With nine dazzling Michelin stars renewed, the Alg...

With nine dazzling Michelin stars renewed, the Algarve’s gastronomic landscape continues to shine bright

By: Alexandra Stilwell 

Photo: Palmares Al Sud

The southern constellation

The Algarve’s Michelin brigade started the new season with great excitement, as the first-ever all-Portuguese Gala took place in Albufeira on February 27.

Although there were no surprises for the Algarve, every restaurant in the region held on to its stars, except for Vistas, which saw chef Rui Silvestre head to Lisbon to lead the Fifty Seconds kitchen. With his departure, the Algarve now counts nine dazzling Michelin stars.

Al Sud (*)   

Awarded one of the region’s most recent stars, Al Sud is the western-most Michelin restaurant in the Algarve. Set within the Palmares Clubhouse, the restaurant was designed by chef Louis Anjos, who earned its first star in 2021, just six months after opening.

Chef Louis Anjos, Palmares Al Sud

Inside a striking ochre building with panoramic views from the Ria de Alvor to the Ponta da Piedade, in Lagos, the chef serves a 10-course menu that captures the essence of the Algarve’s coastal and pastoral landscapes. The well-rounded tasting menu, named “A Discovery” (€175 plus wine pairing), tells the tale of the region through inventive contemporary dishes grounded in tradition.

The chef’s culinary narrative is enhanced by the freshest ingredients from the surrounding area, such as Alvor oysters, Sagres fish, Iberian pork, and Alentejo lamb. The result is a harmonious blend of iconic flavours reinterpreted by the chef, who enjoys joining guests in the dining room to greet them in person.


Vista (*)  

Set in the charming Bela Vista Hotel & Spa, an early 20th-century palace perched on the Praia da Rocha cliffs, Vista offers a superb 180º view of the beach and the deep blue sea. Here, chef João Oliveira emphasizes sustainability in a culinary repertoire that champions local ingredients.

Chef João Oliveira, Vista

Following experiences in Michelin-starred kitchens, such as Largo do Paço in Amarante, The Yeatman in Vila Nova de Gaia, and Vila Joya in the Algarve, chef João Oliveira joined Vista in 2015 and earned its first star in 2019.

The immersive experience starts with snacks in the kitchen before guests are invited into the elegant dining room or onto the panoramic terrace to choose between two menus: Vista (€200), focused on locally caught fish and seafood, featuring prawns from Vila Real de Santo António and oysters from Alvor; and Terra (€175), the vegetarian menu, with ingredients such as sweet potatoes from Aljezur and local oranges. Both menus can be accompanied by an exquisite wine pairing (€110).


Bon Bon (*)

A hidden gem near Carvoeiro, Bon Bon has been a significant launchpad for chefs like Rui Silvestre and Louis Anjos, who gained valuable experience in its kitchen before embarking on their own culinary ventures.

Offering a magnificent view of Monchique, the cosy octagonal restaurant has proudly retained its Michelin star since earning it in 2016. With its high ceiling, elegant wrought-iron fireplace, and impressive glass-fronted wine cellar, every aspect of its dining room is designed to provide a lavish experience.

Nuno Diogo and Chef José Lopes, Bon Bon Restaurant

With previous Michelin experience in Lisbon and the Algarve, chef José Lopes took charge of the kitchen in 2021 to bring back traditional cuisine with a modern twist. The chef’s main focus is on recipes from the Algarve, featuring a variety of seafood, wild mushrooms, and classic dishes like xerém.

The lunch menu includes six moments (€135), while the more extensive dinner menu features nine (€165), with vegetarian options for both. The additional wine pairing is created by the owner and sommelier, Nuno Diogo, who is passionate about sharing rare finds.

Ocean (**)   

Led by Austrian chef Hans Neuner since 2007, Ocean is one of the Algarve’s only two restaurants to have earned two coveted stars. Set at the scenic Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa in Porches, the exquisite restaurant features an entrance adorned with beautiful Murano glass, while the dining room boasts a sophisticated colour palette of blue, white and gold and breathtaking floor-to-ceiling windows offering uninterrupted views of the Atlantic.

A passionate explorer, Hans Neuner takes advantage of the peaceful winter season to travel the world in pursuit of fresh aromas and creative ideas. While last year’s menu, “Memories of Brazil”, brought warmth and tropical flavours, this year the chef brought back ancient techniques and a burst of spices from Asia.

Chef Hans Neuner, Ocean Restaurant

The “Asia Expedition” menu (priced at €275) offers a fusion of Portuguese and Asian flavours, featuring dishes like tempura and gyozas alongside a vegetarian option. Wine pairing ranges from €175 to €360 per person. Needless to say, the wine list is truly exceptional.


Vila Joya (**)   

A secluded paradise of understated luxury with lush, intimate gardens and spectacular sea views, Vila Joya was created by Claudia Jung in 1982. Today, her daughter Joy, whom the estate was named after, runs it lovingly as her home, incorporating her artistic touch.

Chef Dieter Koschina, Vila Joya Restaurant

In the kitchen since 1989, Austrian-born chef Dieter Koschina has established himself as a culinary icon. The restaurant earned its first Michelin star in 1995 and its second in 1999, making it the only restaurant in Portugal with two stars, a unique achievement it maintained for 13 years.

Lunchtime (€250 plus drinks) brings a one-of-a-kind dining experience with the chef’s daily changing Signature Menu, unrivalled in the fine dining scene. For dinner, but also served at lunch, is a menu of Chef Dieter Koschina’s Favourites (€250 plus pairing), which consists of four courses.

With an extraordinarily high level of culinary standards, the chef presents mouth-watering sensations, inspirational flavour pairings and the freshest dishes. These can include Scallops with Buttermilk and Kaffir Lime, Balfegó Tuna with Radish and Soy, and Red Mullet with Saffron and Tomato Vinaigrette.


Gusto by Heinz Beck (*)

Located at the Conrad Algarve hotel in Quinta do Lago, Gusto by Heinz Beck is an Italian pearl with international flair, stylish interior design and a contemporary cocktail bar.

Chefs Liborio Buonocore and Heinz Beck, Gusto Restaurant by Heinz Beck

Behind the large open kitchen counter, German-born chef Heinz Beck (who boasts three Michelin stars at La Pergola, in Rome), and Italian executive chef Liborio Buonocore highlight Portugal’s culinary roots with fresh local products to which they give an Italian twist.

An energetic entrepreneur with a creative mind, Heinz Beck constantly pursues the balance between creative cooking and healthy eating. Today, thanks to his research, he creates flavourful, innovative dishes that not only taste and look like works of art but are also nutritious and easy to digest.

The à la carte menu is presented in an Italian format, offering antipasti, primi and secondi dishes. The tasting menu includes seven (€165) or nine (€180) courses, with dishes such as Scallop with Artichoke and Black Truffle, and Tortellini Filled with Broccoli. The additional wine pairing includes Portuguese and Italian references.


A Ver Tavira (*)  

This gem was one of the greatest Michelin surprises of 2021. Located opposite Tavira’s old Moorish castle, the restaurant is run by chef Luís Brito and his sommelier wife, Cláudia Abrantes. Following careers that took the chef abroad and the sommelier through several Portuguese Michelin establishments, the couple returned to Luís Brito’s native Algarve to create the gastronomic destination.

Chef Luís Brito, A Ver Tavira Restaurant, ©Jorge Carmo

In the kitchen, the focus is on elevating each ingredient and experience. The menu showcases a variety of refined Portuguese flavours, such as clams, blue lobster, line-caught fish from the Algarve coast, Gallega sirloin, and regional desserts.

©Jorge Carmo

There are four menus: an “executive” lunch menu (€85), and three tasting menus – Between Moments (€140), The Journey of Flavour (€160), and The Whole Trip (€220, only available for dinner) – and a vegetarian menu (€155), all of which can be accompanied by the wine pairing (from €95). Dishes can also be chosen à la carte, including Bluefin tuna, Corn and Banana (€30); Blue Lobster Rice with Caviar (€42); and Codfish with Migas and Green Cabbage (€42).


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