I am a southern girl and when the weather starts to get warmer my heart and mind flies directly to the Algarve. This Portuguese region which happens to be my motherland offers a great diversity of beautiful beaches and I can’t take my mind out of all of them. The past weekend, in the Easter festivities I went to the south with a bit more time. I also had the opportunity to catch up with my brother that lives in Oporto. So, we went to visit the city where we lived most of our lives – Albufeira.
Unfortunately, Albufeira became a decharacterized city because of the massive growth of tourism in the ’80s. The buildings were not planned and now they look like a conglomerate of ugly houses. The picturesque and old typical architecture does not exist and the only thing that you see downtown, are neons advertising bad restaurants.
Despite this situation, tourists love to go out in Albufeira. You have a lot of bars with crappy music and most of the people love to drink till they pass out.
For me, the best part of Albufeira is the beaches. Since the popular Fisherman’s beach till the fancy Evaristo beach. In Albufeira, you will find plain beaches, rocky beaches, small and large beaches. You name it, Albufeira has it.
One of my most precious memory is about the smell that embraced Albufeira fisherman’s beach at about 20:30 p.m in August. An amazing smell of sea, sand, and fish that we used to put me high on.
I guess I’m trying to say that although Albufeira is a very touristic place, it also has its charms.
I can honestly say that every single day there’s a new restaurant in town. It isn’t easy to keep up. First, because I am not rich and secondly because sometimes is good to be home. Anyway, I love to eat out and to know new places so I decided I should write some reviews for you foreigners.
This week I went to a place called “As Ladras”, near Santa Apolónia train station. It’s a tiny restaurant an the kitchen is open, so you can see everything that they are doing. Which is pretty cool.
The menu isn’t very big but they have tasty options. Even if you’re a vegetarian. We had the horse mackerel Carpaccio that was the star of the night, the “Guiozas” which are a typical Chinese dish. This was also very good and in the end, we tried the vegetarian Ramen which was a bit too sweet for me. For dessert, I ate, because my boyfriend didn’t help, an entire lime mousse with peanuts. YAS, happiness. Well, of course, we had a very nice white wine to go along and the check was average price.
Summing up, It was a very nice experience so if you are in Lisbon near Santa Apolónia go and check it out!
If you’re traveling to Lisbon you will definitely visit one of the most appreciated city’s neighborhood. Alfama is the oldest and one of the most typical hoods of the amazing city of Lisbon. The name Alfama comes from al-hamma which means baths or fountain, in fact, you can still find some hidden little fountains spread along the area. The narrow streets, colored houses and the cozy atmosphere of the neighborhood will make you wanna move immediately to one of the charming Alfama’s cottage. And don’t forget that Alfama is also known for being the house of Fado in Lisbon. If you´re a fan you will surely be pleased with the amount of places where you can hear it.
As if that were not enough, the neighborhood has a varied gastronomic offer which goes from fancy gourmet restaurants till more affordable ones.
1- Lareira do Paraíso
The first one and most affordable has to be Lareira do Paraíso. This one looks like a small cafe but serves very nice meals for an amazing price. Also, Sr Zé, which is the owner, will make you feel like you´re a long time friend. It’s very common to find locals eating in the little room inside and also arguing about football matches. Totally worth it.
2 – Maçã Verde
If you want to try out real portuguese food please don’t hesitate to visit Maçã Verde. They are a Portuguese Tasca and have the most amazing Portuguese dishes at reasonable prices. Also they are a family business and you can taste it. Try the Lagarada de Bacalhau!
3- O Fernando
Eating out in Fernando is like eating at home. They have an amazing terrace in a brand new modern area which is perfect for Summer lunches and dinners. So, I definitely recommend you to try a grilled fish that must be accompanied with a fresh white wine!
4 – Sal Grosso e Salmoura
These are two different restaurants runned by the same owner. They present a kind of innovative cuisine that mixes typical portuguese dishes with new approaches. The menu is always changing and you never know what you’re going to find. Surprisingly one of the dishes that i love the most are often the salads. So, don’t forget to try theseasonal salad!
5 – Bói-Cavalo
If you´re looking for a restaurant that will in awe you, please go to Bói- Cavalo. This one is more pricey but the food is amazing. It will blow your mind or in this case your taste buds! They only have one menu and you will basically be they´re Guinea pig. I trust you will enjoy the experience.
These are only 5 of them but you will find restaurants in every corner. I hope you have a nice stay and experience! Enjoy.