The plush resort of Quinta do Lago forms one of the corners of the Golden Triangle of the Algarve, where those who love their fun in the sun with an extra helping of luxury come year after year. The restaurants here reflect the upmarket feel of the town, with eating options that are universally excellent. The only question is, which to go for first?
The only thing better than a round of cocktails is a round of cocktails topped up with tapas, which is exactly what they specialise in at The Shack. Located close to the smooth clear water of the lake, sunsets here are especially sublime and the live music is the perfect way to end balmy evenings on your Algarve holiday.
Head to Koko Lane to fill yourself up on sensational cuisine, any time of day or night. The venue is famous for its hearty and filling breakfasts, so you can expect to see a pretty sizeable crowd of patrons here first thing in the morning, revitalising themselves on coffee and huge platters of food to set up their day. Evenings see a sensational menu graced by steaks and chicken dishes, plus their famous wood-fired pizzas where thick meat slices and red roasted tomatoes are joined by herbs, spices and crispy bases.
Aged beef so tender that it dissolves on the tongue – that's the promise they make at Bovino Steakhouse, and it's cooked to your precise specifications. Sleek modern chic embodies your surroundings in the open and inviting space, giving a welcome respite from the blazing Algarve sunshine. Although those of you looking to make the most of the heat will love the pool bar that adjoins the steakhouse, serving drinks and snacks of its own.
From its slick exterior to its rustic yet-modern interior design, Gusto has made a pretty strong name for itself within and beyond Quinta do Lago. With wines paired to your choice of dish, it's a place that emphasises excellence in flavours and ambience, and has a menu that specialises in Mediterranean classics and mouthwatering Italian meals. Expect smart and smiling service of a similarly high standard.
Tucked away in Quinta do Lago's cosy streets is a distinctively Irish venue, and that's De Barra. Once inside, you'll be pleased at the familiarity of your surroundings, but don't assume it's just a pint and some chips. Passion is put into every meal they make here, where risotto and steak mingles with burgers and hash browns. Not even the fussiest tastebuds could turn down meals like these.
Genuine home-cooked flair is as easily found here as fresh fish and Mediterranean treats. Gigi's can be traced from the street by the sumptuous aromas that waft from its cosy interior, telling tales of fried bass, grilled bream and all manner of enticing options besides. Expect massive platters that will see the table heaving too, because they're a generous bunch at Gigi's who want you going home satisfied.
Elegant furniture and pristine modern surroundings are ready to greet you at Louro, which is one of the definitive venues in showing off the style and charm of Quinta do Lago. The food here definitely backs up the good looks of the place, with a fine selection of Mediterranean dishes and Italian classics, together with Portuguese meals that you're bound to hear the locals raving about.
Expect service with a smile and then some at Lakeside Caffe, where burgers and sandwiches mingle freely with big breakfasts and spaghetti bolognese. It's the desserts menu that's really got everyone talking though, with cheesecake, gateaux and sponge all vying for a place on your plate.
Dining by the lake under the sun is a welcome and wonderful experience at Casa do Lago, with a huge range of wines to choose from as well. Seafood is definitely the most popular option, as you'd expect during holidays to Portugal. Expect to see a lot of mussels, prawns, shrimp and other delights, while Mediterranean and traditional dishes round off a fantastic selection.
Tales abound of holidaymakers who've found Arco 31 Ristorante Italiano quite by accident, only to be welcomed inside and fed sublime pizza, pasta and desserts. The authentic taste of Rome is lovingly woven into every dish, so make sure you're one of the visitors who enjoys this hidden treasure of the Algarve during your stay.