Vegetarian Food in the Azores: Rotas Satisfies, Big Time
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!
March 19, 2010 @ 12:19 am
Wow I’ve never heard of anyone from the Azores being vegetarian and definitely would not have expected to find a veg restaurant. My Portuguese side of the family doesn’t believe it’s a meal without meat or fish!
March 19, 2010 @ 1:28 pm
Happy to know that you are enjoying S. Miguel Island. And happy to see such a good review about Rotas.
I am Food and Beverage Manager of Anfiteatro restaurant in Ponta Delgada. This restaurant belongs to the School of Tourism and Hospitality and I really think we do a nice job.
If you want to try some Azorean food but with a touch of innovation, we are the right place. At Fridays and Saturdays we have also SUSHI at dinners.
You can check our recent highlights on our facebook page. Check also our restaurant on tripadvisor.
Hope to see you here and hope that you enjoy.
Have a nice stay in the Azores.
March 23, 2010 @ 12:52 pm
Thanks for the find. I believe there is also a vegetarian cafe in Horta, which is on Faial.
I hope you are enjoying your trip. The Azores is my favourite spot to vacation in.
All the best
April 7, 2011 @ 2:58 pm
Hi. Myself and my girlfriend are going away to Sao Miguel (Ponta Delgada) for a week this Sunday – we’re both strict vegetarians and were wondering if you could let us know how to find Rotas? Is there an address or a way of getting there? We’d be really grateful for any help!
June 2, 2013 @ 9:46 am
Hi Max, I was just reading some of your information about insurance and rotas. I was looking up the address and phone number for Rotas as I have sent many clients to them, but just needed a confirmation. I am a tour consultant and Canadian, living in Sao Miguel for 16 years. My daughter is a nurse and it prompted me to tell you about her in hopes that you might find it interesting to do a write up on her “new company”. She and a colleague have started up a program for tourists since she is recently unemployed due to lack of jobs in the Azores. “Nursing for Tourists” is something new and very helpful. She is on board with all the hotels and some clinics in Sao Miguel and helps tourists if they need assistance with things like injections, accompaniment on tours if there is a medical fear, assistance in hospitals etc. If this is of interest to you, it would be great if you would do a write-up for them. She will be happy to talk with you, but you can e-mail me first and then you can communicate. I hope this is something you might like to write about. Thank you. Lisa Ringelberg