I ate at La Pizza one evening during a trip to Faro in January 2007.
This popular pizza restaurant, busy with local students on the evening that we ate there, is located on the narrow side street of Travessa José Coelho in the heart of Faro. It is located just a few minutes walk from the marina and just minutes away from some of Faro's most popular bars and clubs.
It is therefore a good place to grab a bite to eat before hitting the local bars - which is exactly what we did!
The interior is a little cramped, with several tables in the small ground level dining room. There are also tables upstairs, but I didn't venture up there so I can't comment on the size of the upstairs dining area.
As you would expect, the menu consists largely (but not quite exclusively) of pizzas with all the usual toppings. The prices were in line with what you'd expect from most pizza places, ranging from 7 or 8 Euros for a large Margherita pizza to 14 or 15 Euros for a pizza topped with various meats and vegetables.
Favorite Dish: I opted for:
Campania pizza - medium size - Cost: Approx 8 Euros
An oven baked pizza with a thin base and crispy crust. Topped with diced bacon and a fried egg at its centre. Not spectacular by any means, but not memorably bad either - just a run-of-the-mill pizza!
Fresh lemon juice - Cost: Approx 3 Euros
A glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice served with a bottle of mineral water and a few sachets of sugar. The idea was to mix the lemon juice, water and sugar in the right proportions to create a tasty, refreshing juice. I failed miserably and ended up with a sour and bitter concoction!
Standard pizzas in a convenient location for a late night bite to eat.
I ate at Pastelaria Versailles one lunchtime during a short visit to Faro in January 2007.
This local restaurant is located on the pedestrianised Rua Ivens, just a short stroll inland from Faro's marina.
The restaurant offers a couple of rows of tables out front, and a host of tables indoors. As it was a sunny afternoon, we opted to sit outside. This was great until the tables became shaded part way through our meal, and then the perils of dining outdoors in January became all too evident as we shivered through the rest of our meals!
We were served by the same waiter who had served us the previous lunchtime at the sister restaurant (Restaurante Piteu - see other tip for details) and he once again offered us a "special price" for the days special dish of sea bass.
Favorite Dish: Both my friend and I opted for:
Sea bass with potatoes - Cost: 9 Euros
This was the first time that I have ever been served a fish with its head still intact. However, it wasn't as offputting as I thought it might be, so I avoided the head region and tucked into the lovely white fish. It was exceptionally tasty and very well cooked. The only downside was the number of bones, but this is only to be expected! Served with four small potatoes and a side salad.
The cover charge included freshly baked bread, butter and sardine paste.
Fresh orange juice - Cost: 2-3 Euros per glass
Freshly squeezed orange juice with lots of ice cubes!
At the end of our meal, the waiter gave us a complimentary shot of a local liqueur which tasted similar to sherry. Combined with his sluggishness in getting our bill after we had requested it, this was probably as much a ploy to keep his restaurant looking busy as a goodwill gesture!
Excellent seafood in the heart of Faro!
I ate at Restaurante Marisqueira O Pitéu one lunchtime during a short visit to Faro in January 2007.
This small local restaurant is located on the square of Largo Dr. Silva Nobre in the heart of Faro, just a two minute walk inland from the marina.
We were attracted to this restaurant as it offered a host of outdoor tables and, at the time of our arrival, they were bathed in bright midday sunshine. Coming from the UK, it isn't very often that I get to sit outdoors enjoying a meal and a beer - especially in January! - so this was too good an opportunity to miss.
A dozen or so dishes were displayed on a chalkboard outside the restaurant and, upon seeing us browsing the list of unfamiliar names, the waiter came over to explain what the various dishes were. Most of the dishes involved either grilled meats or fresh seafood (for which this part of the world in renowned). The waiter told us that he would do us a "special price", so we settled at one of the outdoor tables.
During the course of our meal, the waiter knocked over one of our beers while bringing food to the table. He then taught us the famous Portuguese proverb: "Alcohol on the tablecloth means a happy table!" Hmmm, or perhaps it just means a clumsy waiter! ;-)
Favorite Dish: I opted for:
Vegetable soup - Cost: 1.50 Euros
A small bowl of tasty soup which included a variety of vegetables and some hot chillis which gave it a bit of a kick. It was served with freshly baked bread and butter. The cover charge also included sardine paste (which tastes much better than it looks!) and a plate of cheese (small pieces of a hard and bitter-tasting cheese - the taste grew on me after a while!).
My friend opted for seafood soup (2.50 Euros), which contained a real mixture of sealife, complete with fish bones!
Chicken Piri-Piri - Cost: 9 Euros
I had tried chicken piri-piri on a previous visit to Portugal a few years earlier and on that occasion the spicy coating had blown me away. Chicken piri-piri at Piteu was a bit of a disappointment in comparison. The chicken pieces were nice enough, but more like fried chicken pieces from a fast food joint. The piri-piri coating had no kick to it at all. The portions were fairly generous, and the chicken was served with chips and salad.
Sagres beer - Cost: 2-3 Euros per 500ml
A nice setting in which to enjoy al fresco dining in the sunshine. A good choice of local meat and fish dishes - but a rather disappointing chicken piri-piri!
Normally I like eating outside but I am very glad I took a look inside this restaurant before sitting down. In the back room there are several tile murals and an entrance to the old well. We arrived at the end of lunch time and had the full attention of our waiter David. He told us the history of the wells, some local folklore, and about local foods and innovations.
Favorite Dish: For our main course we shared a catapalana, a sort of fish stew that is a specialty in the Algarve. Then for desert we had an almond cake and an almond tart and a taste of a carob cake. And, at David's suggestion, to finish the meal we each had a glass of Amarguinha - an almond liqueur- with a touch of fresh squeezed lemon. I would have to say that this meal and the service was the best of our entire trip.
Mariscada is a small but very well located restaurant in the Vilamoura Marina. Although plain in decoration the atmosphere is friendly and the meals are good and at decent cost for the normal traveller. This restaurant special dishes are: "The Shelfish Cataplana", "The Shelfish Rice" and "Portuguese Lobster". Algarve Golf Card holders will also benefit from 10% discount when presenting their membership card.
Favorite Dish: "The Shelfish Cataplana"
"The Shelfish Rice"
I don't remember the name, but there's only one restaurant on the Praia do Farol, on the Ilha da Culatra.
Nice atmosphere, incredible location, in the middle of this beautiful island.
Favorite Dish: Grilled fish
Ameiljoas a bulhao pato (shellfish with lemon, butter and cilantro)
A PLACE UNDER THE SUN
Beautifully situated above the fisher city of Albufeira, surrounded by their own pleasant gardens, all the apartments have balcony or terrace most with sea view, confortably furnished and fully equipped. Albufeira Jardim has a total of 413 apartments (304 T0; 68 T1 and 38 T2), being 258 T0, 38 T1 and 30 T0 in Albufeira Jardim I and 46 T0, 30 T1 and 8 T2 in Albufeira Jardim II. All the apartments have balcony or terrace most with sea view, confortably furnished and fully equipped. All the apartments have telephone (direct dialing), private safe box, kitchenette, bathroom, heating and TV (rented as request).
Albufeira is an International Center noted for its rich and diverse cuisine.
The great variety of restaurants offer everything from regional dishes to the more refined specialties of French, Italian or German cooking.
This region is closely tied to the ocean and the many fish and seafood dishes constitute a strong gastronomic presence.
Sardines, flounder and bass are always fresh and delicious. Lobster and prawns are a must. 'Caldeirada' is a typical stew with several varieties of fish, potatoes, green peppers and parsley, being one of the dishes primarily appreciated and prepared by fishermen.
'Ameijoas na Cataplana' steamed clams, 'Arroz de Marisco' seafood with rice, 'Choquinhos com Tinta' cuttlefish in their ink and 'Salada de Polvo' octopus salad are specialties worth trying.
Fresh tuna was abundant along this coast until the beginning of the 1970s and is commonly prepared in the Algarve in many different ways.
Also to be noted is 'Xerém' corn meal, broad beans and Algarve-style peas accompanied by a good wine from this region.
Desserts include sweets made with almonds, pumpkin and figs. Try too the carob cakes and famous D. Rodrigos(egg and sugar cakes).
'New' Albufeira, centred on Areias de São João, is on the east side. Its most famous thoroughfare is affectionately known as The Strip. It stretches from the looming edifice of the Montechoro Hotel, past scores of cafes, restaurants and bars, all the way down to a big busy beach called Praia da Oura. The Strip and nearby streets are a hive of activity from mid-morning, when cheap English breakfasts are served to help with the hangovers caused by imbibing well into the wee hours the night before.
Portuguese food is delicious, believe me. Not getting fat in Portugal is a tough job and we, the portuguese, have constantly to say NO to the delicious food. The Portuguese love to eat. They like quality and quantity. We have many traditional dishes and the sweets and cakes are another problem if you're on diet.
There are many, many good restaurants in Albufeira.
You must try the typical Chicken Piri-Piri (hot sauce) in Guia (a little town 6 km away from Albufeira). They call it the capital of the chicken as there are about 5 or 6 restaurants serving only chicken Piri-piri with french fries and tomato, lettuce and oregon salad. Believe me, it's delicious and cheap. people from all over the Algarve, come to Guia for the chicken. You may find restaurants in other cities like Lisbon, called ' Chicken of Guia ' but believe me, it's not the same. If you want to have a real chicken with piri-piri, you should go to Guia. My favourite chicken piri-piri restaurant is 'Ramirez' right at the centre of guia in a very narrow old street.
In the centre of Albufeira, right at the fishermen's beach, there's the Restaurant 'Ruina'. It's in a very old house overlooking the see. So as you may imagine, it has a beautiful and romantic view. They are famous for the meat or fish Cataplana, but it's a beat expensive.
Between Oura beach and the centre of Albufeira, there's the 'Three Palms Restaurant'. here you seat near tourists and local people. Fish, meat and seafood are well served. They have a daily menu, which is cheaper and all other kind of meals. Service is good and prices are normal.
If you like sea-food, go to 'Delicias do Mar', close to Three Palms Restaurant. Sea food here is good and with quality. In Oura Beach or Areias de São João, close to the old town, you may have a great chinese meal in Eurasia.
Favorite Dish: Chicken piri-piri is one of the favourite dishes. cataplana is a special plate cooked in a pan with the shape of a sell. It has fish or meat cooked with clams and tomato. Grilled sardines and other grilled fish is a must, specially during the summer (never eat sardines in the winter as you can be sure that they are frozen and fresh).
'A Tasca'; halfway down the steps to the harbour in SAGRES, Algarve, Portugal
The interior is pleasantly cool on a warm Portuguese day.
If the weather is suitable you can sit out on the terrace overlooking the harbour to enjoy your meal.
Favorite Dish: Prawns A Tasca
My favourite place to eat out in Faro is not exactly a restaurant, it's what we call here in Portugal, a 'Tasca'. The place is called PALADAR, (translated to english it means TASTE) and it's not a very easy place to find. me and my friends found it once when we were already tired of eating only junk food and wanted something different but cheaper. We certainly did find it. The owners couldn't be more friendly and you can eat till you fall and still pay very little.
Favorite Dish: Their speciallity is the roasted chicken, it is soooo good!! It comes already with french fries, rice and salad and also a very hot sauce if you want.
You will find plenty of fancy restaurants in the Algarve offering Lobster or fillet steaks, but if you ask me what the finest meal on offer is, I'll immediately answer Frango (chicken) Piri Piri!