Not dissimilar from cuisine on mainland Portugal, the food and drink in the Azores are a major part of everyday life. The islands are equipped with a variety of pleasing dining options, from high-end establishments to cozy, local eateries. The Azores are famous for their exquisite local seafood dishes and wholesome meals, such as caldeiradas de piece (fish stew), polvo guisado em vinho de chiere (stewed octopus in red wine), and a delicious malassada (sugar doughnut) for desert. Each island boasts its own regional specialties, from Sao Miguel’s famous queijadas da vila (Vila Franca cupcakes) to Santa Maria’s tigeladas custard.
Bars and Pubbing in Azores
The slow pace of life on the islands is evident in the laid-back bars littered throughout the archipelago. One of the top destinations for bar-hopping is Horta, located on Faial Island, which is home to the renowned Peter Cafe Sport (Rua Jose Azevedo 9, Horta, Faial). Situated near the Pico ferry boat terminal, the pub is a regular hangout for yacht crews, tourists, and locals, and offers a relaxed atmosphere and decent drinks. For a livelier night out, head to Discoteca Rocks (Feteira, Lajinha, Faial), which hosts live music on weekends. The service is good; however, drink prices are expensive. Pub Horta Latina (Seaside Avenue, Horta, Faial) has live bands on Fridays, but has a more traditional vibe and reasonable prices.
On Sao Miguel, the largest island in the Azores, there is a wider selection of bars and clubs to choose from, particularly in the harbor town of Ponta Delgada. A great place to grab a drink in the early evening is Doris Bar (Avenida Infante Dom Henrique - Portas do Mar, Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel). Overlooking the charming marina, the bar attracts a young and sophisticated crowd. Another chic spot situated on the recently opened Portas do Mar Marina, Baia dos Anjos (Portas do Mar Marina, Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel) serves up great local wine and beer, alongside eclectic music which goes until the early hours.
The island of Terceira has a pleasant range of bars and clubs, including Wolf (Central Terceira), which stays open late and offers good music and reasonably priced drinks. It is a great place to finish the night after a few leisurely cocktails at La Traviata (Caminho Concelho 139, Terceira).
Dining and Cuisine in Azores
An excellent place to dine out in Horta is the classy, ship-themed Canto Da Doca Restaurant (Rua Nova Angustias, Horta, Faial), which invites guests to savor the islands’ traditional stone cooking method at their table. Either fish or meat is thrown into the pot, accompanied by dipping sauces and a salad. Restaurante Papa Pizza (Largo Infante 4, Horta, Faial) is another favorite, serving up some of the best pizzas in the Azores.
Some of the islands’ best seafood can be found in Ponta Delgada, notably at the authentic Restuarante Sao Pedro (Largo Almirante Dun 23A, Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel). A fantastic vegetarian option is the always busy and atmospheric Rotas (Rua de Pedro Homen 49, Ponta Delgado, Sao Miguel); however, advanced booking is recommended.