Our favourite restaurants with sea views in the Carvoeiro area.
With hundreds of restaurants in the local area, finding the right one can be quite a daunting task. There are many factors to consider — location, whether you’re in the mood for fish or meat and perhaps you’re celebrating a special occasion so you need somewhere a bit special. We took the task of locating some new and old restaurants that filled our criteria of offering a good selection of quality dishes with a beautiful view out to sea or over the Arade River.
Borda do Cais
You’ll find this lovely, traditionally decorated, tasca-style restaurant overlooking the estuary of Ferragudo. Surrounded by fishermen bringing in their haul and tending to their nets, this is a real taste of the Algarve. With two storeys offering fabulous views out towards Portimão, this is an incredible spot where you can enjoy fresh fish, straight from the chilled display with a bottle of wine from their excellent and diverse wine list while sitting back and savour the surroundings. The grill master is busy working with his large, charcoal BBQ just outside the restaurant, giving a new twist to the term open kitchen.
The downstairs area has both inside and outside dining areas, but they’re divided only by retracting glass panels, so in the heat of the summer the two often become one. Upstairs, there’s a charming terrace that offers much sought-after, uninterrupted views and a little more privacy due to its elevation. The fish is mostly by the kilo, and you’ll be invited to have a look in the display area to select your lunch or dinner. They also have a good selection of quality meats, cataplanas and a few fixed-price fish dishes, including the famous local sardines.
Open every day from 12pm to 10pm in July and August, this is an excellent place for a date or to hang out with friends.
Casa do Rio
With its stylish and luxurious décor and the magnificent backdrop of the ‘new’ Portimão bridge, this restaurant is tremendously grown-up compared to its neighbours and has a bit of a chic-city vibe to boot. The elegant dining room is host to the open kitchen where you can see the chefs preparing the Portuguese dishes right in front of you.
Serving a selection of tapas-style dishes along with a good range of meat and fish main courses, the style here is a modern presentation using traditional recipes. Vegans are well catered for too, just ask the waiter when you arrive, and they will take care of dietary and lifestyle requests. The smaller dishes are good for sharing, and the main courses have some small sides included with the option of adding more from the menu. The wine and drinks list have a good variation that can be enjoyed either in the sophisticated dining room or outside on the riverfront terrace, where you can enjoy the summer breeze and attractive surroundings.
Casa do Rio is open every day except Monday from 12.30pm to 10.30pm.
Facebook: Casa do Rio – Mexilhoeira da Carregação
A family-run restaurant tucked up on the cliff, overlooking Benagil beach, O Algar prides itself on its locally caught wild fish, seasonal selection of side dishes and homemade desserts. A firm fish lovers’ favourite for over a quarter-century, the inside of the restaurant is cosy yet spacious and is continuously being updated by the owners. This is where you’ll see the beautiful selection of fresh fish on display alongside the great variety of Portuguese wines on show.
Outside, there’s a long terrace that follows the boundary walls and has individual tables spread out, looking out to sea. The setting is simple, yet inviting, and there are a few traditional Algarvean homes at the end, so you get a real local feeling sitting here, away from the crowds yet enjoying the best of the summer evenings.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday for dinner only, O Algar is a wonderful, elevated little corner of the now world-famous Benagil.
Tel: 282 358 951
This lovely restaurant is perched on the right side of the cliff, overlooking Carvoeiro beach. Built over three levels with the road entrance lounge that houses two small tables and the wine cellar, the main entrance is just a little further up the hill and around the back of the building with a beautiful carved wooden door frame that sets the mood for the interior.
Carefully and tastefully designed to make the most of the panoramic views, with touches of Indian objets d’art strategically placed to add to the ambience and compliment the extensive menu and varied wine list. The dishes are a good size and subtly spiced and paired with a breathtaking view.
Open every day from 11am until 11pm, there’s nowhere quite like it around.
Tel: 282 185 525
If you’re looking for a chilled-out beach lounge, look no further than Club Nau on Praia Grande in Ferragudo. Sit back and enjoy the sound of the sea blended with a carefully crafted cocktail and enjoy the moment.
The new menu features great big salads, pasta and risotto, vegetarian dishes, matured beef, cataplana, catch of the day and artisanal burgers to list a few items. Then there’s the fabulous sushi bar inside, where they use top-class ingredients to make some of the best sushi in the Algarve. The addition of a robata grill gives a great charcoal flavour to the menu, including scallops, kebabs and asparagus. The wine list has been well considered and offers a fabulous selection of beautiful, Portuguese wines, and the cocktail list is packed with summer favourites.
Live music is a big part of the vibe here with a varied selection of artists. They also host the BeachFest on Praia Grande, where a stage is constructed on the beach in front of the cub for three days of live music between July 19-21.
Open from 10am until 2am during summer, Club Nau is very popular among locals and gets very busy on Sundays, so reservations are highly recommended.