Which question do you think gets asked the most after any of our activities? Well, it’s the inevitable: Where should we eat? We’ve decided to bring you our list of the 5 Best Fish Restaurants in West Algarve.
I’ve compiled this list based on my personal favourites. I strongly believe that a great restaurant not only serves delicious food but also greets you with a warm smile.
O Santola (Maria Vinagre)
O Santola is easy to spot when driving along the N120. Here, you’ll find fish, seafood, rice dishes, all prepared as if João’s grandmother were cooking for you. Everything is cooked to perfection and served freshly. My personal favourites are the Octopus Salad (Salada do Polvo) and the Brown Crab (Sapateira), which they serve right inside the shell with buttery toast. But honestly, I’d be content with most of the dishes, or even the homemade fries that come with every grilled fish.
The restaurant is close to the road, so it can be a bit noisy. However, once you’re on the terrace with a cold beer and friendly service, your focus shifts to what truly matters: good food and great company. If you have time and a craving for rice, don’t miss the seafood rice; it’s a real treat. It’s a delightful place for both lunch and dinner, and parking is a breeze.
O Zé (Monte Clerigo)
Located on the seafront of picturesque Monte Clerigo Beach, O’ze lets you dine with sand between your toes and the sea breeze on your face. The stunning view and the relaxed vibe of this traditional-looking restaurant perfectly complement the surroundings. You might find me here after a tide pool safari, enjoying a plate of food and a cold beer with friends on the terrace. If you spot me, please feel free to come and say hi.
My absolute favourite here is the Ameioas al pato (clams). This dish never fails to amaze me. The portion might not be huge, but dipping bread in the sauce makes it more than satisfying. The type of fish at this restaurant depends on the daily catch, but it’s always fresh and expertly prepared on the BBQ.
During July and August, the restaurant is bustling with tourists, but the rest of the year, you’ll find a mix of locals, expats, and tourists, creating a pleasant atmosphere. The only noise you’ll hear in this restaurant is the soothing sound of the ocean.
Please note that they close for one or two months during the winter season, so it’s best to call ahead if you plan to visit during that time. Enjoy the beautiful terrace!
A Azenha do Mar (Azenha do Mar)
This restaurant is nestled in Azenha do Mar, a charming cluster of fisherman houses perched atop a cliff. If you walk about 30 metres towards the sea, you can even catch a glimpse of the traditional fishing port at the base of the cliff. Technically, this restaurant is located in the southern part of Alentejo, just a few kilometres after the border between Algarve and Alentejo, but it’s too good to leave off our list.
This restaurant operates on a “first come, first served” basis. Upon arrival, your primary task is to add your name to the waiting list. When I first visited Azenha do Mar, I thought that since it was somewhat remote, I could avoid waiting by arriving early. I was wrong. At this restaurant, you’re never the first. There’s always a waiting list, and surprisingly, it adds to the charm.
Azenha do Mar is renowned in Portugal for its fresh fish and seafood, drawing families from all over the country for day trips and locals celebrating special occasions. We recommend arriving with the mindset that you’ll be waiting. Order a beer and an octopus salad, sit on the terrace, and savor your time until you’re called for your meal, be it lunch or dinner.
Once you step inside the dining area, the real food adventure begins. I adore their grilled fish, Feijoada de choco, and boiled Santola. The dining area can be lively, and people are delighted, often becoming even happier after a shot of Madronho, a local digestif. This is a place to explore and experience, where you’ll feel like a local.
Cervejaria Mar (Aljezur)
I stumbled upon this restaurant while strolling through Aljezur’s new town. I decided to give it a try and couldn’t resist the seafood, fish, cataplana, and seafood rice. It was an unexpected discovery. Unlike the other restaurants on this list, Cerveceria o Mar boasts an updated decoration. It’s usually busy, and the excitement around the food often leads to a higher noise level.
The highlights for me are the perfectly boiled Navalheira (swimming crab), Perceves (barnacles), and the Seabass. I must confess; they also make an outstanding Tomahawk. The owner carefully selects ingredients, recipes, and wine; his passion is evident in every dish.
We recommend booking in advance, and while there is parking available, it’s not always abundant.
A Sereia (Sagres)
Nestled in the heart of Sagres Fishing Port, A Sereia is perhaps the restaurant in Algarve that witnesses the most fresh fish passing by its doorstep. They follow the Portuguese tradition that everything tastes better on the BBQ, and it pairs wonderfully with the daily fresh catch. This is the kind of restaurant my dad used to bring me to. He’d say, “A restaurant with a BBQ, plastic chairs, and the scent of the sea can never go wrong.” And, he was absolutely right.
If you’re looking for grilled fish during your holiday, this is the place. The type of fish and prices vary with the season. Keep in mind that they’re only open for lunch until 5 pm. Enjoy a terrace with a sea view, surrounded by boats and fishing nets. One piece of advice: skip windy days. Convenient parking is available right at the restaurant.
Be aware that they close for one or two months during the winter season, so it’s a good idea to call and check. Reservations are not accepted, but parking is available close to the restaurant.
We hope that you have enjoy our list of The Best 5 Fish Restaurant in West Algarve. We would love to hear which one is your favourite of this restaurant and dish.