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O Horta

Name of establishment

O Horta, Olhão

Style

Traditional Portuguese seafront restaurant, with pavement seating for outside dining and a deceptively large indoor eating area. No frills, no fuss. Fish and seafood are the main reasons to come here, which is fresh, tasty, and remarkably good value.

Ambience

Busy in summer as you would expect, but one of those places - a little like Olhão itself - that happily serves the local population and its predominantly Portuguese visitors without having to bother too much about other tourists.

What to eat?

Fresh fish and seafood - caught locally that day - which you choose from the ice cabinet outside the restaurant. There’s also a range of other traditional Portuguese meat, fish and rice dishes. Specialities include açorda de marisco (a seafood dish with bread), feijoada de marisco (seafood with beans), porco preto (black pork), xarem de ameijoas (cornmeal with cockles) and several varieties of cataplana.

What to drink?

There’s a good selection of Portuguese wine, again at sensible prices compared to more touristy areas of the Algarve.

Why do you like it?

Authentic in every way, with few concessions to non-locals, although the menu is translated into English. You get a real buzz from sitting, almost literally, on the street, and can people-watch at the same time as enjoying good food and company.

When to go?

Lunch or dinner. In the evenings, especially in summer, make a booking or get there reasonably early, as it can get very busy.

Insider knowledge

The portions are huge - you could easily split, say, two dishes between three, especially if you’ve had starters.

Opening times

Lunch: 12-3

Dinner: 6.30-10

Closed Saturdays

It's open year-round, apart from a brief holiday period in the second half of November.

Location

146-148 Avenida 5 de Outubro - on the main promenade in the centre of Olhão, almost opposite the fish market.

Cost

Around €15 per person for a main course and wine.


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