Name of establishment

Santola, Armação de Pêra

Style and ambience

As traditional as it gets, exactly what you’d expect (and hope for) in an Algarve seafront restaurant. You don’t come to Armação de Pêra for cutting-edge design or cuisine - it’s all about good, sensibly-priced Portuguese fish and seafood, in a safe, comfortable setting, and you won’t be disappointed.

The food

Typical starters: prawn cocktail, fish soup, clams

Typical mains: spider crab, tiger prawns, fish cataplana, tuna, fresh fish of the day, pepper steak, veal

Typical desserts: chocolate mousse, almond cake, fig cake, banana split

If you think this is the sort of restaurant where you’ll still see chateaubriand and crêpes suzette on the menu, you’re right.

The drink

A standard choice of mainstream Portuguese wines, plus spirits, soft drinks, etc.

Why do you like it?

Gloriously unchanged for years and therefore wonderfully old-fashioned with it: even their (very rudimentary) website still has a fax number on it.

A good introduction to Algarve food for newcomers. The owner speaks perfect English and will happily talk you through the menu. It's the sort of place you can take safe/unadventurous eaters or those with food intolerances, and know there will be something they can enjoy.

Insider knowledge

There’s a very small balcony at the front, so reserve a table if you want to get the very best of the view. But it’s still quite impressive if you’re sitting inside, or on one of the outside tables alongside the restaurant.


Around 30 covers inside, with another 30 outside.


Largo da Fortaleza, 8365 Armação de Pêra.

Right on the seafront, opposite Santander Totta bank, next to the fortaleza and above Jony’s restaurant.


Two courses with wine for two people - approx €35.

Opening times

Lunch and dinner daily.