The iconic Caravela Café, a firm favourite with the Portuguese community and expatriates in Macao, closed its doors on Tuesday.
The Caravela was opened during the Portuguese administration of Macao by late businessman Adriano Neves, who also owned the Portuguese restaurant A Lorcha in the Inner Harbour near A-Ma temple.
Neves named his cafe Caravela to pay homage to the ship developed in the 15th century by the Portuguese to explore the West African coast and the Atlantic Ocean.
According to the newspaper Ponto Final, Alberto Pablo, Caravela’s current owner, offered no comment on his cafe’s closure.
For almost 30 years Caravela was a prestigious and typical patisserie of Macao and a popular rendez-vous for the Portuguese and Macanese communities.
“Probably the best Portuguese café in town. Terribly sad it’s the last day of business after decades serving great food and a lovely place to chill on and otherwise busy weekdays,” said Ubaldino Couto, a professional from the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies, on Facebook.
“One by one all good old days meeting points are disappearing. This one is particularly pleasant. What a pity,” expressed Natércia Placé.
Caravela was renowned for its Bica coffee, fresh bread and sandwiches and daily set lunch menus. For many years, their egg tarts are considered some of the best in town.
Bica is the term commonly used in Portugal for a coffee that is similar to espresso, but extracted to a greater volume than its Italian counterpart and a little bit smoother in taste, due to the Portuguese roasting process.
Caravela, located in Pátio do Comandante Mata e Oliveira in downtown Macao, was also one of the few cafés in the city with an outdoor area.