Macau’s famous Cotai Strip seems to evolve month after month, most recently welcoming the palatial Parisian Macao and, soon, a fifth hotel tower at City of Dreams. But there’s much more to the neighborhood than just glass towers and outrageous entertainment.
A five-minute walk from Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel is Taipa Village, a charming area complete with quiet Taoist temples, traditional shophouses, art galleries, tiny cobbled lanes and hundreds of local street stalls and restaurants.
The pedestrian-friendly village is quickly becoming a must-visit among foodie travelers, thanks to its trendy coffee shops and traditional dessert stalls, Portuguese eateries and hole-in-the-wall tapas bars.
For a true taste of Macau, plan pit stops at these five foodie finds.
A visit to Taipa Village isn’t complete without dinner at António Macau. Helmed by chef António Coelho, the traditional Portuguese restaurant sits inside a quaint wooden village home, sporting creaky floors and pretty blue tiles.
The relaxing vibe is a refreshing contrast to Cotai’s endless energy, and an amazing Portuguese menu that will transport you to the Mediterranean with fresh seafood dishes, housemade chorizo and homey duck rice.
The wine list is just as delicious, with a long list of affordable Portuguese selections.
Casa de Tapas
For casual tapas and Spanish-inspired cocktails, Casa de Tapas offers the best of both worlds. With three intimate floors and a small terrace, the restaurant is a favorite among couples and groups alike.
Look for colorful ceiling murals, tile mosaics and wooden accents that bring a touch of tradition into the contemporary atmosphere. The menu includes small bites (crispy croquettes and garlic shrimp) alongside sharing plates and a roster of 50 Spanish wines.
Macau Ping Kei
While mochi may not have originated in Macau, Ping Kei shop is well worth a stop for the tasty treat. The tiny address churns out fresh fruit-filled mochi, packed with juicy mango, banana, strawberries, kiwi or peanuts. The velvet, bouncy texture of the mochi tastes mildly of rice, while most of the filling options are dense and sweet. It’s all made in house, just a few steps behind the cashier.
The store’s original shop is located on Cheung Chau island, in Hong Kong, should you want to trace the mango mochi back to its roots.
Gelatina Mok Yi Kei
Perhaps the most famous dessert shop in Taipa Village, Gelatina Mok Yi Kei occupies a prime location on the corner of the main pedestrian thoroughfare, Rua do Cunha.
The 80-year-old sweets stop specializes in housemade durian ice cream. The tropical and pungent fruit makes for a tart yet refreshing snack on a humid summer day. For those looking for something even creamier, try a serradura (sawdust) pudding, a traditional Macanese dessert made with heavy whipping cream and crumbled Marie biscuit served frozen.
Part design showroom, part coffee bar, Quarter Square is a fresh new concept store that will make you wish you had more room in your luggage. Founded by designer Alberto Chan, the shop sources accessories, beauty products and furniture from around the world — picture Danish designs by Ferm Living and Futagami accessories from Japan.
But, for now, we’re here for the coffee. Chan works with Macau roasters Beans Aloud to create a unique blend. His team also hand-churns all syrups and flavorings to ensure every drink is as fresh as possible.
Enjoy your espresso by the coffee bar, in the gallery or up on the rooftop terrace — no matter where you sit, Quarter Square will surround you with beautiful, contemporary touches.