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Taberna da Mare

Name of Restaurant

Taberna da Mare, Portimão

Style

100% authentic Portuguese. It hasn't changed much in over 20 years and offers a genuine taste of the real Algarve.

Ambience

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 office staff and 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 than 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!

Insider knowledge

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.

There is no website but there is a Facebook page.

Anything that clients should know about?

The owner does speak English, but may pretend he doesn't! The staff often don't so you might need a grasp of basic 'kitchen' Portuguese or a good phrase book to work out what's on the menu. 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.

Size    

Now about 75, with some benches outside on the road to sit and watch the world go by.

Location

Travessa da Barca 9, Portimão. The tricky bit. You need to find the old fish market on the west bank of the Arade river 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 past them and through this tiny square and as you come around the corner you will see Taberna da Mare on the left hand side.

Cost

Around €20 per head

Opening times

Lunch all the way through to the evening until the last person drops.

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