Portuguese cuisine is characterised by rich, filling and full-flavored dishes and is closely related to Mediterranean cuisine. The influence of Portugal’s former colonial possessions is also notable, especially in the wide variety of spices used. These spices include piri piri (small, fiery chili peppers) and black pepper, as well as cinnamon, vanilla and saffron.
Portugal is a seafaring nation with a well-developed fishing industry and this is reflected in the amount of fish and seafood eaten. Fish is served grilled, boiled (including poached and simmered), fried or deep-fried, stewed (often in clay pot cooking) or even roasted. Foremost amongst these is bacalhau (cod), which is the type of fish most consumed in Portugal. Also popular are fresh sardines (especially when grilled as sardinhas assadas), octopus, squid, cuttlefish, crabs, shrimp and prawns, lobster, spiny lobster, and many other crustaceans.
Eating Out Near Jardins de Pera
Eating out in the Algarve is a delight. You’ll find a wide selection of traditional Portuguese food and International cuisine here. A short walk from Jardins de Pera and you’ll find a number of small restaurants and bars; look out for the ones hidden in the narrow streets of old town Pera.
The nearby town of Armacao de Pera has plenty of restaurants to choose from. Whether you are looking for the traditional Portuguese experience or Chinese, Indian, Italian and English, there are plenty to suit. The numerous restaurants and cafés along the sea front of the old village, have local, freshly caught fish on the menu.
Traditional Portuguese restaurants tend to be relatively cheap by European standards, but if you want the best value for money, then you need to head inland a few miles away from the tourist areas. If you find a restaurant popular with the locals, then you’re definitely on to a winner. If you are there at lunchtime, do what the locals do and go for the dish of the day (Prato do Dia). You won’t go far wrong and you’ll also get a glass of Portuguese wine or beer thrown in for good measure.
You can find FREEMAPS in participating bars/restaurants and shops in the many towns of the Algarve. Freemaps produce “FREE WALKING” maps of the Algarve showing the “The Best of” restaurants, pubs, shops and services. You can also download copies of FREEMAPS from their website.