The town provides many and varied restaurants and cafes to suit all budgets. The restaurants in the main serve Portuguese food with particular emphasis on locally caught fish, shellfish together with local fruit and vegetables. There are also French, Italian, Indian, and Chinese/sushi restaurants. In all restaurants, you will have a choice of local Portuguese wines such as Dao, Mateus and Vinho Verde all at prices considerably less than you would pay in a UK restaurant. During the warmer months of April to October, many of the restaurants provide outdoor dining which adds to the overall relaxed atmosphere. You should be aware that many restaurants do not accept credit cards so make sure you have your euros to hand to avoid embarrassement!
Whilst everyone will have their own favourites, the following have been used on numerous occasions by the owners and their friends and we believe are worthy of your consideration.
A Tasca: This small restaurant (indoor dining only) can be found just off Praca Dr Padinha (locally known as Bishop’s Square) on the East side of the river. The restaurant specialises in chicken, pork, steaks – all with a variety of different sauces. They also offer “cook your own steak” on a hot stone if you are feeling adventurous! Prices are reasonable but vary depending on your choice.
Abstracta: This typical Portuguese restaurant is situated on Rua Dr Antonio Cabreira and serves a variety of meat and fish dishes all at reasonable prices. We would recommend the special which is a fish and rice dish for two – which easily serves three!
Belmar: Indoor dining only and don’t be put off by the exterior appearance as Belmar must be one of the best for value, good quality food and typical Portuguese atmosphere. It is an easy walk from the apartment and is located on Rua Almirante Candido dos Reis.
Bica: You will find reference to Bica in the Lonely Planet Guide. It is located almost next door to Belmar and it does have outside space during the warmer months. Once again, a typical Portuguese restaurant with a very varied menu and reasonable prices.
Brisa do Rio: This restaurant has been relocated to Rua Jaoa Vaz Corte Real 38 which is close to the Black Anchor Irish Bar. It is popular with both locals and visitors alike. It is possible to sit in or eat out on the large terrace during the summer months. The restaurant has a wide range of starters, fish and meat dishes and a three course meal with wine should cost in the region of €20 per person. This restaurant is closed on Wednesdays. It is advisable to book a table in advance, telephone 00351 966 947 912
O Patio: This popular restaurant is located on Rua Dr Antonio Cabreira – not far from Brisa do Rio. The restaurant has three levels including al fresco on street level and the roof terrace patio which gives the restaurant its name. The comprehensive menu specialised in Portuguese dishes and the cataplana is highly recommended. This restaurant is closed on a Sunday and if you wish to eat on the patio terrace, it is advisable to book in high season or arrive before 19:30. A three course meal with wine should cost in the region of €20 – 25 per head. Tel: 281.323.008
Passeo: This pavement cafe is located on the east side of the river midway between the Roman bridge and Engineer’s bridge. This is a super riverside location and is sheltered from any northerly or easterly breeze whilst forming a perfect sun trip all year round.
The menu provides toasties, freshly made quicke and tapas together with coffee,wines, beers all at reasonable prices and friendly staff.
Ponto de Encontro: Located on the corner of Praca Doctor Padinha, the name means “Meeting Point”. This long established Portuguese style restaurant offers an extensive menu and has both indoor and outdoor seating. Prices are very reasonable and there is a good selection of local wines. Having used the restaurant on many occasions, we could heartily recommend the swordfish steak.
Rive Gauche: As the name suggests, this restaurant has a French influence and serves a variety of good food and a range of French wines. It is located on Rua Dr Augusto da Silva Carvalho and you can eat al fresco on warm evenings. Tel: 917 043.274
Tavira Lounge: This bistro/bar is located on the west bank of the river and can be found by turning right immediately past the Economica shoe shop. It has a lovely friendly atmosphere, you can dine or have a drink outside and there are views over the river from the inside of the lounge. Internet access is available for patrons.
Venezuela Cafe Bar: The Venezuela is located on Rua Alvaro de Campos close to Porta Nova station and is a typical Taviran cafe bar serving a wide range of snacks, pastries and delicious cakes. It is frequented mainly by locals and the staff are extremely friendly. Prices are very reasonable both for food and drinks. It is open from 0800 to 2300 every day.