There are plenty of great eating options in the small East Algarve city of Tavira, but there are a fair few tourist traps too. Here are a few tried and tested options, recommended by someone who’s spent many years living in the region.
A High-End Tavira Restaurant: Quatro Aguas
Quatro Aguas is far from being the best value food option in Tavira, but the old adage that you get what you pay for tends to ring true here!
The restaurant is a little way out of town in an area by the same name, where ferries depart for Tavira’s island beach. It’s easy to walk, but you can also take a cheap cab or use the tourist train.
Unlike some of Tavira’s more rustic eateries, this is a place for thick tablecloths and accomplished silver service. Seafood is the highlight, especially the shellfish cataplanas. These aren’t cheap, but the restaurant doesn’t skimp on the contents, which typically includes crab claws and chunks of lobster.
Quatro Aguas is open for lunch and dinner. Lunch is a particularly good option on a sunny day, as you can relax and watch the boat traffic in the sun.
A Budget Restaurant in Tavira: Vela 2
Vela 2 is a local institution in Tavira. Once located in small town centre premises, it’s now just outside the centre, but well worth the trip.
Vela 2 is one of an increasing number of “rota de peixe” restaurants, but this is the original and best. While you can choose meat here, it’s best to choose fish, which comes on an all you can eat basis until you cannot accommodate any more!
This isn’t a place for luxurious service or airs and graces. It’s a place to eat a lot of very fresh fish for very little money. Don’t miss it.
An Alternative Restaurant in Tavira: Kohinoor
Everyone needs a change sometimes, so if you tire of Portuguese food in Tavira, it’s good to make a beeline for one of the four Indian restaurants in the town. Kohinoor is (subject to extensive local debate) the best of the bunch.
The menu here includes all the Indian classics, but everything is offered mild, medium or hot. The Portuguese don’t tend to go for much spice, so you may find even the “hot” option is a little tamer than you’re used to. However, you can be sure of great flavour and good ingredients.
If you really want to push the boat out, the king prawn dishes contain the biggest prawns you may have ever seen, but at a cost. Still, you’re on holiday, so why not splash out?