WHERE TO EAT
For seafood lovers we recommend the XITAKA right in Ponta Delgada center.
For the typical “cozido das Furnas”, literally cooked under the ground with the heat of earth (a spectacle in itself to be watch), you can’t skip the Terra Nostra Restaurant, also a 4 star hotel. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to get there by car.
For a juice and the best stake you ever ate, there are three places we recommend:
- Associação Agricola S. Miguel, which is in Ribeira Grande where the bike segment will take place, and about 20 minutes from Ponta Delgada by car.
- Alcides is probably the better known, right in the center of Ponta Delgada.
- Aliança, that was set up by an ex chef from Alcides, also in the center of Ponta Delgada.
In any of these cases make sure you call for reservation and expect to pay around 20€ – 25€ per person.
THE GASTRONOMY OF THE AZORES ISLANDS
Gourmets delight in the many traditional recipes of Azorean cuisine. Here, fish and seafood abound, so those who appreciate a delicious fish straight from the sea will find a paradise in the Azores.
Grilled, in bouillabaisses or soups, fish is cooked in a variety of ways. But make sure you taste tuna, which, in these waters, has a pink hue and a soft flavour and texture, is slightly salty and is still caught by hook and line. Or octopus which is mostly appreciated stewed in aromatic wine.
The Azores have seafood that is not found anywhere else, such as limpets, barnacles and locust lobsters, a kind of tender and tasty lobster which is almost a sin not to try.
As for meat, there are some typical Azorean dishes, such as cozido das Furnas, unique for being cooked under the ground, harnessing the heat that the earth retains in that part of the Island of S. Miguel. At the right time, you can watch the preparation of the meal by the lagoon. On the Island of Terceira, the focus is on alcatra (fish or beef casserole), well-seasoned as tradition demands, and on the other islands there are several variations on the recipe for yam with sausage.
But if you are a meat appreciator, there is no place like the Azores, famous for their tender stakes.
The bolo lêvedo (leavened cake) from Furnas is also very popular, and goes well with any meal, by itself or with butter or jam. Or with Azores honey, a Protected Designation of Origin product, owing its high quality to the diversity and richness of the flora.
The cheese and wine lovers are not forgotten in the Azores, you will find some of the best cheese (don’t skip S. Miguel cheese) and wine craved and award winning around the world.
Visit the Wine Museum in Biscoitos on the Island of Terceira.
Discover one of the tea museum factories and the pineapple plantations on the Island of São Miguel and see how Ilha cheese is made on the Island of São Jorge.