The most important meal in Portugal is lunch, it’s called: almoço. The daily routine comes to a complete stop between 1 and 3 pm. Shops and offices close and the parking places in front of the restaurants are filled. The importance of the Almoço is partially caused by the employer who in most cases pays for the meal. The extended lunchbreak means the normal working hours are longer than Northern Europe, on average they start before 8 am and continue well beyond 6 pm.
Roughly between 5 and 7 pm it’s time for “lanch” a kind of snack, this is comparable to high tea but less common and less extensive. It is meant to cover the appetite between lunch and dinner. The dinner, called Jantar, is served from 7 pm onwards. This is when the restaurants open. When we arrived here we found many closed door at 6:30 pm.
In the vicinity of Porturama there are several villages and towns with several nice and tasty restaurants. Atmospheric lighting is generally not done … In almost all restaurants there are fluorescent tubes and a large TV screen on which (usually) football is shown.
“Paragem” – 800 metres
On the N17, at the crossing to our little paradise you find a Galp service station, snack bar and restaurant, called “Paragem” (bus stop). The food in the restaurant is simple but well prepared and very tasteful. The “prato de dia” (daily platter, consisting of soup, main dish and dessert) will set you back only 15 euro’s for two including a small carafe of wine. Disadvantage, they only serve lunch, we have not yet seen them serving dinner as well. The “snack bar” next door is open longer but doesn’t have the same quality.
Sombrinha – 6km
Just outside the border of the municipality of Mouronho, in Secarias, on the Alva, is an excellent restaurant with good, typical Portuguese cuisine. On the delightful terrace under the grape vines you can sit cool even on the hottest days. A beautiful view of the Alva provides a pleasant breeze.
A Grelha: This is a very fine grill restaurant with a great BBQ vealsteak.We also liked the “panados de porco recheados” (pork with cheese and ham).
On the way to Arganil 4.5 km from Porturama, the restaurant Impala is located. Take the exit Sarzedo. A good, decorated restaurant and pleasant service.
Churrasqueira Fernandes, Coja
A beautiful place on the Alva and if you are here, you can eat well at Churrasqueira Fernandes. This is also the local butcher’s shop and the meat dishes are of a very good quality. The terrace faces west and so you can also enjoy the setting sun.
Principe do Alva
In de narrow streets behind the center of the beautiful village on the Alva, Coja, you will find the good and tasty restaurant of “Principe do Alva”. They offer a few outside tables on the terras and a warm and cosy interiour. The food is excellent and the staff multilingual and very friendly. A recommendation!
Lagar do Alva, Coja
An excellent restaurant at the “praia fluvial” of Coja. The unsolicited served appetizers are not cheap (let them know when you don’t want them!). If you decide to have them: they are excellent, extensive and very tasty. Lagar do Alva has a beautiful terrace overlooking the Alva River.
Here we can recommend a number of restaurants. A selection from the offer:
O Algulhas, recently refurbished and modernized. The mixed grill and the bife vitela com alho (veal entrecote with garlic) are recommended here, but feel free to try something else and tell us how it was! (photo)
O Toino Moleiro, Toino is known for miles around for its steaks. You can eat excellent here. There is no terrace, but the quality and the unparalleled, friendly service more than makes up for it. The price is also slightly higher than elsewhere, for 2 people you will only lose 35 euros. This includes a carafe of wine, bread and olives and a cup of coffee.
Papo Seco Very tastefull pizzeria has been around for 25 years and is a household name in the area.
Italian Indian Palace (17 km) on the N17
A remarkable combination, Italian and Indian. We cannot yet give a review about the Italian dishes, but the Indian dishes are excellent! The Chicken Korma is an absolute must here and the red house wine is silky smooth.
Pizzaria l ‘Artista (22km) on the N17
They call themselves Pizzeria, but the kitchen is more extensive. It is one of the better restaurants in the area, also in terms of decoration! No TV on the wall, nice tables and mood lighting. An excellent menu and excellent service (partly multilingual). In addition to the quality, the price level is somewhat higher than average.
Restaurante Quinta de Cabriz (36km) Carregal do Sal
You have to sit in the car for this but this is a top restaurant! If you have something to celebrate or you simply want to enjoy gastronomy, you can do it here. Damask tablecloths, live pianist and all the bells and whistles and … we have not been able to discover television. This way you can enjoy an excellent five-course dinner without any disturbance, at a very reasonable rate.
We are big fans of Asian cuisine. Unfortunately, this has not really penetrated the rural area where we live.
As described above, there is one Indian Restaurant nearby, but for the real Chinese or Japanese you have to drive.
If you want to take the trouble, we recommend that you combine this with a day trip to, for example, Aveiro or Coimbra. In both places we know the best local Chinese and Japanese restaurants.
For all mentioned restaurants: Ask us for directions and / or advice.
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