8 Must-Try Portuguese Foods in the Algarve

It’s well known that the Algarve is home to some of the most opulent beaches, glittering coastlines and quaint villages. With such a rich display of luxury, culture and spirited history, it’s easy to forget that the Algarve is also loved for its delicious Portuguese foods and has an abundance of exceptional delicacies to enjoy. 

Foodies can immerse themselves in delicious dishes knowing that the vast majority of ingredients and produce are locally sourced and relished by locals and visitors alike. 

Today we’re going to share 8 must-try Portuguese food when visiting the Algarve.


What is traditional Portuguese food? 

Traditional Portuguese cuisine is renowned for its use of fresh ingredients, including a variety of seafood, meats, and vegetables, often complemented by aromatic herbs and spices.

Iconic meals include bacalhau (salt cod) and caldo verde, a comforting kale and potato soup. Meat lovers enjoy cozido à portuguesa, a rich stew with various meats and vegetables, and feijoada, a bean and pork stew.

Seafood is central to Portuguese cuisine, with highlights like sardinhas assadas (grilled sardines) and arroz de marisco (seafood rice). For dessert, the pastel de nata, a creamy custard tart, is a must-try, often enjoyed with a strong espresso.


Our favourite Portuguese foods to try in the Algarve


Conquilhas à Algarvia

This seafood-lovers dish originates in the southern region of the Algarve, and it is a nod to traditional Portuguese cuisine. Fresh from the Atlantic Ocean, this one-of-a-kind dish consists of juicy clams, fried onions, garlic and thin slices of succulent Portuguese sausage. 

The magic starts with fresh clams being garnished with parsley or coriander. All of the ingredients are cooked together so the flavours can infuse and create something extraordinary. This star of a dish is often enjoyed with a glass of crisp white while and is the perfect choice for a salty, sea-aired dinner overlooking the ocean. 


Frango da Guia

Affectionately regarded as one of the most popular meals in the Algarve, Guia Chicken is a perfect choice if you want to experience the best roast Chicken Portugal has to offer. Originating in the Algarve, the word of Frango da Guia travelled across the country, and people were desperate to discover what was in the secret marinade, which is kept under lock and key and has always aroused the curiosity of those who experience this iconic dish. 



This is another must-try Portuguese dish that is bursting with rich flavours and comforting vegetables, featuring tender wild boar meat. You will see this meal in many restaurants dotted about the Algarve and is an excellent alternative to seafood. Enjoy warm fresh bread and fresh yoghurt for the ultimate comfort-food explosion.


Sardines (in Portimão)

The Algarve’s residents have a unique way of cooking and eating sardines. In this popular Portuguese dish, the fresh sardines are grilled in an exciting blend of herbs and spices and then placed on a slice of thick, fresh bread.

If you want to try and eat this meal the traditional way, then without using your hands, chew the meat off one side of the sardine. Then flip it over and enjoy the rest of the fish on the other side, leaving just the skeleton behind. Once you have eaten the fish, you’re left to tuck into the delicious oil-soaked bread.


Shrimp Bisque

The prawns of the Algarve are really in a league of their own. Used in many different ways throughout the region’s cuisine, a simple way to enjoy them is grilled over smoking charcoal and eaten hot with a creamy or garlic and lemon sauce. 

But shrimp Bisque is a unique Algarve dish perfect for a starter or light evening meal. This thick and creamy soup is topped with a toasted slice of bread with fat and pink, juicy marinated shrimp on top. It truly is a mouthwatering marvel to be enjoyed anytime in any setting. 


Petiscos de Taberna

This traditional Portuguese dish makes for a delicious snack as you walk through the streets of the Algarve. Each aspect of this wonderful plate is carefully chosen to represent a variety of the nearby foods on offer. A selection of local meats served with succulent cured sausage and seafood fritters; this tiny tapas is ideal if you’re stopping for a luxurious lunch. If you’re interested in tasting the local cuisine, then this is a must-try Portuguese food.


Ozido a Portuguesa

This traditional Algarve treat has become very popular and really is worth making a special effort to try. This hearty stew of meats and vegetables can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner and is often eaten with warm and crusty bread. The main ingredients are usually beef, pork and Portuguese sausages; however, you can also choose to have this with chicken if you prefer.


Dom Rodrigo

Traditionally associated with the Algarve, this gift-wrapped dessert has been made here since the 18th century. This simple yet stunning dessert is made by combining sugar, egg yolks, ground almonds, cinnamon, and fios de ovos (a traditional Portuguese sweet, made by boiling thin strands of egg in sugar syrup). Be sure to try this sweet treat when you visit the Algarve.

So, are you ready to make your tastebuds sing?

If so, the Algarve is ready to welcome and dazzle you with its delectable dishes. As travel specialists, we have years of experience and knowledge in creating exceptional holidays with an outsatnding portfolio of luxury villas throughout the Algarve.

Our properties feature private pools, spacious gardens, and much more! So whether you’re looking for a romantic retreat or family escape, there’s something for everyone. We also offer luxury concierge services to make your stay truly exceptional, including the option for a private dining experience. 

if you need assistance planning any detail of your Algarve visit, get in touch with one of our experts today.

Dish of Shrimp Bisque on a table