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5 Romantic Restaurants in Albufeira to Fall in Love With

Chris reading the menu at Dom Dinis Restaurante. In the background there are elegant, floor-to-ceiling curtains, a ceiling with wooden slats and white fabric woven through some of its beams.
Dom Dinis Restaurante.

These romantic restaurants may be reason enough to book a stay in the Algarve’s party town, Albufeira. When you’re not dining at one of the five places listed below, spend time at some of Portugal’s most beautiful beaches, hike along beachside cliffs, tour nearby wineries, go on a boating adventure or two, and explore the shops and cafés of Albufeira’s Old Town.

If, like us, your hard-partying days are well behind you, consider staying in a spot a bit tucked away from the town’s hustle and bustle. We’ve loved staying at Holiday Oasis Villas and enjoyed our W Algarve visits.  

All of the restaurants on our list have great wine lists. Portugal has over 250 indigenous varietals and few imports. You don’t have to know anything about wine or Portuguese wine to go and enjoy. Just ask for a bit of guidance. Every server, sommelier, and restaurateur we’ve encountered has been happy to provide (or find) knowledgeable assistance. We haven’t been disappointed once. 

Also, all of the restaurants have been willing to accommodate guests with food allergies. Some list potential allergens in their menu more clearly than others, but the staff has always been able to make recommendations on which items to get and how they could be adjusted (if they can be adjusted). 

Onto the list!


1. Dom Dinis Restaurante

Portugal Albufeira Dom Dinis Beef Wellington topped with pine nuts, and a glass of red wine.
Beef Wellington, and, in the distance, the Avocado Risotto.

The down-to-earth elegance of Dom Dinis Restaurante envelopes guests in comfort. Their service is knowledgeable and sophisticated, yet light-hearted and fun. You won’t experience an ounce of pretension. If you make multiple visits like us, there’s a good chance that the wine you tried the time before will be remembered. It seemed like each bottle we tried was better than the last, and they were all delicious. 

Their menu includes appetizers, mains, and desserts suitable for meat-eaters, seafood lovers, vegetarians, and vegans. They offer traditional yet innovative Portuguese cuisine, with a few international dishes like beef Wellington and vegan avocado risotto. We love those two dishes so much that we haven’t explored the other wonderful sounding entrées on their menu. 

I believe they’re giving vegan items a test run. As I write this, they are not listed on their online menu, but they are on the last page of the menu in their restaurant. 

Travel Tip: This restaurant does close for a couple of months each year during the low season*.

Gnocchi with mushrooms at O Amigo.

This small, chef-owned restaurant can be hard to get a table at, so make your reservations well in advance. Even before the high season, the place was booked days ahead. 

At O Amigo, you’ll be treated to a menu full of innovative and delicious options, plated with artistry and attention to detail. Whether you prefer seafood, pork, steak, or plant-based meals, you’ll find something to treat yourself to. Speaking of treats, the Toblerone mousse is a must! 

Each time we’ve been, the chef-owner has stopped by our table to help with making a wine recommendation, to assist in sorting out just what to order when we’ve struggled, or to see how we’ve enjoyed everything. A few of our favorite plates have been the gnocchi with mushrooms, the bruschetta, and the steak.  

Travel Tip: This restaurant does close for a couple of months each year during the low season*.

Creme Brulee served in a large white dish and topped with a cookie, orange slice, strawberry slice, and a spring of mint at O Marinheiro in Albufeira, Portugal.
Lavender Brûlée at O Marinheiro.

O Marinheiro’s unassuming exterior belies the ambiance within its walls and the quality of its food, drink, and service. It’s no surprise that it has earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand again. 

On their menu, as the Michelin Guide says, is “a combination of traditional Portuguese recipes and international dishes, all prepared with a modern take on technique and presentation.” Whether you love meat, fish, vegetarian, or vegan food, you can find a delicious option on their menu. 

Our favorites are the Four Seasons Pastry (stewed chickpeas, spinach, avocado, and peanut butter enveloped in a crispy brick pastry, served with guacamole and a small lettuce salad), Premium Fillet of Beef topped with a tomato and pepper, served with a side of sautéed potatoes, and the Lavender Crême Brûlée with lavender infusion and Portuguese herb liquor.

Travel Tip: This restaurant does close for a couple of months each year during the low season*.

Homemade pappardelle pasta topped with smoked bacon, tomato sauce and cream in the foreground. Behind it is the Pizza Arabica, a pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni salami, onion and fresh chili peppers. There are two glass of red wine on the table.
Pappardelle alla Paper Moon and Pizza Arabica.

The Paper Moon in Albufeira is located in the W Algarve, a 5-star hotel. Named after the film its owners fell in love with, the original Paper Moon opened in Milan, Italy’s fashion district, in 1977. Paper Moon Algarve is their sixth location and the perfect place to go for an Italian meal in an upscale location where you are truly welcomed like family.

Its white-on-white decor, and black and white prints of film stars of the 50s, 60s, and 70s – think Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Elvis Presley, and of course, the stars of Paper Moon –  provide a chic background for a romantic night out.  

When you make your reservation, ask if there are any events going on in the restaurant. If they do, consider signing up! Their wine curator, Miguel Martins, puts together innovative wine and food events. 

When you go, consider starting with their eggplant parmigiana with red cherry tomato sauce, mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves. It is the most well-balanced version of the dish I have ever tasted. The dish wowed us both, and Chris doesn’t even like eggplant.  

On a more casual night, you might want to opt for a classic pasta and pizza like the Pappardelle alla Paper Moon or their homemade cheese ravioli with Piedmont truffle cream and the Pizza Arabica (tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni salami, onion, and fresh chili pepper). Depending on what you love, a special night may call for their Angus beef T-bone with asparagus and grilled tomatoes. We like to get it with a side of sautéed potatoes. 

For dessert, get the Panna Cotta, or the Mango Cheesecake.

Slow-cooked lamb, served with potato and blue cheese puree, baby carrots, and roasted leek.
Slow-cooked lamb, served with potato and blue cheese puree, baby carrots, and roasted leek.

On the second level of an austere-looking windmill built on a hilltop in 1938, there is space for 12 adult diners. From the view of twinkling city lights in the distance to the classy music playing, this restaurant exudes romantic, rustic charm. Its menu is sophisticated, all meals are three courses, and its wine pairing is worth it (in our humble opinion).

Windmill is an adults-only restaurant, which adds to the promise of a romantic evening. Though we adore our grandchildren and like children in general, we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that we rather love this rule. There’s something about the promise of not enduring an unfamiliar child’s tantrum or having to listen to children’s programming on a too-loud device that promises a too-often-missed level of relaxation.

They work by reservation only, so book your table in advance; during the high season, book it well in advance. If you have a food allergy, let them know when you book. They are kind about accommodating and simply need to know ahead of time. It’s a popular place for good reason.

Each course is a work of art, from their goat cheese brûlée with honey caviar starter to their apple Panna Cotta with lemon crumble and yuzu sorbet dessert. Their slow-cooked lamb, served with potato and blue cheese puree, baby carrots, and roasted leek, is delicious. Equally delicious is their handmade tortellini stuffed with porcini mushrooms and accompanied by potato-cream-infused truffles.  

There are other wonderful restaurants that we have dined at and adored in Albufeira, but these five top our list when it comes to romance. Do you have a favorite romantic restaurant in Albufeira? Let us know! We might just add it to our list of restaurants to try.

Have you added an Algarve wine-tasting tour to your travel itinerary? You may want to give one (or two or three) of the vineyards in our Portugal Wine Tour: 3 Vineyards to Visit in the Algarve Region post a try during your stay. Each is within an easy drive of Albufeira. 

*Low season in Albufeira, Portugal, is from about mid-November to mid-February. Each restaurant has its own window of time in which it remains closed, and that time may change from year-to-year, so be sure to check with the restaurant you wish to visit if it’s around that time of year.

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