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Madeira Restaurants

A Seta
Estrada do Livramento 80
Tel: 291 743 643

This mountainside tavern halfway between Funchal and Monte does attract its share of tourists, but with good reason. The menu is terribly simple—chicken and beef espetadas (skewered kebabs) cooked in an open wood-burning oven—and makes for a refreshingly carnivorous break from all that seafood. Also, the atmosphere is exceedingly convivial, from the regular Fado shows and other folk music performed live nearly nightly, and because diners rip their own meat off the tripod of skewers hanging above the table, sopping up the juices with warm, freshly baked bread. All good fun.

The Dining Room
In Reid's Palace, Estrada Monumental
Funchal , Madeira
Tel: 291 717 171

With more waiters than diners and more chandeliers than the average royal palace, the main (if un-inventively named) Dining Room at the prestigious Reid's Palace Hotel is every inch Edwardian splendor, with dancing every Saturday evening. Fun for celebrity spotting, but don't expect sublime food. Men must wear jackets and ties (you can buy cheap silk ones at stalls down by the harbor).

Doca Do Cavacas
Estrada Monumental
Ponta da Cruz , Madeira
Tel: 291 762 057

You know a reasonably priced seafood restaurant is good when local fishermen eat there. Doca do Cavacas is perched right on the edge of the sea, along the next bay round the coast from Funchal. It serves some of the freshest and best fish in town with a panoramic view of the water. Sample the espada (the deep-sea-dwelling scabbard fish) served with plantain and mango.

Golden Gate Grand Café
Avenida Arriaga 29
Funchal , Madeira
Tel: 291 234 383
Fax: 291 241 878

This café-restaurant, opposite the tourist office in the town center, opened in the early 1800s and still harks back to the colonial era with its wicker chairs, ceiling fans, and a terrace from which to watch the world go by. It's a good, cheap place to come for lunches ranging from fish 'n' chips to Oriental duck salad and plenty of Portuguese specialties. Delicious pastries and sandwiches are also available from the ground-floor bar throughout the day.

Rua de Santa Maria 5
Funchal , Madeira
Tel: 291 225 344

If you can't decipher what's scrawled on the blackboard menu, Senhor Luis will help you pick something fresh from the catch of the day at this seafood restaurant by Funchal's bustling market. This is a plain and simple little eatery serving plain and simple fisherman's food—grilled fish straight off the boats, garlic-laden shrimp, and scrumptious tuna steaks.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.