Top 10 Fine Dining Restaurants in Algarve
The menus feature dishes that you wouldn't be able to just throw together at home,
Restaurants in the Algarve cross the entire spectrum from eating chicken piri-piri or garlic fried prawns with your fingers to Michelin star food, presentation and service. Fine dining restaurants are recognized by their excellence in food, service and ambience. The menus feature dishes that you wouldn’t be able to just throw together at home, with the creativity and artistry of the chef very visible on the plate. The service is attentive but not intrusive and the wine list ample to complement the menu. In no particular order, here is a round-up of some of the very best fine dining restaurants in the Algarve where the food, style, atmosphere and setting are all quite unique.
Ocean Restaurant **
Holder of not one, but two, Michelin stars, Ocean Restaurant is the gastronomic jewel in the crown of Vila Vita Parc Resort, a haven of stylish and elegant luxury. Overlooking the Atlantic ocean and the resort gardens, Ocean Restaurant is intimate with a classical décor that contrasts beautifully with the modern, sleek cuisine produced by Chef Hans Neuner and his team. The menu is focused on the fresh and seasonal produce of the Algarve with particular attention to the wonderful seafood, with the chef applying haute cuisine techniques to the local produce.
Willie’s Restaurant *
Willie’s Restaurant is located in a peaceful area of Vilamoura, near to the Hilton, and offers very fine dining indeed in an unobtrusive and unpretentious manner. The indoor dining room is classical in tone while the garden terrace in the summer offers a more relaxed ambience without ceding anything at all in the quality. The influence of classical cuisine is evident in the menu, flavoured with Portuguese and Algarve touches. Chef Wilhem (Willie) is one of the most respected chefs in the region and his restaurant has been awarded a Michelin star every year since 2006.
Gusto by Heinz Beck
The signature restaurant of the Conrad Algarve luxury resort, and under the tutelage of Chef Heinz Beck, holder of 3 Michelin stars, Gusto manages to combine a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with the exquisite food and stellar service of a fine dining restaurant. Particularly interesting here is the open kitchen where head chef Mike Brautigam choreographs the chefs’ performance to produce excellent Mediterranean dishes inspired by the best of the regional produce.
Bon Bon Restaurant *
The Algarve's newest Michelin starred restaurant. The western Algarve is known to be more typically Algarvian than, say, the Golden Triangle and there are several fine dining experience to enjoy here too. Bon Bon Restaurant in Carvoeiro offers exceptional cuisine in a lovely, understated, circular restaurant. Dining here, it becomes quickly apparent that Nuno Diego, owner and manager is passionate and very knowledgeable about both food and wine. Bon Bon Restaurant has an excellent wine list to match the innovative cuisine that uses traditional Algarve flavours as a base for the creative dishes on the menu, which is very well priced.
O Leão de Porches
This is a very charming restaurant in the small village of Porches, housed in an ancient building with thick white-washed walls and a simple courtyard that just oozes a sense of timelessness. The cuisine at O Leão de Porches may be inspired by traditional Algarve flavours, but the techniques, execution and presentation are modern and flawless, creating a delicious contrast between food and setting.
Gourmet Natural is the perfect name for this restaurant. The food presented is of always superior quality and prepared in a manner that allows the intrinsic flavours of the ingredients to shine through. The focus is firmly on beef here with the meat coming from 100% traceable grass fed, free ranging Angus and Hereford cattle. The meat is low in fat, high in vitamin E and omega 3. Naturally gourmet. The setting is simply beautiful – a charming villa, lush gardens and ample decks providing spectacularly fabulous dining.
Set within the beautiful and spacious grounds of Cascade Resort in Lagos, Senses Restaurant offers views and food to feed the senses. Aside from Nature’s works of art that can be seen from the terrace and panoramic windows, Chef Luis Batalha’s works of art adorn walls as well as plates, adding some unique decorative touches to the restaurant. At Senses Restaurant, the menu is inspired by traditional Portuguese dishes and flavour combinations, with the creative and technical excellence of the chef applied, to result in modern cuisine that acknowledges its roots.
One of the most romantic restaurants in the Algarve, Mirandus is located within the boutique resort of Vivenda Miranda. Overlooking the enchanting Algarve coastline, the resort exudes grace, charm and effortless elegance. At Mirandus Restaurant the cuisine is Mediterranean with great emphasis on using fresh local produce – produce that is highlighted in the daily changing Tasting Menus of three or five courses.
Holder of one Michelin star, consecutively since 2000, Henrique Leis Restaurant is one of the very best fine dining options in the Algarve. The restaurant exterior resembles a Swiss chalet, while the interior has rooms to suits the seasons – a cosy indoor dining room with a large fireplace and decorated in warm tones for the winter months and a bright and airy room, with a fabulous terrace for perfect al fresco summer dining. The menu is varied at Henrique Leis with French influences apparent in the dishes. So too, is the respect for the produce being used, no matter how humble it’s origins.
Vila Joya **
Vila Joya is probably the best known fine dining restaurant in Portugal, and is the only restaurant in the country to feature on the World’s Best 50 list. Holder of two Michelin stars, Vila Joya offers a superb fine dining experience within the exquisite setting of a multi award winning luxury boutique resort. Chef Dieter Koschina marries amazing skill, immense creativity and the excellent local produce, particularly seafood, to produce original and truly delicious food, that is as appealing visually as it is tasty. Vila Joya is also the host for the world famous International Gourmet Festival that unites the very best chefs from around the world for a celebratory extravaganza of great food.