Your best dining experiences in Lagos

Traditional Portuguese cuisine is among the most “yummy” dishes in the world. 

We selected the best restaurants & cafes in Lagos for you. These places have been chosen for their great atmosphere, quality food & value for money. Each is the best recommendation for their specific cuisine – whether you want to eat traditional portuguese, or having some tapas, a great steak, a world famous burger, or a italian gelato, here are the best tips for you. For great taste, well sized portions on a medium budget, in a friendly social atmosphere, these places are definitely your best bet.

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” 
― Charles M. Schulz

Useful Tips!

RESERVATIONS: 

A must in peak season to ensure a table at your favorite restaurant. Some take reservations, some do not. Reservations or not, expect a lineup. Portuguese are courteous so do not toss you out to turn over the tables. This allows for a nice relaxing meal. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you have to be patient and wait. Or just go with the flow as there are loads of great restaurants to choose from.

CLOSE DOWN PERIODS: 

Most of our favorite restaurants are opened year-round as they serve both locals and visitors; as everyone does need a break, some owners close down for a couple of weeks in the off-season to take some holidays. They usually post a sign letting you know the period of which they are closed and when they will re-open. There is no general shutdown period, so regardless of when you are visiting Lagos, they will be plenty of choices for your dining pleasure.

TRANSLATING THE MENU:

Learn to speak some Lingo for translation on food items. These will ease your dining experience. Although many restaurants will offer an English menu and serve you in English, the more authentic the restaurant the more Portuguese is the prime language and the less English is spoken. Please don’t shy away from a truly rewarding Portuguese adventure. Your effort to try out the language will put a smile on your server’s face. These will form your most memorable experiences. “Please” means “Por Favor” and” “Thank you” means “Obrigado (a)”.

COVERT: 

The Portuguese pride themselves in cooking fresh to order, so they provide a series of appetizers known as the “Cover” to carry you through the seemingly long wait for the meal to arrive. The “Cover” is charged as a base fee added to your bill at all sit-down restaurants. It often catches 1st-time visitors by surprise. The “Cover” usually includes bread, butter, sardine paste, and olives. You generally pay for what you consume, although some restaurants have a flat cover fee. Other restaurants will bring you an endless stream of appetizers. Remember that these savory treats are NOT FREE. You will end up paying for them, so if you are not interested in these appetizers, just politely let your waiter know. Some examples of these additional covers are: Shrimp; Cod fish pastry; Shrimp or chicken pastry; octopus salad and more…..!

MAIN COURSE ACCOMPANIMENTS: 

In most restaurants, the main course is served with potatoes, fresh steamed veggies, or a mixed salad. Ask your server for specifics. You can usually request a preference of boiled or fried potatoes. They are creamy and tasty. 

DON’T ASK FOR A “DOGGIE BAG: 

Canadians and Americans love this phenomenon where we request to take home our partially eaten meal for a tasty next day lunch. Portuguese restaurants serve very generous portions, so it is quite tempting to ask for your leftovers to be wrapped up. It is not customary in Portugal to ask for the proverbial “Doggie Bag”, so save you the embarrassment of asking.  The reality is that in Portugal, most often, people tend to only ask for the leftovers for their pets. ADVICE….. Just politely ask: “to take this home for yourself”!

FLAT SCREEN TV: 

If you are visiting Lagos during any major sporting event you will find that several restaurants now have sports flat screen TVs which are non-intrusive and offer you the opportunity to enjoy a nice meal while taking in a football game. This is a welcome addition for sports fans.