All esplanades in Albufeira are full, except Fernando's.
Why? Because it's more expensive than its neighbors.
It tries to justify the difference with a better menu and service, and honestly, it is somewhat different. Better? Well... it depends.
I was tired of eating fish, and decided to taste one of my favorite dishes - pork with clams, Alentejo style. I was surprised by an unexpected dish of pickles and chips, with some pieces of pork and clams in it. The result was interesting, but absolutely different of the announced recipe.
The other people in the group enjoyed their meals, and the bill was high as usual in the speculative Algarve.
Favorite Dish: Grilled Fish
The restaurant is in a tourist area with plenty of competition and often employs people to invite you in off the street as do many others. Don't be put-of - the food here is exceptionally good.
We chose a fried prawns in garlic starter which was piping hot and delicious.
Our main course was served quickly and professionally and was exactly as ordered.
It is very much themed along bullfighting, bulls, etc as it does seem to specialise in steak meals although there is plenty of choice.
The waitress and waiter were friendly and polite and took care to explain each dish to use offering advice and opinions on each.
There was a good choice of drinks including local wines.
Favorite Dish: Picanha!
It was served with chips (french fries but proper chips from potatoes not Macdonald things), salad, rice and black beans.
When it came to the table, we were presented with a large plate with SIX steak-sized pieces of beef, cooked exactly as we asked (medium rare is best, apparently) which we could hardly believe.
Eleven euros each? Gosh! BUT we DID finish all!
Delicious - this is meant to be the tastiest of beef cuts and I can well believe it.
While not strictly in Albufeira, it IS nearby in Guia, down the street from Algarve Shopping, and close enough to warrant a visit. The restaurant has been here for years, and has recently been renovated. It is heavily patronized by locals, and despite being huge, does a brisk business at two meals per day, seven days a week. They serve ONE dish...Chicken Piri-Piri, and while this is widely available, this particular restaurant has the best version that I have ever tasted! Tell them how much chicken you want, and it will quickly arrive...accompanied by amazing french fries and a splendid tomato and onion salad (again, all that they serve). An assortment of deserts and a reasonably priced wine list round out the experience. Once you've tried it, it WILL become a favorite!
Favorite Dish: Chicken Piri-Piri: Rotisserie grilled chicken seasoned with salt, garlic, and piri-piri, an oil made from a powdered, dried, mildly hot red pepper (originally from Angola). Amazingly delicious!
Usually, I skip restaurants in first line of the beach; some of them sell views instead of food, some other include the "view tax" in the invoice.
This time I accepted the risk, and choose a restaurant by the sea, in the old fisherman's beach.
Well, the food was good and, if the "views tax" was included, it was not excessive.
Favorite Dish: Mixed grilled fish
This restaurant is part of my old memories of Albufeira. I've been there more than 40 years ago, eating a tuna stake, when it was... expensive.
Lots of alternatives were open since then, and I don't visit it for a long time.
Still good? Still expensive?
Maybe! But still standing after all these years, and that is its best certificate.
Fernanda wanted to stay in the sun; I wanted the shade; hard situation until we saw Pampas esplanade.
We sat at the edge of the shade and had a surprisingly good meal. I say surprisingly because, from outside, it seemed a fast food restaurant. Well... it isn't!
Everything was perfect, and the price very acceptable for Albufeira standards.
I will emember it!
Favorite Dish: Atum à algarvia
Espetada de Camarão
IT LOOKS VERY NICE FROM THE OUTSIDE BUT ONCE YOU SIT DOWN AND EAT THE FOOD, YOU DISCOVER THE PLATES ARE COLD, THE FOOD IS LUKEWARM AND VERY GREASY. WE COMPLAINED AFTER FIVE MINUTES TO THE WAITRESS, SHE THEN WENT TO GET THE MANAGER. ALL OF A SUDDEN WE WERE SURROUNDED BY ABOUT TEN PEOPLE, SPOKEN TO IN A RUDE AND AGGRESSIVE MANNER AND CALLED LIARS AND TROUBLEMAKERS. ONE ENGLISH WAITRESS SAID WE WERE GIVING THE ENGLISH A BAD NAME. THEY ALSO MADE US PAY ABOUT 80 EUROS, IF WE DIDNT THEY WOULD CALL THE POLICE. THIS HAPPEN IN FRONT OF MY TWO DAUGHTERS WHO ARE 6 AND 7. I WOULD ADVISE NOBODY TO GO TO THIS TERRIBLE PLACE. I COULD UNDERSTAND IF WE HAD EATEN LOTS OF FOOD AND COMPLAINED BUT WE DID IT STRAIGHT AWAY.
Favorite Dish: DIDNT EAT MUCH SO CANT SAY.
Amici's is very slightly West past the Old Town, not far from the Dolphin roundabout and very near Hotel Boa Vista and Hotel Gale. Bright and clean, a welcome diversion from some of the rather formulaic eateries nearer the strip.
Favorite Dish: Great local and European wines, recommended is any fish dish especially seafood and pasta. In common with so many Italian restaurants outwith Italy, pasta tends to be a main course rather than 'primi'.
The portuguese food shouldn't be considered as a coulinaristic experience which it isn't. Ok, there are really good meals but at least I get bored for a fish food after some days. This restaurant was the best I experienced int he city. It has great views towards the sea, as well. They make their own strawberry booze which they sell out, as well. The portions are huge. Atmosphere is nice.
Favorite Dish: Especially the melon and smoked ham was very splendid. If I have to choose from various fish-meals, the Valecian Paelha seems bit better than others.
A homely atmosphere with friendly staff and fantastic fresh cooked food! The Thai green curry is the best I have ever tasted and would recommend to anybody. We stay in Arrifana and drive to Albufeira just to visit Tequila Bistro!
Favorite Dish: Thai Green Curry.. yummy!!
Hidden on rua alves correia just off the main square lies a hidden gem.Tequila Bistro is a cool funky small restaurant offering a variety of international cuisine.Fresh local produce is used wherever possible making really home made "specials" & there's always a choice of homemade fresh vegetarian dishes .Debbie & the gang made us feel very welcome,the music was always classy & tasteful in an ambient chilled kind of way & the food was really great & so well priced.
Favorite Dish: Thai curry is the most authentic I've tasted without going to Asia
We visited El Rancho for two meals, both times with Carmen and Stace (Carmela71 and Beach_Dog). A great atmosphere, and if you sit at one of the outside tables, you get ther real feel for dining on The Strip.
Favorite Dish: Hmmm, now what did I have? I think it was either a Sirloin or a Rump steak, with all the trimmings, but whatever it was it was delicious! Nothing left on my plate afterwards. We had various puddings, including cheesecakes, gateaux, icecreams! All wewre excellent! Stace ordered a bottle of the local plonk, and part way through, the waiter knocked it over, and bought us another half bottle "on the house",
The service was very good.
I have just got back from Albufeira and I can honestly say that the best bar in the town – whether you are talking about The Old Town or The Strip – is without question – BELLA VISTA SPORTS CAFE. It is situated between the old town and the strip just off the roundabout with the two wristwatches. It is located above and behind the Pingo Doce Supermarket (Supermecado) and also behind the McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets facing The Brisa Sol Hotel. The little train that travels around Albufeira leaves you off at the Brisa Sol so it is easy to get to and as you may know the train will then take you back to The Strip or The Old Town and all for only 4 euros per day unlimited travel. Failing that if you do not wish to take the train a taxi will cost you about 4 euros to get to Bella Vista Sports Cafe from The Strip or The Old Town. So all in all, well worth the price to get there which you will save in drinks and food.
The bar is very modern but thankfully has old fashioned prices. A large beer will cost you 1 euro 70 cents and is served in a beer mug which has been cooled in the freezer – most refreshing. And as for the food – well it is superb value. I dare anyone to eat the Bella Vista’s Giant Toastie in one sitting and priced at 5 euros it is as good as two meals in one. The bar also serves various salads, burgers and of course pizza. All are EXCELLENT.
I must admit that I did not like most of the bars I attended in Albufeira because I thought all they wanted was your money – well I was a tourist. But Bella Vista Sports run by a guy named Bruno Xavier is the exception. It is a warm, welcoming, friendly and most enjoyable place to spend an evening on your own or with family and friends. As the name suggests it is a Sports Bar with four large plasma screens showing different sports from around the world. And for the more energetic among you the Bar also has its own outdoor football pitch, beach volleyball area, tennis, darts board and the best pool table in Albufeira where you can play non-stop for a full hour for only 5 euros or if you like just have one game (you only get billed for the time you use – no hassle at all).
Bruno is a really nice and genuine guy who finds the time to speak to all of his customers which is a nice touch. I kept him going as he is a Canadian from birth who looks and sounds like the legendary 7-time American Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong (he is actually an ex-footballer). Bruno enjoys mixing with the young and old alike at his bar and nothing is too much trouble for him.
So if you are going to Albufeira check out the Bella Vista Sports Cafe and tell Bruno Chalkie recommended a visit to his bar. And by the way it is open from 9.00am to 4.00am!
Favorite Dish: THE CLUB GIANT TOASTIE
MY RESTAURANT HELL
I have just returned home from Portugal (Albufeira) and fear I may never go back to their beautiful country again as a result of the treatment I received in one of the restaurants there. I visited Granfinus Restaurant in the old town (just where the train leaves you off) with my wife, two sons, mother-in-law and niece for a meal and was horrified with the manner in which I was treated.
I always looked upon the Portuguese people as open, honest and friendly and enjoy my time there much more than Spain for example. However, at Granfinus I was treated extremely poorly, found a caterpillar in my food which I gave to a member of staff as it crawled along my knife, had to go to the toilet to be sick and had stomach pains all night, asked to speak to the manager and instead was dealt with by a waiter, the waiter told me that my family could eat for free because of this unsavoury incident, was then asked to pay for the entire meals and when I refused I was called a liar and taken to the nearby Police Station (GNR) where I spent the next 1-2 hours and was not permitted to leave until I paid for the food bill. Another waiter told my wife I was lying about the bug in the food! I even asked the GNR to call the British Embassy as the restaurant owner was speaking to the Police in Portuguese and I had no idea what he was saying – I asked of course but I feel the length of time the owner spoke did not equate to the response I received in translation. The GNR did not contact the British Embassy although they seemed genuinely sympathetic to my situation. And up until the time I had to go to the police station the owner lurked in the background – why did he not come forward when I first asked to deal with him – was he too afraid I would upset the other customers in his restaurant which I did not do?
I have the documentary evidence to prove the above as I lodged an official complaint which also request the local Environmental Health organisation to investigate the kitchens of Granfinus for cleanliness and hygiene and to ensure no other guests to their beautiful country have to suffer the torment I had to suffer in full view of my family and the general public including the residents of my apartment block as four Policemen drove me in a police car to the place I was staying to get my passport for identification purposes.
I would like to share this nightmare experience with everyone who intends to visit beautiful Albfeira so as you may decide for yourself if this is the kind of treatment you would wish to experience in a restaurant while on holiday with your family.
John White, UK
Favorite Dish: NONE.
Above Praia dos Pescadores - great view of the Sea - great ambience - great food
Freshly cooked seafood - salmon, tuna, Golden Bream, Sea Bass etc etc
Don't be put off by the guy standing outside trying to persuade you to eat there - it is not a hard sell to rubbish food - the food is excellent!
It is beautifully presented on restaurant sized white porcelain plates - and it is delicious - you can also eat good meat dishes - the chiken piri piri was good and if you don't want veg with the dish they will give you salad with no problems.
Try the fresh orange juice too - refreshing!
Favorite Dish: Seared Tuna with salad and fried potatoes