The Best Restaurants in Lagos, Portugal

The historic town centre of Lagos, with Meia Praia in the background
The historic town centre of Lagos, with Meia Praia in the background | © imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Mark Nayler
19 August 2021

After a day sunbathing on Praia do Camilo or hiking along the Ponta de Piedade headland, tuck into top Portuguese cuisine at one of these great restaurants in Lagos.

Located just west of one of the Algarve’s most beautiful beaches, Lagos is one of southern Portugal’s most popular resort towns. Its Old Town and marina are packed with quality yet affordable places to eat, whether you’re after a quick snack or a smart, seafood dinner. Here’s our selection of the best eateries in Lagos, from a Michelin-recommended hotel restaurant to beachside tapas joints.

O Camilo

Restaurant, Seafood, Portuguese, $$$
Map View

After a morning exploring the Ponta da Piedade headland, have lunch at O Camilo, a family-run fish specialist on the cliffs above Praia Camilo. Take a pew out on the terrace with sea views or in the contemporary, glass-walled dining room. Choose from a menu focused on freshly-caught, grilled fish and seafood, standouts of which include the lemon sole and tiger prawns. Meat-lovers also have the rarely-seen option of fried rabbit. Book in advance, especially for a table by the windows.

Quintal do Peixe

Restaurant, Seafood
Map View

This casual spot entices you onto its terrace with a cabinet displaying the day’s catch. Ask for the daily-changing specials or go for the signature dish – a fat, golden fish burger, served with fries and homemade coleslaw. Also usually available are a seared fillet of red snapper and garlic squid. For the perfect accompaniment, choose one of the locally-made white wines or a cold draft beer.

Bar Quim

Bar, Seafood
Map View

Lunch or dinner at Bar Quim – a shack-like beach bar about halfway along Meia Praia – revolves around one thing: prawns. The house specialty for over twenty years, they arrive at your table in a sizzling, paella-shaped pan, cooked in olive oil, garlic and coriander and topped with a wedge of lemon. Get in the mood with a bowl of meaty fish soup to start, and order a basket of rustic bread to mop up the spicy, garlicky sauce left from the prawns.

Jukebox Tapas & Meals

Restaurant, Tapas
Map View

Don’t be put off by Jukebox’s sparse, canteen-like interior – this is one of the best tapas joints in Lagos. For an inexpensive shared meal, mix and match classics such as meatballs in tomato sauce, fried chorizo, Piri Piri prawns and pork cheek in red wine sauce. Ask staff for the daily veggie special and choose from a selection of Budget Meals, sandwiches and burgers, if you’re after something more substantial.

Arribale

Restaurant, Seafood
Map View

This barbecue-and-fish joint is run by a friendly English guy named Ken and it has several tables on the oldest street in Lagos, formerly the town’s sea wall. Simple, flavour-packed dishes such as sea bass, pork ribs, lamb chops and steaks are cooked on a grill right in front of you, all by a chef who’s fond of dancing and singing while he cooks. On those rare chilly days, take a seat in a whitewashed dining room decorated with nets and antique fishing implements. Cash only.

Avenida

Restaurant, Portuguese
Map View
Hotel Avenida restaurant
Courtesy of Hotel Avenida / Expedia

Offering a classy yet affordable culinary experience, the glass-fronted restaurant at Hotel Avenida has Bib Gourmand status in the Michelin guide. Dutch chef Roeland Klein and his teamwork in an open kitchen, preparing dishes that showcase the region’s finest meat and fish. Opt for the catch of the day, cooked in a salt crust with lime and thyme, or the six-course tasting menu with specially paired wines. Start or finish the evening with a cocktail at the hotel’s rooftop bar.

Real Portugese Cuisine

Restaurant, Portuguese, $$$
Map View

Found on a pretty, tiled street in the centre of Lagos, this ambitiously named restaurant has a lot to live up to. It succeeds with carefully presented regional dishes such as cataplana – a seafood and chorizo stew named after the copper pan in which it’s cooked – and pears poached in port, as well as an extensive selection of local red and white wines. Even better, you’re served a complimentary glass of port after your meal.

Tasca Jota

Restaurant, Portuguese, $$$
Map View

Tasca Jota serves up modern Portuguese fare in a cavernous dining room of stone floors and wooden beamed ceilings. The young team’s dynamism shows on every plate, from tapas, such as cod ceviche and chicken wings with Tamarind sauce, to the signature main dish of pork belly, sweet potato puree, sauteed cabbage and caramelised apple. Another reason for walking ten minutes from the centre is the homemade bread, which is served straight from the oven throughout the day.

Empanadas & Co

Bistro, Snacks
Map View
delicious deep-fried RedHot Buffalo Chicken Empanadas in a rustic wooden serving tray, horizontal view from above
© myViewPoint / Alamy Stock Photo

This is one of the best options in Lagos for a snack or light lunch. Situated on a quiet residential street on the outskirts of the Old Town (they’ll guide you in by phone if you get lost), it offers a menu of inexpensive meat and vegetarian empanadas. Go for the meal combo which includes salad and fresh fruit juice. Seating is out on the cobbled street or inside the small, bright cafe. A selection of locally-brewed craft beers is also available.

Mimar

Restaurant, Cafe, Tapas
Map View

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all on offer at this laid-back cafe in the heart of the Old Town. Its international menu enables you to start the day with bacon, eggs, coffee and fresh orange juice. Next, return for a steak sandwich and beer at lunch and spend the evening loafing on the terrace, over unusual tapas such as duck with sweet potato chips and pulled pork with barbecue sauce. A great selection of Portuguese wines and port complete the all-inclusive offering.

Seen and done everything in Lagos? Then explore the rest of the Algarve. Book the best hotels in the Algarve and the best luxury hotels in the Algarve now through Culture Trip. Enjoy the coast in new ways by learning at the best surf schools in the Algarve.

These recommendations were updated on August 19, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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