Travel Guide to Restaurants in Cabo Verde
As a group of ten volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean, Cabo Verde boasts a rich culinary scene, combining African, Portuguese, and Brazilian influences. In this travel guide, we’ll explore the best restaurants in Cabo Verde, so you can enjoy the finest local and international cuisines during your stay.
1. Quintal da Música (Praia, Santiago Island)
Located in the bustling city of Praia on Santiago Island, Quintal da Música is a must-visit for a true Cabo Verdean experience. This lively restaurant and music venue serves up traditional dishes such as cachupa, a delicious slow-cooked stew made with corn, beans, and various meats. The welcoming atmosphere, coupled with live music performances by local artists, makes for an unforgettable night out in the heart of the city.
2. Restaurante O Poeta (Santa Maria, Sal Island)
Restaurante O Poeta, nestled on the picturesque beachfront of Santa Maria, offers stunning ocean views and a refined dining experience. Here, you’ll find an array of seafood dishes, including grilled lobster and octopus, as well as tender steaks and homemade pasta. Don’t forget to try the heavenly passion fruit mousse for dessert! With its excellent service and relaxing ambiance, O Poeta is an ideal spot for a romantic evening or a special celebration.
3. Café Creoulo (São Filipe, Fogo Island)
For a taste of Fogo Island’s unique culinary heritage, head to Café Creoulo in São Filipe. This charming café offers a mix of Cabo Verdean and Creole dishes, including the island’s renowned coffee and homemade goat cheese. Make sure to sample their delicious morreia (moray eel) served with a spicy tomato sauce. The warm and friendly staff, coupled with the stunning views of the nearby volcanic landscapes, make Café Creoulo a must-visit spot on Fogo Island.
4. Tambarina (Mindelo, São Vicente Island)
In the cultural hub of Mindelo, Tambarina stands out for its fusion of Cabo Verdean, Portuguese, and Mediterranean flavors. With its cozy atmosphere and attentive service, this restaurant offers a memorable dining experience. Try their mouthwatering grilled fish or the traditional feijoada, a bean and meat stew with roots in Portugal. Round off your meal with the delightful queijada de coco, a coconut and cheese tart that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
5. Le Privé (Santa Maria, Sal Island)
For a more upscale dining experience, look no further than Le Privé in Santa Maria. This elegant French-inspired restaurant offers an extensive menu featuring dishes such as duck confit, tenderloin steak, and fresh seafood. The attentive staff and sophisticated atmosphere make it the perfect spot for a special occasion or a romantic dinner. Be sure to reserve a table in advance, as Le Privé is a popular destination for both locals and visitors alike.
6. Restaurante Náutico (Tarrafal, Santiago Island)
Located near the stunning Tarrafal beach, Restaurante Náutico is a seafood lover’s paradise. The laid-back atmosphere and beachfront setting create the perfect backdrop for a leisurely lunch or dinner. Savor the catch of the day, grilled to perfection and served with
a side of crispy batata doce (sweet potato) fries. Don’t miss out on their refreshing caipirinhas, made with local sugar cane spirit, grogue. Restaurante Náutico’s friendly staff and unbeatable location make it a must-visit spot on Santiago Island.
7. O Caranguejo (Praia, Santiago Island)
For a truly authentic Cabo Verdean dining experience, head to O Caranguejo in Praia. This unpretentious restaurant offers a taste of the islands’ diverse culinary heritage, with dishes such as guisado de lagosta (lobster stew) and xerém, a corn-based dish similar to polenta. The vibrant murals and lively atmosphere make O Caranguejo a local favorite. Be sure to visit on a Friday night to catch a traditional funaná performance – a rhythmic dance accompanied by accordion music.
8. La Tortue (Cidade Velha, Santiago Island)
Located in the historic town of Cidade Velha, La Tortue is a hidden gem that combines Cabo Verdean and French cuisines. The intimate setting and beautiful views of the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site make this restaurant a must-visit. Savor their delightful tuna tartare or the succulent lamb shank, followed by the sumptuous chocolate fondant for dessert. With its outstanding food and attentive service, La Tortue is sure to impress even the most discerning foodie.
9. Chez Loutcha (Mindelo, São Vicente Island)
Chez Loutcha in Mindelo is renowned for its tasty buffet, offering a wide range of Cabo Verdean dishes, including classics like cachupa and grilled fish. The lively atmosphere, complete with live music, makes it a popular spot for both locals and tourists. If you’re visiting during lunchtime, be sure to try their daily specials, which offer excellent value for money. Chez Loutcha’s friendly staff and diverse menu make it a great place to sample the best of Cabo Verdean cuisine.
10. Blue Marlin (Espargos, Sal Island)
For a delicious seafood feast, head to Blue Marlin in Espargos. This popular restaurant is known for its fresh fish and shellfish, including delicacies such as tuna carpaccio and langoustines. The relaxed setting and friendly service make it a perfect spot for a leisurely meal. Pair your seafood with a glass of local wine or a refreshing cocktail, and you’ll be in for a delightful dining experience at Blue Marlin.
With its unique fusion of culinary influences and stunning landscapes, Cabo Verde offers a diverse range of dining experiences. Whether you’re looking for traditional dishes or international fare, this island nation has something to offer every palate. We hope this guide helps you navigate the exciting world of Cabo Verdean cuisine and enhances your island adventure.