The Algarve region has it all! It offers a diverse array of attractions for those who explore it with a discerning eye: pristine sandy shores, hidden tranquil inlets, and picturesque whitewashed hamlets where rustic taverns work culinary magic, turning humble grilled sardines into gourmet delights with a delicate drizzle of olive oil and a hint of zesty lemon juice. 

With abundant fresh seafood, sun-kissed vegetables, and expertly flame-cooked meats, your visit to the Algarve and Lagos wouldn’t be complete without savoring these delectable dishes. Let’s see some amazing dishes you must try!

 #1 – Conquilhas à Algarvia

Savor the spotlight on succulent clams straight from the ocean as they steal the show in this renowned Algarvian specialty. To replicate this culinary masterpiece, commence by sautéing onions, garlic, and thinly sliced Portuguese sausage in a pan. Next, introduce the clams and embellish them with either parsley or coriander. Remember the crucial step of thoroughly rinsing the shellfish in cold water to eliminate any grit, and abstain from consuming any that remain unopened.

Indulge in the classic marisco (seafood) delicacies or savor small portions of queijo (as described below) and cod ceviche, all set against the charming backdrop of the unpretentious Tasca Jota in Lagos, adorned with its captivating blue-and-white tiles.

#2 – Petiscos de taberna

While exploring the meandering lanes of Lagos, make sure to take a moment to indulge in some petiscos de taberna. These delectable snacks, akin to Spanish tapas, pair wonderfully with a refreshing glass of locally crafted cerveja. Anticipate savoring miniature meat sandwiches, typically filled with pork or beef, alongside seafood fritters and slices of flavorful cured sausage, known as chouriço. Sausages hold a prestigious position in Portugal’s culinary landscape, celebrated through numerous dedicated festivals. One event not to be missed is the Feira dos Enchidos Tradicionais, held in the nearby town of Monchique in early March. Here, you can relish an endless variety of sausages and connect with skilled artisan producers. 




#3 – Taste the Amazing Algarve Wine

While it may not be as widely renowned as some of Portugal’s other wine-producing regions, the Algarve should unquestionably command attention for its impressive wine craftsmanship.

The Algarve is subdivided into four distinctive regions: Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa, and Tavira, each boasting its own unique array of wine varieties waiting to be explored.

Thanks to the abundance of sunshine that graces the Algarve for the majority of the year, the wineries in this Portuguese gem are capable of crafting a diverse range of wines, spanning from crisp and refreshing whites to robust and full-bodied reds.

#4 – Queijo

Portugal is a producer of exceptional cheeses that are often rare finds elsewhere. The country’s rugged terrain lends itself perfectly to raising sheep and goats, whose milk is skillfully transformed into an assortment of firm and creamy cheeses. These cheeses can be savored on their own, incorporated into delectable pão de queijo (cheese bread), or enjoyed alongside bread accompanied by locally crafted sweet pumpkin jam.

For an exquisite dining experience, consider sampling the marmelada de abóbora e salada de espinafres (pumpkin jam and spinach salad) featuring the regional specialty of goat’s cheese. This delightful dish is served at Artistas in the historic old town of Lagos.

#5 – Frango da Guia

This delectable spicy chicken, a staple of Portuguese cuisine, can be found all across the country. However, its roots trace back to the Algarve, making it a must-try when visiting this region.

Believed to have originated in Guia, each “churrascaria” (chicken restaurant) puts its unique spin on this regional classic. Some prefer to marinate the chicken in the spicy sauce beforehand, while others grill it over charcoal and generously coat it in the sauce afterward.

Both methods yield a delicious result, provided the sauce is of high quality. Typically, the sauce comprises malagueta chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, bay leaves, salt, vinegar or lemon, paprika, and perhaps a few secret ingredients for that extra touch.