Must-Try Street Snacks
Macao is famed for its culinary offerings — including these popular street eats.
Macao-style almond cookies, made with mainly almond powder, mung bean flour and icing sugar, are equal parts sweet and savory with a crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture. A popular treat sold by nearly every bakery in the city, these traditional almond treats also make an ideal souvenir for loved ones back home. Koi Kei, a leading bakery with 18 branches in Macao (plus one at the Hong Kong airport), is a good place to buy them.
Portuguese egg tarts (Pastel de nata)
If you already enjoy Hong Kong-style egg tarts then you’re in for a treat. The Portuguese tarts are similar but creamier and with a caramelized top. The famous Lord Stow’s Bakery combines the original Portuguese recipe with that of the English custard tart, resulting in a product so successful that there are now branches of the franchise in Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines.
Pork chop buns
A traditional Macanese snack, pork chop buns are exactly what they sound like, a slab of pork chop served inside a bun. Simple yet satisfying, this must-try dish has also found fame in Hong Kong and Singapore. Tai Lei Loi Kei, the original seller of this well-loved snack, is famous for its deliciously marinated pork fried to a succulent texture and its crispy yet soft-in-the-center bun.
Fans of congee — a traditional Chinese rice porridge — will love the Macanese version featuring fresh crab. Seng Cheong restaurant in Taipa Village has made the dish famous, with their rich flavors and the fact they use three different types of the crustacean. Served piping hot, this smooth, sweet and fragrant dish is the ultimate comfort food and tastes especially satisfying during the winter months.
You can try the following well-known dishes at most traditional Macanese/Portuguese restaurants in Macao.
- African chicken
- Bacalhau (salted cod fish)
- Caldo verde (potato, kale and chorizo soup)
- Minchi (minced meat with rice)
- Portuguese seafood rice
- Portuguese baked duck rice
- Clams in garlic sauce
- Serradura (“sawdust” dessert)
Where to Eat
Though everyone has their favorite Portuguese/Macanese restaurant in Macao, here are a few of ours.
Situated in the heart of quaint and historic Taipa Village, the Michelin-recommended António restaurant features authentic Portuguese cuisine served in a warm and inviting environment. Must-try dishes include their signature lobster cocktail, fried codfish cakes and Portuguese duck rice.
Clube Militar de Macau
Originally constructed in 1870 as a private military club, the distinguished Clube Militar de Macau building was reopened in 1995 as a restaurant serving simple Portuguese fare in an elegant colonial setting of teak floorboards and ceiling fans. The set lunch, which includes a choice of main dish and a buffet spread for appetizers, salads and desserts, offers good value. Visit on a weekend when the members-only club is open to the public all day. Book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Considered by many as the best old Macanese restaurant in town, Restaurante Litoral opened in 1995 serving dishes that contain elements of Portuguese and Chinese cuisine. Popular dishes include the African chicken and a selection of meat stews in winter. They have two locations: a newer branch in Taipa Village and the original on Rua do Almirante Sergio at the southern end of Macau Peninsula.
Decked out with red and white checkered tablecloths, Fernando’s is one of Macao’s most famous and recommended restaurants and serves deliciously authentic Portuguese food in a charming setting near Hac Sa (black sand) beach. This popular cash-only joint doesn’t take reservations, so get there early on weekends to secure a seat for dinner.