Eating out in the Algarve...
Please do take time to try some of Portugal's gastronomy and be enthralled by the hospitality and warmth that exudes from the local restaurateurs. Consider a table outside a cafe on a beach front, a few fresh sardines, maybe a bit of local cheese, cured meat and some crusty bread together with a bottle of 'local' wine and glorious sunshine 300 days of the year!
The flavours of Portuguese food are heavily influenced by the foods and spices that were introduced by explorers and invaders over the centuries. These include onions, garlic, figs, almonds and curry spices, cinnamon, paprika and the Brazilian spice peri-peri.
Using these ingredients, the seafood from coastal area and with their love of meat, the Portuguese have developed their own style of cooking. It is generally simple wholesome fare, using fresh ingredients and spiced in a subtle way, rather than being hot and fiery. In the Algarve it is easy to find a good meal even in some small village restaurants. Even the smallest bar normally offers various dishes, not surprisingly a lot are fish related.
Just a few of our picks from over 500 restaurants in Albufeira...
Address: Praia do Evaristo, Albufeira, Portugal
Phone: +351 289 591 666
Description: A stylish and elegant setting with a secluded beach on a small cove that is great for eating fresh fish and seafood that you choose upon arrival.
Best time to go: For a leisurely lunch or for sunset.
Distance from 59a Sao Rafael to location: 5 mins by car, a 20-30 minute walk on road or a more rugged walk on coastal path.
Price: Not cheap, but you can expect good service. £50 p/p for wine and 2 courses.
Praia Grande Restaurante & Bar
Address: Caminho da Praia Grande, Sao Rafael | 8200-669 Albufeira, Albufeira 8200-669, Portugal
Phone: +351 966 033 357
Description: A genuinely friendly ambiance amongst locals with good quality food and decent portions at a reasonable price. Caters from a snack to steak and seafood.Child friendly menu and a spectacular view of Sao Rafael beach from the terrace. Make sure to book a table with a view.
Best time to go: Any time of the day, but most lively in the evenings after 8pm. Open 365 days of the year.
Distance from 59a Sao Rafael to location: 5 minute walk on the way to the beach.
Price: £20-£25 p/p for sides, wine and 2 courses.
Castelo do Mar Bar, Restaurante
Address: Rua da Orada, Albufeira 8200-371, Portugal
Phone: +351 937 021 204
Description: Good food with a twist and well presented. Pretty clifftop setting with views of marina and sea - perfect for a romantic occasion. A cozy chill out bar with comfy couches and superb music. Live music on a Thursday night during summer months. Home away from home!
Best time to go: All day.
Distance from 59a Sao Rafael to location: 20-25 minute walk, close to marina. 5 minute drive.
Price: £30-35 p/p for 2 courses and wine.
Address: Rua Latino Coelho 15, 8200 Albufeira, Portugal
Phone: +351 289 587 429
Description: A hidden gem that opens like Aladdin's cave. A large terrace with splendid views of Albufeira beach and the arch leading to Old Town. Reasonably priced high quality food. The codfish gratin is to die for. Not suitable if you are in a rush.
Best time to go: All day.
Distance from 59a Sao Rafael to location: Away from the hustle and bustle of the Old Town - past the lift to the beach. 8 minute drive or a 40 minute walk from the apartment. €7 taxi fare.
Price: £20 p/p for two courses and wine.
Solar das Oliveiras
Address: Estrada Vale Parra, Albufeira, Faro 8200, Portugal
Phone: +351 289 591 159 or +351 918964747
Description: The restaurant opened in 2005. It prides itself in serving with quality and distinction its best specialties, such as grilled meat and cataplana, it also has a very good Portuguese wine selection. The venue is a remodeled centennial house, and since 2010, there is an Olive Cocktail & Music Bar.
Best time to go: Evening.
Distance from 59a Sao Rafael to location: 8 minute drive, about a €7 taxi fare.
Closed on Monday.
Further a field...outside of Albufeira
Green Valley Bistro
Address: Valverde, Quinta do Lago, Almancil, Portugal
Phone: +351 289 396 638
Closed on Sunday, reservations essential.