Yes, there’s no shortage of full English breakfasts around this Algarve resort, but you’ll also find fresh seafood tapas, grilled catch of the day and serious fine-dining, too.
As one of the Algarve’s most popular and prominent beach resorts, Praia da Rocha has the mix of relaxed, holiday-vibes fish restaurants and international venues that you’d expect. Bag a table near the edge of its long frill of sage and ochre cliffs to really feel the atmosphere of this surfy area – only a handful of restaurants have this view, so sniff out your sunset spot early in the trip. Back on the strip, you’ll find pizzerias, Indians, tapas bars and grills to suit the family and young-adult crowd that loves these hedonistic golden shores.
With a sheltered deck overlooking sand and sea, this slick bistro does delicately presented modern Portuguese fine-dining with great flair. Blackened octopus tendrils are cooked to juicy perfection, sea urchin mousse is served in the critter’s polka-dot shell, while pork loin medallion comes in a maze of grilled vegetables. You’re in for a mellow evening surrounded by couples and older travellers, splashing out on a bit of luxury in this largely casual resort.
Towards the east side of the resort, near the marina, this casual wine and tapas bar has simple pavement tables that are perfect for an impromptu supper. With a pan-European approach, it’s a good way to mix-up the seafood-heavy Portuguese meals: expect baked camembert hollowed-out and filled with truffle puree, steak tartare and burgers alongside octopus and tuna steaks. Ask the owners for their wine recommendations – if you find a glass you like, you can buy a bottle to take home.
Locals rate the traditional fare at this purely Portuguese hangout, where you can sit in the sun in an urban garden decorated with turf and hanging baskets. Ceramic dishes and metal roasting trays of hearty seafood, rice, steaks and roast veg are hauled out by smiling staff – the moreish bacalhau (salt cod) and the many creamy desserts will send you out smiling, too. You’ll likely get chatting to the owners and their daughter, who have great tips for the area.
After more than 45 years in business, owners Fernando and Angelina know what they’re doing at this boardwalk-side restaurant that’s mere steps from the sand. Fernando still goes to the fish market to pick up the best catches of the day, bringing them back to be sizzled up and served to well-heeled customers in this sculptural, glass-and-wood venue. Try the unparalleled fish stew and the house-special seafood rice, and ask for an outdoor table at sunset.
This restaurant is famous for its large, romantic terrace trimmed by shrubs and potted rosemary, and decorated with classic, red-check tablecloths. It’s a romantic setting for a night spent working through the menu of upmarket steaks, simple grilled fish and dainty desserts such as tiramisu. Sit back and enjoy the balmy, breezy climate while you’re served like VIP. Prices here are a little higher than the more traditional taverns across town, but the atmosphere matches the bill.
After something a bit different, in this town of grilled fish and tapas? This international spot excels at Goan curries and courgette risotto, as well as having a dedicated vegan menu of tofu and seitan creations. Pretty black-and-white ceramics and bites served in martini glasses are fit for a city slicker, but you can still tuck into rustic Portuguese prawns piri piri and cataplana, with sea views from its indoor-outdoor terrace.
Linen sunshades are woven like sails between wooden posts at this nautical-feeling restaurant, right on the boardwalk behind the beach. Surfers and kaftan-clad beachgoers recline on cushioned wicker chairs, as unfussy bowls of prawn spaghetti and grilled chorizo are brought out. At sunset, climb the Fortaleza de Santa Caterina, a couple of minutes’ walk away, before heading here for dinner, gazing out to the waves as the sea breeze pours in.
Head back with a full belly to one of these hotels in Praia da Rocha or stay along the coast in Albufeira, now bookable via Culture Trip. Continue your culinary expedition in Albufeira’s restaurants, and explore the beaches and things to do in this area.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.