Bulhão style clams, by placescases.com

5 tips and many reasons to travel to the Algarve – the southernmost part of Portugal. Part 3- the food of Algarve.

The food of Algarve from a travelogue of the Algarve, Portugal with tips for having good time in 4 parts. On the cover – Bulhão style clams. What else to do in the Algarve from Algarve, Portugal travelogue with tips for good experience in 4 parts. This is a no AI content.

We continue with the Algarve travelogue. In the first part, I told you how to get there and where to stay. In the second part, I told whether it is possible to go to the beach there and what to expect from the beaches there.

Now I’m going to discuss my favorite topic – food and wine.

What food to try while in the Algarve?

In Portugal, the food is wonderful. As our host at the Quintas dos Vales winery said, the Portuguese are spoiled because they are used to good food and good wine.

It is a must to pair the delicious Portuguese meals with local wine, because it is wonderful. Unfortunately, most waiters, especially in places busier with tourists, don’t bother to tell you about varieties and cellars, they just recommend something quickly, even if you ask what it is, they mumble it under their nose and you don’t understand anything. However, it is worth taking that risk, trusting completely and trying.

Which traditional food made a strong impression on me?

One of my favorite things was the Bulhão style clams.

Bulhão style means they are cooked with butter, garlic, cilantro and lemon.

They are very tasty, their aroma is simply captivating. They pair wonderfully with a local Alvarino, especially if it’s Vino Verde.

Bulhão style clams, by placescases.com
Bulhão style clams, by placescases.com

Shrimps and clams cataplana.

These are shrimps and mussels cooked in the traditional cataplana metal vessel, in which the products are stewed together. The seafood is masterfully combined with chorizo and jamon or another type of turf. So basically, the dish is really a Surf&Turf type.

In Portugal they also breed the famous black Iberico pig, which we know as Spanish. It makes a nice jamon that is often featured in recipes, as well as in this cataplana I tried.

Cataplana, by placescases.com
Cataplana, by placescases.com

Rice or bread can be served with the dish, but they are always on the side and not inside, as is the case with the rice in the Spanish Paella.


It is usually with onions, but also any other options such as grill, tartare and ceviche.

restaurant Za Zu, Luz, by placescases.com
restaurant Za Zu, Luz, by placescases.com

Tuna fish is caught in the region, it is always fresh, and I recommend that if you like sashimi or tartar that uses raw fish, to give it a try. Whether grilled, tataki, raw or chemically processed, as is the case with ceviche, tuna is always superbly prepared.

Here I tried some of the most wonderful ceviches with tuna – my receptors caught great combinations with citrus, coriander, ginger or other products, and my gourmand brain captured great memories of them.


Yes, that’s right, the most ordinary grill.

If we think that only Serbs and Bulgarians can make a good grill, you should know that the Portuguese are not baking down. Whether meat or fish, they do it quite well. I don’t know what marinades they use, but you eat your fingers.

One unusual place where we tried some wonderful Portuguese grill is Arribale. It is located just behind the Lagos underground car park.

Grilled shrimps

They are very tasty because they are slightly smoked. We tried them on a catamaran trip to Benagil Rocks which included a BBQ lunch on a small beach.

Pastel De Nata

This is the most traditional dessert here.

Imagine a tart, that is, crispy buttery pastry with crème caramel on top. It’s freaking delicious!

Pastel De Nata, by placescases.com
Pastel De Nata, by placescases.com

However, be sure to buy a fresh one, because if it’s stale, it might not impress you as much. It’s everywhere, especially in the morning when they take it out of the bakeries.


Restaurants offer the so-called couvert, which is bread several with various types with dips to spread on it. In most cases, it’s well worth it, because the rolls are delicious, as are the dips. Sometimes olives and carrots are added to them.

Couvert Portuguese style with bread, by placescases.com
Couvert Portuguese style with bread, by

Molotov dessert

It looks like creme caramel, but because there is much egg whites in it, which puff up when baking, the cake sometimes explodes in the oven, hence its name. It has  nice aroma, but I didn’t like the version I tried at Don Sebastiao restaurant that much. I like plain creme caramel better.

Definitely wine.

In Portugal, white wine, red wine, rosé, and even sparkling wine are made.

I warn that especially in Algarve, the local wine has a rather high alcohol content – 14-14.5. But in the heat, such wine comes a bit strong. However, the local wineries have realized that people do not want to drink strong wine at 30 degrees, and for this reason they have also started wine production of white varieties. I really like white Albarino, Arinto, and red Negara Mole, Castelao, as well as the popular Portuguese varieties Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca.

Here I want to point out that most people think that Vino Verde means young wine. However, this is not the case.

Vino Verde is the largest appellation in Portugal and Vino Verde can only be called wine originating there.

In the next part of this Algarve travelogue I will tell about what sights to visit and where to eat in the area.

How to book your stay?

You can book your stay right hereFor your convenience, I have added a booking.com box, which refers directly to their site. I guarantee you’re going to use all your genius discounts and privileges they would offer to you and I will get a modest commission. Just enter the dates of your trip, the place, then hit the Search button and voila.


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Do you ever wonder how some places differ so much from others in service, environment, as an overall experience? This means you are also interested like me in the topic of The Experience Economy by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore. I constantly add to my collection reviews about those of them, which practice its principles, regardless of intentionally or accidentally. If you are curious to understand which they are, explore category The Experience Economy.

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