Outside of the main casino strip, Macau offers hidden lanes and pedestrianised alleys, pefect for a quiet stroll and home to a variety of cafes offering some of the city’s must-try culinary specialities. We take a look at some of the best.
One of Macau’s signature snacks is the pork chop bun. It’s hugely popular locally and visitors throughout the region flock to Macau to try it. Essentially, it’s a fried pork chop in a bun that is crispy on the outside and very soft inside. Such is the popularity that it’s often described as “the Macanese version of a hamburger”. This cafe, established in 1960, in Macau’s charming Taipa Village area, has earned itself a reputation for serving the best pork chop buns in town. Succulent pork chops are coupled with warm, chewy buns that emerge from the oven daily at 2pm sharp. Head here to try this tasty Macanese speciality.
Cafe Tai Lei Loi Kei, 35 Rua Correia da Silva, Taipa, Macau +853 2882 7150
Situated in the picturesque main square of Coloane Village, they serve a delicious mix of Macanese, Portuguese and Chinese food here. Perfect for a spot of al fresco dining in the open air pavilion, which offers nice views of the neighbouring Chapel of St Francis Xavier. Signature dishes like the drunken shrimps are highly recommended for both taste and presentation. Service is friendly, prices are reasonable and it’s a great spot to enjoy some authentic local food while you take in the sights and sounds of this charming neighbourhood. Best time to visit is during early lunchtime as it tends to get a lot busier in the evenings.
Cafe Nga Tim, 8 R. do Caetano, Macau +853 2888 2086
Set in the beautiful grounds of the Grand Coloane Resort, Cafe Panorama serve’s both buffet and à la carte options with an array of local, regional, and international specialties. They have recently introduced a new menu that features a delicious African chicken (considered one of Macau’s national dishes) which is a must try. What’s more, they offer both indoor and outdoor dining with an al fresco patio, which features a large, open fireplace that keeps diners warm when the temperatures cool off.
Cafe Panorama, 1918 Estrada de Hac SaColoane Macau China +853 2899 1020
Macau doesn’t offer too many options for vegans or vegetarians, but this vegetarian takeaway shop and bakery cafe in Taipa Village ticks all the boxes. For the friendly owners, this cafe is a passion project and they offer a variety of gluten free, raw and vegan options as well as vegetarian dishes. From green salads, to sandwiches, pasta, rice bowls and a variety of gluten free products, they are also happy to custom make a dish to your request. In addition, they offer a raw dessert line with options like carrot cake and chocolate hazelnut tart. Even if you’re not vegetarian, it’s good, tasty food with the added bonus of being healthy.
Blissful Carrot, 79 R. Direita Carlos Eugenio, Macau +853 6298 8433
For a little sweet indulgence, look no further than this charming patisserie hidden away in a narrow alley in Taipa. Chef and owner Nicole Lei trained at Le Cordon Bleu in France and her passion and expertise for all things pastry has resulted in this place becoming extremely popular with local dessert fans. Signature dishes include the chestnut cake, lemon tart and St Honoré cake with caramel. A recent addition is “ballet”, a heavenly creation featuring Taiwan pineapple, mandarin orange, French cream cheese and a passion fruit marshmallow on top. They also serve a delightful cup of coffee as the perfect companion to these sweet masterpieces.
Kafka, 152 R. de Braga, Macau +853 2882 0086
For something a little bit different, head to this stylish three floor coffee bar in Taipa. Run by a Parson School of Design graduate from New York City, it’s one of the coolest hangouts in town, not only because it serves great coffee, with an espresso bar on the ground floor, but it’s also, in part, a gallery/showroom showcasing a selection of national and international contemporary design. The eggnog latte is a must and there is no better place to chat with friends over coffee than on their beautiful rooftop terrace. What’s more, the owner’s French bulldog, Copper, is adorable and likes to greet customers on arrival.