Cabanas-de-Tavira, in Portugal’s East Algarve, is an increasingly popular destination for expats and tourists alike. In this article, an expat who spent five years in the area suggests five of his favourite places to eat.
Cabanas-de-Tavira may be a small fishing village, but this East Algarve destination transforms into a paradise for tourists over the summer months.
The village’s growing popularity is reflected in the number of eateries, which seems to increase every year. While the neighbouring city of Tavira offers many more choices, there’s really no need to leave the village to find great food.
There’s really no need to leave the village of Cabanas to find great food
So, with that in mind, here are my five personal favourite places to grab a relaxing bite to eat in Cabanas de Tavira:
1. Restaurante Noelia & Jeronimo
This restaurant (known by local expats as “Jeronimos”) has a widespread reputation and a chef renowned throughout Portugal. As such, grabbing a table can sometimes involve quite a wait – so it’s best to book.
Popular with locals and day trippers from Spain, the particular highlights here include huge shellfish rice dishes for two, and seared tuna – cooked pink rather than the Algarve’s usual grey. The latter is much loved by the locals but a little overdone for many visitors!
This restaurant has such a solid reputation that it’s unlikely you’ll be able to just arrive and eat, even during quieter periods – so it’s worth booking in advance and making a night of it.
2. Casa Algarvia (John’s Bar)
Casa Algarvia is a friendly, family bar, popular with expats and repeat-visit tourists. Though it appears small from the front, there is a large terrace for dining out the back, which is also a fantastic sun trap on windier days.
Food here is freshly cooked and in large portions, and the owner will always go the extra mile to order in anything special you might wish to try. Huge mixed grills and garlic prawns come particularly recommended.
3. O Padrinho
A relative newcomer to the Cabanas dining scene, O Padrinho has quickly gained in popularity, and offers a wide range of traditional Portuguese dishes. It’s also the place to find the best francesinha outside of its home city of Porto.
This is the place to find the best francesinha outside of Porto.
The restaurant has a large sunny terrace overlooking the western end of the village’s boardwalk and several fishing boats. This is the perfect place to try one of Portugal’s famous dishes for the first time.
4. O Pedro
O Pedro is deserving of a special mention, because it’s particularly capable of dealing with the village’s hectic summer crowds. Even if the place looks packed, you’ll be amazed at their efficiency in serving everyone, thanks to waiters with an astonishing command of several European languages.
Fish soup is particularly good here, as is the Portuguese steak – and portions are huge.
5. A Sabores da Ria
Usually sitting comfortably at the top of TripAdvisor’s rankings, A Sabores da Ria deserves its position, especially if you manage to grab one of the much-coveted tables on the first floor terrace. This is THE best place from which to watch an East Algarve sunset in Cabanas.
While the popularity of this restaurant sometimes means service can be slow, the food is worth the wait, and includes a memorable fruity prawn curry and an “all you can eat” fish grilled fish option.