You will need to use your sat-nav to find Retiro do Camponês, hiding on a small local road in Loulé, ten minutes by car from Vilamoura. There are no signs on the main road guiding you there. This restaurant is a family business that only locals (and Cultourista readers) will find. It welcomes you in its large but comfortable garden with friendly Portuguese employees who will try hard to get you a table, even if you forgot to book it.
Here you can expect everything you would experience in a traditional “tasca” (like a “tavern” in English): Portuguese-only staff, mamma-food, real-typical Portuguese dishes, food served in pots and pans and exclusively locals around — but with a posher twist. A way better interior design with carefully chosen furniture, a fabric tablecloth instead of the classic paper one (at dinner time), a great wine cellar, more exclusive clients and, of course, higher prices that come with it.
Fried Prawns "do Senhor João"
Served with a special sauce of reddish tones, with a combination of spices with a spicy touch
Black Pork Cheek Stew in Red Wine
Tender and succulent meat stewed in red wine
Stuffed with small pieces of squid, tomato, onion, pepper, and the chef's special seasoning
This is an excellent option for those travelling with kids, thanks to its outdoor space. Many tables make you feel like you are dining Alfresco in a Portuguese home. There is even a horse nearby; you might get his attention if lucky.