FoodGuideListMacauStreet Food

Don’t Leave Macau Without Trying These 10 Iconic Local Dishes

When Western cuisine meets East, the possibilities for extremely delicious food become endless! Given this, it’s no surprise that Macau has become a gourmand’s paradise. When traveling in Macau, if you explore beyond the glamorous facades of the city, you’d be pleasantly surprised that Macau has a lot more to offer when it comes to local food. Macau’s culinary delights showcase an interesting blend of Portuguese recipes and Cantonese ingredients, enhanced with spices and seasonings from all over the world!

Since Macau’s food culture is so unique, we want to make sure you don’t miss out on these must-try dishes, and along with the best places to get ‘em! Get  a taste of rich culture and history at the ‘Vegas of the East’!

1. Bacalhau Balls

(Image via Shutterstock)

Bacalhau in Portuguese culinary refers to “dried and salted cod”, which is a typical food for every household in Portugal. After 400 years of Portuguese influence, Macau has as well been deeply inspired by the ingredient— in fact they created their own version: Bacalhau Balls! It is a mixture of mashed potatoes and Bacalhau made into deep-fried balls. Take a bite, and you’ll taste the rich flavor of salty cod bursting out from the crispy breaded crust. Needless to say, it is a beloved appetizer or afternoon snack for locals!

  2. Galinha à Portuguesa

Galinha à Portuguesa, (Image via Fotolia)

Despite the word “Portuguesa” in the name, this chicken curry is actually born in Macau and created by Portuguese immigrants. Why is it a must-try? ‘Cause it beautifully reflects the complexity of cultural diversity in Macau—Indian turmeric, Malaysian coconut milk, Portuguese chorizo and black olives, and Macau’s bay leaves, harmonically blend with each other in this dish.

Belonging to the famous Macanese cuisine, it has a sweet and slightly spicy taste which matches perfectly with rice! You can find them everywhere, be it in the restaurant or on a family kitchen table.

Recommended Restaurant: Cozinha Pinocchio

The restaurant is situated at Rua do Cunha, a bustling street in the center that gathers all the tasty eateries and souvenir stores. It serves all the classical dishes in Macau, with a bit of twist which makes them more preferable for Asians’ taste. Have a meal in the elegant Portuguese-style restaurant and try out all of the local eateries!

  • Address:  38 Largo dos Bombeiros, Taipa Village
  • Phone: +853 2882 7128
  • Opening Time: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
  • Transportation: Take Bus No. 11, 15, 22, 28A, 30, 33 or 34 to bus stop “Ponte Negra / Rua Do Regedor”

3. Serradura

Serradura, (Image via Shutterstock)

This classic and delightful dessert is comprised of two star ingredients: thick heavy cream and milk-flavored Marie biscuits! Serradura, also called “Sawdust Pudding”, is originally a Portuguese dessert which found its fame in Macau, the other side of the globe. Every restaurant and bakery has this dessert with their very own variation, and that’s why it earns a well-deserved spot on the must-eat food list!

Also known as “the easiest pudding to make on earth”, the recipe is simple: whip the heavy cream with condensed milk, crushed the biscuits into crumbs, layer the two one on top of another, and finally, freeze it for a few hours.

Recommended Restaurant: Serradura

Image via KKday

This is the most well-known Serradura shop in Macau, providing the widest variety of flavors and sizes! Other than the original flavor, you can also find chocolate, mango green tea, crushed nuts, and even durians flavors! Be spontaneous and try out different tastes, and you might be surprised.

    • Address: Shop AA, G/F, Block 6, Phrase 1, Chun Fuk Sun Chun, Vila de, R. do Regedor
    • Phone: +853 2883 8688
    • Opening Time: Weekdays 10:00am – 9:00pm, Saturday 10:00am – 8:00pm (Closed on Sunday)
    • Transportation: Take Bus No. 11, 15, 22, 28A, 30, 33 or 34 to bus stop “Luso Chinese Primary School in Taipa”
    • Official Website

4. Pork chop bun

(Image via Fotolia)

Pork chop bun is the Portuguese bun that is extremely crisp outside but pillowy soft inside, stuffed with a piece of juicy and tender fried pork steak. Unlike hotdog or hamburger that is usually topped with mayonnaise or mustard, it’s only seasoned with butter and pork marinade.

If you consider it too easy and plain, think twice— it’s a real art, actually, to reach perfection when it comes to simplicity! Each process, if overlooked, can ruin the flavor and texture of the pork chop bun. Order a freshly made bun, and pair it with thick Hong-Kong style milk tea, and you’ll be in food heaven!

Recommended Restaurant: Restaurante Tai Lei Loi Kei

No shop can represent pork chop bun better than Restaurante Tai Lei Loi Kei! It is always crammed with starving food-seekers, for the bun here is worth craving for. The nice marinade keeps the pork juicy and flavorful, and the crunchy bun is to die for! A quick tip: Go there at 2PM, since the bun is fresh out of the oven at that time everyday.

  • Address: 35 Rua Correia da Silva
  • Phone: +853 2882 7150
  • Opening Time: 8:00am – 6:00pm
  • Transportation: Take Bus No. 11, 15, 22, 28A, 30, 33 or 34 to bus stop “Rua Do Cunha”
  • Official Website

5. Crab Congee

Crab Congee, (Image via Fotolia)

Long before Macau became an international port city, it was a small fishing village sitting by the serene seaside. Crab Congee is a traditional dish that hails from that era, keeping the locals’ wisdom of seafood culinary alive. The creamy porridge is slow-brewed with crabs, which allows  the sweet fragrance of the sea to blend perfectly in the dish. Some restaurants also put blue crab meat in the porridge to enrich the taste!

Recommended Restaurant: Seng Cheong

Seong Cheong is the best place to have a hearty bowl of crab congee! It gives you a generous amount of fleshy and sweet crab meat inside the smooth porridge. As you visit there, you might see other travelers queueing already. However, its mainstream fame does not take away from its quality, so you can rest assured it’ll worth the wait!

    • Address: 28-30 Rua do Cunha, Vila de Taipa, Macau
    • Phone: +853 2882 5323
    • Opening Time: 12:00am to 11:30pm
    • Transportation: Take Bus No. 11, 15, 22, 28A, 30, 33 or 34 to bus stop “Ponte Negra / Rua Do Regedor”

6. Portuguese Egg Tarts

Portuguese Egg Tarts, (Image via Fotolia)

It will be an absolute pity if you end your journey without chowing down on one (or often more than one) piping hot egg tart! Its flaky pastry crusts, golden and caramelized top paired with the creamy rich filling, draws in pastry-loving travelers from all over the world.

Originates from the Pasteis de Nata from Portugal, it is then given an English twist by an bold British baker, who opened his bakery in Coloane’s central square in 1989. The tarts feature handmade tart’s shells and the creamier custard, said to be even better than the original.

Recommended Bakery: Lord Stow’s Bakery

Here’s the birthplace of Macau’s egg custard tarts opened by Andrew Snow, a British baker who was formerly a pharmacist in Macau! The bakery has been widely-praised by locals and visitors since the very beginning.

    • Address: 1 Rua do Tassara, Coloane Village, Macau
    • Phone: +853-2888 2534
    • Opening Time: 7:00am – 10:00pm
    • Transportation: Take Bus No. 15, 21A, 25, 26, 26A, 50 to bus stop “Coloane Village”
    • Official Website

7. Honey Glazed Barbecue Pork

Honey Glazed Barbecue Pork, (Image via Fotolia)

The most special thing about Macau’s barbecue is instead of putting on barbecue sauce, they use seasoned honey! You too can enjoy the divine taste of honey glazed barbecue to cap off your day in Macau. Buy some and dig in by the picturesque Hac Sa beach!

8. Curry Fish Balls

( Image via Shutterstock)

Curry fish balls are the ubiquitous street food around Hong Kong and Macau area. It’s made of the fish meat and flour mix, fried and cooked with the coconut flavored curry powder. Every vendor has their own secret curry recipe, and it can also be found at the hot food counter of convenient stores. So don’t hesitate, poke the balls with a wooden stick and enjoy!

Recommended Restaurant: Hen You Curry Fish Balls

For the most authentic curry fish ball experience, this food shop is your best bet! As you walk close, you’ll see all kinds of skewers and vegetables presented in the front. Choose some fresh ingredients (don’t forget the fish balls!), and they will be stewed in specially made curry sauce on the spot. The curry sauce is slightly spicy but surprisingly light.

Reminder: The storefront is without an English name. Just look for an orange storefront with the Chinese characters “恆友”

  • Address: 12 R. de São Domingos, Macau
  • Opening Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm, closed on Saturdays
  • Transportation: Take Bus No. 3, 4, 5, 8A, 18A, 19, 26A or 33 to bus stop “Almeida Ribeiro/ Rua Mercadores”, then walk for 5 minutes

9. Beef Offal

Beef Offal, (Image via Shutterstock)

Cow’s intestines may seem off-putting, but Macau people do know how to make them tasty! Beef offal was once only for the poor who couldn’t afford beef for their meals. Now, it has become an iconic dish in Hong Kong and Macau. It takes some technique and effort to remove offals’ unpleasant smell, but you gotta trust the locals. They are skilled!

Recommended Restaurant: Wing Kee Beef Offal

This dingy-looking food place has gained its loyal food fans from everywhere, including even the Japanese ambassador! Although it’s hidden in the alley behind the Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady, you’ll find it by following the footsteps of the others flocking to this little shop, or following the mouthwatering scent! The spicy and curry sauces bring out the best of the uniquely local flavor of beef offal. Drooling yet?

  • Address: Edificio Chan Heng, 33, 31 Tv. dos Anjos, Macau
  • Opening Time: 24 Hours
  • Transportation: Take Bus No. 2, 2A, 4, 7, 7A, 8, 9, 12, 18, 19, 22, 25 to bus stop “Rue Do Campo / Public Administration Building”, then walk for 3 minutes

10. Freshly Made Congee

Congee, (Image via Shutterstock)

Freshly made congee is a typical type of savory porridge seen in Hong Kong and Macau, made with a unique method. To make it, the chef would scoop a portion from a huge bowl of ready-made porridge in a smaller pot, throw in some uncooked meat or seafood, then boil them together ‘til all the ingredients are cooked.

This way, the freshness of the ingredients is assured. Some shops would pour the piping hot porridge directly on the fresh ingredients in the served bowl, and simply let the ingredients cooked by porridge heat.  

Recommended Restaurant: The anonymous shop in front of Nuwa Temple

It is said to be the top place in Macau to get the best congee! Seated in front of Nuwa temple, this tiny food place only serves congee in the morning. Come over for breakfast, and taste the creamy smooth porridge made from fresh and sweet seafood ingredients. Your Macau trip wouldn’t be complete without it!

  • Address: 116, Rua das Estalagens
  • Phone: +853-6663-6053
  • Opening Time: 6:30am – 12:30am
  • Transportation:  Take Bus No. 18 to Rua Dos Mercadores

Macau’s One and Only Michelin Star Restaurant: Robuchon au Dôme

Image via Flickr / Foodsters

If you opt for a fine-dining experience in Macau, here is definitely your go-to. Robuchon au Dôme, the only Michelin Star Restaurant in the city, provides world-class French cuisine and an aerial city view! You may come for lunch as the price is surprisingly more affordable than dinner time. Just don’t forget to follow the formal dress code!

    • Address: Floor 43, Grand Lisboa Hotel, 2-4 Av. de Lisboa, Macau
    • Phone: +853 8803 7878
    • Opening Time: 12:00am – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm
    • Transportation: Brand Lisboa Hotel Shuttle Service
    • Official Website

What you might need for your trip to Macau:

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