If you are planning to spend your vacation in Lagos, an important city in southern Portugal you will be spoilt for choices, particularly in matters of food. The city is home to numerous restaurants catering to every budget. Before visiting some of the popular restaurants in Lagos, here are few tips that will prove beneficial for you.
A visit during the peak season means that reserving your table at a famous restaurant is a must. There are, however, some restaurants that take reservations, while some of them don’t. At some restaurants you should expect a long queue of people waiting to gorge on the delicacies. There are many restaurants here that are run by Portuguese, so don’t be surprised. You can expect a nice relaxing meal at these Portuguese-run restaurants.
Most restaurants are usually open for the local visitors and tourists round the year. However, you will find some restaurants closed for a couple of weeks, particularly during the off-season. Such restaurants display a sign intimating the visitors about the period for which they will be closed and when they are to open. You shouldn’t worry when you find the restaurants closed. There are a plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy your food.
It is always important to know a smattering of the language spoken in the host country. There are many restaurants in Lagos operated and owned by the Portuguese. It will be good if you know this language beforehand as it is the prime language here. However, there are some restaurants where the menu is offered in English too. But, the English language is spoken less in the city. Eating in a Portuguese-run restaurant will be undoubtedly a rewarding experience.
Eating in a Portuguese restaurant is a feast in itself. Be ready for the “Cover” when visiting restaurants offering Portuguese dishes. One thing great at these restaurants is that the dishes ordered here will be prepared fresh and served well. The Portuguese in fact take pride in cooking fresh to order. So, after you have ordered your meals get prepared to be served a series of appetizers popularly called the “Cover”. This will provide a great relief as the freshly-prepared meals will take time to be prepared and you might have to wait for long. The “Cover” will be charged as a base fee and will be added to your bill. This usually happen at all sit-down Portuguese restaurants. If you are visiting for the first time then you will be surprised and left wondering. More often the “Cover” includes olives, sardine pate, butter and bread.
There are some restaurants in Lagos that will keep serving you an endless stream of appetizers as part of the “Cover”. You need to be cautious as these delicious treats don’t come for free. It is good if you first inquire about these or else you will end up paying for them as well. The best course of action for you will be to politely tell the waiter not to bring the appetizers if you don’t want to eat them. In some restaurants, the appetizers include octopus salad, chicken or shrimp pastry, cod fish pastry, shrimp and more.
The main course served in most restaurants in the city includes fresh steamed veggies and potatoes, or a mixed salad. You should first enquire from the waiter about the main course to be served. You can order for boiled or fried potatoes. The potatoes in Portugal are delicious and creamy. You will surely enjoy eating boiled potatoes at these restaurants.
Avoid asking for a “Doggie Bag” in a Portuguese restaurant or this might cause you unnecessary embarrassment. There are many visitors who are in the habit of requesting to wrap up their leftovers for taking back home to be eaten the next day. This usually happens with the delicious meals offered in good quantity but could be eated only partially. In Portugal, it’s not the custom to ask for the proverbial “Doggie Bag”. The Portuguese restaurants usually serve meals quite generously. If one could eat partially, there is always a fear of getting tempted in asking for the leftovers to be wrapped up for being taken home, but this could turn out to be quite embarrassing indeed. So make sure that you eat your meals completely or if you couldn’t then just leave the leftovers for the waiters to clear up.