REVIEWS EAT TRADITIONAL O ZE

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O ZE

Name of establishment

O Zé, Monte Clerigo

Style

Traditional Portuguese beach restaurant where function is more important than form. The setting is what matters - on one of the most spectacular beaches in the western Algarve. There’s a cosy interior and two terraces, one at the back overlooking the beach, the other on the more sheltered front of the building.

Ambience

Relaxed and informal. You can drop in just for a coffee or ice cream, or linger over lunch/dinner. It’s the busiest and deservedly most popular of the restaurants/cafes on the beach, but the service is always friendly and efficient.

Food

There’s a daily specials board plus a comprehensive menu to suit most tastes. Fish and seafood are the obvious choice - the waitress will bring you a selection of the catch of the day, and prices are sensible, especially compared to what you often pay in the more commercialised areas of the Algarve.

In addition to steak, chicken, turkey and black pork, they also offer traditional dishes such as cataplana and fish stew. Everything is freshly cooked and exceptionally tasty, and comes in enormous portions.

Drink

A good selection of Portuguese wines, plus the usual choice of beers, spirits and hot and cold drinks.

Why do you like it?

It’s worth the drive to Monte Clerigo just for the beach. Finding a watering hole like this is an added bonus.

What could be improved?

A little more finesse could be put into making more of the terrace overlooking the beach. And there’s an annoying hut (not belonging to the restaurant) blocking part of the view that you just want to blow up!

When to go?

Lunchtimes to make the most of the setting, and to be able to enjoy the beach before or after a visit to the restaurant. Monte Clerigo is one of those beaches that is just as special in winter as it is in summer, and is large enough (and remote enough) to never really get crowded.

Insider knowledge

Make sure you have some cash on you. If the credit card machine is out of order it’s a long way to the nearest ATM!

Size

Around 30 inside, with a similar number on each of the terraces.

Location

Right on the beach in Monte Clerigo, next to the main car park. Monte Clerigo is signposted off the N-120, roughly mid-way between Aljezur and Odeceixe.

Cost

Fresh fish: between €30-45 per kilo

Turkey: €7.50

Chicken: €7.50

Bacalhau: 9.50

Prawn curry: €10.50

Steaks: €11-12