Updated: Jun 24, 2021
The First One has to be our famous Espetada Madeirense (Beef on the skewer).
This simple dish will blow you away for the simplicity and the taste. It is basically cubes of beef seasoned with garlic, salt and laurel leaves. The traditional way is using the laurel skewers to give extra flavor to the meat while the meat is on the charcoal grill.
Nowadays on restaurants they use metal skewers because we need to protect our forest of Laurel trees but do not worry, the way they do it, it is very tasty and I am sure you will love it. As a side, the best traditional option to have with this meal is salad, fried polenta (Milho frito) and a nice red wine or Sangria. 😋
There are a few restaurants in Madeira island where you can have the Traditional Espetada, one of my favorites Is Restaurante O Viola this place is really known by the locals and it is very rare to see tourists as it is far from the touristic area, you will need a car to reach to this restaurant. It is just 25min from Funchal by car and it is located in Estreito de Câmara de Lobos. Another good restaurant for Espetada is La Parreira, it is also a bit more far away from the last one, this one is located in Campanario, 35min from Funchal. Both of the restaurants I mention they are no fancy places, they are very authentic and the locals go there because they do make good quality food with a very good price.
The second dish is limpets (Lapas), this is one of our favorite sea food dishes in all Madeira Island. This sea food comes straight from our shore, this small shells they grow on the rocks of our sea and you need to have the right tools to remove them from the rocks. The way to prepare this limpets is with a bit of butter garlic and we grill them on a pan, after grilling we add lemon juice on top of them and then we eat them. This food goes well with our traditional bread called Bolo do Caco with garlic butter and Portuguese Green Wine or Beer.
To eat Lapas, I always suggest places on the sea side as most of the places on the sea side they will have fresh ones as they are always selling it. If by any chance you would be in Caniçal you can have lapas and other fish related food in Muralhas Bar or in Aquarium Restaurant this restaurants are in the sea shore and also not far from each other. Both of them are really good.