Top 10 Places To Eat In Faial
Updated: Aug 21
The beautiful quaint island of Faial, one of Azores' 9 islands located in the triangle island group, has so much to offer from incredible greenery, scenic beaches and buzzing nightlife.
While you're exploring you're bound to get hungry - and after trying many restaurants on the island, here are my favourite places to eat from breakfast or a bite to dinner and dessert - because there just isn't enough time on vacation to have a mediocre meal.
Not in any particular order, here are the bangers.
Ah! Boca Santa
Casa de Cha
Aldina Restaurant & Bar
Snack Bar Xavier
Cafe Porto Pim
Canto da Doca
Gelados do Atlantico
Just like the name, this boutique cafe inside Faial's lively market in Horta is our first stop on every visit to Faial. We've planned entire weekends to Faial with the sole purpose to eat at Ah! Boca Santa ... which is named perfectly since its direct translation is "ah! holy mouth" as in THIS. IS. DIVINE!
They're a breakfast/lunch place with many options - our favourites being the pancakes, french toast and their vegetarian burger.
Note that pancakes and french toast are only available on their breakfast menu until 11:30am so get there early.
The french toast is crunchy, moist and light and is served with fresh fruit, a fruit compote and yogurt.
For the pancakes, I always get the salted caramel and ask for their "frutos vermelhos sauce" or mixed berry sauce on the side. They're fluffy and delicious, the garnishes are perfect and without sacrificing the taste, they're incredibly instagrammable.
On the lunch menu, the vegetarian burger is served on the traditional bolo levedo (like a sweet bread bun) and is one of the best veggie burgers you'll ever have.
They also have freshly made fruit juices like lemonade, as well as coffee and alternating baked goods!
Our most recent discovery is one we're extremely mad we didn't get to try earlier. What an oasis experience in the heart of Faial in Horta.
You walk through a beautiful wood door on the side of the mysterious place into a beautiful garden with plenty of different plants and banana trees, hear the birds chirping and can immerse yourself in the serenity of nature. If you'd like to sit inside the cafe, it's a cozy yet spacious space, but on a nice day - don't miss out on going up the stairs that are straight in front of you when you walk in from the side entrance ... THERE'S A ROOFTOP WITH A VIEW OF PICO MOUNTAIN!
Their menu consists of natural juices, coffee, daily plates, pancakes, pizza, sandwiches, dessert and more! The best part is that there is literally an option for everyone with plenty of healthy options and even vegan options too!
We ordered their homemade strawberry lemonade - incredible, their casa de cha cappuccinos (note I believe they put cocoa in their version) with non-dairy milk, 2 daily plates and 2 desserts.
The daily plates that day were a creamy spinach lasagna and teriyaki tofu on rice. We were blown away by the taste and freshness. They were mouthwatering!!!
For dessert, we had their famous chocolate cake and the pumpkin tart which were both phenomenal. I now know why they're famous for chocolate cake. It's definitely one of the top 3 chocolate cakes I've had in my life and trust me I'm kind of an expert.
The only thing I would add to make the experience better is to have more direction in the actual location. It's so big and there aren't signs so you don't really know what to do when you get in, where the washroom is and it's highly possible you'll miss the rooftop terrace if you're not a curious cat.
Also, note that their hours are difficult for weekend birds since they're open from Monday - Friday 12 pm - 2:30 pm and 4 pm to 6:30 pm so don't listen to their Google listing because they're not able to update their hours on there!
Overall I cannot wait to go back to Faial to try more items on their menu like their Pizza which looks great! This is definitely in my top 3 for Faial!
20 minutes from Horta lies a popular restaurant serving the yummiest traditional Portuguese dishes with a view! On clear days you can see both Sao Jorge island and Graciosa and on summer days you can enjoy their indoor-outdoor feeling with their open concept patio.
We've tried a few dishes from Pasquinha and all of them were beyond satisfying. It's like stepping into a Portuguese Grandma's kitchen and really tasting the culture.
We've tried the soup of the day, the cheese starter platter, the grilled codfish (bacalhau), one of the shrimp starters (the only thing I wouldn't order again) and because their portions are extremely generous, on both occasions we couldn't get to dessert. We are dying to try their drunken pear and other homemade desserts.
Beware that they are very often completely reserved so be sure to call in a few hours before, or hope for the best upon arrival!
On the most northern tip of Faial, but still, only 30 minutes from Horta lies the bustling and lively Aldina Restaurant. This restaurant is a local hot spot for large family dinners and parties because it's just that fun. With a large lively bar being the centre of the lobby, you know what you're in for as soon as you arrive.
Serving traditional Portuguese dishes, Aldina is connected to a big supermarket (owned by the same people I believe) which is probably why everything tastes so fresh.
We tried the soup of the day (delicious), the "polvo a lagareiro" which is grilled octopus in a garlic olive oil with potatoes (perfectly cooked and extremely tasty) and the fried fish of the day (like a fish and chips plate) which was moist, crunchy and very satisfying.
We also tried their homemade caramel ice cream which was fantastic as well.
Overall, I'm definitely eager to go back and try a few new dishes, it's a fun place where the tight-knit community you'd expect in Azores really shines.
We stumbled upon this restaurant by accident after everything else was closed and we were starving. Talk about a local restaurant! They have a buffet option or menus, but the lineup for the buffet did not lie and we could smell that traditional smelling Portuguese goodness from a mile away - so buffet it was! Boy am I happy we found Snack Bar Xavier. The food was so delicious, true Portuguese food.
We had a delicious tuna that was engulfed in a saucy onion oil with fresh boiled potatoes and a glass of house wine (which was excellent). I'm sure they change it up daily so just go with your instincts and what your taste is, if the buffet doesn't seem like it's your thing, try the menu.
The craziest part is that with 2 dishes, 2 coffees, and 2 glasses of wine, it was something like 20 euros!
Unfortunately, our phones were dead, therefore couldn't take any photos so you'll just have to rely on Google for that.
Cafe Porto Pim
Cafe Porto Pim is our favourite spot for when we just want a quick bite or when everything else is closed (normally from 3pm-7pm all restaurants close their kitchen) because they have the most DIVINE quiche!!
The first time we went the owners were so friendly, their machine wasn't working for credit cards and we had no cash so we had to go to the atm which is a good 5 minute drive, and the lady said don't worry about it, pay us next time you come! We obviously went to get the cash at our first convenience and paid with a tip :)
Since that first time, we've gone back for quiche a good 6 times. We get the Tuna one mostly and the veggie one is also really great. If you find a better quiche please tell me, because I literally think it can't get any better. It's moist, tasty, and is the perfect snack - or meal, depending on how many slices you get! ;)
You can also eat with the incredible view of Porto Pim beach which is right in front of the cafe.
Canto da Doca is a unique experience that's a fun interactive spot to eat. Right in the heart of Horta, with a boat-like decorated interior, they bring out hot stones and you cook your own food!
You choose your protein from the menu (fish, seafood or meat) and each dish comes with a small side salad, fried and 3 sauces.
We got the squid and a fish (since we don't eat meat and Nathan is allergic to shellfish). Overall, the fish and squids were really fresh, but it's truly just seasoned with salt and butter (or the dipping sauces) so it depends on what you get and how you cook it. We also got one glass of house wine each - let's just say, if you want to have an "extra" fun time, get the house wine. They pour enough for 2 people in one cup, but we were not complaining.
It was definitely an experience I recommend for the fun of it!
Fun tip: we had the brilliant idea of putting the fries on the stone once they started to get cold, and boom - good as new! :) Thank me later.
Ah, Peter's Cafe. What can I say, Peter's Cafe is Faial. It's a whole vibe.
With an interior filled with flags, shirts, magnets and souvenirs from sailors all across the world that stop at Peter's cafe, it's like you're transported to Jack's party on the Titanic. It's ALWAYS full, and always lively.
They also have a patio but often it's not serviced as well on busy days and you pay a small extra service fee because it's (understandably) a lot harder on the servers, but it does have a great view!
They are well known for their Gin - which we always ensure to have a bottle or two of at home (and they make a great souvenir gift) - which you can try by ordering a "Gin Do Mar". It's a gin and tonic made with their homemade gin which is made from passionfruit! The gin is so good we often have it neat with just a lemon peel at home.
We haven't actually eaten at Peter's, besides the shrimp starter which is worth putting in this blog. "Gambas al Ajillo" they're called. If you're a shrimp lover, you need to try this dish. It comes with 5-6 prawns and I shamelessly licked my fingers the entire way through the dish.
I will definitely update this blog once we try more dishes.
All I know is that if you don't stop at Peter's even just for a Gin do Mar, did you even go to Faial?
Last, but definitely not least is one of my must-go-to stops when visiting Faial - Gelados do Atlantico. With homemade artisanal ice cream that's incredibly creamy with a wide variety of exciting flavours to choose from, there's not a soul that their ice cream couldn't satisfy. I believe they also have sorbets as vegan options!
There are always people coming in and out, leaving happier than they arrived! Their flavours are unique and diverse, from wild flavours like Sao Jorge cheese and fig, guava, dark chocolate, and banana to the classics like salted caramel, hazelnut, and our favourite - pistachio!
The thing is, you can taste the pieces of the actual fruit or nut or whatever flavour in the ice cream - it's fresh, it's homemade and it's delicious.
Oh, not to mention they make their own artisanal cones too which are for a lack of better words, perfect.
They also serve food during the week, which we, unfortunately, have yet to try. It is something that we are eager to do when we have the chance.
The place is fun and colourful, and the girl serving, who I believe is from Argentina, is just so sweet and helpful.
We always stop by when in Faial, and that won't be changing.
Now for those of you coming from Canada, no this is not the same as the Pizza Nova chain. This is a cute hipster pizza cafe 2 minutes away from Horta's center. I have found it really hard to enjoy pizza in the Azores and although this wasn't the best pizza I've ever had, it is the best pizza I've tried in Azores so far.
The crust is thin and tasty, the cheese is real and doesn't feel like that faker rubber cheese other places use, and they have a wide variety of pizzas to choose from!
We had the romano and the Funghi pizza with added artichokes.
Next time I have a pizza craving, I'll save it for Pizza Nova in Faial.
Faial has been very good to our tummies, and maybe that's why we visit so often. If you're visiting Faial, be sure to check out the spots I mentioned above! Let me know your experience by messaging me on Instagram @Im_Vacationista!
Other notable restaurants to mention where we had good dishes, but not a "WOW" experience (which perhaps could have just been due to the fact that our first attempt wasn't a good day for them, or their particular options were limited) are Genuino Restaurant, Praya, and Cantina Da Praça.