Funchal – 5 Favourite Places to Eat & Drink

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Here at Travellowdown, we’ve recently returned from one of our best family holidays. Our destination was sunny Madeira, a beautiful island I’ve got to know so well over the years. Its bright colours, abundance of greenery, pleasant people, spectacular mountain ranges and myriad other delights make it an ideal destination for all ages.

When it comes to finding places to eat or drink in Funchal – the island’s capital and our base during a five-night break – there are countless cafés and restaurants; even vegans, like me and my daughter, will find suitable eateries.

Here are some of our favourite places…

Recharge Bar & Restaurant

Part of the Savoy Signature’s NEXT hotel, Recharge is a relaxed, contemporary restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, all inspired by the vibrant islands of Hawaii. We enjoyed unwinding for a time in comfy seats while staring out across the pool towards the ocean.

Opened in 2021, its dedicated vegan menu includes dishes such as vegan burger; quinoa poke bowl containing, among others, edamame beans, avocado, onion and mango plus a salad containing avocado, tofu, tomato, seeds and aduki beans.

Recharge caters for all tastes with a menu containing dishes for an à la carte breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Alternatively, you can just turn up for a drink at the Tikki Bar.

NEXT is the most irreverent hotel of the Savoy Signature collection and this is reflected in the vibe one experiences as soon as you arrive at the Recharge Bar & Restaurant, which is open from breakfast until dinner

Rua Carvalho Araujo 8, Funchal;; open all week, 9am-10.30pm.

Choux Patisserie

Madeira-born owner, Joana Goncalves, grew up in a family which took food very seriously. She has inherited her parents’ passion which, to be honest, is so evident in the wonderful display on offer at her first-floor patisserie.

Located in Funchal’s main shopping avenue, Choux Patisserie opened in 2022. Since then, Joana, a trained pastry chef, and her staff have made a great success of the business which is situated inside a rather classical building: the iconic Clube Sports Madeira.

With its wooden floors, large arched windows and olive-coloured walls, it really is a delight to spend time in this environment; mind you, it’s even better when you’re enjoying some of Joana’s delicious cakes.

While Paula and Peter opted for profiteroles with ice cream and hot chocolate, Hollie and I enjoyed a delicious, specially-made gluten-free/vegan afternoon tea.

Joana is planning to increase the vegan and gluten-free options on the menu but will always try to accommodate anyone’s dietary requirements. We’d recommend making contact in advance, though.

We highly recommend a visit to Choux Patisserie, you won’t be disappointed.

Avenue Arriaga 43, Funchal;; open Tues-Sat 11am-7pm, closed Sun & Mon.

Il Basilico

Situated on Funchal’s popular Lido promenade, this attractively decorated Italian restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating. We visited for lunch and sat outside, enjoying the clement weather.

While the menu doesn’t contain myriad vegan dishes – if that is your chosen diet – what they do offer is delicious. We tried a wheat-based pasta dish and a tasty pizza with vegan cheese (made from tofu) and toppings of cherry tomatoes and asparagus.

As well as being located in a favoured location, this classy restaurant offers fine food and staff who are not only attentive but extremely welcoming. Paulo, who looked after us, helped to make this occasion among the most pleasant of our stay.

Next-door to Il Basilico is the company’s sister restaurant, Horta. Newly-opened, it promotes itself as offering “healthy, comfort food”. With the lion’s share of vegetables used coming straight from the PortoBay veg garden, you can’t get much fresher than that!

Rua de Leichlingen 9 and 11, Funchal; Il Basilico open all week, 12.30-3pm, 6.30pm-10pm; Horta closed Mon & Tues, otherwise open 12.30-3pm, 6.30pm-10pm; 

Loja do Cha

Fancy a brew? Head for this yellow-fronted tea house and choose from over 200 varieties of tea and infusions from around the world, including the Azores, Japan and, of course, Madeira. Choose a seat on the balcony, indoor seating area or in aptly-named Yellow Square.

The teas are of a high quality with each boasting a unique character. In fact, it’s easy to see why the company supplies many of the island’s hotels. If you fancy buying any of the teas to take home, you can order online or visit either of the two shops (check the website for details).

As well as tea, lunches, snacks and cakes, including homemade scones and jams, are available. Pots of tea from £2.50.

Rua do Sabao 33-35, Funchal;; open 9am-7pm Mon-Fri, 9-6 Sat & Sun.

Mundo Vegan

Opened in 2019, this cosy café-cum-restaurant is, seemingly, Madeira’s only 100% vegan eatery. After struggling to find vegan food when eating out, the owner decided to open her own business with a fully vegan menu. You can choose to eat on the terrace and soak up the sun, or inside where you can enjoy the fresh, nature-influenced décor.

All food at Mundo Vegan – and there’s a wide selection – is made from scratch on the premises. Mains include creamy lentils with curry, spinach, pumpkin and almonds or homemade burgers.

Rua Velha da Ajuda 2, Funchal; Insta: @mundo_vegan1; Open: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri & Sat: 12.30-5pm, 6.30pm-10pm. Closed Wed & Sun.


Vidamar Resort Hotel

This luxurious five-star hotel, surrounded by gardens packed with exotic plants and palm trees, overlooks the Atlantic. Guests, who stay on a half-board basis, enjoy direct access to the ocean plus the choice of several pools and spa.

Many of the hotel’s spacious bedrooms have fab sea views. We adored our 10th floor rooms and spent so much time simply relaxing on the balcony while admiring the ocean.

There are several options when it comes to finding something to eat, including Sabor a Mar, a beautiful poolside restaurant, and Mama Mia, a contemporary Italian restaurant.

Vidamar is situated close to the popular Lido area and is a 20 to 30-minute walk from the city centre and Funchal’s Old Town.

Estrada Monumental 175-177, Funchal;

For All Those Little Holiday Extras…

Sometimes, it seems like there is an endless list of components to consider when booking a short trip or choosing your main family holiday. That’s where a company like Holiday Extras comes to the fore. We’ve used them plenty of times and have never been disappointed.

Whether it’s airport parking, airport transfers, lounge access, overnight hotel stays or other aspects involved with travelling, try Holiday Extras to help make your trip run smoothly.

For further information about Madeira, go to


[Visited: October 2023]


By | 2023-11-24T14:01:27+00:00 November 24th, 2023|Accommodation, Cafes, Destinations, Hotels/B&Bs, Latest Reviews, Places To Eat|0 Comments

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