Praia da Luz, Algarve, Portugal

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Praia da Luz
Portuguese Gastronomy

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Portuguese Food and Drink

This page contains small sample of Portuguese Gastronomy. Also I've just added Portuguese translations of some common Herbs and Spices as I came unstuck in a supermarket the other day trying to find some Basil! I have also now included Dairy products and Coffee types.
In the Algarve it is easy to find a good meal even in some small village restaurants. Even the smallest bar normally offers various dishes, not surprisingly a lot are fish based.
Some useful general terms:
'Churrasqueira' (or 'Churrasco') serves chicken and meat specialities.
'Marisqueira' is a specialist for seafood.
'Pastelaria' does cakes, deserts and sweet things
'Gelataria' is basically an ice cream parlour.


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Couvert / AppetisersCouvert / Appetisers


Before each meal Fresh bread, olives, garlic carrots and / or tins / dishes of sardine pate. ( Not free but an optional extra )

Appetisers ( Entradas )

Shellfish is, like most everywhere these days, is getting very expensive in the Algarve. Cockles, (Small) Clams and Mussels are the most reasonable, for anything else ask before ordering as prices will normally be adjusted according to availability. Any prices you see will generally be quoting per kilogram, this includes fish, so you may not end up paying the price you thought. Having said that most restaurants are pretty good and will volunteer the price without being asked.
Polvo Octopus
Ovo Maionese Egg Mayonnaise
Ovos com Fiambre Eggs with Ham
Ovos Mexidos Scrambled Eggs
Salada de Atum Tuna / Corn Salad
Milho com Atum Tuna with corn
Patê de Atum Tuna Paste
Caracóis à Algarvia  Snails 
Santola recheada Dressed crab
Camarão Shrimps
Cocktail de Camarão 2 stars Shrimps Cocktail - generally fresh not frozen and a better presentation than anything you get at home.
Omelete de Camarão 2 stars Shrimps Omelette
Resunto Smoked ham
Melão com Presunto Melon with Smoked Ham
Chouriço assada Grilled pepper/garlic sausage
Meijoas 2 stars Clams - The Alvor clams are perfection.
Amêijoas na Cataplana Clams Cataplana

Cataplana. Served in a traditional brass pan, it is a mixture of clams, pork, spices, garlic, onions, tomatoes and white wine.


Soup ( Sopa )

Note: that Soup in Portugal is generally served tepid / lukewarm, so don't assume it is just bad service. If you prefer it to be hot ask for it 'Bem quente' (pronounced 'beng kent').
Caldo Verde Soup made with kale
Canja Chicken broth
Creme de Camarão Cream of Prawn
Sopa de Conquilhas Shellfish soup
Sopa de Peixe Fish soup
Sopa Transmontana 'Soup from across the mountains' is made from white cabbage, potatoes, turnip, carrots and may contain some pork meat.
Sopa de Ervilhas Just Pea soup.
Sopa de Legumes Vegetable soup
Sopa de Campo 'Farmers Soup', from radishes, carrots, celery and garlic
Canja Basically a chicken broth. Rice and ham are common ingredients
Sopa de Agriões Watercress and potatoes soup.
Sopa de Pedra 'Stone Soup'. The soup is prepared from lettuce, egg, onion, and lots of garlic. Watch out it as it does have the traditional small stone is placed in the soup.

Salad ( Salada ) & Ingredients

Salada de Tomate Tomato salad - most everything will be accompanied by this even roast dinners.
Salada Mista Mixed salad
Cenoura Carrot
Alface Lettuce
Cebola Onion
Tomatoe Tomato
Pepino Cucumber
Meat DishesMeat Dishes

Meat ( Carne )

Porco Pork
Carne de porco com Amêijoas Pork and Clams - If you have tried this in Alvor you'll not bother elsewhere. 2 stars
Carne de Porco à Alentejana Fried cubes of pork and cockles cooked together with a tomatoes and onion sauce.
Carne de Porco à Alentejana Pork with Clams Alentejo Style
Lombo de Porco de Monção Pork from the oven with chestnuts
Lombo de Porco Assado Pork Loin Roasted
Costeletas de Porco Pork Chops
Febras de Porco Pork Fillet
Entrocosto de Porco Pork Ribs
Leitão Assado / Bairrada Roast suckling pig
Churrasco Pork (Spit roasted)
Entremeada Thick slices of bacon (Gammon)
Feijoada Black Beans, Meat / Sausage Hotpot
Favas à Algarvia Broad beans, Meat / Sausage Hotpot
Bife à Frigideira This is a rump steak with a thick slice of gammon ham on top fried in a earthenware oval dish with a slice of bread.
Cozido à Portuguesa This is a meat stew (without the liquid) made from the beef shin (other meats can be used),  boiled white cabbage, carrots, turnips, smoked sausage and rice.
Empadinhas de Castelo Branco These are meat pies with various meat content with onions and some white wine.
Ensopada de Borrego Spicy  fried pieces of saddle of lamb, onion and garlic sauce,  with slices of bread covered in the sauce.
Espetada de Lombinho Lamb on the Spit.
Cataplana de Carne  Meat Hotpot.
Espetada de Carne Grilled Meat on the spit.
Bife a Portuguesa Steak Portuguese Style.
Bife de Vaca Beefsteak.
Rosbife Roast Beef.
Carne assada Roast Beef.
Cabrito assado Roast Goat (kid)
Bife do Lombo com Pimenta Pepper steak
Sanduíche de steak Steak sandwich.
Vit Veal.
Vitela com Amêndoas Veal with almonds.
Vitela Assada Veal from the oven.
Vitela Estufada Veal Stew.
Costeletas de Vitela Veal Chops.
Bife de Avestruz Ostrich Steak.
Poultry DishesPoultry Dishes

Poultry / Game

Frango Piri Piri Also called Chicken Piri Piri. Chicken gilled on charcoal while basted with a special mixture prepared differently by each chef. The essential ingredient is the hot piri piri sauce and the chicken must be served straight from the grill. Normally chipped potatoes and salad accompany it. Can be very hot, spicy or plenty of chillies. Bottled dressing on chicken is not considered real Piri Piri.
Frango Assada Grilled Chicken.
Frango napucara Chicken casserole.
Arroz de Pato Strips of roasted duck mixed with rice and roasted again in the oven.
Faisão Estufado Stewed marinated pheasant in brandy and wine.
Faisão no Forno Oven cooked Pheasant.
Peru Turkey.
Bife de Peru Thick slices or steak of turkey fried with garlic and served with chipped potatoes and side salad.
Pato Bravo Wild Duck.
Arroz de Pato Roast Duck mixed with rice
Coelho à Minhota Rabbit  marinated for 24 hours and then fried in small sections. Served with a tomato based sauce.
Javali Estufado Wild Boar Stew.
Churrasco de Javali Grilled Wild Boar.
Carne de Veado Loin of Venison.
Fish DishesFish Dishes

Fish ( Peixe ) & Shellfish

Cheapest are Sardines and they bear no resemblance to tinned U.K. offerings! Tuna, Swordfish and the Dourada bream are pretty much boneless, Locally caught Sole, Bass, Red Mullet and various types of Sea Bream are the bony ones.
Bacalhau Recheado à Algarvia Cod Fish Algarve style.
Bifes de Atum com Tomate Tuna Fish and tomatoes.
Atum Grelhado Grilled Tuna.
Pescada assada à Algarvia Whiting Fish.
Lulas cheias Squid stuffed with cured meats and rice.
Lulas Recheadas Another variation on the above.
Arroz de Polvo Octopus and Rice.
Cataplana Algarvia A variety of Fish with Rice.
Ameijoas na cataplana Steamed clams with spicy sausage and onions.3 stars

Cataplana. Served in a traditional brass pan, it is a mixture of clams, pork, spices, garlic, onions, tomatoes and white wine.

Arroz de Peixe Fish and Rice.
Açorda à Algarvia  Bread and Shellfish.
Caldereida A fish stew - cooked with a fish of your choice.
Arroz de Lingueirão Shellfish and rice.
Bacalhau Assado ou Cozido Boiled or Roasted Codfish.
Bacalhau à Braz Codfish with potatoes and eggs.
Rodovalho. Halibut.
Lagosta / Lavagante Lobster.
Lagosta Grelhada Grilled Lobster.
Lagosta ao Natural Fresh Lobster.
Lagostim Langoustine (scampi).
Mexilhões / Percebes Mussels.
Ostras Oysters.
Santola Crab.
Sapateira Large Crab.
Linguado Grelhado Grilled Sole.
Carapaus Alimados Boiled Mackerel.
Douradas na Brasa Grilled gold Bream.
Gorazinhos Grelhado Grilled small Sea-Breams.
Salmonete Red Mullet.
Salmao Salmon.
Salmão Grelhado Grilled Salmon.
Robalo Sea Bass.
Massada de Peixe Small Sea Basses on Charcoal.
Linguado Sole.
Truta Trout.
Peixe Espada Grelhado Grilled Swordfish.
Lulas Recheadas Stuffed Squid.
Lulas Grelhadas Grilled Squid.
Arroz de Polvo Octopus with Rice
Camarão Cozido Boiled shrimps.
Gambas Large Shrimps. 3 stars
Camarão Tigre Grelhado Grilled Tiger shrimps. 2 stars
The Sardines must be tried, preferably caught the same day and cooked on an open grill.
Shrimps come in 3 sizes, first the well-known shrimp (Camarão) then the Gamba, which is considerably bigger, and third and largest the "Camarão Tigre", Tiger Shrimp. 


The Portuguese are very fond of their "Doces" which means "Sweets", that covers it perfectly, all cakes, tarts and custards are highly sugared. A lot of restaurants have their Doces da Casa, homemade sweets. Widely served are the Puddings/Mousses, Ice cream, Fruit or a Fruit Salad.

Bolinhos de Amêndoa  Almond cakes.
Morgados Almonds, Figs, Eggs & Sugar (Very rich!)
Dom Rodrigo Almonds, Egg & Cinnamon.
Mousse de Amêndoa Almond Mousse.
Bolos à Fatia Cake (Slice).
Pudim Flan Caramel pudding.
Leite Creme Cream custard.
Mousse de Chocolate Chocolate Mousse.
Morgado de Figos Fig and Marzipan.
Fruta da Época Fruit (Seasonal).
Salada de Frutas Fruit Salad.
Gelados Ice Cream.
Merengues Meringues.
Ananás ao Natural Pineapple (Fresh).
Arroz Doce Rice Pudding.


Bica Pingada / Pingo A small black coffee with a drop of hot milk..
Cappucino A small black coffee served in a tea-sized cup usually served with whipped cream or with machine frothed milk.
Galão. More hot milk than coffee in a tumbler glass..
Abatanado Coffee with some hot frothed milk in a tea-sized cup.
Café com Leite Apart / Serviço de Café. Coffee with hot milk to add in a tea-sized cup.
Bica, Expresso, Café Small black coffee - served in a small cup. 2 stars
Italiana / Bica Curto. Small black coffee with less water.
Cimbalino. Small black coffee from a Cimbalin Coffee Machine.
Carioca / Bica Fraca. Small weaker coffee.
Bica Dupla Double black coffee in a cup. (recommended after midnight).
Beer and SpiritsBeer and Spirits

Beers / Spirits

Medronho: A strong, jenever like spirit. Made from the red berries of the arbutus shrub. It does vary and any you find in properly labelled bottles is not nearly a good as 'local supplies'. Treat with respect as it is a bit of a killer!
Amarquinha: An Almond liquor, usually taken as a desert 'wine'.
Portuguese beers ( Cerveja ) are good. The most popular of the major brands is 'Superbock' with 'Sagres' close behind. Both brands also have a dark beer. 'San Miguel' ( Spanish ) is now more widely available and is rapidly gaining in popularity. Magners Cider (Irish) is also popular in most bars (especially the Irish ones) as is of course is Guinness.
'Off Licences' and supermarkets have a wide variety of international beers.

Port is a fortified wine; the wine has had grape brandy added to it after a couple of days' fermentation. 80% wine 20% brandy.

  • Tinto (red) - dark, sweet and the cheapest, made from a blend of wines of lesser quality.
  • Tinto Aloirado (ruby red) - dark, sweet and the cheapest, made from a blend of wines of lesser quality.
  • Aloirado (tawny)
  • Branco (white) not so well-known outside Portugal. The dry version, "seco" makes a good aperitif.
  • Seco (dry)
  • Doce (sweet)
  • Vintage Character Port (a cheaper version of Vintage Port)
  • Quinta (wine estate)
  • Colheita (tawny port, cask-aged for 7 years or more)

Other than Medronho mentioned above there are no other 'local' spirits produced on the Algarve (perhaps with the exception of Brandymel). Most international spirits are widely available but despite generous measures (compared with the U.K.) they are quite pricey.



There are four major wine regions in the Algarve, these are Lagoa, Lagos, Portimão and Tavira. Lagoa is the probably the most important. The regions produce about 6 million litres annually between them, mainly red wine but also white and rosé.
The red wines are fruity and the whites are reasonably dry, both though are pretty high in alcohol content. The quality of the Algarve's wines is said not to be as high as that of wines produced in other regions of Portugal, but I've found them more than drinkable.
With prices from 3 to 6 Euros for a 'nice' bottle from the supermarkets and about ten Euros in the restaurants you can't really go wrong.
Make sure you try the restaurant's 'house' wines if you have no preference, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Lagoa (DOC)
This region covers the municipalities of both Albufeira and Lagoa. The soft sandy soil and warm climate provides a rich distinct flavour. The red wines are ruby-coloured which develop with age and are easy to drink. The white wine is soft and full-bodied. Both red and white have high alcohol content.

Lagos (DOC)
This region covers the municipalities of Aljezur, Lagos and Sagres. The red wine is smooth and fruity with low acidity level. The white wine is lemon-straw in colour and tends to be full-bodied.

Portimão (DOC)
The red wine is light, smooth with low acidity and high alcohol content. The white wine is straw-coloured with a soft and rich aromatic flavour.

Tavira (DOC)
This region covers the municipalities of Castro Marim, Faro, Olhão, São Brás de Alportel, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António (i.e, Eastern Algarve). The red wine is soft, pale-coloured and with a fruity aroma. The white wine is straw-coloured, smooth and full-bodied.

Vinho Branco - White wine
Vinho da casa - House wine
Vinho clarete - Light red wine
Vinho doce - Sweet wine
Vinho espumante - Sparkling wine
Vinho do Porto - Port wine
Vinho da região - Local wine
Vinho seco - Dry wine
Vinho verde - "Green" wine (semi-sparkling acidic wine)

Last Update:  04/08/2008 - Neils Travel Web - Praia da Luz - The Algarve - Portugal - Portuguese Food and Drink

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