Favourite Restaurants

La Cigale

This restaurant offers stunning up close and personal views of the ocean. The terrace is situated just a couple of meters away from the famous beach of Olhos D’Agua. Be prepared to be treated to fresh fish - caught on the day! Renown for its seafood menu, La Cigale also caters to those who prefer Portugal’s famous chicken piri-piri and other well known Portuguese dishes. One of the few restaurants that regularily offer the meaty fish ‘stone bass’ (a must try). Open everyday for lunch and dinner with an excellent wine menu, La Cigale’s efficient staff led by the always smiling Carlos is always there to make your meal a memorable one. Tel: 289 501 637 Reservations for dinner are recommended.

 

A Cantina

If you have never tried the Portugese favourite ‘Steak on the Stone’, you will be in for a wonderful treat at A Cantina. The superior presentation and abundance of food that accompanies each steak on the stone makes it immediately apparent that the customer will never forget the experience. A stone is heated to extremely high temperatures and placed in front of the customer, salt and butter is added to the top of the stone. A massive uncooked fillet steak is then placed on the stone. That’s correct – you cook your own steak (pork is also available)! It is a unique but a very rewarding experience. It may very well be the best steak you have ever tasted.! The menu also consists of a wide array of fresh fish and other favorite Portuguese dishes. The service provided by Joaquin, Bruno and Vlady is second to none. A Cantina is open for traditional and English breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tel: 289 580 385 Reservations for dinner are recommended.

 

Chef’s Peking

A traditional Chinese restaurant that is guaranteed to beckon you back over and over again. Let Margarida and Carlos pamper you with the most exquisite and tantalizing meal prepared for a king or queen. This is the type of atmospheric restaurant that once you have eaten there becomes a dining room away from your dining room. There is no other Chinese restaurant in the Algarve that compares with the professional service, presentation and varied styles of Chinese cuisine. This restaurant offers perhaps the finest crispy aromatic duck you will taste. Located in the heart of Olho D’Agua, Chef’s Peking continues to re-invent the art of Chinese cooking. Don’t forget to end your evening with Margarida’s incredible and unique Bananna / Pineapple Passi dessert. You will be amazed – and the prices are more than favourable! Tel: 289 502 407 Reservations for dinner are recommended.

 

The Galleon Bar/Restaurant

Located next to the beach in Olhos D’Agua, The Galleon offer the best of Portuguese and British cuisine and atmosphere. This is an extremely popular restaurant with locals and tourists alike. With sky sports, english breakfast and pies available, one might think this restaurant/bar was similar to those back in the UK. However, upon spending more than 5 minutes inside the restaurant area or the ocean facing terraces you quickly realises that the Portuguese influence in highly visible in the menu, coffee and spirits. The Galleon has been a favourite among the local fisherman of the traditional village of Olhos D’Agua, as well as uncountable amounts of returning tourists. The menu offers perhaps the finest baguette and sandwich menu in the Algarve, as well as crepes and many other exceptional dishes. This restaurant is extremely easy on the pocket book as well. A lunch with wine or beers for 2 will cost less than € 7. The Galleon’s superb management and chef team of Sharon, Spencer, Dina, Dawn and Lynda will make your time at the Galleon extremely relaxing and fulfilling.

 

Other restaurants in the Algarve:

Price guide (in Euros) for two people including wine:

€ = under 40   •   €€ = 40-60   •   €€€ = 60-80   •   €€€€ = 80-100   •   €€€€€ = over 100

 

FARO & EAST

 

Quatro Aguas, Tavira €€€

Located on the water front where the River Gilão meets the Ria Formosa estuary, Quatro Aguas specialises mainly in fish and seafood dishes. Great views across the river estuary from the outdoor terrace. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Mondays. Tel: 281 325 329

 

La Plage, Fuzeta €€

Close to the camp site and the beach, La Plage mixes years of German experience with the best of Portuguese ingredients. Interesting choice of fish, meat and vegetarian dishes, with delicious sauces and dressings. Pasta and home-made pizzas also available, along with delicious desserts. Inside is very comfortable, outside surprisingly peaceful. Open for dinner only. Open nightly July-Oct, Dec-June. Closed Wednesdays. Tel: 289 793 019

 

O Capelo, Santa Luzia €€

Excellent fish and seafood in comfortable surroundings. Capelo is very popular with locals so arrive early for a table. Located on the front in Santa Luzia with views over the Ria Formosa lagoon. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Wednesdays. Tel: 281 381 670

 

Maragota's, Moncarapacho €€

Recently opened and overlooking the new Colina Verde golf resort near Olhao, Maragota's is a spacious 100-seater restaurant specialising in delicious Algarvian cuisine with a nouveau twist. Irish chef Michael Hegarty-Afonso has applied his award-winning skills to compile innovative seasonal menus. Outdoor concerts are planned on the barbecue terrace during the summer months. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Tel: 289 790 117

 

Monte do Casal, Estoi €€€€

Monte do Casal is a small, four-star country house hotel just outside the pretty village of Estoi, east of Faro. The restaurant is open to the public, but advance booking is advisable, particularly in high season. Attractive surroundings and equally delicious food in the restaurant. An eclectic mix of dishes include Shank of Lamb stuffed with dates, coriander and garlic on a bed of roast aubergine caviar, or Fillet of Beef "Columbus", flambéed at the table with brandy, cream, tarragon and a hint of mustard. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Tel: 289 990 140

 

Faz Gostos, Olhão €€€

The fishing port of Olhão has always had a good reputation for its local restaurants serving predominantly fish and seafood but one establishment stands out from the rest, offering a touch of finesse with comfortable surroundings and a varied menu. Complementing a wide selection of local dishes, owner/chef Duval Pestana has introduced range of classic French inspired dishes such as lobster bisque with a puff pastry crust and monkfish flambéd in a champagne sauce. Another speciality is his locally inspired duck breasts with figs, grapes and a port wine reduction. Excellent wine selection. Open for lunch and dinner, closed Mondays. Tel: 289 701 900

 

Orangerie, Moncarapacho €€€€€

Housed in the Vila Monte Resort close to Olhão, Restaurante Orangerie is currently the eastern Algarve's only gourmet dining venue. The resort, a member of Relais & Chateaux, is owned and managed by the same company responsible for Lisbon's "Eleven" restaurant and Coimbra's "Arcadas da Capela" (both with 1 Michelin star). At Vila Monte, executive chef Ralf Wolsdorf, working closely with Albano Lourenço of Arcadas da Capela, has created a menu of Mediterranean and Algarvian influence based on fresh local produce such as sea bass with an almond crust and clam risotto with essence of fresh coriander. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Tel: 289 790 790

 

Camané, Praia de Faro €€€€

Located on Faro island, Camané is famous for its outstanding selection of fresh fish and seafood served in sophisticated surroundings. Specialities include Caldeirada de Lagosta (lobster stew), clam rice and monkfish rice. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Mondays. Tel: 289 817 539

 

ALMANCIL AREA & LOULÉ

 

Amadeus, Almancil €€€€€

Since opening in August 2003, Amadeus has been busy forging a reputation alongside the top restaurants in the area. Austrian chef/owner Siegfred Danler-Heinemann, previously of the famous Le Canard in Hamburg, specialises in a simplified approach to modern European gourmet cuisine using the freshest seasonal ingredients and avoiding extravagant presentation. The wine list is one the best in the Algarve. Open every day except Tuesdays for dinner only. Tel. 289 399 134

 

Monte da Eira, Clareanes €€

Traditional Portuguese cooking in traditional Algarve cottage surroundings, with a warm welcome from owner Pedro Lima. Located on the road from Loulé to Querença, it offers a tasty array of typical fish and meat dishes, and the best carob mousse south of Lisbon! A blazing log fire in winter and a beautiful courtyard in summer adds to the atmosphere. Open for dinner only, Tuesday to Saturday. Sundays open for lunch and dinner. Closed Mondays. Tel: 289 438 129

 

Atelier do Bacalhau, Loulé €€€

Don't be put off by the location or the modest appearance of Atelier do Bacalhau. The warm welcome and cosy atmosphere will more than compensate. Dishes from an imaginative menu based, as the name suggests, on cod, are beautifully presented and complemented by a good range of Portuguese wines. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Sundays Tel: 289 414 624

 

Henrique Leis, Almancil €€€€€

An intimate Swiss chalet is the setting for innovative international cuisine. Warm, friendly welcome and discreet service add to the relaxed but elegant atmosphere. The food tastes just as good as it looks - and the presentation is exquisite! Try the scallops and langoustine or delicate raviolis starters, follow with fresh fish or duck. The basket of four ice-creams looks too good to eat - almost! The wine list is extensive and includes classics from France as well as leading reds and whites from Portugal. Advance booking essential. Open for dinner only. closed Sundays. Tel: 289 393 438

 

Ermitage, Ferrarias €€€€€

Ermitage has re-opened with a new young team at the helm. Fresh décor and a smart style complements superb cuisine, great service and wines at surprisingly reasonable prices. The new team presents a modern Mediterranean menu with French undertones and the Portuguese wine list is bolstered by a fine international selection. Open for dinner only. Closed on Mondays. Tel. 289 355 271

 

Pequeno Mundo, Almancil €€€€€

Pequeno Mundo is a delightful house with a pretty courtyard, ideal for long summer evenings. High-quality French cuisine: the speciality of the house is Chateaubriand. Open for dinner only. closed Sundays. Tel: 289 399 866

 

Figueiral, Almancil €€€

Very near to central Almancil on the central road to Quinta do Lago, this establishment enjoys a strong local following, and rightly so. Few can beat its feijoada, or the Brazilian speciality of picanha. Be warned though, you need a serious appetite to compete with the array of sundries that accompany this succulent beef dish. And by the way, while being great with meat Figueiral also serves several prawn specialities that should not be missed. Open for dinner only. Closed Mondays. Tel: 289 395 558

 

Fuzio's, Almancil €€€

A friendly, family-run establishment, Fuzio's, oozes warmth and character and has a distinct Italian feel to it thanks to its inventive pasta menu. But owner/chef José is also tempting clients with a delicious array of alternative choices such as chicken Milanese (breaded breast of chicken topped with a three-cheese sauce). The 'Specials of the day' are excellent value and a selection of fresh fish is always available. The wine list is inspiring. Open for dinner only. Closed Wednesdays. Tel: 289 399 019

 

O Limoeiro, Almancil €€

Interesting seasonings and unusual ingredients add a special twist to simple dishes here. Fresh, crunchy vegetables and special sauté potatoes accompany huge portions - share one between two! Home-made delights with a warm welcome from multi-lingual staff led by Ann and partner chef Robert. Cosy atmosphere inside and the courtyard is ideal for al fresco meals. Great value for money, especially for the lunch-time specials. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Sundays and Tuesdays. Tel: 289 395 399

 

A Quinta, Almancil €€€€

Located a short way up the old Loulé road from Almancil, this restaurant boasts great views of the coast from Faro to Vilamoura. It is essential to book in advance, including lunchtimes, as it is a favourite business luncheon venue in the area and not just because the daily special is such great value. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed for lunch weekends. Closed for public holidays. Tel: 289 393 357

 

Couleur France, Almancil €€€

This fine eatery is tucked away on the fringes of Almancil. As you come off the EN125 for Almancil you will see a sign on your right showing the direction. A lovely treat for French food buffs created by a husband and wife team with a strong following at lunchtimes and evenings. The Almancil business community are also happily taking advantage of the good value daily lunch specials. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Saturdays and Sundays for lunch. Tel: 289 399 515

 

Trattorio Grissino, Almancil €€

An Italian family-owned restaurant with two chefs providing fabulous but unforgivingly Italian food. Popular lunchtime specials and a favourite when available is the Ossobuco. A truly Italian experience in the heart of Almancil on the post office road with a warm welcome from hosts Pietro and Marole. German is spoken probably better than their Italian as they spent over 25 years in Berlin, owning a number of restaurants there. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Saturdays and Sundays for lunch. Tel: 289 356 562

 

Vincent Nas, Almancil €€€€€

One of the Algarve's most renowned chefs and restaurateurs Vincent Nas, previously of restaurant Ermitage, is back with partner Wilhemena Zuydervelt in an all new restaurant located in the charming old farmhouse that once housed the O Tradicional restaurant near Almancil. Many of Vincent's most popular dishes from his Ermitage days are on the new menu, including his legendary foie-gras terrine and the restaurant also features a speciality wine shop. Open for dinner only, closed Sunday. Tel: 289 399 093

 

VALE DO LOBO & QUINTA DO LAGO

 

São Gabriel, Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago €€€€€

For gourmets and fun-loving guests. São Gabriel has enjoyed an excellent reputation for many years. Enjoy finest Mediterranean and international cuisine in a most enchanting atmosphere. Well located in lush gardens on the road from Quinta do Lago to Vale do Lobo. In summer (June until September) São Gabriel features additional culinary highlights. Open for dinner only, closed Mondays. Tel: 289 394 521

 

Casa do Lago, Quinta do Lago €€€€

Enjoying beautiful views over both the lakes at Quinta do Lago, the restaurant - not surprisingly - specialises in fish dishes and very good wines. A firm favourite with the local cognoscenti, it is very popular in summer with the Portuguese "Jet Set". Open every day for lunch and dinner. Tel: 289 394 911

 

D lounge, Quinta do Lago €€€

Located overlooking the inner courtyard of Quinta Shopping with a large terrace and chilled atmosphere to the sounds of modern jazz. The food is predominantly Mediterranean in style; starters include fresh asparagus with hollandaise sauce and warm foie-gras with a balsamic reduction and mango chutney. Speciality main courses include a sautéed filet of halibut with fresh asparagus and a malt vinegar sauce and duck breast in a honey and soy sauce. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Tel: 289 392 423

 

Tsuru, Quinta do Lago €€€€

Located in the T Club, Tsuru offers an authentic Japanese dining experience with top grade ingredients and highly skilled chefs. A loyal year-round clientele ensures optimum freshness for great sushi and sashimi. Masterful preparation of fish, meat and seafood at the Teppan Yaki Bar. A buffet on Friday evenings includes tenpura, sushi, teppan-yaki and Japanese dezato for a very reasonable fixed price. Open every day for dinner only Tel: 289 396 751

 

Vale dos Pinheiros, Quinta do Lago €€€€

This is a restaurant with two different concepts which are each well worth exploring. At lunchtime, economically priced daily specials focus on traditional Portuguese cooking that has established a loyal following. In the evening, however, things become altogether more sophisticated with modern yet unpretentious cooking of Italian and Portuguese influence backed up with a comprehensive wine list, all very appetisingly priced and served amidst spacious and comfortable surroundings. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Breakfast also served. Tel: 289 359 057

 

Aquarelle, Almancil/Vale do Lobo €€€€

On the road from Almancil to Vale do Lobo, this rustic-looking octagonal-shaped restaurant serves delightful French food in friendly surroundings. Lunchtime limited "dishes of the day", with full à la carte menu for dinner. Specialities include foie gras, maigret of duck, dourado with a vanilla sauce and delicious home-made ice creams. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Sundays and Mondays for lunch. Tel: 289 397 973

 

Ken Lo's Memories of China, Vale do Lobo €€€€

Founded by the late Ken Lo, legendary author of more than 30 books on Chinese cooking. His first restaurant in London became a favourite haunt of many celebrities and his tradition lives on today under the guidance of his daughter Vivienne. Specialities include a superb Sezuan crispy duck with pancakes and, with 24 hours notice, steamed sea bass fresh from the market with ginger and spring onions. Open for dinner only. closed Saturdays. Tel 289 353 432 ext 3432

 

La Place, Vale do Lobo €€€€€

Gourmet French cuisine in sophisticated surroundings with panoramic sea views from virtually every table and a spacious terrace. Run by Moroccan-born chef Maurice Belhaj and his wife Fátima, the menu at La Place changes every 2 months and features a select range of dishes in the best traditions of French cuisine. A fine wine selection covers the main French regions and selected labels from Portugal and other countries. Open every day for dinner only. Tel 289 353 535 ext 3356

 

Teahouse Oriental, Vale do Lobo €€€€

A variation on the famous Jenny Lo's Teahouse in London under the same management as Ken Lo's Memories of China. Authentic dishes from Thailand, China, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam. Favourites include freshly made Chinese dumplings, an excellent Tom Yam soup from Thailand, sushi and sashimi (subject to availability of ingredients) and a wide selection of noodle dishes. Inside, the décor is simple and elegant with a large sea view terrace outside for summer evenings. Open every day for dinner only. Tel 289 353 438. ext 3438

 

2 Passos, Praia do Ancão €€€€

For the best fresh fish in the Vale do Lobo / Quinta do Lago area head for 2 Passos which is conveniently located midway between the two resorts on the beach at Praia do Ancão. As well as fresh fish, which is either charcoal grilled or roast, other specialities include Lobster in the Pot. Open for lunch only throughout the spring, summer and autumn months. Tel: 289 396 435

 

VILAMOURA & ALBUFEIRA AREA

 

Cantinho da Ribeira, Alfontes €

Ludgeiro welcomes you to this small restaurant which is hidden away behind the spacious bar. Menu varies according to what is best at market: rabbit, lamb, small game, with fresh vegetables and fruit. Best papa de milho for miles, great as a starter for two. Specialities are a selection of grilled meats or chunky cod steaks. Basic wine list or "the other list" for connoisseurs. Great for parties, reservations essential for weekends. Open for lunch and dinner, closed Tuesdays. Tel: 289 366 345

 

Willie's, Vilamoura/Albufeira €€€€

Willie has a faithful following from his days as chef at São Gabriel. His own restaurant is not in the glitzy marina at Vilamoura, but tucked away in the residential area. His dishes are a mix of international influences, but consistently good. The restaurant is full, the reputation excellent, so booking is highly recommended. Open for dinner only. Closed Wednesdays. Tel: 289 380849

 

Aldar, Sheraton Algarve/Albufeira €€€€€

Moroccan cuisine is served at its finest in the Aldar resturant at Sheraton Algarve. The hotel has gone to great lengths to create an authentic Moroccan ambience from the décor through to traditionally dressed waiters and the presentation of the food. Don't miss the pidgeon pastilla - filo pastry pie - and after dinner, enjoy mint tea and perhaps a puff on the water pipe with apple flavoured tobacco. Open for dinner only, closed Sunday and Monday. Tel: 289 500100

 

Le Club, Albufeira €€€€

Oozing ontemporary chique and sophistication in a stunning beach front setting at Santa Eulália, Le Club is an Italian restaurant and nightclub with interiors created by top designer Graça Viterbo. The cooking is authentic Italian from antipasti to risottos, pasta dishes, gnoccis and other specialities such as Osso Buco Milanese and tiger prawns served with pancetta, basil and green pepper. An excellent selection of Italian wines complement a comprehensive choice from all of Portugal's main regions. Open every day for dinner only, children under 16 not admitted. Tel: 289 598 070

 

Veneza, Paderne €/€€

Unassuming roadside restaurant on the road from Paderne to Albufeira. The menu is typically Algarvean, with cataplana, pork dishes and cabildela main courses and typical desserts of figs, almonds and apple-based tarts and fresh fruit. Everything is home made and served fresh. Great selection of Portuguese wines at unbeatable prices. On-site wine shop worth a diversion. Open for lunches and dinners. Closed Tuesdays. Check after summer period - may only be opening for dinners. Tel: 289 367 129

 

Vila Joya, Albufeira / Galé €€€€€

Portugal's only 2-star Michelin rated restaurant, Vila Joya is in fact a luxury gourmet hotel with just 13 rooms. A few tables are available for non-residents of the hotel but need to be booked well in advance. A la carte menu at lunchtime and Menú Degustacion in the evening. Spectacular beach front setting with large terrace. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Closed November-March. Tel: 289 591795

 

CARVOEIRO, LAGOA, SILVES

 

O Alambique, Poço Barreto €€

With a German owner-chef, Portuguese head waiter, a Japanese cook and Moldavian and Brazilian kitchen staff, this delightful rural eatery really can boast an international flavour. The menu here changes every four months, with a weekly 'specials' menu that changes on Wednesdays. There's a vegetarian choice too, and seasonal specialities abound. Poço Barreto is on the road between Algoz and Silves. Open for dinners only. Closed on Tuesdays. Tel: 282 449 283

 

Colina Verde, Algoz €€

A delightful little hideaway that you will love to return to - once you have managed to find it. Tucked away in an unexpectedly tasteful urbanisation up a little back street in Algoz you enter a pergola leading to the actual restaurant where you can dine both indoors and alfresco in a cosy garden. The menu is small, boasting daily specials as well as the Portuguese speciality "açorda" (a bread-based stew) served in a whole loaf of bread. Unusual wine list, including some gems. Pleasant, attentive service. Open dinner only, closed Sundays. Tel: 282 574 776 or 963 393 939

 

Quinta da Ribeira, Algoz €€

Off the beaten track but worth the journey, this is a traditional-looking Algarve cottage-style restaurant offering traditional Algarve home-cooking. Basic dishes of the day freshly cooked to order, specials available by prior order. Delights include fresh cheese with pumpkin jam; chicken with delicious onion sauce; and home-made fig ice cream. Check out the glass paintings and the hand-made items in the adjacent shop too: perfect gifts and a real taste of the Algarve. Open for lunch and dinner, closed Tuesdays. Tel: 282 575 714

 

Marisqueira Rui, Silves €€€€

The Algarve's most famous seafood restaurant. The food is as fresh as it gets and the ambience relaxed and noisy from the sound of crab-cracking. Vast selection of seafood cooked to order. Speciality dishes such as seafood rice and cataplanas. Very popular with locals at the weekends so arrive early for a table. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Tuesdays. Tel: 282 442 682

 

Arte Nautica, Armação de Pêra €€€

Located on Armação de Pêra beach, well away from the built up part of town, this is a high quality fish and seafood restaurant owned and operated by the Vila Vita Parc hotel. Fresh produce is always in abundance and the restaurant has a large terrace with uninterrupted sea views and an air-conditioned interior. Open every during the season for lunch and dinner. Tel: 282 314 875

 

Adega, Vila Vita Parc / Alporchinhos €€€€

Overlooking an ornate artificial lake in the grounds of the Vila Parc hotel, Adega offers a wide selection of traditional Portuguese dishes served in rustic yet sophisticated surroundings in the spacious interior or outside on the terrace. Specialities include tasty cataplanas of pork and clams, seafood or chicken and tradional regional stews such as Massada de peixe (fish with pasta). Prime cuts of meat, some from Vila Vita's own bio-farm in the Alentejo are also a favourite. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Tel: 292 310 100

 

Chrissie's, Lagoa €€

Creative cooking is the byword of this cosy and well-established Belgian-run restaurant. The menu changes every week and includes vegetarian and children's options. The cuisine is presented with finesse and tastes as good as it looks. Specialities include various lobster dishes and some truly wonderful sauces. Open daily for dinner. Sundays for lunch only. Closed Mondays. Tel: 282 341 062 or 914 635 995

 

O Lotus, Lagoa €€

Very popular for business lunches but quiet in the evening. The Lotus specialises in traditional Algarvean and Portuguese cooking. Specialities include various bean stews (feijoadas) and Arroz de Cabidela (hen stewed in its blood with rice). For dessert, try the excellent Bolo de Requeijão (a type of cheesecake). Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Saturdays. Tel: 282 352098

 

Império do Paladar, Carvoeiro €€€

This restaurant's name translates to "the empire of flavours" and the variety of dishes on offer does justice to the name. This is a welcome addition to the Carvoeiro restaurant scene with a wide selection of traditional Portuguese, international and African dishes. Some of the best dishes such as the excellent Mozambique chicken curry need to be ordered in advance. Located next to Colina Village at Poço Partido Open for dinner only - closed Tuesdays. Tel: 282 341 731

 

Julio's, Carvoeiro €€€

A firm favourite with foreign residents and tourists alike. Julio's offers an extensive Portuguese and international menu with specialities including cataplanas and lamb roast in the wood burning oven. Owner and host Julio prepares fresh fish and meats to perfection on the barbeque. Open every day for dinner only. Tel: 282 358368

 

La Mona Lisa, Carvoeiro €€

Anyone who loves authentic Italian pizza will pleased to discover this restaurant located at Vale Centeanes just outside Carvoeiro. The Italian owner/pizza chef has won international awards for his superb pizza dough which he cooks to perfection in a large wood burning oven using only the freshest ingedients for tasty toppings. Don't miss the garlic bread. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Tel: 282 358 724

 

Bon Bon, Carvoeiro €€€€

Located close to Pestana Golf Resort at Sesmarias, Bon Bon offers fairly sophisticated international cooking with an oriental influence in some dishes. Open for dinner only. Closed Mondays. Tel: 282 341 496

 

O Pátio, Carvoeiro €€€€

Since O Pátio first opened its doors on Carvoeiro's main square in 1964 it has continued to build on its reputation as one of the finest restaurants in the area. Food and service are in the traditional grill room style accompanied by a good selection of Portuguese wines. Meals are served either outside on the large patio or in the elegant surroundings inside where an original water well has been converted into a wine cellar. As well as prime cuts of fresh fish, meats and seafood, specialities include a first class paella. Open daily. year round for lunch and dinner. Tel: 282 357367

 

Roma, Carvoeiro €€€€

Located between Carvoeiro and Lagoa on the Benagil road, a beautiful villa complete with Roman columns in the garden and a large outdoor terrace. Fine dining in a romantic atmosphere with a tended kids club well out of earshot during the summer months. Extensive Italian menu with specialities including Vitelo Tonnato (veal with tuna sauce), fresh pastas and an excellent rack of lamb. Open every day for dinner only. Tel: 282 341595

 

Vimar, Carvoeiro €€

For simple freshly grilled food and a selection of traditional Portuguese dishes, Vimar is one of the best bets in Carvoeiro. The international style dishes on the menu are nothing special but try the local dishes such as arroz de marisco (seafood rice stew), Cataplanas or the Bacalhau à Braz (shredded cod cooked with scrabled egg and onions) and you will be rewarded with a taste of real Portuguese cooking which is sadly so hard to find in tourist resorts such as Carvoeiro. Open every day for dinner and for lunch except on Mondays and Tuesdays. Tel: 282 358322

 

PORTIMÃO AREA

 

Bulan Maret, Porto de Lagos €€€

The Algarve's only Indonesian restaurant with authentic cooking served amidst elegant surroundings. For those new to Indonesian food, the best introduction is to choose one of the Rijsttafel menus consisting of either 12 or 18 taster dishes which include the likes of satés, curries, rice and salads. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday lunch. Tel: 282 491 329

 

O Charneco, Estombar €

One of the best places to sample authentic Algarvean cooking in a setting that is delightfully rustic with jovial ambience, the restaurant is in the centre of Estombar near the church. Larger-than-life proprietor Joaquim Charneco and wife Marta have won numerous culinary awards for their efforts and the restaurant is a real favourite among locals and visitors alike. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Sundays. Tel: 282 431 113

 

Pintadinho Beach, Ferragudo €€

One of the best beach restaurants in the western Algarve and very popular with locals. Excellent grilled fish and a great house salad with roasted peppers. Speciality dishes include a first class cataplana of pork and clams and monkfish rice stew (arroz de tamboril). Open every day for lunch and dinner, closed during the winter months. Tel: 282 461 659

 

Rei das Praias, Ferragudo €€€

Located on Caneiros beach between Carvoeiro and Ferragudo, rather than a typical beach restaurant is a high quality fish and seafood restaurant which just happens to be located on a beautiful beach. There is always a great selection of prime fresh fish on offer that can be either plain grilled or oven roasted and then de-boned at your table. For a special treat, ask for the fresh giant carabineiros (red prawns). The restaurant also features an excellent selection of fine wines and champagnes. Reservations are essential. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Tel: 282 461 006

 

Simsa, Portimão €€€

In a tiny street in the centre of Portimão, this snug restaurant with just twenty seats has a big following, especially amongst foreign residents. The cooking is Dutch in style with an oriental twist reflecting the nationality of the owners who are Dutch and Indonesian. The menu changes daily. Reservation recommended. Open for dinner only. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Tel: 282 423057

 

O Sueste, Ferragudo €€€

For the ultimate in fresh fish, charcoal grilled to perfection, head for O Sueste at the end of the fisherman's quay in Ferragudo. Simple surroundings with great sunset views across the river to Portimão. Reservations not accepted so arrive early to avoid waiting for a table. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Mondays. Tel: 282 461592

 

LAGOS & WEST

 

Cacto, Odiaxere €€€

A lively restaurant located on the EN 125 between Portimão and Lagos, Cacto specialises in grills such as great steaks and kebabs. The beef salad starter is highly recommended as are the garlic prawns. Open for dinner only. Closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tel: 282 798285

 

Calabaza, Praia da Luz €€€

This intimate restaurant is located on the Estrela da Luz resort in Praia da Luz and offers modern Portuguese cuisine with strong influences from Africa, Asia and South America, including a wide selection of Portuguese wines. At night, diners overlook the outdoor pool lit with ever changing colours. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Tel: 282 771 205 / 282 771 200

 

Destino, Meia Praia €€€

Located in the Jardim da Meia Praia resort to the east of Lagos, Destino brings something entirely different to the Lagos restaurant scene. The restaurant comes into its own in the evening when a flame-lit walkway sets the scene with Moorish style architecture and a relaxed Mediterranean ambience. The menu brings together flavours from all around the Mediterranean including Moroccan influenced dishes. Open for brunch/lunch and dinner Tuesdays to Sundays. Open for dinner Tuesdays to Saturdays. Tel: 282 792 473

 

Estrela do Mar, Lagos €€€

Located on the rooftop of the municipal market building on the main Avenida in Lagos, Esrela do Mar specialises in fresh fish and seafood. Sweeping views over the harbour and across to Meia Praia can be enjoyed from the glass walled interior or from the terrace. The food is traditional style Mediterranean rather than Portuguese with plentiful use of varied fresh herbs and fresh vegetables. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Tel. 289 769 250 / 226

 

Vista Alegre, Lagos €€€

This small French bistro seats just twenty or so diners and serves traditional French food. Specialities include gratinated scallops, quail salad, ray in burnt butter sauce with capers and duck breast in honey sauce. Reservations a must. Open for dinner only. Closed Mondays. Tel. 282 792151

 

No Pátio, Lagos €€€

The Danish owner/chef of No Pátio (on the patio) is a master saucier who takes great pride in his demi-glazes and delicious cream sauces. Specialities such as home made gravadlax, duck liver paté and smoked quail salad are all home made from fresh ingredients. At the rear of the restaurant there is a secluded and charming patio for al fresco dining. Open for dinner only. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Tel: 282 763777

 

Vivendo, Lagos €€€

Located right on the front at Meia Praia, Vivendo is actually two small restaurants sharing one building. Downstairs, the Bistro serves informal meals and snacks while fine dining can be enjoyed upstairs at the Vivendo restaurant, along with some beautiful views. The chef at Vivendo prepares creative menus based on modern Mediterranean cuisine and the ambience is intimate with discreet service. As well as à la carte options there is a daily 4-course tasting menu. Prices are pleasantly reasonable. Vivendo: open for dinner only. Bistro: open for lunch and dinner. Closed Mondays. Tel: 282 770 900

 

Vila Velha, Sagres €€€

This pretty pink house on the road to the pousada in the centre of Sagres is well worth a visit. The menu mixes traditional Portuguese favourites with imaginative international dishes. There are always several tasty vegetarian dishes on offer. Desserts are home made and delicious. Cosy, friendly atmosphere. Available for private lunches. Open for dinners only. Closed Mondays. July - September inclusive open every day. Tel: 282 624 788 or 917 128 402

 

(source: Essential Algarve magazine)

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