(Quinta do Lago and surrounding area)
With its bold food flavors, bountiful seas, renowned fortified wines and emerging brilliance in the wine market, Portugal’ s food and drink is worth exploring.
Eating out in Portugal can be varied so do your research. Look out for the incredible fresh fish that is locally caught and enjoy the strong robust flavors of the country.
Shopping in food markets is a good bet although they usually come with no frills — tomatoes on a dusty table or crates of lettuce on the floor, don’t let this put you off as the produce is usually packed with flavor and comes at a reasonable price.
Being a largely touristy area there are many restaurants to choose from. Don’t expect to see too many locals but don’t let that put you off as you can find some excellent local food on the menu.
+351 964 045 178
Lunch only. Situated on the sandy beach across the lagoon after 20 years of service Gigis knows exactly how to please its customers. Simple baked fish with butter, garlic and parsley, a few salads and a wide enough wine list to quench your thirst.
Suitable for Outdoorsy families
Drink Local wine
Effect on Wallet Damaging
Pure boutique cafe
Q Real Estate Centre
+351 289 390 708
Clean, modern cafe that is the perfect place to catch up with friends over morning coffee or enjoy one of their healthy lunches. breaking out can be fun too with a good selection of in-house baked cakes.
Suitable for After gym workouts, chit chats with friends and vitamin fix lunches.
Drink Something healthy or retaliate and hit the bottle out on the deck.
Effect on wallet Minor
Caso do lago
Tel: +351 289 394 911
Inside this simple white washed building you can dine on excellent simply prepared fish and make use of the quaffable cellar. It is fairly pricy but you are assured of a good meal and as well as one of the most pleasant evening experiences in the area it is a great venue for a long sunday lunch outside on the terrace.
Suitable for Families and or couples
Drink Wine from the choicey list
Effect on wallet Damaging
Just outside Quinta do Lago this slick steak restaurant is a safe option for dinner and welcomes children. Very good steaks and simply grilled fish accompanied by the usual chips, salads and veggies, but done to an excellent standard.
Suitable for A very pleasant evening with or without the children.
Drink Big fat reds with your juicy steak
Effect on Wallet Bearable
Good pizza restaurant near Almancil town centre that is suitable for all the family.
Suitable for Those looking for an easy going meal
Drink Anything goes
Effect on Wallet Minor
Food Markets are great value and will have on offer a good selection of local seasonal vegetables and fruits, though be prepared that they are sold with no frills (no cute tables or heavily decorated stalls). As with most markets get there early to make parking and shopping less stressful.
Fonte Santa, about 1 mile east of town on the Almancil road.
09:00-14:30. Wednesday, good for local vegetables and fruit.
Quarteira Fish Market
Largo do Mercado, Quarteira 8125
Excellent fish market open in the mornings, very much worth traveling here to pick your fish.
Market place, Loule. Open Monday – Saturday .( More stalls on a Saturday)
Arrive in the morning to buy your fruit and vegetables at this charming traditional market held in a pretty Moorish style building.
Rua da Escola, Almancil
Held on the first and 4 th Sunday of every month this markets allows local farmers to sell there produce.
Here is a good link to other local markets
Supermarkets in Portugal
Catering for mostly tourists this has everything you will need but the quality is good even if the price is above average.
Portugals largest supermarket chain with everything you could need at a reasonable cost. Although not always at the forefront of luxury their fruit, vegetables and fish counters are usually fresh and excellent.
Aldi and Lidl
Can also be found in most towns offering a cheap but probably not the best option for deluxe grocery shopping.
Portuguese food differs from other nearby Mediterranean cuisine partly due to its influence from India, Africa and the Far East ( where there were former colonies). Enjoy the bold flavors of the country and abundance of fresh fish.
Delicacies / Dishes
Most main courses in an average restaurant are served with potatoes or rice. Fresh fish is usually available and simply grilled or baked makes a great meal especially if in doubt about quality/ethics/origin of meat.
Piri Piri – A spicy pepper and vinegar sauce that is often served with grilled chicken
Salt cod – in fritters or with mashed potato or torn into a salad, all delicious .
Arroz Doce , Cinnamon rice pudding
Patel de nata – Portuguese custard tart
Caldo verde – a potato and kale soup
Cozido à Portuguesa, a meat stew which usually contains pork and offal
Feijoada Trasmontana – shared by Brazil and one of the national dishes, heaps of meat, beans and onions – very filling but makes a great feast.
Clams Bulhao Pato , Clams cooked with wine, garlic and coriander, served with bread to mop up the delicious sauce . One of my favorite things to eat when in the Algarve.
When in Portugal look out for and expect to eat;
Fish and shellfish particularity – Cod, sardines, octopus, squid, crabs, shrimp, prawns, barnacles, hake, stone bass, sea bass, clams, mussels, oysters, scallops,
Food flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, saffron, garlic, coriander, parsley, garlic, olive oil, dried oregano ( not all at once)!
Cheese – the Portuguese do lots of sheep and goats cheeses – keep an eye out for ones that are produced in the country
Portuguese wine is getting increasing amounts of positive attention, a few producing regions to look out for are;
Alentejo, Bairrada, Dão, Estremadura, Ribatejo and the arguably the finest – Douro
The best sparkling wine comes from the Barrida region
Port ( mostly red but you can get white) and Madeira ( available sweet and dry) are the countries well known fortified wines
Beer -Sagres and Super bock are Portugal’s main champions of this drink.