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Name of establishment

Monchiqueiro, Silves

Style and ambience

Traditional Portuguese, market-kitchen restaurant. It’s an adjunct to the market hall, and virtually in the eaves of the building. There’s a covered terrace, a plastic-sided marquee area, and the chef toiling away on a huge barbecue, which not only adds to the atmosphere but creates some great aromas. It doesn’t get much more basic, but you go for the food not the cutting-edge décor.

The food

There’s always a good choice of dishes of the day (pratos do dia), which is a good place to start. Examples include the all-encompassing cozido a Portuguesa casserole (€7.70) and feijoada (€4.90), a typically rustic pork and beans dish. There’s also chicken piri-piri (€6), pork fillet or chops (€8), pork kebab (€9), pork ribs (€8), sardines (€7), grilled mixed fish (€8), sea bass (€9) and bream (€9) on the regular menu.

The drink

More than drinkable house wine is €6, and there’s a reasonable selection of other Portuguese varieties priced from €5-16.

Why do you like it?

A great place to drop into if you’ve been shopping or sightseeing in Silves, for good, honest, tasty and exceptionally good value Portuguese food. A meal for two, with wine, water and coffee, comes in at under €30. And the portions are huge.

This is a Portuguese restaurant for people who love Portuguese food. There’s nothing sanitised about it for the sake of the tourist industry. What you see is what you get.

What could be improved?

Somebody needs to start a campaign against frozen chips. Maybe it should be us!

When to go?

We’d recommend lunchtimes, when there’s a real bustle not only to the restaurant but to the market and the waterfront. When the tide’s out, you sometimes forget that Silves is actually on the river.

Insider knowledge

If you’re not overly-familiar with some of the more traditional Portuguese countryside dishes, take note that several use parts of the pig you might not normally expect to find. This is not a place for prissy eaters!


Comfortably seats 60-plus


Mercado Municipal de Silves. It’s the best of several restaurants tucked into the market building, which is located opposite the river, at the bottom of the hill which comes down from the castle.

Street parking in Silves isn’t great, but if you park up by the football pitch, it’s only a short walk.

NB: This Monchiqueiro restaurant is not to be confused withMonchiqueiro 2 (the same owners), which has more of a snack-bar feel, and is located further along the road, almost on the edge of town, as you go towards Messines.