duck rice – both quite heavy, but rich and flavourful.
Our favourites are the white wine clams, garlic prawns, a simple salad of tomatoes, onions, black olives and lettuce dressed in olive oil and the seafood rice.
Add some perfectly grilled BBQ ribs to the mix that comes served with a side of fries.
There is a range of croquettes and codfish cakes that are worth ordering while you wait for your mains.
Espaço Lisboa is at 8 R. das Gaivotas, Macau +853 2888 2226
12- Club Militar de Macau
This 1870 colonial heritage building is one of the most iconic buildings in the heart of the Macau Peninsula and its restaurant serves up traditional Portuguese food.
Lunches are buffet-style and plenty of the city’s Portuguese lawyers and bankers in suits come here to dine and have business lunches.
While it’s a member’s club, the restaurant is open to the public and there are often Portuguese Michelin-starred chefs that come for promotions as well as special wine dinners from the different regions of Portugal.
The a la carte menu serves traditional classics from a steak, garlic clams to Portuguese duck rice and are popular choices for regular diners.
Adjourn to the bar for after-dinner drinks and enjoy a glass or two of their vintage Port wines.
Club Militar de Macau is at 975 Avenida da Praia Grande, Macao, +853 2871 4004