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. 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.
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.
Nah Nah Bah
Nah Nah Bah in Lagos 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.
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.
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.
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.