In our previous post, we talked about Portuguese must-eats, when you come to Algarve. But, where to eat them? Find below a list of some gastronomic cathedrals.
All Algarve Housing approved!
TASCA DO PETROL (Monchique)
Honest and easy-going food that honors the gastronomic tradition of the Serra de Monchique. From the oven to the table, they serve genuine food reminding you that the interior of the Algarve also deserves to be seen. The oven starts to heat up early in the morning, to make sure nothing fails. And despite the arabesque trail to get there, the reward couldn’t be greater. Tasca do Petrol is a gastronomic paradise where the most traditional recipes and cooking methods stay forever safe.
TABERNA DA MARÉ (Portimão)
This is one of the most popular restaurants in the Algarve. During summertime, the wooden outdoor tables will quickly ‘fly’. Blissful sunsets, while savoring sea treads are a daily activity, and authenticity is always present. The indoor rooms are also very inviting, with fisherman pictures covering the walls, hanging buoys, and many other surprising objects. This place tells Portimão’s story, in every detail. Zeca Pinhota, the owner, will happily install you at the right table, and help you choose what to eat from its surprising menu. Five stars team — we love it.
MARISQUEIRA RUI (Silves)
In a central street in Silves, with a terrace extending along the entire façade, this restaurant has been a place of worship for over three decades in the art of seafood. Take a deep breath as you wait your turn, and stay cool, because the seafood quality will make it worth it. In the meanwhile, get yourself an “imperial” or two, and enjoy the moment.
The museum of Portimão hosts a place called Faina. Emídio Freire, together with his wife Ana, manages with fascinating creativity a menu that contains everything we need to be satisfied. Old techniques and products, re-invented in a very exciting way. Amazing food to share and discover, I would say. Metal shelves and brick walls frame an enchanting and hand-picked wine cellar. Breath-taking river views.
O CHARNECO (Estômbar)
It stands out as the guardian of the Algarve’s cultural and gastronomic heritage. This is a “no menu” restaurant, so you’ll need to go there with an “I trust you” mindset. But fear nothing. You will probably try Feijoada de Buzinas among their many dishes, Cavalas Alimadas, or Pataniscas de Raia, depending on the time of the year.
RESTAURANTE VENEZA (Paderne)
The impressive wine cellar in this house is their best calling card. In fact, most likely, the Veneza restaurant, in Paderne, brings together one of the largest wine collections in the whole country, with rare examples of all national productions. To pair with the wine, there are always gastronomic delights mostly inspired in the Algarve recipes, with an emphasis on seafood.
Back in the day, Evaristo was still a simple beach shack serving high-quality fish, but after 2002’s transformation, it’s even better. Faithful representative of the so-called beach restaurants, this is a place to eat the freshest grilled fish. Evaristo squid and white sangria are also well known for the best of reasons. Fun fact: Beach is known by the restaurant’s name!
CASA CHICO ZÉ (Lagos)
Those heading to Lagos on the EN 125 will find it on the left side of the road, 2 km from the city. The grill is their specialty. Servings are generous while prices stay very reasonable. And then we have the space — perhaps the greatest attraction of the place. Imagine a house made of stone, with a big grill outside, a huge terrace, and an interior room of very considerable dimensions. And also a small garden and a riding arena!
TASCA DO CARECA (Vila do Bispo)
The name — “Tasca” — doesn’t fool anyone: it’s a tavern. It has wooden benches and tight tables, a bunch of football scarves hanging on the walls (from Sporting Clube de Portugal, Careca’s team), and very good food. “Lulas Recheadas” is something you’ll eat and literally cry for more. Local tip: arrive early, and be ready for some funny grumpiness.
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