If there is anything better than a beach or a Portuguese restaurant, it is a beach restaurant in Portugal. Some of the best are rustic and unchanged for decades, while others are stylish and new this season. I’m even expanding the list to include two indoor favorites with amazing beach views and truly superlative cuisine.
Sublime Comporta Beach Club, Comporta
Although the fabulous quotient in Comporta continues to increase, this new location on Carvalhal Beach, an extension of the beloved Sublime Comporta hotel, still feels relaxed and welcoming. The decor and materials are inspired by the region and the natural environment – think weathered wood and woven lamps. The food, overseen by Chef HÃ©lio GonÃ§alves, includes international options, light salads and quality Portuguese meats, as well as the required fresh fish and seafood.
This beach bar and restaurant cuts things down to their most basic. The building is made entirely of wood and glass. The atmosphere is always relaxed. The terrace is right there, facing the ocean, with lovely simple views. And the food is direct interpretations of typical seafood dishes, fresh fish and meat.
Alma Nomada, Porto Covo
A visit to Alma NÃ³mada (ânomadic soulâ) is a surprise. For now, at least, it’s taking up space in a camping park (though that will change soon, and there are already a few luxury bungalows dotted around). Chef Ricardo Leite cooked at the popular Bica do Sapato, then at the one Michelin star LOCO in Lisbon before heading to the Costa Vicentina. He and the team are already aiming for a star of their own.
The Pr1Me Beach Club, Monte Gordo
Lisbon-based chef Chakall, originally from Argentina – just Chakall, with no last name – has culinary skills that match his outward personality. Launched last summer, this wellness-focused restaurant and beach club, one of three spaces he oversees as executive chef at the Pr1Me Energize hotel, has its share of glamor. But there is also good food. Don’t miss the oysters with Champagne sabayon.
Gigi’s, Quinta do Lago
A short drive and then a stroll on a promenade from the lavish villas of Quinta do Lago, Gigi’s is a carefree favorite with families vacationing there. For decades, it has produced unadorned (but always fresh and perfectly prepared) seafood and fish. But the larger-than-life owner Gigi, who enjoys singing opera arias while his guests enjoy the food and the view, is also a reason to visit.
Tasquinha da Linda, Viana do Castelo
While the view is more of the harbor than the open sea, Tasquinha da Linda has the vibe – not to mention the gastronomic soul and quality – of a beach restaurant. (That, and it was highly recommended by a professional eater in Porto.) It occupies a former fish warehouse, and even though it is a restaurant and not a clearinghouse, the fish is too. fresh as possible.
Estaminated Restaurant – Ilha Deserta, Faro
If you want to eat fresh fish and seafood on a desert island, EstaminÃ© might just be your best choice in Portugal. It is the only restaurant and one of the few buildings in Ilha Deserta, a popular day trip in the center of the Algarve, and it is well integrated into the landscape.
Casa de ChÃ¡ Boa Nova, LeÃ§a da Palmeira
Today, we could call this temple of architecture and gastronomy a beach restaurant. But its location in the western suburbs of Porto gives it a captivating view of the crashing waves. It’s certainly madness, but Chef Rui Palma’s elaborate and lengthy tasting menus – 6, 12 or 21 songs, inspired by CamÃµes’s sections Lusiadas, Portugal’s response to the Iliad: Make it worth it. Many dishes are prepared at the table, and some are even served in the kitchen (at least before Covid).
Porto Santa Maria, Cascais
There are other well-known restaurants near the dreamy Guincho beach on the western outskirts of Lisbon, but this one is the best for the deep pleasure of simply but perfectly prepared fresh seafood and fish. The place keeps even its largest crustaceans in what it calls its lobster spa, a series of temperature-controlled pools. (During my visit, on an organized and highly recommended day trip to Sintra and Cascais organized by Lisbon-based tour operator Immersa Global, a waiter even picked up a lobster and massaged it for our photos. ) It’s a different interior matter, but the views from the large windows are thrilling.
Gems that I forgot? Let me know in the comments.
Want more? Here are some of my favorites restaurants in Lisbon.