In the Algarve you will find all the usual European meals. However, you will also discover:
- a thousand ways to enjoy salted cod (called "bacalhau").
- fish, clams, mussels, squid and lobster. If it exists in the sea you will find it on the menu.
- piri-piri chillis are used with chicken to make a highly spiced dish.
- chorizo-type spicy sausage.
- various stews made with pork, chicken or pulses. These can be a rich, flavoursome experience or more of a challenge (eg dobrada, which is tripe with white beans).
- "caldo verde" (kale soup) which varies in quality but at its best is a filling, veggie soup.
- "arroz doce" (rice pudding) and a variety of custard-based puddings.
- "Francesinha" (little Frenchie) is more of a Porto dish but if you see it be aware that this is a pile of different types of pork under a coating of melted cheese in a beer and tomato sauce with chips - very filling fare for the cyclist.
In addition to these fine dishes you should note that little starters that you haven't ordered are often provided in traditional restaurants. A plate of small croquettes, triangles of pastry or potato may arrive at your table. If you eat anything you will have to pay for the whole plateful, so just ignore such extras if you wish.