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Restaurants Azores

As one would expect when traveling in an island country where wine is a significant product for export, both seafood and wine play a part in the dishes which are uniquely Azorean.  The Portuguese influence is strong, as well, with the spices and textures familiar to those who have lived or traveled along the Mediterranean. 

While you are trying the various dining options in the Azores, be sure to start with the local varieties of seafood.  These tend to be fresh caught and fresh cooked in simple presentations.  Each of the islands has its own unique way of preparing even the traditional dishes.  Try the cavaco, a delicately flavored and tender lobster species. The craca barnacle is another favorite local delicacy.   Fresh fish can be prepared from the grill and fresh, or they are often prepared as a base in soups and stews.

restaurant   restaurant

Meat dishes prepared in the uniquely Azorean method is the beef tenderloin grown on Terceira, and the traditional Azorean meat dish known as Cozido das Furnas.  The cooking utensils are iron pots; the heat source is the underground volcanic heat vents around the mineral springs on the island of São Miguel.  Another favorite traditional Azorean dish is yams and sausage.  You’ll find slightly different treatment of this dish depending upon which island you visit.

Divine Holy Spirit Soup is a special dish usually associated with one of the main island religious festivals, but is also presented at some of the local restaurants as well.

Along with your meal, why not try one of the local wines? Verdelho is the best known, but the whites and reds of Terceira, Santa Maria, Graciosa and Pico all deserve recognition as well.

Portugal mainland diners appreciate the taste and texture of the island cheese known as queijo da ilha.  São Jorge produces this favorite, but there are other local cheeses worthy of note. Try the local cheeses when dining at one of the restaurants on any of the islands.  You won’t be disappointed.

Dessert in Azorean restaurants can be as simple as a slice of fresh pineapple grown locally. There is also a beaten pastry popular with locals and visitors alike known as massa sovada.  The cooks on the island of Graciosa produce a flaky textured specialty known as queijada.

The Canto da Doca restaurant found on the island of Faial has a unique way to cook your meal.  Each guest receives a large flat rock heated to 400 degrees which is sprinkled with rock salt (what else?) and used to grill the fish or meat dishes which you order. 

Two restaurants in Terceira rate special mention.  The Beira Mar de São Mateus found in Terceira has many seafood specialty items.

The menu at the Casa da Galinha Parmagiana also in Terceira includes such items as blood sausage, Holy Spirit Soup, Rabbit cooked in Wine Sauce and Goulash in Red Wine.

No matter which restaurants or dining establishments you choose, it seems like the owners and staff go out of their way to make your meal a memorable experience.  The friendliness and courtesy exhibited by the people are remarkable.  Specialties across the range of island restaurants have one thing in common—fresh and delicious ingredients imaginatively prepared.

Restaurants Guide






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