From fine dining, to local favourites and funky options, there is something to suit every taste and budget on a trip to the Algarve in southern Portugal.
Here we have put together a list of some of our favourites – in no particular order – to hopefully inspire you on your food journey in the region.
Many people just look along the coast for a great place to eat but it is well worth heading inland to find some real hidden gastronomic gems. Veneza can be found in Paderne, inland from Albufeira and is a restaurant and wine store in one, difficult to visualise but great to go and sit in and peruse the shelves as you wait for your food to arrive! Here you can sample a true taste of the traditional Algarve, including pork liver, Iberian pork, bean stews before finishing with regional desserts or an impressive Portuguese cheese board. What more could you ask for?
If you are looking to treat yourself then a trip to Vista has to be on your list. This Michelin star winning restaurant is perched above the cliffs in the dramatic Bela Vista hotel in Praia da Rocha, which recently had a full refurb to bring it up to five star scratch while maintaining its incredible features. The restaurant looks over the ocean and serves their standard menu alongside a seasonal one. Be prepared to be astounded with the presentation, flavours and beauty of the food here and remember your phone to add these pictures to your Instagram account to insight jealousy in all of your followers!
Nah Nah Bah
With their original restaurant in Lagos and a new one in Praia da Luz, Nah Nah Bah has forged an enviable reputation for some of the best burgers around. But it is far more than just the burgers that make this place so special, it is the relaxed vibe, the funky interior and chilled out atmosphere that makes this the perfect place to come with friends and family to eat up the delicious burgers washed down with a cocktail or too. Make sure to leave space for some sides because the Nah Nah chips have to be sampled to be believed and deserve a special mention alone.
Rei das Praias
You can’t come to the Algarve without visiting a beach restaurant! There are literally hundreds dotted along the coast and many are exceptional but Rei das Praias has long stood out for its top quality fresh fish and has been serving them up on Praia dos Caneiros since 1976. What used to be a humble beach shack has been transformed into a swish and swanky modern restaurant but it has kept is charm largely due to the fantastic staff who have all been there for years. Remember to take your beach towel and swimmers to take a dip in the beautiful waters after a long leisurely lunch.
If you are a fan of chicken piri piri then your first stop should not be Nandos but instead Ramires in Guia, the true home of chicken piri piri. There are no airs and graces here, you sit down in the enormous restaurant, order your chicken and dig in family style, with the juicy chicken falling off the bone and accompanied by homemade bread, fresh salad and a glass or two of good Portuguese wine. This place is often very busy but don’t worry, they also offer a take away service too.
The Square by Raquel Marques
Fine dining doesn’t always need to have a hefty price tag and in this little hidden gem in Carvoeiro you can enjoy top quality food served in comfortable surroundings. The menu is small but perfectly formed and the food has helped to elevate the restaurant to being a popular favourite with locals and visitors alike, all looking for that something a little especial away from the others. There is often live music here in the evening too so be sure to book a table before you arrive to ensure you get the best seat in the house.
It turns out that you don’t need to be right next to the ocean to enjoy some of the very best shellfish and seafood around. Rui Marisqueira is located in Silves (which is close to the river but some way from the beaches in the central Algarve) but has long been known as THE place to enjoy seafood. It may not be much to look at from the outside but you don’t come here for the décor, you come here for the prawns, clams, sea snails, squid and cataplanas. There are also various meat options on the menu but you really want to be getting those little shellfish hammers out and digging into those platters!
Getting to the Algarve has never been easier and a trip to the region very thanks to flight times from most major northern European cities coming in at around only three hours. There are regular flights throughout the week to Faro airport in the Algarve, including from Munich with Lufthansa, from Frankfurt with either Lufthansa or Ryanair and from Dusseldorf with Eurowings or Ryanair.
As soon as you land in Faro then your Algarve adventure can truly begin, with the airport only a short drive to most of the major destinations in the region – and best places to eat!