The Buganvillia is a great Restaurant that serves traditional Portuguese food with a few extras, Although it's not a traditional looking restaurant and does indeed look more like a hotel dining room or a couple of Apartments made into one big room with an open kitchen it still looks great, modern with a few traditional bits of decor and great family service.
The food is great and has that home cooked taste that you would expect from a Family run restaurant like this one and probably second only to Taverna Do Guedes, but the main speciality is Steak On A Stone which is a steak (either fillet or Sirloin) served raw on a hot piece of stone, You have to turn it over to cook it or slice bits off and arrange them on your stone allowing them to sizzle away, Its art and food all in one. It comes with chips and a selection of dips Mayonnaise, Thousand Island and another one I can't remember.
It really is good but a word of warning, your shirt (or blouse) can get a bit splattered by the cooking steak and wearing a white one is not recommended as I found out on one visit and had to get my shirt Cleaned at our hotel, I have not had this problem on other occasions though so maybe the stone was extra hot on that occasion making it sizzle and spit more than normal but its worth being careful.
I suppose the only problem is that I like the steak on a stone so much here that when we go (which is normally on our first night after dropping our bags off at the Alvor Park) I just can't have anything else lol
The last time we went though we went twice and I had a kebab which hangs down on the skewer over a burning plate, That was really nice as well!
The desserts are great as well especially the home made Biscuit Cake, that is really delicious :)
Favorite Dish: Steak on a stone
This Restaurant certainly serves the best food in town, I love it. The food is Fantastic and it has a real local traditional family run atmosphere. As soon as you walk in the door you will know that you are on to something special, The Traditional Fishermans house type decor really gives it atmosphere and indeed the Owner of the Restaurant used to be the Captain of one of the local fishing boats and his son still goes out at night to catch Fish some of which is served in this great Restaurant.
You might have to call in and book because it does get busy although when dinning you can take all night if you want to.
I cannot praise this Restaurant enough service food atmosphere and (as my mother would point out) lovely clean toilets.
They do a good Tourist menu at a very reasonable price
Closed on Sundays
Favorite Dish: The Fish is great as is the Portuguese Steak and If your lucky there will be some of the really fantastic home made crème caramel left for desert
The Octopus Salad is gorgeous
This is quite a nice Restaurant next to the Lifeboat House and old fish market Their adverts say that "since 1890 Alvor's fishermen ate grilled fish or had a brandy here after a cold night at sea"
it's a good place to sit and enjoy drinks, snacks or a meal and watch the world go by. They serve a Wide range of food Including T-bone steaks, Ribs, roast lamb with a Full fresh fish list. All are cooked to order and the Charcoal grill in full view so you can see your Fish or Steak being cooked. The service was friendly and good.
While on a recent visit in October 2010 my mum and dad called in at about 11:30 am just wanting to get a drink my mum had gone in but my dad and I were still at the entrance, My mum asked the waiter if they could just have a drink and he said it was ok but turned away from my mum and pulled his face rolling his eyes, if it was a problem for their 'empty' restaurant to serve somebody drinks they should just say 'Sorry, we only do drinks with food'. food that after having just a drink we may well have ordered, or maybe gone back tonight or another night.
We called in for lunch in 2011 and had a nice meal which was made even more interesting as the sea came over onto the street and flooded the exterior eating part of the restaurant.
Restaurant EL REI is a lovely small restaurant with friendly and helpful staff.
The food is good with large portions. We always go here for breakfast on our first morning and will have lunch here a couple of times.
The Chicken Piri Piri is lovely but best of all is the lovely home made chips, BIG CHUNKY CHIPS HOME MADE CHIPS!! not your little french fries or bought in frozen ones here but real great chips.
%s It has closed down now though which is such a shame :( the building is still empty 3
Favorite Dish: Full English breakfast was the BEST!
Chicken Piri Piri was really good
The Chips were fantastic!!
This great restaurant is modelled after an Egyptian tomb with paintings on the walls all done in an Egyptian manner. The food was fantastic we had the mixed grill and there was plenty of it. The most memorable bit of our visit to this resaraunt was my Father. We were sat in a room that had all tiled walls and my dad had to make constant remarks about how we were eating in a toilet. I suppose you had to be there really but it made it a most memorable visit and we will be going again next time we are in Alvor.
Favorite Dish: The mixed Grill is Fantastic
Set on the main square along with a small church and shops this Bar is normally full of Locals enjoying a Coffee or a beer while watching the world go by. The place has that Local feel and a lot of tourists may be put off on entering as it does have a cafe look. You can sit outside as the square is usually full of tables and chairs and it's a great place to spend some time watching Village life.
Down a side street in an old wine storehouse this Restaurant is not big but it has had and continues to get some really good reviews in the local tourist papers, The food was good and the portions large but it did seem slightly expensive compared to some of the other restaurants in the area.
When we visited there was only us and another couple in it may have been a better experience if there had been more people in and more of an atmosphere.
I am planning on visiting again later this year,
The Owners also own the Cinco Quinas Restaurante on the beach and have just opened a Snack bar called Estrela Do Mar which is near the Alisuper.
Update October 2008:
We called in again and i had Shrimp Cocktail followed by fried Cod Algarve style and it was delicious, Service was ood and the restaurant busy so had a great bustling atmosphere, totaly different than my first visit, I would certainly recomend it.
This beautiful restaraunt is just outside the town center and is certainly worth a visit.
It has that traditional feel and look but with a style that you would only find in high class restaraunts.
The service is fantastic and very attentive with out you feeling pesterd, the sort of place that if you drop a fork off the table a waiter would apear from nowhere , catch it and put it back on the table before you had even realised you might have dropped it
The food Is lovely, not the largest portions around but certainly enough to fill you.
I had a starter of Smoked Ham with Gherkins followed by a main course of Green Pepperd Sirloin Steak, served with French fries carrots and green beans. All beautifully cooked, the steak melted in my mouth the pepper sauce was just right and the veg cooked to perfection.
Declining a sweet my mouth watered as my mothers strawberry flambe was prepared at the table.
All in all a most enjoyable experience.
We visited again in 2008 and the only thing i can add is that the Sirloin Steak with Bearnaise sauce was delicious.
Not the cheapest restaurant around but certainly a lot more reasonable than you would expect judging by the looks, style, service and food.
Please note: This Restaurant closes from the end of November untill the end of December.
This Restaurant is recognisable by the large lobster that that sits on the roof, looking down at passers by.
while not that big on the street the restaurant stretches back quite away, most of the tables being set in a covered garden at the back.
the kitchen is viewable (if your sat in the right place) and makes more of the experience seeing the chef's bustling about.
The food is well cooked and beautifully presented and the service was ok.
Not the cheapest restaurant around but then it does mostly serve Fish, Crabs, Lobsters (crabs and lobsters can be seen in a tank as you come in). Lamb, Steaks etc.
none of which are cheap anywhere I think prices for a main course meal start from about Euro 9.
They have a children's menu.
Our first encounter with this restaurant came after walking up R Antonio Jose de Almeida one night and seeing the silhouette of Elvis Presley with one hand pointing out and his knee shaking.
As we neared Elvis he stopped his stage act as he turned around, looked at us and immediately changed in to a Chinese lad, who then gave us a menu for China Garden Restaurante.
Well after this encounter we just had to go.
It's a nice restaurant but not large so booking in busy times would be advised (as in all restaurants in Alvor)
Food was good and great value. Of course they have the usual set menus and a wide choice of dishes.
Favorite Dish: They have a number of special offers including 5.90 E for a starter, main course, Fried rice or chips.
Or for 20.00 E for 2 people (which is what we had)
half peking duck with pancakes or 2 spring rolls or 2 chicken soups.
Sweet sour chicken or sizzling beef.
2 fried rice
2 ice cream
0.375L house wine or 2 soft drinks
Set between Rua D Joao II and Rua D Sancho 1 (near the Taxi rank)
This Fabulous restaurant is probably the best and is certainly the most elegant in town.
Lovely food with some well thought out set menu's and dishes from Hong Kong, Peking and Szechuan served by charming, Beautiful waitresses.
Good service with no long waits between courses.
Fantastic Decoration with a lovely relief of the great wall (Grande Muralha) of china with lights set into it in the covered terrace
This has to be a must for anybody who likes Chinese food.
For 40 years Luis and his family have served wonderful food with wonderful service, at a spectacular beach setting this wooden Beach Restaurant has Great fresh fish served daily along with many other delicious dishes, you don't have to eat though, if you just want a drink that is fine and indeed it is a great place to sit and watch people on the beach and is a great place to watch the sun set over the sea. I will call in here for a drink in the mornings after having a walk along the beach and for lunch at some point during my visit to Alvor.
(They also rent sun shades and sunbeds on the beach)
Favorite Dish: Fresh grilled fish, cataplanas, monkfish kebabs, tiger prawns, avocados stuffed with prawns and a large list of excellent steaks Chicken and loads more.
Another great restaurant, The food is Fantastic and service is good,
The toilet is clean but a little strangely positioned, kind of in the middle of the restaurant.
One of only a few places that do a Cataplana for one but the only place that actually leaves the cataplana at the side of the table so you can serve yourself from it.
They also do lovely Fish Soup for starter and they do a nice Grilled Chicken Piri Piri.
Favorite Dish: Cataplana
This is a great place to sit outside and have a coffee and indeed you will see a lot of locals doing just that.
They have a Juice bar with some interesting drinks on the menu, from Hangover cures to energy boosters, Cocktails to just plain fruit juices include mixes of ginger, cucumber, beetroot, orange, lemon's, apples and many more.
The menu is extensive with a wide choice of dishes, and the restaraunt looks really nice.
I had a Mixed Kebab with BBQ sauce, The Kebab's (2) were a mix of pork and chorizoe and would have been better if it did not have the BBQ sauce as it was a bit sickly after the first one. My son had Spicy chicken Kebab with a Yoghurt and mint sauce,
It consisted of 2 chicken Kebabs with a bit of a spicy sauce poured over and a seperate dish of a kind of mint Raitaand he liked his. Both were served with Chips and salad.
My mum had fish and chips and said it was horrible and was the worst food she had ever had in all the years she has been comming to Alvor, My Father had a chiocken sandwich and said it was ok.
A Woman sat behind us sent her food (something in a bowl) back because it was cold.
I would probably go back and have a coffe or a fruit juice there but would certainly think twice about eating there again and with so many other bars and restaraunts around it will be a long time before i do.
Newly opened in what used to be the Hong Kong Shopping, this restaurant has the same menu and offers as the Chinese Garden
(which leads me to think that it is owned by the same people) but also offers a
'All you can eat' Buffet for just 9.90E per person (3.90E for children below 1.5m)
They offer a good selection of dishes (25 items in total plus fruits puddings etc)
It is certainly well worth the money.
Portuguese, Chinese, Indian, English, Italian Alvor has a great choice of places to eat!