Eating out is a great part of the holiday fun, it is an important part of exploring new cultures and flavours. What better way to get to know a new destination than to eat what the locals eat and enjoy the typical food of your new surroundings? But when you have allergies for certain ingredients it can be more challenging to enjoy a nice meal.
Nowadays more and more people realize they are allergic to gluten (a composite of storage proteins termed prolamins and glutelins and stored together with starch in the endosperm of various grass-related grains, found in wheat, barley, rye, oat, related species and hybrids and products of these), lactose (a disaccharide sugar composed of galactose and glucose that is found in milk) or other ingredients.
Luckily many restaurants on Madeira recognize this and they can serve for example gluten free bread and pasta, if requested in advance. The Madeira cuisine offers a lot of alternatives to avoid the tricky ingredients.
If we may advise: it is strongly recommended to always inform your waiter about allergies, so the chef will be informed too. You also can think about certain ingredients like garlic, mustard, nuts, peppers, corn etc. The more information the chef receives, the better the dish can be prepared for you. It is never good to suffer from the side effects that food allergies can cause, but especially not during your precious holidays.
Vegetarians will love the many types of fish and sea food on the menu (a positive side effect of visiting an island), and for vegans there are also more and more options.
Tripadvisor created a helpful overview: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurants-g189166-zfz10992-Madeira_Madeira_Islands.html#EATERY_OVERVIEW_BOX
One tip: a restaurant where all dishes are gluten and lactose free is ´My Way´, opposite Madeira Magic, in the hotel area.