The food here is excellent, but beware that you'll pay for it. The price per head for this meal, with only a few starters shared between us, a main meal, a few bottles of wine and no dessert came to over 30 euros.
Excellent service too though and a great shaded courtyard to eat out in. Some beautiful 19th century, Moorish revival architecture to admire while you sip your vinho verde.
The restaurant is a good 20 minute drive outside Portimao, in the hillside spatown of Monchique, a pretty enough palce to visit on an afternoon excursion.
Favorite Dish: As a starter to share, I'd recommend the mixed sausage platter, so long as you also like black (blood) sausage which comes with the dish. Cod in it's many variations is a good choice. I went for the pork medallions and didn't regret it. Excellent standard of cooking and fine cuts of meat.
Taking up most of one side of the square this large establishment is made up of seperate units and has A Patisserie were cakes and other local sweets can be purchased to take away (said by some to be the best on the Algarve) as well as eat in, a restaurant and large bar area. Fantastic place for people watching.
This Kiosk is on Praca Manuel Teixeira Gomes opposite Casa Inglaise, so close that the chairs and tables appear at first to be part of Casa Inglaise's. The drinks are cheaper here, the service friendlier and they do not mind you buying cakes or other food from somewhere else and eating it while you have your drink.
Walking up along side the river, past the old bridge you will see a row of sardine restaurants, All are great and reasonably priced. if you walk around them you will see them cooking the fish at the rear on large Charcoal grills.
There are many outside restaurants specializing in regional seafood dishes close to the town end of the old iron road bridge spanning the river.there with a gorgeous view of rio arade and its refreshing air you enjoy the almost main dish in these and others alongside restaurants.
Favorite Dish: grilled sardines with a letuce/tomatoe salade and the all favorite portuguese red wine and bread.
Due to Portimao's location, fresh seafood is widely available.
Along the riverside and under the bridge there are numerous seafood restaurants all offering similar fare. Sardines are the regional speciality.
Prices here tend to be higher than in the centre of town as the restaurants cash in on their favourable location, but are still reasonable.
These restaurants don't only serve seafood, but also other traditional Portuguese dishes and International dishes.
The traditional fish restaurants at Portimao have been demolished, and a new series built further along the harbour walk, and through the bridge. U Venancio is in the middle of the row. Check it out on its own website: www.uvenancio.com - it is the usual style of basic Algarvean fish restaurant. Not at all fancy - just good ingredients, simply cooked, and served with a smile! When we are in the Algarve, we always make sure of having at least one 'fishy' meal in such an honest "no frills" establishment!
Favorite Dish: You really cannot beat sitting in the sunshine, eating freshly grilled sardines and big prawns! Simply served with boiled potatoes and a mixed salad (and the usual more-ish dough-ey Portuguese bread), you don't need fancy sauces and 'haute cuisine'...the food tastes just great! One disadvantage of the new format of the Sardinhas Assada row of restaurants is that none of them seemed to cook on the big charcoal-filled oil drum barbecues any more. A great pity - as the smell of sardines cooking whets appetites!!
A land of fishermen lapped by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Portimao is a paradise for everyone who enjoys fish and seafood. Because every day, as morning breaks, the fishing boats return to harbor laden with the night's catch. And also because the people of the Algarve have centuries of experience in cooking the fruits harvested from the sea. The restaurants in Portimao need no advertising, just follow the delicious smell lingering in your nose.
The grapes of the Algarve get plenty of sunshine and yield heady wines with lots of fruit that go well with the region's cuisine. And to round off a meal, the arbutus brandy known as "medronho" and other traditional liqueurs made with fruit and honey is well worth a try.
So eating out is one of the greatest pleasures when on holiday in Portimao. The variety of fresh seafood and locally grown fruit and vegetables is available in abundance.
Fish is best when simply grilled on an open charcoal fire. A typical cheap meal to order is grilled sardines, accompanied by new potatoes and salad. The more elaborate seafood dishes such as seafood rice (arroz de marisco), stewed clams with spicy sausage, pork, garlic and onions, (ameijoas na cataplana), or, of course, the famous salt cod which may be cooked in many different ways.
Should you prefer meat, then chicken, pork, lamb, kid and rabbit are generally better choices than beef. Restaurants normally serve large portions, and you may wish to skip the starter, as the "couvert" includes fish pate, olives and bread.
Many of the Portuguese desserts and cakes are rich in almonds, eggs, sugar and butter.
Very nice small restaurant in the center of the town with great, but not expensive portuguese food! But what makes it so special are the owners. Once you go there, you will be always coming back. I've never seen so much hospitality before. Fernando ( the owner) has a smile you just can't resist!
Favorite Dish: anything really :)
It is a small typical restaurant of Portimão, in the behind side of the old fish market, in the street Travessa da Barca, that attract us with its genuine air. Long tables and long seats, a slate blackboard in the wall with the menu and respective prices, have its strong point in the fresh fish grilled in the coal and in the Algarve specialties. Its owner, Jose Penhota, always with its habitual kindness, daily present different plates, depending on fish of the day, that go since the little Sepias (Choquinhos) or little Squids (Lulinhas) with his ink, little Scads (Carapaus) without skin (Alimados), Small Mackerel (Cavalinhas) at Algarve way, Ray in garlic sauce (d'Alhada) until the specialties, Carpet shell (Amêijoas) or Shrimp in the Cataplana , Shellfish Rice, Launce (Lingueirão) or Octopus (Polvo). So, we let Zé Penhota decide, and we started with Conquilhas, then Carapaus Alimados and for main plate we eat a Tuna beefsteak in the Algarve way, where we must enhance the attributes of the raw material. We concluded with a Pie (Tarte) of Fig (Figo). Everything five stars. The environment is very pleasant with soft ambient music. The service is familiar and gentile with prominence for the kindness of Claudete. The food, the supreme reason of the existence of any restaurant, is fresh, it smells good, is well prepared and very tasty. The Dessert list is not long, but there are very good sweets, with prominence for the Algarve specialties.
Favorite Dish: Algarve Delight Cake
0,5 kg of sugar ;
30 egg yolks ;
300 grs of almonds ;
70 grs of margarine ;
5 grs of cinnamon ;
50 grs of pumpkin preserve in syrup ;
200 grs of Malabar preserve
Boil the sugar for a few minutes until it forms a slightly thick, unbroken string between the fingers.
Fold the sugar into the egg yolks stirring very quickly.
Add the almonds, the margarine and the pumpkin cut into small fragments. Put on the flame again so it thickens.
Butter a tin and line it with grease-proof paper. Pour in the mixture with alternate layers of cinnamon and Malabar gourd to preserve.
Put on the flame to dry a little.
Decorate to taste.