Amdeu's Restaurant
By Randi Chapnik Myers

Opening Doors

If you know Kensington Market, then you know Amadeu's Restaurant is a fixture on Augusta Avenue. That’s because the Portuguese family style restaurant has been going strong since 1989, when Rui Goncalves’ parents first opened its doors to the neighbourhood.

“My parents had worked in the restaurant industry back home and when they immigrated, they took all sorts of jobs,” he recalls. His dad, whose name was Amadeu, did catering for weddings on weekends and really wanted a place of his own. First he opened a restaurant up the street with his brother, but eventually he switched locations when friends of his who owned the space were ready to retire.

The new location was renovated to feature a more casual neighbourhood bar on one side and a family-friendly fine dining space on the other, making it a welcoming spot for a variety of hungry customers.

My father wanted to give everyone the most authentic Portuguese experience possible at Amadeu's – from the wines we pour to the dishes we cook to the way we serve. His dream was to give everyone a mini vacation, a taste of Portugal, and that's what he created. - Rui Goncalves, owner
Rui Goncalves is the owner of Amadeu's Restaurant.

Family Style

Indeed, Amadeu's has really thrived, in part because the homemade food is so authentic and also because it is family-run. Rui began serving food there when he was just 16, his mother is the cook in the kitchen, and his sister and niece work there as well.

There is a real family style atmosphere, Rui says. The dining room is more family oriented and ideal for a romantic night out or special celebrations while the bar has an easygoing vibe where groups come to listen to live music when a band is playing, watch sports on TV or spill out onto the patio. "Everyone feels welcome here, like they're coming home to their own living room," Rui says.

And oh, the food. "My dad always used to say the hospitality business was one of the lost great arts and he wanted to bring that back," Rui explains.  "He wanted to give everyone the most authentic Portuguese experience possible at Amadeu's – from the wines we pour to the dishes we cook to the way we serve. His dream was to give everyone a mini vacation, a taste of Portugal, and that's what he created."

The menu at Amadeu's Restaurant includes seafood, meat and more.
Photo by Cassandra Vitorino

Home Cooking

Everything you taste is as fresh and authentic as possible. The homemade hot sauce and desserts are made on the premises and seafood is offered many ways, from classic stewed under a steaming lid to combined with rice to grilled on a platter. The fish selection is huge, too, and the menu specials change daily. "The big difference is how we prepare food with our spices and the way we cook. We have a thousand different recipes for each dish," Rui says.

He is proud of the fact that his family is carrying on his father's legacy. "Our customers come from all walks of life and they keep coming back. That means we are lucky enough to see families grow over time," Rui explains. "We'll host a baptism party here and then one day, we are doing the bride’s shower. You see generation to generation, just like we are. It's like an extended family and I love it."

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