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authentic portuguese cuisine in Algarve
You are not likely to just stumble across Porches Velho. This gem is hidden away in the quaint Algarve village of Porches and serves outstanding traditional Portuguese food made with love and pride.
Porches Velho exudes an old-world charm, as much in the setting as in the hospitality. The food too is traditional in quantity and ingredients, with modern touches bringing extra flavour to the dishes. The generous portions of timeless deliciousness satisfy more than just our pangs of hunger.
Porches Velho restaurant is housed in an old wine cellar that is over 200 years old. The huge wooden doorway leads into the open plan dining room where your eyes immediately rise to follow the height of the ceiling - just shy of 5 metres! The original wooden beams still crisscross the ceiling and there are latticed windows near the top to let in the lovely Algarve light. The walls are adorned with traditional blue and white hand painted tiles and rustic farm implements and there is even an old copper distillary, used once upon a time to brew medronho - the local firewater.
In the winter the main dining room is made welcoming by the wood fire burning in the huge open hearth, and in the summer, the terrace courtyard is the place of choice. The tranquil country setting, with views back towards the Monchique mountains, complements the quality Algarvian cuisine.
Porches Velho is a traditional restaurant with a modern touch. Sr. Candeias, owner of Porches Velho, takes great pride in serving tasty, wholesome Portuguese food - comfort food bathed in sunshine. The flavours may be familiar - tomatoes, herbs, fresh fish, tender meat - but the volume is turned up so that these intrinsically portuguese flavours are allowed to sing. Modern touches and fusions of flavours are added, bringng new levels of flavour to old world dishes.
Using quality and local produce, the menu is rich in Portuguese food specialities. The cataplanas, a traditional portuguese dish that can feature fish, seafood or meat, are superb. The Cod Gratin - a Porches Velho recipe - a very generous serving of oven baked cod, is a favourite. Special mention for the totally delicious Prawns with Piri-Piri - among the best you will find! There is always a fresh Catch of the Day available to be grilled - fish from the sea, not farmed - and enjoyed with a light salad. There is a choice of meat dishes too, including the tasty Portuguese Style Steak and Beef Tartare. Another favourite dish is the Black Pig cheeks in Port. Tender lamb with mint sauce is on the menu as well as a delicate dish of seabass in Champagne sauce. All the desserts served at Porches Velho are made in its own kitchens following traditional recipes and methods. All are absolutely delicious and different from the usual desserts you might expect. The restaurant also has a diverse wine list featuring many of the best Portuguese wines.
Don't just take our word for it - check out this great review on Trip Advisor: For ten years now we have been enjoying visits to this gorgeous restaurant. The owner is a charming man and runs the restaurant immaculately. The welcome is always warm, the ambience calm and classy (I particularly appreciate the quiet setting with no obtrusive inappropriate music - you can talk to each other!), the service attentive, the menu reliable and full of fine traditional fare. My sister adores the pork medallions with sweet potatoes, I love the octopus, my husband enjoys all the fresh fish dishes and our sons always go after the steak options (or lamb) and obviously the Portuguese grilled piri-piri garlic prawns are heavenly. I love that meals are accompanied with plenty of fresh vegetables. The host is knowledgeable and passionate about wine choices. The family who run this business are a great team - the home-made element of the menu is special.
Open every day except Sunday, reservations are recommended. Available for group bookings and private parties.