Portugal’s sunny Algarve region is a vibrant tourist hub all year round, from its sun-soaked beaches to its rugged inland panoramas and traditional villages. With such a huge concentration of visitors, it can be difficult to avoid tourist traps and find quality local food – so we’ve compiled a list of ten of the very best Algarve cafes and restaurants.
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A Eira do Mel
About 10 kilometres north of the town of Sagres lies Vila do Bispo, home to the Eira do Mel (a literal translation might be “The Honey Barn”.). Michelin-listed but with a modest and welcoming atmosphere, this is a marvellous little restaurant in which to try some Portuguese favourites that you might not find in a traditional tourist-trap restaurant – from rabbit to wild boar, a strong and unusual selection of meats brings variety to the broad range of fish and seafood that travelers in Portugal will have come to know so well.
Opening hours: Tues – Sun 12pm – 2:30pm, 7:30pm – 10pm
Integrated into the Salgados Dunas Suites hotel in Albufeira, Restaurante L14 offers a fusion of Portuguese and international food. In particular, the restaurant is gaining a reputation for its desserts, having won a Best Dessert 2015 award for a fig, nut and almond dish that brings together Algarvian ingredients with outside tastes. An excellent choice for a classy evening out in the Albufeira area, L14 is a chance to get to grips with some local Algarve flavors alongside broader Mediterranean delicacies.
Adega Dom Pipas
For a relaxed and authentic local atmosphere, try another Albufeira restaurant, the Adega Dom Pipas, tucked away on the cobbled Travessa dos Arcos, away from the bustling city center. You are guaranteed to get a warm welcome from the friendly staff, and the bilingual menu of traditional Portuguese dishes will have something for all tastes. Albufeira can be so jam-packed with tourist-focused restaurants and cafes, aimed at every market niche, that those spending some time in the city will be thrilled at the prospect of visiting a restaurant that is quintessentially Portuguese.
Address: Travessa dos Arcos, 11, Albufeira 8200,+351 969 913 499
A creation of its eponymous chef, Henrique Leis, the premises of this restaurant include two distinct, functioning spaces, one of which – richly decorated and complete with a roaring fireplace – is intended for winter use, while another is a pleasant and open space for use in summer (the restaurant also boasts an outdoor terrace space with a fantastic sea view). Offering both a regular menu and a tasting option, and a wide selection of wines, this is a gourmet establishment with the added benefit of a beautiful location.
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 7am – 10pm
Nestled in the heart of Silves, an Algarvian town of huge historical and aesthetic interest, the Café Inglês is an institution in local life in more ways than one. Open day and night, for full meals or light snacks and drinks (the homemade cakes are a particular crowd-pleaser), this is a friendly little establishment and perfect for a stop-off after a trip to Silves’ breathtaking Gothic cathedral. Providing more than just good food, the Café also hosts a range of cultural and musical events, from live jazz and flamenco evenings to poetry readings, securing its place in the hearts of visitors.
Opening hours: Check with restaurant
Address: Rua Do Castelo, 11 | 8400-144, Silves,+351 282 445 624
Located a short drive away from Faro, Le Marquis is a richly-decorated rustic haunt amid the hills of Gorjões village. Complete with a roaring fireplace, the grand and well-presented environment ensures a warm welcome, and the well thought-out set menus are a safe bet for hungry tourists (traditional Sunday lunches are also available). Vegetarians will also find themselves well provided-for. Be sure to book to avoid disappointment.
Opening hours: 12pm – 3pm, 7pm – 9:30pm
In parts of Brazil the barbeque or churrasqueira is something close to a religion, and Bem Bom sets out to bring that philosophy to the town of Quarteira, serving up mountains of succulent meat and fish at a reasonable price. A particular favorite is the rump beef or picanha, but all tastes are catered to by the vast array of cuts on offer, presented by helpful and approachable staff. Visit with an empty stomach to ensure you can eat more than your fill.
Opening hours: Check with restaurant
Address: Avenida Francisco Sa Carneiro, Quarteira,+351 289 380 158
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