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When you are in the Algarve you will probably find yourself sat in a coffee shop or cafe on at least one occasion and when you are there you will usually find that there is a huge choice on offer in the way of snacks.
I have put together five of the top snacks that are ordered in coffee shops in the Algarve and across Portugal as a whole in many cases but you will be sure to find all of these on the menu at any good cafe you visit anywhere in the Algarve region.
These snacks are typical to Portugal and for many regular visitors they are a reminder of times spent relaxing in the region.
The top five below are some of my favourites but be sure to let us know your top snacks to eat when in the Algarve.
The Bifana is a staple part of any Portuguese coffee shop menu with some establishments specialising in making these warm pork sandwiches.
The Bifana is so popular in Portugal that even McDonald’s in the country serves their own version!
The sandwich is served is fresh bread and often topped with some mustard or some piri piri.
The taste of the pork in the sandwich has to be sampled to be believed but it has a great blend of flavours and every place has their own special recipe so ask around for the best place to pick up a Bifana day or night.
2. Pastel de Nata
These are small egg custard tarts that are often served with cinnamon that can be shaken over the top to your own taste.
The Pastel de Nata has a long history in Portugal and is one of the most famous pastries served all over the country with the home of the tart being Casa Pastéis de Belém.
Enjoy your Pastel de Natal with a hot cup of coffee or as a treat after lunch…or actually at any time of day!
3. Tosta Mista
There is a bit of a joke in these parts that the choice of sandwich filing in the Algarve is either ham, cheese or ham and cheese!
When ordering in a coffee shop you can be pretty much certain that a Tosta Mista, a mixed cheese and ham toasted sandwich, will be on the menu.
These toasties are a great, cheap and quick snack for many people and can be served in either regular sliced bread or in home made bread according to your taste.
The best tosta mistas are dripping with melted butter on the outside and stuffed full of cheese and ham on the inside – one for all the family.
4. Bolo de Berlim
Named after the German capital of Berlin these donut type cakes are hugely popular in cafes and coffee shops across Portugal and they are also sold by vendors on the beaches in the summer.
The cake is basically a fist sized pastry of a donut consistency (without the hole) and it is traditionally filled with patisserie cream and then topped with sugar.
This is not one for anyone who may be counting the calories and should be eaten with care to prevent the cream from spurting out all over you!
There is nothing better than a fresh Bolo de Berlim served with a coffee but an old one can be quite dry so check before you order that they have been freshly baked that day.
You can also buy miniature versions of this cake in some specialist coffee shops and these look great served after a meal with coffee and chocolates.
In many countries soup wouldn’t be classed as a snack but the sheer amount of soup served in the Algarve and Portugal and its availability in all establishments makes soup something to have at any time of day.
Not many people make soup as well as the Portuguese and each coffee shop will usually have a homemade soup of the day bubbling away in the back.
This is a good, healthy and hearty snack to have in a coffee shop but be sure to ask for your soup to be served very hot as it is usual in Portugal to serve it luke warm.