Albufeira's menus fuse the bounty of the ocean with the farm-to-table fare of inland Algarve, along with classic traveller favourites. They also come with a hefty dousing of rich Portuguese red and white wines for good measure. The upshot? You should never be going hungry in this bustling resort town, whether you're searching for international cuisine or a platter of salty local sardines fresh off the grill.

    This list of the top restaurants in Albufeira ranges across the breadth of the town. From sleek family establishments on the marina to salt-washed eateries overlooking the local sands, Albufeira has got a whole host of places to settle in for a bite.

    1

    Dom Carlos Restaurante

    Chic local food and matched wines under the bougainvillaea

    Dom Carlos Restaurante is housed in a handsome white-painted mansion on a steep bend in the roadside just on the eastern edge of Albufeira’s Old Town. Come the spring and summer months, you'll find it plumed in magenta and purple bougainvillaea. Duck under the flowers and enter the chic dining room to sample some of the best meals in town.

    The husband-and-wife owners offer up a menu of local Algarvian staples. They mix hearty country food with a twist of creative European flair. So, expect the likes of oak-smoked salmon and duck breast slathered in Porto win jus. For dessert, the in-house cheesecake often steals the plaudits.

    Location: R. Alves Correia 100, 8200-090 Albufeira, Portugal

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 7pm to 10.30pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +351 961 475 618

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    photo by Kolforn (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    2

    O Marinheiro

    Refined European and Portuguese cuisine

    As the name suggests, O Marinheiro is dedicated to cooking up waves of the region's famous seafood. You can find it along a sleepy street to the west of the centre of the resort, around a 6-minute drive from Albufeira Marina. The building is small and unassuming, dashed with white paint and red tiles like a classic coastal tavern.

    Prawns, octopus, shellfish and salmon are all mixed and matched to create indulgent starters infused with rich marinades and sauces. You can spice things up with surf-and-turf or ask for curated wines from the on-site garrafeira – a Portuguese wine cellar.

    Location: Caminho Praia da Coelha, 8200-385 Albufeira, Portugal

    Open: Daily from 6.30pm to 11pm

    Phone: +351 289 592 350

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    3

    Vivaldo's

    Eat with a view of the crashing waves and rugged coast

    The best thing about Vivaldo's has got to be the view. Sat gazing straight at the gold-tinged sands and azure waves of Praia da Oura, it's got arguably the finest dining terrace in Albufeira. Drop by for a cold beer, a glass of crisp Portuguese green wine, or some pre-meal snacks in the evening and you'll be treated to a photo-worthy sunset show glowing across the ocean. 

    Vivaldo's menu covers loads of international classics, including thick sirloin steaks, chicken fillets in mushroom sauce, beef burgers, pizza – a real family-friendly array. You've also got some local options, with prawns and sea bream just to name a few.

    Location: R. Ramalho Ortigao 6, 8200-604 Albufeira, Portugal

    Open: Daily from 9am to 10pm

    Phone: +351 919 515 471

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    4

    2taste - Petiscos & Vinhos

    Sample zesty and fresh Algarvian dishes

    Hop into 2taste - Petiscos & Vinhos for a quick bite before hitting the pumping Montechoro Strip – the bars of that lively party street are just around the corner. That said, this highly rated eatery is just as good for long, romantic evenings, especially on account of its snug and cosy interior.

    Dishes are unavoidably seafood. They draw on the simple and traditional maritime kitchen of the Algarve region. There are broiled hotpots of mussels and clams. Deep-fried squid comes rolled in crispy breadcrumb cocoons. You can sample tangy sardines doused in vinegar. Most of those options are served with sides of crispy, oil-sizzled potatoes.

    Location: R. do Sol, 8200-260 Albufeira, Portugal

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 12pm to 10.30pm, Sunday from 3pm to 8pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +351 969 067 240

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    5

    NIKAIA

    Sangria, surf and turf on the quayside

    NIKAIA is a Mediterranean kitchen down on the Albuferia Marina that's garnered rave reviews. You can walk there in less than 30 minutes from the Old Town to settle in a seat on the breezy outdoor patio with the sound of flapping boat sails as the backing track.

    The menu runs the gamut from fried-egg breakfasts to herb-filled risottos for lunch and dinner. Particular favourites are the handmade pizzas and the tapas. Meanwhile, the sprawling charcuterie boards bring a touch of French class to proceedings, mingling Iberian hams with milky Portuguese cheeses and fresh olives – great for sharing.

    Location: Marina de Albufeira, 8200-394 Albufeira, Portugal

    Open: Daily from 10am to 3pm and from 6pm to 11pm

    Phone: +351 963 782 788

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    Joseph Francis | Contributing Writer

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