If follow my Twitter or Instagram stories, you might have seen that I was recently sunning myself over in Vilamoura. With flights starting this Summer from Aberdeen, it will no doubt be a top holiday destination for many in the North East, so I thought I’d pop down my ‘Top Picks for Eating Out’ from the trip – as if you’re anything like me, food and drink play a MASSIVE part of a holiday!
Although the restaurants on the Marina provide diners with great views, we found that due to the mass number of people dining, the waiters could be a little stretched – and the prices were definitely on the hefty side.
After a bit of research/scrolling through Trip Advisor, we found some great hidden gems that we would never have stumbled across on our nightly walk for food and although they don’t quite have the same scenic settings, I highly recommend the food and service – which more than compensate.
Starting with my Birthday dinner, what a feast Fishermans Shack provided us with! Hidden in a little shopping centre (signs are visible from the street) this little gem just managed to fit us in – so booking ahead might be a good idea, especially if your going as a group. Opting for a Cataplana, this feast provided us with two good sized helpings each…and with some left over!
Although busy, this family run restaurant offered great service and our glasses of wine were never empty!
(From the Marina) if you keep walking past the signs for the Fishermans Shack, you will soon come across Romarina. Entering a lovely bright indoor restaurant, we were greated by the smiling staff and shown to our table. The menu offers a good selection of food – from twisted fish and chips, to prawn curry (my choice and would highly recommend!) to steak and various meat options.
My starter here definitely ranked as one of the top from my trip and my mouth is just watering thinking about the garlic sourdough topped with squid and chorizo…
10/10 for the staff here too, who showed excellent knowledge of the menu/food and that they really enjoy speaking with their customers.
Tasca Da Vila
So good, we went here twice! Finding this restaurant early in our trip, we also returned for our last dinner – and it didn’t disappoint. Situated in a little courtyard, this restaurant sits next to a great little bar that offers Gin and Tonics/cocktails at much cheaper prices than the marina too!!
In true tapas style, the menu is split into starters, fish, meat and ‘bigger options’. Our waiter recommended some great wine choices and advised us on how many plates to get (basically our eyes got carried away and he stopped us before we could order the whole menu 😀)!
This goats cheese starter was AMAZING…
..but if your looking for something to nibble on between you, we had meat and cheese platters one evening – which were also 👌🏼
I have no doubt that the whole menu would be fab, but other recommendations would be garlic prawns (yum!) and the mackerel (think giant whitebait)!
Casa do Pescador / Braganca Mar
Although two separate restaurants, these two are located right next to each other, so you can check them both out at the same time! Both offer a great level of service and their cataplanas/shared fish dishes are the best value (honestly about half price from the restaurants at the marina)!
I went for the Spanish style paella at Braganca Mar, which wasn’t my fav choice, but the rest of our food and experience more than made up for it. The steak stones here looked and smelt so good and my other halfs seafood kebab resulted in serious food envy.
Tip – if your having the cataplana at Casa do Pescador, order a side dish of carbs. Unlike the one from Fishermans Shack, this one purely contained fish and meat, so a bit of potatoes or rice would be a good accompaniment. Keep a bit of bread to mop up the sauce too 😜
Oporto Tavern Wine & Cocktail Bar
Sadly we found this place late into our trip. Offering great cocktails and top quality live singers, it’s the perfect place to head to for an after dinner drink. Just along from Braganca Mar, this bar is situated on a small corner plot and is open until 2am. With table service and a 10€ bill for a G&T and large glass of red, you’ll find yourself going for one and staying for a few!
If you are planning a trip to Vilamoura, or are already there…I’m soooo jealous!! But hope you try one – if not more of these places, as they really are worth a visit.
Enjoy 😀 xx