If you’re planning a trip to Macau, Calçada do Amparo is an underrated creative area worth checking out.
Located in the heart of Macau, the area of “Calçada do Amparo” dates back to 1685 and was once home to an important customs service house for the Qing Dynasty. Fast forward to 2019 and this hidden alleyway has been resurrected into a thriving hub for Macau’s creative minds. Just a few minutes walk from the famous Ruins of St Paul, you stumble upon a great selection of stores, exhibition spaces and food shops. This quiet hipster renaissance is a great place to explore on your next trip over to Macau – the colourful shop fronts are just begging to fill up your Instagram feed.
Read more: Top Six Different Things To Do In Macau
What to Eat and Drink:
Café Sab 8
If you are looking for authentic Macanese cuisine for lunch or dinner, look no further than Café Sab 8. Located in Patio de Chon Sau, the restaurant is owned and operated by two local Macanese sisters. This spot serves up an array of dishes, but the most popular item is the traditional Minchi, a true and authentic Macanese dish, made with minced pork and diced potatoes with soy sauce and topped with a fried egg. While it sounds quite simple, if you haven’t tried this, you haven’t tried Macanese food. This was the dish of my childhood in Macau! The Café is filled with locals enjoying their lunch and Macanese artist, Aquino da Silva, has decorated the walls with portrait drawings and sketches.
Cafe Sab 8, Patio de Chon Sau, No. 10, R/C A, +853 2835 8191, www.facebook.com/Cafesab8
If you have been to Portugal then you know what a Bifana or Prego is; if you haven’t, then Food Truck is the place to go. Located next to Beer Temple, it’s an easy on-the-go option, serving up authentic Portuguese snacks. I love the fried steak in bread (prego) and the traditional pork steak in bread (bifana), and at MOP$28 for one, it’s a bargain. With limited seating, it’s not a place to dine with a group, but it is a great snack or light lunch option while exploring the surrounding streets.
Food Truck, Rua De Nossa Senhora do Amparo 26, + 853 2821 0312, www.facebook.com/foodtruckcompany
While we aren’t exactly sure how they came up with this name, one thing is for sure, it’s full of delicious, healthy and affordable lunch options. Everything is made fresh on the premises and it’s great for those wanting to grab and go. The salads are fresh and tasty, the sandwiches are filling and it offers some great soups. It also has some fresh juice and smoothie options (try the avocado banana flavour). For those who like to know what they are eating, each menu item is shown with exactly how much protein, fat and carbs are contained in each dish you order. The friendly and fast service is another thing that keeps us coming back for more.
Sauce Salaboratory Pátio de Chon Sau, Macau, +953 63939584, www.facebook.com/SAUCE-Salaboratory
One Creative Café Express
You can’t miss this place as you stroll down the street – it’s plastered with images of pizzas all over the wall and it’s one of the best places for local pizza on Macau side. It has a lot of different options available and some really unique flavour options (think banana and a squid ink). It also has BBQ ribs, chicken wings and desserts. It’s truly a fusion pizza shop and, as the name suggests, they get creative. The only downside here is that there is no actual seating area to eat, but just down the street there are some public places to sit and enjoy your food. Service is friendly and helpful and they are always up for a bit of chat.
One Creative Café Express, Calçada do Amparo 21,+853 65526889, www.facebook.com/One-Creative-Cafe-Express
If noodles are your thing and you are feeling adventurous, Furu Furu has a range of interesting ramen and udon choices on the menu. Its best seller is the lobster ramen set, along with the standard pork broth ramen bowl. While both were very generous servings, the pork dish is a personal favourite. The interior décor is very colourful, and full of graffiti paintings, which makes for a really cool vibe while enjoying some affordable noodles.
Furu Furu, Patio de Chon Sau 10, R/C A, +853 2821 0201, www.facebook.com/furufurumacau
What’s Up Tea Bar
This eccentrically decorated exhibition space, with glass chairs hanging upside down from the ceiling, features antique and modern Chinese artwork. While appreciating the art, you can sip some of the tea on offer from Tea Forté, or if you’re hungry and on the go, you can opt for uniquely flavoured pizzas (most of which are original recipes) at One Creative Café Express further down the street.
What’s Up Tea Bar, Edif. Tong Sin Kok R/c, Calçada do Amparo, +853 2835 2899, www.facebook.com/whatsup
This store is home to the biggest selection of ramen noodle cups from all over the world! I’ve never seen so many different options available in Macau. Despite the name, it has absolutely nothing to do with football. The shop is covered in creative Japanese prints and comic book pages, with noodle cups hanging from the ceiling, and you can either eat inside, or pack your favourite flavour to go.
World Cup, Rua de Nossa Senhora do Amparo 28, Macau +853 2835 7525, www.facebook.com/worldcupmacau
If I were a beer bottle, I would want to be here. This gem is the brainchild of Macau local Duarte Silverio, who is often found behind the counter. Dedicated to craft beers, the store sells a wide selection, spanning the globe from Japan to Belgium, and has hundreds of beer bottles hanging from the ceiling, which give off a stunning chandelier effect. Bustling with people trying to snap a photo of the ceiling or enjoying a cold beer, it’s the perfect pit stop after exploring the ruins (or any time of day for that matter).
Beer Temple, Rua de Nossa Senhora do Amparo 22, Macau +853 2835 2565, www.facebook.com/beertemple
What to see and buy:
Paper Scissors Rock
If interior design and decorating is your thing, Paper Scissors Rock has beautiful handmade wood carvings, paintings, and much more, which are all sourced from Africa. This two-storey shop has everything from creative light fittings to intricate vases, and it also can provide gift-wrapping if you need it. Pick up something unique here to remember your trip to Macau.
Paper Scissors Rock, Travessa de Chon Sau No. 5 Lai Hong R/c A +853 2835 8228, www.facebook.com/psr.kck
Anyone who grew up in the 80’s will appreciate this shop. With walls of gumball machines, and so many different lollies and candy packets from around the world, this is a great place to keep the sugar rush going while touring Macau for the day. They also make cute little gifts for those who love to collect bits and pieces from different countries.
Buddy, Patio De Chon Sau 14, R/c B, Macau +853 2835 8222, www.facebook.com/buddy
Portuguese Street Souvenir
Though there’s no website, this is one of the first shops you come across as you enter into Calcado Do Amparo. Lined with Portuguese tiles and magnets covering the door, this souvenir shop is a treasure trove. Tiles, magnets, statues, roosters, key rings, cookies – every type of Macau souvenir you could imagine, is right here. This is not the place for a one of a kind find, but great to stock up on gifts for friends back home or small memories of Macau without paying a fortune.
Portuguese Street Souvenir, 18 Calçada do Amparo
Originating from Porto in northern Portugal, this brand sells quality handmade soaps and luxury fragrances for both the home and body. It also sells a range of scented candles, drawer liners and great pre-packaged gift sets. While it’s not traditionally a Macau gift, the products and the fragrances are a reminder of the Portuguese influence found all over this former colony.
House of Mettler
No one really needs a reason to shop for beauty products but this little street is home to Mettler skincare products. Foreigners come here in the dozens to stock up on this Swiss brand. Mettler is quite well known and has a history of more than 85 years as skincare, body care, and hair care experts. While it’s not exactly a Macau product, it’s worth having a look in this shop but be warned, it will be hard to leave with nothing. They have a great selection of vegan products available from anti-aging creams to cleansers and masks. All are 100% Swiss, 100% vegan, paraben free and not tested on animals.
House of Mettler, 2A Calçada do Amparo, Macau, www.mettler1929.ch/en/plan-du-site
Need to do some souvenir shopping and looking for something different? T-O-W sells the coolest stationary, revamped toys, and gadgets from Kikkerland, and the store is interesting to look around, whether you’re buying or not.
T-O-W, Patio De Chon Sau 40 R/c A, Macau +853 2835 8111, www.facebook.com/tow
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2017 and was updated in March 2019.
Featured image sourced via macaulifestyle.com. All further images sourced via respective company websites or Facebook pages.