Where to eat in Mindelo and Why
It is undeniable that Mindelo is a cultural hotspot in Cape Verde. The city is vibrant, fresh and there is always something happening. Today Mindelo also offers a very interesting mix of different culinary options. Some very traditional, delicious and typical Cape Verdean dishes, where fish often is the most important thing on the menu.
But, thanks to foreigners bringing their own ideas and habits to the table, Mindelo also has some surprising dishes on it's menu. A perfect combination for the 'foodie' that wants to get to know Cape Verde better by trying it's traditional meals, and explore Mindelo's other amazing culinary options.
Here are a few of my favorite places to eat in Mindelo (for various reasons):
Chez Loucha has been around in Mindelo for a long time. It's famous for their food and events combination. Next to quality buffets, Chez Loucha is known for doing dancing events with mainly traditional music. These dancing events are often organized on Friday or Saturday in Morada (Mindelo's city centre) and on Sunday's in the village of Calhau.
Chez Loucha provides free transportation from the Restaurant (and Residencial) in the city centre down to the Restaurant in Calhau.
A perfect opportunity to dive into Capeverdean culture.
*Location: City Centre & Calhau
Owner Bruno is originally from the French Antilles. His Bar/Restaurant is inspired by El Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, famous for being the favorite spot of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway. The walls of La Bodeguita have some beautiful pictures of both Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, among others.
Bruno's kitchen is a fantastic mix of Caribbean and Cape Verdean styles, with snacks and dishes bursting of flavor. Thanks to the spices used, you can smell Bodeguita from a mile away. The bruscetta is delicious, but also the Crepes, with different types of 'filling'.
*Location: Just outside the City Centre, walking up Rua de Camoēs
When traveling to Cape Verde, and especially a place like Mindelo, the last thing you would expect to eat is Sushi. In a short time Pub Art Restaurant & Bar has become an important part of Mindelo's cultural scene.
Owner Luca, from Italy, traveled across all 10 islands of Cape Verde (!) ánd Senegal before he decided to live and work in Mindelo.
According to Luca the connection he felt was the strongest in Cape Verde's second biggest city, and today he's on a mission to contribute (and expand) to the city's cultural offer.
Apart from Sushi, Pub Art has become popular for their cocktails and special musical events.
*Location: City Centre, Avenida 5 de julho (just off Praça Nova)
Bar Estrela is one of Mindelo's oldest and best known restaurants. Owner Lidya loves her work and this is obvious. She always greets her guests with a big smile, and loves to speak about her 'creations'.
Her excellent Fish dishes really stand out for many visitors.
Bar/Restaurant Estrela is a small place, with only a few tables. The simple set up makes you feel as if you are having dinner in Lidya's living room.
*Location: City Centre next to the roundabout to the right of the 'pink Palace'
There is one dish that you have to eat while visiting Cape Verde: Cachupa. This traditional, slow cooked stew of beans, corn, potato and pork is the country's no.1. The Cachupa guizod the version of the dish when it's cooked up, and served with fried eggs (or fried fish). This version of Cachupa is generally a breakfast meal, but it tasted as good for lunch.
Dokas, located at the harbour of Mindelo (just left to where the ferry leaves for Santo Antão), has a very classy restaurant on the top part, and a nice bar/café at the bottom with an amazing view of the harbour. This place serves one of the best Cachupa's in the city of Mindelo. The medium size is perfect, and the 'surprise' cheese in the middle of the Cachupa gives it that extra flavor that makes you want to go back for more.
*Location: Harbour of Mindelo, just left of where the ferry's leave for Santo Antão
Hi, I'm Freddy, the creator of the MindeloCaboVerde blog! Thank you so much for reading.
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