According to Daniel Hall; an avid traveler, English teacher, and writer from the UK. He speaks Spanish and Italian and does a cooking class in every country he visits.
What do you think of when you think of Portuguese cuisine? You’ll find hearty dishes throughout the country, exquisite seafood, and some tasty desserts too. And that’s before you pair your dishes with light and fruity wines or round the meal off with one of the nation’s emblems; port!
To help you make your trip really special, we’ve checked out 9 of the most romantic restaurants in Portugal. These will really sweep your other half of their feet! So, let’s check them out.
As you might have guessed from the name, you won’t find it hard to get a fantastic glass (or bottle) of fine wine with your exquisite meal at BytheWine. Since 1834, the Soares Franco operated this place as a wine shop, but it hasn’t yet been open as a restaurant for 5 years. In some wine shops, the only food options are cured meat and cheese boards, but not here (although you can get them). There are plenty of traditional and fusion dishes, such as the roasted octopus, beefsteak sandwiches, and codfish salad. Check out the tunnel as you go in, made up of 3,000 Bordeaux wine bottles!
If you’re looking for a great romantic place to eat in Chiado, Lisbon, look no further than Largo. Modern and classical architecture rubs shoulders in this former convent, with the best seat in the house being right by the jellyfish aquarium! If the à la carte menu seems too expensive, come for lunch. You can get an excellent dining experience for less than €20, although it may be a little more if you try one of the sumptuous wines on offer! The alabaster bar is the perfect place to grab a cocktail after your meal.
Have you even visited Portugal if you haven’t tried one of the country’s staples, bacalhau? We’d say probably not. So, it’s great that Bacalhau Wine and Food in Portugal offers you the opportunity to do just that, right? Even better, it’s right on the Douro River, one of the most romantic locations in town. Enjoy the traditional bacalhau, or other seafood dishes paired with an alvarinho or a Vinho Verde. In the city of port, this is a great place to sample a few Portuguese delicacies at once!
Esquina do Avesso, Porto
Looking for a wine that you won’t just get in any restaurant to accompany your meal? Then Esquina do Avesso is the place for you, and their waiters can give recommend the one that will accompany your dish(es). Portions are quite small, so it’s a good idea to order two or three per person. The restaurant is all about boldness and quality, and not just when it comes to the food. The creative décor, designed by Ricardo Rodrigues, is part of what makes this place so romantic!
À Capella, Coimbra
À Capella is so much more than a restaurant. Built in the 14th century as part of the Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela, the former church is now a cultural centre, a bar, and a restaurant in Rua Corpo de Deus, a small square in the pretty university town of Coimbra. It’s a great place to take a few petisco plates and enjoy the fado music. It really will be a true Portuguese experience!
Willie’s Restaurant, Vilamoura (Algarve)
There are 6 restaurants on the Algarve that boast Michelin Stars, so it would be a crime not to include at least one in our list of the most romantic restaurants in Portugal! There’s an extensive wine list to accompany Willie’s creative mix of contemporary international cuisine. The best part is that no matter what time of year you’re visiting, Willie’s is the perfect setting. In winter, the cozy and classical dining room is an intimate backdrop where you can enjoy some true fine dining. Want to visit in summer? Then take a seat on the outdoor terrace. You’ll need to book a space though!
Dom Carlos Restaurante, Albufeira (Algarve)
Not all fine dining restaurants have a Michelin Star, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth a visit. Enter Dom Carlos Restaurante in Albufeira. This place is a family affair, and the husband and wife team who run this have probably served every Albufeira local as well as a fair few tourists! You’ll understand what we mean when you see how packed it is at the weekend! If you’re new to Portuguese food, try the five-course tasting menu, offered at a smidgeon under €50. There’s a fine selection of wines that you can accompany that with.
Tromba Rija, Batalha
Looking for a restaurant that has a bit of history and character? Tromba Rija in Batalha is the place for you. Would you believe that people used to make pilgrimages here just to try the feijoada more than 50 years ago? Meats are at the center of the dishes at Tromba Rija, but because it’s so close to the butcher, they’re always fresh and delicious. If you’re not sure what to get, the ‘Saborear Portugal’ degustation menu offers an excellent introduction to Portuguese cuisine. That’s both food and wine! Mature red and white wines, naturally sparkling wines, and sangria are just some of the beverages you can sample. Enjoy them as you work your way around the fresh cheeses, meats, salads, and seafoods from around the country.
Il Gallo d’Oro, Funchal (Madeira)
We’ve saved one of the best restaurants in Portugal for last. Il Gallo d’Oro has 2 Michelin Stars, an extensive menu, and over 400 wines that you can pair with the exquisite plates on offer. The food is inspired by ingredients and recipes from all over the Iberian peninsula and uses the finest and freshest ingredients. It may be expensive but eating here is not just about the food or the wine. It’s the entire experience.
Now that you know the most romantic restaurants in Portugal…
You’ll probably want to make your reservations as soon as possible. And don’t forget to sample the finest ports and Vinho Verdes in their spiritual home! For more food tours with your significant other, you may also want to check some of the best places to eat seafood in Lisbon, Portugal here.