TABERNA DA MARE
Name of Restaurant
Taberna da Mare
100% authentic Portuguese. It hasn't changed much in over 20 years and offers a genuine taste of the real Algarve.
Local, local, local. You will be eating next to everyone from the builder to the bank manager. Especially at lunchtimes when it is a favourite with the local workers. Evenings it gets trendier with large parties of Portuguese out to enjoy themselves as only they know how: lots of good food, wine and company.
What to eat?
Anything. It literally was 'as mamma used to make' as she used to be the chef. Classic dishes such as Arroz de Marisco (seafood rice), lots of fresh fish and good Portuguese steak in garlic sauce. Fresh clams and baby squid are also a speciality.
What to drink?
Local wine flows in carafes for less money that a packet of cigarettes. A normal wine list is available but it just seems right to wash sardines down with a jug of something unidentifiable!
So popular with the locals (and those tourists who really venture into the back streets) they have recently extended the restaurant. You would never know however - the transition is seamless and at least it's a little easier to get a table. The menu is now also in English - a rare concession to modern-day tourism.
Anything that clients should know about?
The owner does speak English, but may pretend he doesn't. The staff usually don't so you will need a good phrase book to work out what to eat and how to order it. Go on, give it a try - it really is good fun. Noses poked into pots is the last resort!
Why do we like it?
It hasn't changed much in the 20 years we have been going there. The menu is exactly the same (or it seems to be). As the saying goes: If it isn't broke, don't fix it. Service is quick and friendly.
Now about 75, with some benches outside on the road to sit and watch the world go by.
Travessa da Barca 9, Portimao. The tricky bit. You need to find the old fish market on the west bank of the Arade in Portimao where the old bridge crosses over to Ferragudo. (This is where years ago the sardine restaurants used to cook alongside the riverfront) You then will walk underneath the road into an area known as Largo da Barca; here you will find plenty of fish restaurants all touting trade. Walk through this tiny square and as you come around the corner you will see Taberna da Mare on the left hand side.
Around €15 per head
Lunch all the way through until the last person drops.