Who’s heard of the Azores???
The Sao Miguel island is where we stayed for an entire week, soaking up the Portuguese culture, panoramic beautiful views and of course, the local cuisine.
With the benefit of living by the ocean, their fish was to die for! Extremely fresh and a daily requirement for at least one of your meals.
So we were apparently on the most beautiful & uncommercialised island out of the nine, and our aim of the first meal out was to prioritise the most popular eating/drinking place amongst the locals – hello Bar Caloura:
Ocean views & local beers – we soon found our “go to” place for the holiday 🍻
As this restaurant gets extremely busy, we were instantly impressed with the staff who immediately whipped up a table for seven people. This table also happened to overlook the sea which is always a plus, perfectly accommodating space for my parents, two brothers, eldest brother’s girlfriend & my other half – our standard annual travel group 👌
Before an introduction from the waiter, he jumped straight into food talk and pretty much ordered everything for us, and we somehow knew he was going to be right.
So Sizzling Limpets to start!
Off to a good start, the main course took the lead on the palate with a beautiful fresh selection of fish and potatoes, all locally sourced that morning. My biggest surprise was my newfound love for raw tuna – presented amongst the ‘food from the sea’ master plate, it was perfectly salted and very moreish.
We liked this place so much that we even went back for dinner another night with more of a focus on the local wine 🍷
Jose do Rego, Lagoa:
Now we had to do some serious research to discover this restaurant in Lagoa, as we would’ve never have found it on our own.
So off we went to this other part of the island, struggling to park up our mini bus on the narrow lanes amongst the cobbled streets in the idyllic, fairly quiet town.
The back entrance looked like a run down cafe and you would never know that this place provides one of the best locally sourced food on the entire island thanks to tripadvisor – a bold statement but a true one!!!
It was a Wednesday night and the place was absolutely packed, completely filled with local people – which is always a good sign.
We were greeted by a lovely Portuguese lady who also recommended a few must-have dishes for my family and I to try out. Local wine, local fish, and of course the ‘grill your own’ rump steak on a hot stone.
The cuts of meat were absolutely delicious, and this was also a family conclusion (combined with Nick & Nicole’s…)! The only issue was the timing of the meals; all starters came out at different times and all mains came out at different times.
As you’re on holiday, we all said the standard “this is what happens, chilled out culture, people just eat late etc…” but it was actually midnight by the time we had our last meal from arriving at 8pm. So there was a long wait…
But this just shows how amazing the food was – to have waited this long and still rave about the place. Here’s battered breadcrumb cod with salted veg & buttery potatoes 🥔
The above fish dish known as the Chef special Bacalhau was quite a local over there, as we found the speciality kept cropping up on menus everywhere we went.
The next day we visited a restaurant next to the Hot springs and again another delicious salted cod with breadcrumbs & seasoned vegetables was ordered – good old Bacalhau:
It’s all about holiday adventures with The Moores 🚴♀️
On to the next meal in the centre of the Sao Miguel area, we found ourselves eating at one of two places in the small town, and this place wasn’t so busy.
Other than us, there was only one family in the whole place but once again, the food did not fail to deliver.
So here’s a little quick crazy story summarising the start of our next day – another day, another adventure, we decided to swim with wild dolphins before heading out for a big late lunch.
To set the scene, we were taken miles out at sea and had the most lovely morning literally swimming out with wild sea creatures, including whales. We then went for a little snorkel around this island and were told not to go between the rock in the left in the image below and the cave to the right…
As we were with a guide, we thought we were in safe hands and were told there was no current that day.
But before we knew it, the seven of us had jumped in with the guide and an unknown riptide swept us away, leaving half of the group clinging to the rock on the left – not a wise move due to sea urchents and the roughness of the surface! After a mild family panic and the odd cut and bruise here and there, we were all rescued by a boat behind the mini island.
Just a little reminder to be careful when swimming out in the wild sea 🙈
So after this near death experience, my family and I could finally see the funny side and relax over a few wines at our next food stop for Father’s Day, A Varanda:
This beautiful restaurant was just what we needed after an eventful morning out on the North Atlantic Sea.
Luckily, food is the way to my heart so I quite quickly had my attention now fully on the following…I don’t know why this isn’t more of a thing in England, but Black Seafood Spaghetti is the way forward! Fresh prawns, shrimps, seasoned mussels & a whole lot more layered in between the exciting dish of coloured pasta, with large shavings of Parmesan coated on top.
Oh, and it’s all about the large Shrimp 🍤Especially overlooking these beaches 🏖
Now I just want to end my shared experience on a little mention of the authentic supermarkets nearby this area – we will simply never forget these BBQ nights in from sampling the fresh food in the local markets 🍽
And the world’s best fire 🔥
Is there now time to travel around the remaining eight Azore islands please?! 🏝