Situated on the Portuguese Algarve coast, Lagos is a charming town known for its epic rock formations, beautiful beach coves, and crystal blue water. The town’s cobbled streets are lined with white-washed and pastel-painted houses, typical souvenir and surf shops, and plenty of restaurants and cafés.
For me, the best part of any holiday is trying the local cuisine and going in search of cute places to eat. I visited Lagos with one of my best girlfriends for three days in July and through lots of research and recommendations from friends, we found some delicious restaurants and cafés.
As with most hotspots, a lot of the restaurants can be quite touristy, which if you’re like me, are best avoided. Here are some of my favourite restaurants in Lagos where you are sure to find delicious food and a cool vibe.
CASA DO PREGO
Serving up perfectly cooked Portuguese-style steaks and a variety of tapas starters, Casa Do Prego is quality with a capital Q. The service is also excellent which makes the whole experience even better – as you arrive, your name is taken down by a walkie-talkie-clad maître D’ and you are sent upstairs to their rooftop terrace to enjoy a drink while you wait for a table.
Once you’ve been seated, order one of their delicious Portuguese wines on the menu to enjoy with your steak. I can highly recommend the Lisboa steak – garlic butter with a fried egg – and the sides which accompany all dishes – crispy chips and salad.
TIP: They don’t take bookings so get there early to put your name down and take full advantage of the rooftop terrace, enjoying enjoy an aerial view of Lagos during the golden hour!
My ignorance of the Portuguese language leads me to believe that this would be a Mexican restaurant, however, a quick Google Translate informed me that “mexilhao” is, in fact, Portuguese for “mussel”.
Naturally then, O Mexilhao is a great restaurant for delicious seafood. It doesn’t look like much from the outside (situated next to a Kebab shop that also serves Lasagne – bizarre) and the waiters don’t speak much English, however, the food speaks for itself. We tried the garlic prawns and sea bass fillets – both straight-out-of-the-ocean fresh and cooked expertly.
TIP: Don’t order the prawns if you plan on kissing anyone in the next 24 hours. Like most Portuguese dishes they are delicious but loaded (and I mean loaded) with garlic!
THE GREEN ROOM
Festive atmosphere, massive portions, great cocktails, and drool-inducing grub? Count me in!
The Green Room is a buzzing Mexican café and definitely classified as value-for-money because we were stuffed like two taxidermy peacocks by the end of our meal. The burrito bowls are a great no-carb option with all the same yumminess minus the tortilla, and the quesadillas are the stuff of cheesy dreams.
TIP: Add an extra strong margarita or mojito in the mix, and you are set for a great night!
Our Top Places To Stay In Lagos, Portugal
NAH NAH BAH
The biggest burger I’ve ever eaten and a restaurant with a queue out the door if you’re not careful. Loud music, tipsy waiters and a Rastafarian theme means you’re confused about whether this is a bar or a restaurant. Probably both.
If you’re planning a night out on the town, it is the perfect place to carbo-load, pre drink and get in the mood. Named one of the 50 best burger joints in the world by Matador Network in 2010, Nah Nah Bah certainly delivers.
TIP: Even if you just order your favourite burger combo that you go for every time, do yourself a favour and read the entire menu word-for-word. I guarantee your entertainment for the evening will be taken care of. You can thank me later.
There is nothing better after a hot day in the sun than some light fresh tapas of the Mediterranean variety. Meu Limão has a great wide menu offering salads, seafood, and bites to share that are fresh, seasonal and packed with flavour.
The staff was very friendly and the service was great. The portion sizes were large and the prices not too expensive. What’s not to love?
TIP: Choose a table out on the street and while away an evening people watching and sipping on their homemade lemonade or Sangria.
CREMA DI GELATO
Whether or not you’re holidaying in Italy, no European summer is complete without at least two scoops of gelato per day.
The best-rated and (I can now confirm) SUPER delicious gelato in Lagos is at Crema di Gelato. There are so many flavours to choose from – from sorbets to decadent and creamy gelato, so no excuse to skimp on the scoops!
TIP: While it might be great for Instagram, two scoops in a cone is largely impractical to eat. If you go more than one scoop, opt for a cup.
WHAT TO KNOW FOR VISITING PORTUGAL
Portugal is part of the European Schengen zone, which typically provides 90 days of free entry every 180 days to visitors from many countries. This means you can enter Portugal and travel between other European countries for up to 90 days per stay.
Be sure to check the EU Schengen website for the latest information for your specific country.
The currency used in Portugal is the Euro (EUR). The current exchange rate is approximately 1 EUR to 1.10 USD. You can check the latest EUR exchange rate on Google.
While traveling, our number one tip is to use a free Charles Schwab Debit Card which gives unlimited worldwide ATM Fee Refunds and the true exchange rate.
BEST TOURS IN LAGOS
Some of the best tours and things to do in Lagos are:
- 2.5-Hour Sunset Cruise with Wine & Tapas
- 3-Hour Algarve Classic Food Tour
- From Lagos: Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour
WHERE TO STAY IN LAGOS
We recommend booking your hotels on Booking.com to get the best rate and many hotels offer free cancellation in case your plans change.
Some of our favorite hotels in Lagos are:
- Lagos Atlantic Hotel: Nice hotel with balconies overlooking the water and close to the beach.
- Hotel Marina Rio: Great location in the Lagos Marina with a rooftop heated pool.
- Casa Mãe: Modern looking 5-star hotel, very new with great amenities.
AirBnB is also a great option in Lagos (and you can save $44 using that link to sign up!).
BEST TIME TO VISIT PORTUGAL
The best time to visit Portugal is during the dry season between March and November. July and August can be very crowded, so we prefer the shoulder months of March to June and September to November.
BEST BOOKS ABOUT PORTUGAL
Read more about Portugal before you go! Some of the best books about Portugal are:
WHAT POWER ADAPTERS DO YOU NEED
Portugal uses standard 2 prong Type C adapters also commonly used throughout Europe.
You can buy a universal adapter that will work in any country and has extra ports for USB cables to charge your phone and other devices.
We also always travel with a portable battery pack which is great to keep your phone charged on long journies.
TRANSPORTATION IN PORTUGAL
- Public Transportation: Portugal has extensive public transportation by both bus and train. The trains are particularly good, but make sure to book your tickets in advance to get the best price.
- Rental Cars: If you want flexibility, we recommend renting a car at the airport. This provides the easiest way to see certain beaches and landmarks.
- Uber: Uber is sometimes available in Portugal, though it depends on the area. However, the rules are constantly changing about Uber in Portugal due to the strict permits that are required for drivers to offer rides. There is also a popular app called Bolt which is the European equivalent of Uber which is frequently used in Portugal. Use code BC222 to get a free ride when you sign up!
Our top recommended travel insurance companies for Portugal are:
- World Nomads: Comprehensive coverage for medical, travel delays, and electronics.
- SafetyWing: Cheaper monthly coverage primarily for medical, starting at $37 for 4 weeks of coverage.
MORE ARTICLES ABOUT PORTUGAL
So there you have it – tried and tested, some amazing foodie offerings to choose from in the beautiful town of Lagos. I personally always prefer to choose restaurants that have been tried by someone I trust and have been recommended to me.
As a self-confessed food snob, if these places passed my high standards then you can be assured they are worth trying. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
It’s also worth noting that Portugal is one of the cheapest European countries to dine out in, so you have no excuse to venture out and explore what the culinary scene has to offer!
Have you ever been to Lagos, Portugal? If you have any additional tips for our readers or questions please leave these in the comments below.
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We Are Travel Girls Contributor Jessica Stromin
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