Cozido das Furnas at Restaurante Tony's in Furnas, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal

Where to eat on São Miguel island in Portugal’s Azores

We ate at a lot of excellent restaurants on our recent trip to São Miguel island in Portugal.

The food on this trip meant a lot to me, because my Azorean grandmother prepared Portuguese and Azorean foods that I great up eating, like massa sovada, malassadas, a variety of dishes with chouriço and linguiça, and of course, caldo verde. I was excited to try the foods on the island, by which I mean that I was excited to be transported back to the smells and tastes of her kitchen. And I was. 

Lucky for me, I didn’t have to do much culinary research for the trip, because a Portuguese friend gave us a few perfect restaurant recommendations. We also got a tip from the guide on the excellent food tour we did on the first day we arrived about a place to eat in Ponta Delgada, and we stumbled upon another great place in Ponta Delgada when our flight was delayed on our last day.

We truly didn’t have a bad meal in São Miguel – on the contrary, all of the meals we ate in restaurants were memorable. The portions were generous everywhere we went – in fact, we often opted for one meal out a day (usually lunch) and had some light snacks or a salad back at our AirBnb for dinner. 

I’ve included all of the places we ate on the island because it’s so small that you could drive and reach each one from pretty much anywhere, and also because they fit perfectly into the seven-day plan that we followed on our trip (blog post forthcoming).

Here’s my list of recommended restaurants in São Miguel

Ponta Delgada

A Tasca

We ate at A Tasca on our last night in São Miguel. I had found it when doing a bit of research, and our food tour guide confirmed that we should go. It was the perfect place for a final dinner on the island. 

As we stood outside browsing the menu, the sound of clinking silverware and conversation floated out of the open door. The crowd seemed to be a mix of tourists and locals, with waiters buzzing between tables like bees to flowers.

Despite having been in Portugal for a week at that point, I hadn’t had caldo verde, so when I saw it on the menu, I decided to get it as a starter. 

It looked slightly different than my grandmother’s – her caldo verde, which she called “couves,” the Portuguese word for kale, was red because of the addition of kidney beans and the type of chouriço that she used. 

The broth at Tasca was pale and thick, almost like a potato puree, with delicate ribbons of kale and coins of chouriço here and there. It was warming and cozy – perfect for the windy, gray night.

I followed this with a tureen of beef slow cooked in red wine with melty onions, which was served with a side of plain white rice and half of a toasted bolo lêvedo. It was the kind of meal I could happily eat pretty much every cold day of the year. 

Jeremy got a flambeed sausage that was not only very tasty but made quite a spectacle, and followed that up with a plump, fork-tender tuna steak, which was the catch of the day.

To finish up, we went for the pineapple cake, made with pineapples grown right on the island (São Miguel is home to over 6,000 pineapple plantations – a few are open to visits from the public). The sticky, caramelized pineapple draped over a not-super-sweet cake was a winning combo.

Pineapple cake at A Tasca in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal

Booking and other info

No reservations.

+351 296 288 880

Rua do Aljube 16

Louvre Michaelense 

When our flight was indefinitely on our last day due to bad weather, we decided to stash our bags at the hotel and head out for a long walk after breakfast. We traversed Ponta Delgada, visiting the end of the city we hadn’t yet been to, before making our way back into town to have our second cup of coffee.

We settled into a cozy booth at Louvre Michaelense, taking in the magically mismatched décor and deep swigs of galão (which is the Portuguese word for a caffè latte). 

“Damn!” I said to Jeremy. “I wish we could have eaten here!”

The wind must have heard me, because a few hours later, as we went back to the hotel to get our bags and head to the airport, our flight was delayed again. We returned to the Louvre for lunch. 

Although there were many tempting options (including the entire dinner menu, which was on display but not yet available given the hour), we opted for the lightest things available after many days of meat and fish. I had a bowl of house-made tomato soup swirled with olive oil and a tangle of cooked kale leaves and Jeremy had an açaí bowl. I would eat them both again, as well as many other things.

Açai bowl, Louvre Michaelense, Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal

Booking and other info

Book here or here. 

+351 938 346 886

Rua António José D’Almeida 8

Água de Pau

Bar Caloura

This recommendation came by way of our friend, who didn’t steer us wrong on one thing for the entire trip. 

Bar Caloura is unassuming – a small place that looks casual, almost like a little beach bar. That’s pretty much what it is, but they happen to serve up some of the best fish I’ve ever had.

They have a full menu, but we went for two catches of the day: triggerfish and sea bream. Each came with a trip to the salad bar, some tomato slices and red pepper, and boiled potatoes.

The waves nipped gently at the shore on our left as we ate. The fish was prepared very simply – no overpowering flavors or spices, just great grilled fish. 

Catch of the day at Bar Caloura in São Miguel, Azores, Portugal

Booking and other info

Rua da Caloura 20

+351 296 913 283

Furnas

Restaurante Tony’s

Another recommendation from our friend, the minute you start Googling “where to eat in São Miguel,” Tony’s pops up.

The reason for going to Tony’s is the cozido das Furnas, a stew that is cooked in giant pots that are lowered into the ground and cooked using the island’s volcanic heat. 

Frankly, I expected something a little dry and overcooked, but I’m very happy to report that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Whatever alchemical process they use to cook the stew leaves the meat – chicken, pork, beef, chouriço and blood sausage – flavorful and tender. I shredded each piece with my fork, drenched it with a little extra broth that comes on the side (yes, it’s served with a pitcher of broth, which I was very much not mad at), and mixed each bite with some of the vegetables that cook with the meat (cabbage, kale, potatoes and carrots).

Cozido das Furnas at Restaurante Tony's in Furnas, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal

We opted for one portion of stew (enough for two people) and a hamburger, because São Miguel is known for its beef. The burger was also juicy and satisfying, but the standout for me was the ketchup. If you know me, you know I hate condiments, but I had to try the ketchup. It was orange, for starters, and Jeremy commented on how good it was. 

Again, they must be performing something magical in the kitchen at Tony’s. It was sweet and tangy, like all ketchups, but there was something extra that gave it a little kick. Cinnamon? Orange and clove? I don’t know, but Tony, if you’re reading this, DM me that recipe.

Hamburger and fries at Restaurante Tony's in Furnas, São Miguel, Azores

Booking and other info

Rua Largo Teatro

Bookings essential, staff speaks English: +351 296 584 290

Vila Franco do Campo

Mercado da Vila

Our friend struck gold again with this recommendation. Once an old fish market, the building was remodeled into a simple, modern dining space that now houses four different spots serving Azorean, Italian and Japanese fare, as well as a chocolatier. 

Having heard rave reviews of the sushi from said friend, we went for it. We started with some savory dumplings that were plump with filling, and then I had the best tataki I’ve ever eaten.

Gyoza at Mercado da Vila in Vila Franca do Campo, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal

The very edge was teased white by a blow torch, with the raw center left deep magenta. The subtle flavor of the tuna was enhanced with the spice of ginger, and sweet, sour and salt from the pool of ponzu it was served on.

Note that you can sit anywhere and order whatever kind of food you want – the different eateries do not have designated sitting areas.

Tuna tataki at Mercado da Vila in Vila Franca do Campo, Azores, Portugal

Booking and other info

Book online here.

Rua Vasco da Silveira

+351 296 102 057

Ribiera Grande

Restaurante Associação Agrícola de São Miguel

Yet another recommendation from our friend, we stopped at the Restaurante Associação Agrícola de São Miguel after visiting Ribiera Grande in the morning. Our planned hiking route for the day, around the Lagoa do Fogo, was too foggy, but our lunch certainly made up for missing out.

Tucked into a kind of agricultural compound, the restaurant is known for its beef, although there are a lot of other items available. 

I had the house speciality – the Bife à Associação, which is pan-fried steak flambeed with white wine, garlic and pimenta salgada, which are salted red peppers that are stored in water. Jeremy got a steak smothered in a sauce made of cognac and cream, and seasoned with three peppers. Each steak came with a generous portion of fries.

Steak with three peppers at Restaurante Associação Agrícola de São Miguel

My steak in itself was delicious. I think it could have been fine served naked with just a bit of salt, but the white wine sauce, the garlic, the deeply salty peppers and the crown – a fried egg – made it a decadent lunch. 

Steak with a fried egg at Restaurante Associação Agrícola de São Miguel

Booking and other info

Campo do Santana

Menu

Bookings highly recommended (staff speaks English): +351 296 490 001

Achadinha

Restaurante Poço Azul

Named for a nearby blue lagoon, we stopped at Poço Azul on our second-to-last day in São Miguel, which we spent doing two walks on the northeast side of the island.

After a minor incident with our rental car, we wearily made our way to Poço Azul, which is known for its €10 lunch buffet. I slightly regret not trying it, but we decided to go for the à la carte option instead.

I had chicken with garlic and those delicious salted peppers with a side of fries, and Jeremy had pork prepared similarly, except his came with a fried egg, like the steak I had had a few days earlier. We both ate every last bite.

Chicken with garlic and red pepper at Poço Azul in Achadinha, São Miguel, Azores

We finished up the meal with Azorean ice cream made by a brand called Quinta dos Açores that has a restaurant, market and gelateria in Terceira, another Azorean island. They make standard flavors like vanilla and strawberry, but some of them have an Azorean twist – Amélia is based on a cake from Terceira, Queijada Graciosa is derived from Graciosa island’s star-shaped tarts made with milk, eggs, and cinnamon, and I decided to go out on a limb and try the chocolate and cheese flavor, which is made with queijo de São Jorge, a hard cheese similar to a sharp cheddar.

At first bite, the ice cream is all chocolate, but as it melts, the slightest hint of cheese is detectable. I found that the colder my mouth got, the less I could taste the cheese, but it was still interesting overall, and I had never had an ice cream like it. Jeremy had the pineapple flavor and it was gone in about three seconds. 

Chocolate and cheese ice cream in São Miguel, Azores

Booking and other info

Caminho Fundo 14

(+351) 296 452 151

(+351) 966 572 257

Or email geral@pocoazul-restaurante.com to book.

So there you have my list of places to eat in São Miguel. Have you been to the island? Did you eat somewhere fabulous? Share in the comments!

 

Where to eat in São Miguel island Pin
If you like this post, Pin it!

Want more Portugal tips?

Five reasons to stay in Alfama, Lisbon

Cervejaria Ramiro in Lisbon

How to get to Praia da Ursa in Sintra

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on one and make a purchase or booking, I’ll receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting Luggage and Life! I research and write all of the content on this site without the help of other people or AI, and your financial support is a meaningful way to contribute to the continuation of my work. Grazie mille!

Not here to spend? No problem! I’m always grateful for likes, shares and follows, and if any of my posts have helped you out, it would be extremely kind of you to leave a review on my Facebook page.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.