It's Chelsea & Sam again! As we mentioned in our last blog post "An Azorean Honeymoon" we enjoyed some great food and accommodations on our trip to Sao Miguel. Below are a few of our recommendations for eating and sleeping on the island:
Lunch at A Tasca (Ponta Delgada)
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at A Tasca following our canyoning adventure. The cheerful, Ponta Delgada restaurant was buzzing with locals when we arrived at around 2:00pm. Luckily we were starving when we arrived, because the food was to die for and extremely reasonably priced. We enjoyed blood sausage with pineapple, perfectly cooked octopus, sautéed mushrooms, deep fried and garlic bread. The star of the show were the limpets (a yummy clam-like mollusk), which were served sizzling in a pool of butter, garlic, and parsley. To top it off, we had a half carafe of a vinho verde that they had on tap. It was slightly effervescent, high in acid, and perfect for a summer lunch.
Whole Fish at Tuká Tulá (Praia de Santa Bárbara)
The owners of the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at recommended the beachside restaurant as a place to get whole grilled fish. It certainly wasn’t a fancy place – when we first arrived, it appeared to be more of a snack bar than a full service restaurant. When we asked about the evening’s whole fish selections, however, we were very impressed by what they had on offer. They brought us a little book that had pictures and names of several fish, pointed out the ones that were available, and gave a brief description of each. We selected a snapper and a rock fish. They were brought out on a huge platter along with massive portions of potatoes and grilled vegetables. The fish was fresh, flavorful and perfectly cooked. It was a fabulous evening on the beach.
Bolos Levedos from Gloria Moniz Bakery (Furnas)
Bolos lêvedos are another special treat from Furnas. They look like English muffins but they are a little denser and have a slightly sweet flavor. We are OBSESSED! They are extremely tasty especially when topped with São Jorge cheese, a semi-hard cheese from one of the other islands of the Azores archipelago. Gloria Moniz bakery had some of the best bolos lêvedos that we had as well as other Azorean treats. The shop was located in a little house – it felt like we were in a locals back yard! We are looking forward to recreating bolos lêvedos at home, though I’m sure they won’t be as good as Gloria’s.
Cozido das Furnas at O Miroma (Furnas)
Cozido das Furnas is a meat and vegetable stew from the town of Furnas that is cooked underground using volcanic heat. We’d heard about this unique specialty before we came to the Azores and knew we had to try it! Our canyoning guide recommended O Miroma as the best place to try the dish. The stew was chock full of chicken, pork, blood pudding, kale, cabbage, carrots and more. The meat was all very tender and the veggies were extremely flavorful. There was a slight flavor of sulfur due to the cooking method, which was actually quite tasty. The serving size was enormous – we shared a single order and were stuffed to the brim. Yum!
This was our first stop on the island. It’s a lovely design hotel located in Ponta Delgada, the islands main city. It’s the perfect place to stay if you’re in need of a little pampering – which we definitely were after the wedding. There’s a lovely rooftop pool and bar area, an excellent restaurant, knowledgeable staff, and a delicious breakfast buffet.
The second place we stayed was a little more low key. Located in on a small orchard, Minuvida is a cute bed and breakfast run by an American woman and her Azorean husband. Though we weren’t able to take part this time, they offer yoga classes, group hikes, and dinners as well. We were the guidebook that they wrote and provided in the guest rooms. It featured their recommendations for restaurants, hikes, hot springs, and more.
If you’re looking for an island adventure, we would highly recommend that you look into the Azores. Need help planning your trip? We can help with that! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can build you a custom itinerary. We also have limited spots left on our small group tour to Tuscany in May 2018. We would love for you to join us -- it's going to be so much fun!