Now getting to the Algarve has never been easier if you are looking to delight your taste buds. Flights from Toronto to Faro with Air Transat are starting in Summer 2024. With that in mind, let’s dive into some of the most well-known dishes so that you can kick back and experience the authentic offer that the Algarve has to offer, after all, what is travelling if not fully indulged?

The Algarve has become a multicultural hub with almost every restaurant imaginable but it is home to its very own treasure trove of gastronomic delights. The Algarve is home to an array of picturesque beach restaurants that combine fresh fish, seafood, wine and stunning sunset views.

With this dream image in mind, the Algarve Cataplana is a must-try for seafood lovers. Named after the cookware it is prepared in, the cataplana is a seafood dish whose origin dates back to the presence of Arabs from North Africa in the Algarve. The dish is comprised of prawns, clams, Portuguese sausage known as chouriço and monkfish as well as parsley and a good white wine.

For those interested in octopus, a small fishing village located near Tavira called Santa Luzia has been crowned the Octopus Capital, and it is the place to go for divine octopus. Santa Luzia has many restaurants that are well versed in cooking octopus in many different ways, from fried in breadcrumbs to grilled, to simply in a fresh salad.

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The Algarve is also home to deliciously grilled sardines, which are perfected over charcoal with some coarse salt. They are best eaten with boiled potatoes and salad and crunchy Portuguese bread. Not to mention a good drizzle of olive oil never hurt as well as a refreshing beer. These sardines are so famous that they have their very own festival which is hosted in Portimão every summer.

Speaking of the Sardine Festival, there is a plethora of food festivals throughout the year which is perfect to sample the best that the Algarve has to offer, honorable mentions must go to the annual Castro Marim Festa da Cataplana and then the month where seafood is celebrated is in August with the renowned Olhão Seafood Festival.

For those who prefer meat dishes, Piri-Piri Chicken should not be missed! Known as frango assado com piri piri, which translates to piri piri roasted chicken it is usually made by marinating butterflied chicken with seasonings and of course piri piri chillies. It is mouthwateringly tasty and you will find plenty of traditional chicken piri piri restaurants dotted across the Algarve, however, the town of Guia is said to be the capital of chicken piri piri. To accompany piri piri chicken is an Algarvian salad which are fresh tomatoes and onion drizzled with a good helping of olive oil and oregano and to accompany are the best chips.

Alternatively, the delicious cuisine of the Barrocal which is set between the mountains and the coast is simply incredible for those who love meat. Monchique is home to mouth-watering Iberian Black Pork, the taste and texture is unforgettable when cooked to perfection. It is best enjoyed with traditional migas and a full-bodied red wine.

Traditional sweets

There is always room for dessert so why not try some of the Algarve’s regional sweets which are a delicious treat? Dom Rodrigo is traditionally from the Algarve region and dates back to the 18th century. It is a mixture of egg yolk, almond and cinnamon and fios de ovos which is a confectionary product of thin egg threads, finally, all wrapped in pyramid-shaped colored foil and tied with a ribbon so it resembles a present.

Another Algarve sweet is Carob tart which is moist and flavoursome, made with a combination of well-used ingredients in the Algarve: carob, fig and almond. Lastly, a Pudim de Laranja never goes a miss if you like orange-flavoured treats, the Algarve is known for its oranges and this dessert is a perfect balance of fruit, and silkiness with a slight zesty flavour and is great followed by a coffee.