Macau’s hipster renaissance
Located in the heart of Central 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 2017 and this hidden alley way 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 large selection of stores, exhibition spaces and food shops. This quiet hipster renaissance of sorts is a great place to explore on your next trip over to Macau, and of course 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:
If you are over in Macau and 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’s sisters. They serve 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 relished 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, decorates the walls with portrait drawings and sketches.
Cafe Sab 8, Patio de Chon Sau, No. 10, R/C A, +853 2835 8191
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, so I ordered that, along with the standard pork broth ramen bowl. While both were very generous servings (and I enjoyed them), I would just order the pork dish if I were to visit again. Its interior décor is very colourful, and full of graffiti paintings, which makes for a really cool vibe while enjoying some very affordable noodles.
Furu Furu, Patio de Chon Sau 10, R/C A, +853 2821 0201, www.facebook.com/furufurumacau
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 flavored 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
One Creative Café Express, Calçada do Amparo 21, +853 6552 6889, www.facebook.com/One-Creative-Cafe-Express
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. While I don’t know the origin of the shop’s name, I can tell you it has absolutely nothing to do with football. The shop is covered from bottom to top 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
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 for while 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
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
What to see and buy:
If interior design and decorating is your thing, Paper Scissors Rock has beautiful handmade woodcarvings, paintings, and much more, which are all sourced from African countries. This two-story shop has everything from creative light fittings and vases, and it also can provide gift-wrapping if you need it. Pick up something unique and special here to remember your trip to Macau By.
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 around Macau for the day. They also make cute little gifts for kids, or for those who love to collect candy packets from different countries.
Buddy Patio De Chon Sau 14, R/c B, Macau +853 2835 8222, www.facebook.com/buddy
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 not traditionally a Macau gift, its products and the smells are a reminder of the Portuguese influence found all over this former colony.
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 just as interesting to look around, as are the items to buy.
T-O-W Patio De Chon Sau 40 R/c A, Macau +853 2835 8111, www.facebook.com/tow
Macau’s creative area is a destination all on its own, and you’ll be glad to escape the crowds and explore this secret world just minutes away from the crowds!