Taipa is a rewarding food and dining area in Macau. Every day, visitors file into this charming village in great numbers eager to nibble their way through the shops lining Rua do Cunha and other small streets near the Old Taipa Market. A delicious predicament faced by all when arriving in Taipa is where to start, which places to eat at and what food to try. There are simply too many choices of food in Taipa and not enough time (nor tummy space) to have it all.
The key is to strike a balance between famous and lesser known, traditional and unique, savoury and sweet, and to try food and drinks from different origins.
With this in mind, let me introduce a DIY food tour I call Taipa Light Bites – an easy journey through the village sampling a mix of popular, tasty and fun food and drinks.
You won’t need a lot of money for this activity but do bring a big appetite!
Taipa Light Bites DIY Food Tour in Macau
1- Pastelaria Fong Kei
It could be said that a visit to Macau isn’t complete without having local almond cookies, which are crumbly, fragrant and slightly sweet.
Pastelaria Fong Kei sells small plastic containers (MOP35) filled with enough bite-sized cookies to last a group of friends the whole day.
These perfect bite-sized cookies are great for nibbling on while walking around Taipa Village.
Pastelaria Fong Kei (晃記餅家) is at 14 Rua do Cunha. Opening Hours: 10 am to 9 pm.
2- Koi Kei Bakery
Bakkwa (jerked meats)
Second Stop – We next pass by Koi Kei Bakery, the most famous brand name pastelaria in Macau for scrumptious jerked meats (bak-kwa).
Koi Kei sells all manner of Macanese snacks and has several preparation stations, allowing you can see peanut candies, almond cookies and Phoenix rolls being freshly made.
These are fun to watch before making your way to the bak-kwa counter.
Bak-kwa originally comes from southern China but is found throughout Macau.
It comes in different savoury and sweet combinations and you are welcome to taste as many as you like before choosing.
Find what you like and inform how much you want to buy (MOP80+ per pound).
A half sheet (1/3 pound) of bak-kwa is enough for one or two people to eat while walking around the village.
However, most visitors end up purchasing a full sheet or two.
Koi Kei will happily bag and seal your extra bak-kwa for you to enjoy later.
Koi Kei Bakery 鉅記餅家 is at 11-13 Rua do Cunha. Opening Hours: 10 am to 11 pm.
3- Tai Lei Loi Kei
Pork chop bun
Third Stop – Let’s go with another famous eatery called Tai Lei Loi Kei for local-style pork chop buns (zhu pa boa), which is a popular food in Macau.
It’s an adopted food from Portugal that has been a favourite for so long that it is now considered a Macanese specialty.
Tai Lei Loi Kei has been serving pork chop buns in Taipa since 1968.
These days, they have two take-away branches just off Rua do Cunha.
Simply look for their staff holding up signs and pointing the way.
Zhu pa bao is served in plain or pineapple bun (MOP55) and can be a meal on its own. The size of the serving is big enough to share with a friend.
Do be mindful when eating chopa boa for the first time as pork chops are served on the bone.
Bite softly to avoid bruising a tooth or two!
Tai Lei Loi Kei is at 42 Rua dos Clerigos. Opening Hours: 8 am to 6 pm.
4- Café Veng Kei
Pineapple bun and milk tea
Fourth Stop – After snacking on savoury bites, its time for something sweet.
Our next call is at Café Veng Kei for pineapple bun (po lou bao) and milk tea (lai cha), which is a Chinese black tea prepared with evaporated or condensed milk.
These are very popular in nearby Hong Kong for breakfast or afternoon tea and can found easily in Macau.
Compared to ordinary tea, milk tea has a thicker, creamier texture and sugar is added to your taste. Keep in mind that if you order takeaway milk tea, it almost always has sugar already added.
Café Vong Kei is a colourfully painted Cha Chaan Teng (Hong Kong restaurant) conveniently located at the southern corner of Rua do Cunha.
They have a takeaway window where they sell freshly baked pineapple buns – soft buttered bread topped with sugary pineapple crust (MOP15) that goes down well with Hong Kong style milk tea (MOP24).
Cafe Veng Kei is at 60 Rua Correia da Silva. Opening Hours: 7 am to 6 pm.
5- Tian Mo Fang Dessert
Fifth Stop – Now it’s time for something fun from Tian Mo Fang, a shop that specialises in dessert puddings, another local favourite.
We are here for their special eggshell pudding.
This is a peculiar snack that is light, fluffy and soufflé like in texture.
It comes in three flavours (plain, chocolate and green tea) and is served in an open eggshell (MOP11-13 each).
Visit with a friend or two and you can taste them all.
Tian Mo Fang Dessert (甜磨坊) is at 67 Rua Does Clerigos. Opening Hours: 12 pm to 9 pm (Closed on Tuesdays).
6- Gelatina Mok Yi Kei
Durian-flavoured ice cream
Sixth Stop – Sticking with desserts, let’s try something stronger to waken our taste buds.
We’re now going to have durian-flavoured ice cream from Gelatina Mok Yi Kei, another Michelin recommended eatery that has been around for over 80 years.
For those less familiar, durian is considered the king of fruit in Southeast Asia.
It has become a popular ice-cream flavour in Macau and Gelatina Mok Yi Kei is the place to go for this specialty treat in Taipa.
Gelatina Mok Yi Kei offers two types sold by the cup – the D24 Durian (MOP$33) and the rarer Mustang King Durian (MOP$68).
Both varieties are richly flavoured.
Most will find the D24 already strong enough so bear this in mind when ordering.
Gelatina Mok Yi Kei (莫義記) is at 9 Rua do Cunha. Opening Hours: 7 am to 11 pm.
Seventh Stop – It’s tart time!
We’re off to Lord Stow’s Bakery, Macau’s most famous maker of local egg tarts.
This is a wildly popular snack food that you really shouldn’t leave Macau without having tried.
Again borrowing from Portuguese influences, Macanese egg tarts are different from their popular cousins in Hong Kong.
These have the texture of custard, a slightly brown charred surface and flakier crust.
Like their famous ancestors in Portugal, pasteis de nata, Macanese tarts should be eaten warm, fresh out of the oven.
Lord Stow’s tarts (MOP10) are the best you’ll find in Taipa.
Visitors queue up all day for these treats.
Usually one or two per person is enough but they won’t blink an eye if you end up ordering more.
Take four or more and they’ll box your tarts for you.
Lord Stow’s Bakery is at 9-E Rua do Cunha. Opening Hours: 10 am to 9 pm.
8- Tuga & Lola in Taipa Village
Ginja and Portuguese snacks
Eighth Stop – Staying with the Portuguese theme, let’s make way to Toga & Lola for Ginja.
For those missing the Ginjinha bars of Lisbon, Toga & Lola is the place to go for Ginja (cherry liquor) shots (MOP15) in Macau.
Ginja is traditional liquor from Portugal and something that had been sorely lacking in Macau for many years.
Today, Toga & Lola fills the void, serving up this sinfully sweet drink and other liquor shots here in Taipa.
Toga & Lola offers Portuguese wines, sangria as well as sausages, cheeses, croquettes and codfish cakes if you fancy something savoury with your drinks.
Tuga & Lola is at 6 Rua dos Clerigos. Opening Hours: 11 am to 9 pm.
9- Blissful Carrot
Vegan, gluten-free and healthy foods
Extra Stop – We finish off with a bonus stop at Blissful Carrot, a place that specialises in vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free and healthy food and drinks, just a couple minutes walk from the Old Taipa Market on Rua Direita Carlos Eugenio.
This is a fun eatery that bakes up banana bread, chocolate cookies, coconut cakes and other healthy and delicious treats each morning.
They offer a range of made-to-order fruit juices, smoothies and other healthy drinks as well.
The Blissful Carrot is at 79A Rua Direita Carlos Eugenio. Opening Hours: 10 am to 8 pm (Closed on Wednesdays).
That wraps up our tasty time nibbling and sipping our way through Taipa Village.
These are my pick of the top spots, and best of all, we’ve left 30 or 40 more places for you to try in Taipa on your next trip to Macau.
So if you know of a great place for food in Taipa, please share it with us by leaving a comment below.