The most important tip I can give you on Macau local food, and the only one that will make you elevate from being a tourist to becoming a real traveler immersed in the local culture, is “Stay away from McDonalds“. When visiting Macau, there is awesome local food to try. Head to the local eateries too, and go where the locals go. For me, the food, wine and and even the water is part of the travel experience.
What to Eat in Macau
Macau is famous for excellent restaurants, unique cuisine and mellow bars. Above all, the city is famous for Macanese and Chinese cuisines: . Portuguese food (cozinha portuguesa), brought in by its Portuguese colonizers, is hearty, salty, straighforward fare. While many restaurants claim to serve the stuff, fully authentic fare is mostly limited to a few high-end restaurants, especially the cluster at the southwestern tip of the Peninsula. Typical Portuguese dishes include: pato de cabidela (bloody duck), a stew of chicken with blood and herbs, served with rice; sounds and looks somewhat scary, but it’s excellent when well done bacalhau (salted cod), traditionally served with potatoes and veggies caldo verde, a soup of potato, chopped kale and chourico sausage feijoada (kidney-bean stew), a Brazilian staple common in Macau as well pastéis de nata (egg tarts), crispy and flaky on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside Macanese food (comida de Macau) was created when Portuguese and Chinese influences were mixed together with spices brought from Africa and South-East Asia by traders, and many restaurants advertising “Portuguese” food in fact serve up mostly Macanese dishes. Seafood and barbecue specialist Fernando’s on Coloane’s Hac Sa Beach is probably the best-known Macanese restaurant. Almond cookies. Dry Chinese-style cookies flavoured with almond. Macau’s top souvenir, they’re compact, durable and hence sold pretty much everywhere. Galinha à africana (African-style chicken). Barbequed chicken coated in spicy piri-piri sauce. Galinha à portuguesa (Portuguese-style chicken). Chicken in a coconutty curry; despite the name, this is not a Portuguese dish at all, but a purely Macanese invention. Pork chop bun. The Macanese version of a hamburger, the name pretty much says it all: it’s a slice of freshly fried pork (often with a few chunks of bone left) with a dash of pepper placed inside a freshly baked bun. Beef Jerky. More moist and fresh than typical jerky, and quite delicious. Easily found on the street leading up to the Ruins of St. Paul, where venders will push free samples at you as you walk by with great enthusiasm. Be sure to try them all before choosing the one you like best! Minchi. Minced meat with fried potato cubes, served on white rice. All that said, the food of choice in Macau is still pure Cantonese, and a few aficionados even claim that the dim sum and seafood here beat Hong Kong. The streets of central Macau are littered with simple eateries offering rice and noodle dishes for under $30 (although menus are often only in Chinese), while every casino hotel worth its salt has a fancy Cantonese seafood restaurant where you can blow away your gambling winnings on abalone and shark’s fin soup. The greatest concentration of restaurants is in the Peninsula, where they are scattered throughout the district. Taipa is now a major destination for those going for Portuguese and Macanese food and there are many famous restaurants on the island. There are several restaurants in Coloane, which is also home to the famous Lord Stow’s Bakery, which popularized the Macanese egg tart. Yummy!
What to Drink in Macau
Reasonably priced Portuguese wine is widely available. A glass in a restaurant is around $20, while bottles start from under $100, and a crisp glass of vinho verde (“green wine”, but actually just a young white) goes very well with salty Macanese food. As elsewhere in China, though, locals tend to prefer cognacs and whisky. Macau Beer is widely available and roughly $8 for a 330 ml bottle in supermarkets. There is also a wine museum which you can have the opportunity to taste over 50 varieties of wine. There is a buzzing nightlife in Macau. There are a variety of bars and clubs along the Avenida Sun Yat Sen close to the Kum Iam Statue and the Cultural Centre where you can have a good night out. Locals, especially among younger people, prefer to meet up with their friends in Western style cafes or places that serve ‘bubble tea’. ‘Bubble tea’ is usually fruit flavoured tea served with tapioca balls and can be served either hot or cold. The shops in town centre (near Senado Square) often open until late at night and are often crowded. The casinos have also become a big hit for entertainment, offering performances of international standard (advance booking advised) and comprehensive shopping malls for those less interested in trying their luck on the machines. For those who want to pamper themselves after a shopping spree, there are spas available in almost all respectable hotels. Note that these are different to “saunas”, which are thinly disguised brothels (prostitution is legal in Macau), but these can be easily distinguishable by their shop appearance.
Other local foods, or drinks that you recommend? Please add and comment.