Portugal evokes a unique variety of features related to this beautiful country: its long history, the proximity to sea or sunny weather all year round. However, if one thing really stands out it’s our gastronomy, a blend of Mediterranean ingredients with a touch of our own identity. As a result, we might be biased in claiming that our cuisine is some of the world’s finest, but we’re not afraid of doing so!

Even though Portugal is relatively small, there’s tons of regional differences – mostly an influence of the climate and topography between the North, colder, rainier and hilly; and the South, flat, warmer and sunny. Due to such favourable conditions, we find a huge diversity in our gastronomy. In the Alentejo, food is a form of cultural expression and a reflection of the peaceful life in the land. Here, local dishes are generous, full of flavour and prepared with care. We believe that exploring a country’s gastronomy is fundamental for a complete experience when visiting it and, therefore, would like to write down some of our personal suggestions.

Comporta

Comporta is known for its blue-striped white houses and sits between the Sado Estuary and the sand beaches of the Alentejo coast. Rice and fish are the key players in its gastronomy. However, options certainly won’t lack to try out the full extent of Alentejo cuisine:

São João 

First on the list of restaurants worth visiting in Comporta is São João, a traditional and genuine place whose specialties are pasta-based local dishes and fish rice.

 24 de Junho 2, 7580-643 Comporta
 +351 265 497 551

O Folha

Presenting itself as a local traditional establishment, O Folha places their grilled menu on the spotlight, with various kinds of meat and fish available.

 24 de Junho 28, Comporta

 +351 265 497 372

Comporta Café

Located in Comporta beach, this restaurant has a pleasant sand space with a beach view that’s ideal to have a cold drink by the end of the day and enjoy the sunset over the Atlantic. It’s pretty sought out for its grilled fish menu and seasonal snacks.

 Praia da Comporta, 7680-612 Comporta

 +351 933 976 520

Ilha do arroz

Nearby and as an alternative in the Comporta beach, this restaurant bearing a name evoking the rice heritage of the region offers a very appealing esplanade into the beach making it a wonderful site for some shade and nice seafood.

 Praia da Comporta, 7580-613 Comporta

 +351 265 490 510

Gomes – Casa de Vinhos & Pestiscos 

Another great option is this family owned business where most of the ingredients served at the guests’ table come from the original grocery store next to the restaurant. It’s an elegant space with a focus for portuguese traditional snacks and the culture surrounding them, in which the act of sharing is promoted.

 Largo Luís de Camões, 7580-642

 +351 265 497 748

Dona Bia

Even though it is in the road south of Comporta, Dona Bia is a name you simple can’t miss. The restaurant is quite small and its fame for being a great traditional Alentejo restaurant is gathering them ever more customers as years go by. For this reason, it’s recommended to arrive early for lunch and dinner to find a seat for this gastronomy adventure.

 E.N. 261, Comporta 7580-681

 +351 265 497 557

Carrasqueira

Home to the photogenic stilt pier, the largest of its kind in Europe, this small village located in the margins of the Sado Estuary holds quite a number of restaurants worth going to for its traditional cuisine. All of them conflate around the Avenida do Pescador (Fisherman’s Avenue) so they’re all within walking distance of each other:

Retiro do pescador

This is an authentic place with the reputation of serving very generous portions. The traditional cuisine and the so-called “comida de tacho” (literally translated as pot food) delight visitors who venture there.

 Av. dos Pescadores – Carrasqueira, Alcácer do Sal

 +351 265 497 172

O Rola

Certainly not your typical tourist restaurant and not given to luxurious motifs. O Rola is a comfortable restaurant serving regional dishes at sizable amounts as if you were in a household eating a meal made by a portuguese grandmother. Perfect choice if you’re in doubt where to go.

 Av. dos Pescadores – Carrasqueira, Alcácer do Sal

  +351 265 497 003

Frango Assado

Despite the name translating as Roast Chicken, the place only has them available once per week. It’s definitely an authentic restaurant void of any tourist presence. Here, razor clam with rice is sovereign and the right choice, especially if you’re going with your family or a group with multiple friends.

 Av. dos Pescadores – Carrasqueira, Alcácer do Sal

 +351 265 497 399

Barco do Sado

Similar to “O Rola”, it’s yet another genuine and rustic place where one can eat pretty well; the spotlight here belongs to regional snacks, pastas and fish rice.

 Av. dos Pescadores – Carrasqueira, Alcácer do Sal

Pêgo

A remote beach along the coast south of the Tróia peninsula, tranquillity and harmony are the proper adjectives for the sands washed away by the blue waters of the ocean.

Sal

There’s one particular restaurant here worth going to in case you decide to head to the beach there. The Sal restaurant, standing directly over the sands, is known for the quality and freshness of their seafood. The grilled fish and entrées are also great options. The bar next to it, with the same name, holds sunset parties during summer.

 Praia do Pêgo, 7570-783

 +351 265 490 129

Carvalhal

In the south end of the immense strip of rice fields that begin in Comporta lies the settlement of Carvalhal, a cluster of local modest houses conveniently located next to very good beaches.

Quinta da Comporta

Combining the best of both worlds, the Quinta da Comporta is the perfect choice for those who seek the calm and refinement only this region can offer. This restautant serves seasonal dishes within the Mediterranean and international contemporary cuisine styles.

 Rua Alto de Pina, 2 Carvalhal

 +351 265 112 390

Alcácer do Sal

The historical former muslim stronghold dominates the hill and overlooks the fields cut by the Sado river. Alcácer do Sal is a wonderful city to visit given its importance and context within the west Alentejo area. It’s easily accessible via the A2 highway coming from Lisbon or Algarve and holds many interesting landmarks.

A Escola

Finally, if you’re looking for a reward to the palate, head straight to the N253 road, connecting the city to Comporta, and stop by the tiny Cachopos to have a meal at A Escola. As the name suggests, it’s the site of a former primary school and has been since converted to a restaurant of excellence and great reputation. Therefore, it’s considered a cornerstone in the region as far as local gastronomy goes. A true recommendation of ours.

 EN 253, 7580-308

 +351 265 612 816