Vegetarian Food in the Azores: Rotas Satisfies, Big Time

Cristina and the boss at Rotas, the Azore's only vegetarian restauran
Cristina and the boss at Rotas, the Azore's only vegetarian restaurant.

After a week of endless varieties of fish and beef, we need some serious veggies. A local told us about the only vegetarian restaurant in all nine islands, it is called Rotas. We looked it up, booked a cab, and were soon enjoying some of the finest stuffed mushrooms we had ever had.

Rotas is a tiny place on a little street; at present the street is being paved, so it wasn’t busy tonight. But Cristina, our delightfully attentive waitress, told us they’ve been serving this meatless cuisine for three years and she loves her boss. Ok, we’re hooked.

A winter salad of brie, almonds, pears, and lettuce was a perfect accompaniment to the risotto with asparagus with figs.  Everything was clean, light and went down just the right way matched with a fine dry white Portuguese wine.

There are only about six tables in the place. In the back there is a tiny ‘store’ where bric-a-brac and tea is offered for sale. We felt like we were dining at a friend’s house, one who could really cook.

At the end of our meal the proprietor joined us and we learned that she has another cafe in Ponta Delgada, as well as a job teaching kindergarten. They told us that, sadly, their cafe had been broken into by vandals and that they’d be closed until Monday to do their repairs.

How nice it is to hear about a place and then track it down only to find that it’s better than we could have imagined. Definitely a keeper, definitely going to be included in our story about this trip when it is published on GoNOMAD in a few weeks!