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The Ultimate Foodie’s Guide to Dining in the Algarve

Algarve region in Portugal

While the Algarve is most commonly known for its welcoming Atlantic beaches, whitewashed fishing villages, and perfectly manicured golf courses, it is also home to some of the tastiest dishes in all of Portugal.

Once you have arrived in Algarve, you will need to think about how you’re going to maximize your opportunity to sample some of the finest food the region has to offer. Below is a quick look at a few of the dishes that you simply cannot afford to miss out on. 

What to eat when in Portugal?
Portuguese delights

Where to stay in Algarve?

From Albufeira to Vilamoura, it truly doesn’t matter where you stay when visiting the Algarve, as your next magnificent meal is sure to be right around the corner. Having said that, it is definitely advisable to opt to stay in a villa as opposed to in a hotel. Most villas are self-catering, which means that you will have an excuse to go in search of the region’s best restaurants every time your stomach starts to growl! If you’re planning your ideal Algarve villa holidays, James Villa Holidays offers beautiful, luxurious villas in a variety of locations, so you’re sure to find the perfect one for you and your family. With the accommodation of your dreams booked, it’s time to look at the food you simply must try when visiting this part of the world.

Don't miss to eat Cataplana in Algarve
Cod fish Cataplana
A cataplana is an item of cookware used to prepare Portuguese seafood dishes, popular in Algarve region
Portuguese local food
Portuguese Egg tarts
  • Couvert

Couvert is always a great dish to start with, especially considering that it is, in fact, a starter. The couvert variant that you will be served will depend on where you are staying and where exactly you are dining in the Algarve, but you can always be sure that it will be delicious. From marinated carrots to a bowl brimming with seasoned olives, most couvert starters are served cold and are an outstanding treat for the senses.

  • Conquilhas à Algarvia

Most meals that are famous in the Algarve are firm favourites across Portugal – but Conquilhas à Algarvia is a dish that originated right here. Think mouth-watering clams, brought in fresh from the sea, cooked in a tasty garlic and olive oil sauce, and garnished with just the right amount of parsley.

Portuguese local fod
Portuguese food
Fresh oysters in Portugal
  • Piri Piri chicken

Unless you are well-versed in the art of eating exceptionally spicy foods, you may want to steer clear of this Portuguese classic! It’s a dish that is made up of succulent, juicy chicken that has been marinated in a super-hot sauce. The small town of Guia, located near Albufeira, is most famous for this dish, but it has become a popular choice for tourists and locals within the Algarve in recent years.

  • Seafood

If Conquilhas à Algarvia (clams) isn’t your thing, fear not. With the Algarve being right next to the sea, there is plenty of opportunities to try a host of other delectable seafood cooked the traditional Portuguese way. Why not give lobster, tiger prawn, or crab a try? Alternatively, sample a myriad of seafood all at once by ordering Cataplana de marisco – a mouth-watering mix of lobster, clams, squid and whatever else is available on the day, served in a white wine, herb, and tomato sauce.

Eating fresh sea food in Portugal
Who misses the fresh prawns of Portugal?

You also don’t want to ignore the chance to taste local oysters from the Ria Formosa. They are known for being some of the best in the world! Enjoy your European holidays. You may read about Germany, Belgium, Malta and Spain here.

Be sure to make the most of your visit to the Algarve from both a food and activities perspective. It is bound to be a holiday to remember.

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