A Taste of Authentic Macao: 8 Heritage Restaurants To Visit For Legendary Dishes

A Taste of Authentic Macao: 8 Heritage Restaurants To Visit For Legendary Dishes

Calling all foodies! Bookmark these places for your next visit to Macao.

With a 400 year old history of fusion cuisine, and its latest accolade as a “UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy”, this humble city has earned its reputation as the ultimate foodie paradise. As you walk down the streets, you’ll be flanked by an assortment of various restaurants and diners, each serving up their own renditions of fusion food and gastronomical wonders. That may leave you to ponder – what about original, Macanese food?

Thankfully, Macao is still home to many heritage restaurants that continue to serve authentic local cuisine. They have withstood the test of time, and these age-old dishes remain relevant in this competitive era of culinary greatness. To get you started on your discovery of these timeless restaurants, here are eight places you should definitely pop by.

Fat Siu Lau

Image credit: Taipa Village

Nothing screams heritage more than a family business – for more than 100 years, Fat Siu Lau has been passed down from one generation to another. This homely restaurant is now being run by members of the 3rd and 4th generation, and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon! Feast on the Shek Ki Superb Roasted Pigeon, their signature dish that has long been immortalised in the Macanese food hall of fame. Imagine crispy skin, tender meat and a beautiful sauce to tie the whole dish together; what more could you ask for? Head to any one of their two outlets for a treat like no other!

First Outlet:
Opening Hours: 12pm to 3pm, 5.30pm to 10pm (Monday – Friday)
12pm to 10pm (Saturday – Sunday)
Address: Rua Do Regedor 181 – 185, R/C Taipa, Macao

Second Outlet:

Opening Hours: 12:30pm to 10:30pm (daily)

Address: Rua da Felicidade No.64, Macau

Carlos Restaurant

Carlos Restaurant is a must-visit if you’re searching for Macanese food done right. While it is located in a slightly more upscale neighbourhood, you can be rest assured that these dishes will satiate your appetite without breaking your bank. Start off with an appetizer, a classic chorizo with deep fried cod fish balls, before proceeding to the main course of Arroz de Pat, a flavourful fried rice dish with roast duck. The combination of flavours and textures will set off a party in your mouth – that’s what Macanese food is all about!

Opening Hours: 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm (daily)

Address: G/F, AR-AS Vista Magnífica Court, NAPE, Macao

Solmar Restaurant

Look no further than Solmar Restaurant for a fuss-free spot to enjoy classic Macanese dishes. Although there has been a rise in fusion cuisines, this restaurant keeps things traditional and pays tribute to heritage dishes like spicy African chicken, Portugal chicken, and spicy prawns. Due to Portuguese colonisation, Macao shares a unique relationship with both Portugal and the African territories of Mozambique and Angola. Consequently, their respective food cultures came into contact with one another to influence Macanese cuisine – giving rise to familiar flavours with an added twist.

Opening Hours: 11am to 11pm (daily)

Address: 512 Avenida da Praia Grande, Macao

A Vencedora

Experience local grub at its best at A Vencedora, an unpretentious diner founded in 1918. If it has managed to survive this long in Macao’s competitive culinary world, you know it has to be good! Although there are few things on the menu, the dishes that they do have are perfectly executed, and jam-packed with flavour. You must try the staple dish minchi, which consists of stir-fried ground beef or pork and topped with a fried egg – it may look deceptively simple, but it takes skill to cook the meat well and achieve a good balance of flavours. In addition, go for the lamb chops, which are well-seasoned and tender.

Opening Hours: 11.45am to 10pm (daily except Tuesday)

Address: G/F, 264 Rua. do Campo, Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, Macao


Image credit: (left) APOMAC Facebook Page, (right) Macao Lifestyle

Who says only fancy restaurants serve up legendary dishes? You may not be inclined to think of a canteen as the next stop for your gastronomic adventure, but the one at APOMAC is sure to change your mind! APOMAC (Associação dos Aposentados, Reformados e Pensionistas de Macao) serves to represent retired locals, and offers medical and recreational services for its members. The compound also features a canteen that is open to the public; expect a blast from the past with the rustic 1950s set up, and a hearty meal of authentic Macanese cuisine. Dig into the succulent steak with potatoes that is drizzled with a special sauce, or opt for the fresh fish fillet with tomatoes and peppers. No matter your choice, your tummy will be satisfied for sure.

Opening Hours: 11.30am to 9.30pm (daily)

Address: G/F 49B Avenida de Sidonio Pais, China Plaza Building, Macao

Cafe Tai Lei Lo Kei (大利来记)

Image credit: Taipa Village

When in Macao, don’t miss out on the iconic pork chop bun! Unbeknownst to many, Cafe Tai Lei Lok Kei deserves the credit for ‘inventing’ this sumptuous street snack – in the 1960s, the Municipal Council of Macao commissioned the bakery to make 200 buns daily for the low-income community in Taipa Village. Consequently, they adapted their menu to create the pork chop bun that we all know and love today. Talk about humble origins! Sink your teeth into the crunchy toasted Portuguese buns, and savour the generous portion of crispy but tender pork chop sandwiched in between; it’s simply a match made in heaven.

Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm (daily)
Address: 35 Rua Correia da Silva, Taipa Village, Macao

Cafe THS Honolulu

Image credit: (left) Cafe Honolulu

Get your caffeine fix at Cafe THS Honolulu, an old-school joint established in the 1950s that now has more than 13 branches! Here, they do coffee the right way; choose between their 20 international varieties of coffee, and witness how they use traditional methods to extract flavours from the fresh beans. You simply have to get your hands on a cuppa for yourself! In addition, they serve up hearty comfort foods like traditional Macanese pork chop buns, Portuguese Beef Rice and warm macaroni soup. It’s truly remarkable how the quality and taste of the food and drink here has been preserved for so many decades, and continues to be a great refreshment for foodies all around.

Opening Hours: 8.30am to 7pm (daily)

Address: Rua do Almirante Costa Cabral, No. 9B, Iau Fai Building, Ground Floor

Gelatina Mok Yi Kei (莫義記)

To complete your heritage food trail, you definitely have to have a taste of some legendary desserts! Gelatina Mok Yi Kei (莫義記) is an all-time fan favourite, and has been serving up delectable desserts for the past 80 years. Relish in the nostalgic decor of the shop front, and be pleasantly surprised by the array of sweet treats available. One of the best-selling local desserts is the serradura, or sawdust pudding. Although it comprises of a simple custard, whipped cream and crushed Marie biscuits, you shouldn’t underestimate the addictiveness of this humble dish; you’ll be going for it spoon after spoon! Dessert-lovers also flock here for some creamy, Malaysian durian ice-cream, so don’t miss out on that as well.

Opening Hours: 11am to 9pm (daily)

Address: 9A, Rua do Cunha, Taipa, Macao

Feeling hungry yet? Don’t wait any longer and head down to Macao to dig into these legendary dishes! Not only will they satisfy your inner foodie, but you’ll also get to learn more about Macao’s history and culture as you explore these heritage restaurants. On top of this, you should also check out the diverse range of fusion foods that Macao has to offer, and decide what your ultimate favourite dish is! It’s a gastronomic learning journey like no other.

For more information on Macao’s growing culinary scene, or to check out the latest happenings in Macao, visit Macao Government Tourism Office’s official website!

Brought to you by Macao Government Tourism Office.

About Author

Lydia Lee
Lydia Lee

A linguistics student, Lydia suffers from the occupational hazard of thinking too much about the quirks of language. She yearns to see more of the world and its people, and cannot wait for her next adventure to soak in more beautiful sights and sounds. Before she can do that again, her perfect day would include taking a slow walk, having a warm cup of coffee, and being immersed in a good book.