restaurants, restaurants - Portimao

Restaurant Review – Fagins, Portimão


There are times when every expat craves a food from their homeland that is either difficult or impossible to obtain in their new country. When I first moved to Portugal there were two English foods that I particularly missed: chicken kievs and fish and chips.

I satisfied the first craving by making my own chicken kievs until Iceland came along and opened in the Algarve, saving me the trouble. The fish and chip craving was somewhat harder to address, until we discovered the wonderful institution that is Fagins.

Tucked away on a back street near Praia da Rocha in Portimão, Fagins is not the easiest place to find. Our first visit there involved a fair amount of wandering around in circles, but the food was definitely worth the wait.

Fagins does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a proper, English fish and chip shop that provides some of the best fish and chips that I’ve had, either in England or beyond.

Perfect fish and chips

Perfect – sausage and chips with a pint

The cod comes in generous portions and is perfectly cooked – crispy batter giving way to plenty of flaky white fish. The chips are spot on and perfect with oodles of salt and vinegar, just as proper chip shop chips should be! We’ve also tried the battered sausage and the curry sauce, both of which are delicious.

While Fagins doesn’t have seating of its own, a number of nearby bars are happy to let you eat your fish and chips in them, provided you purchase drinks to go with them.

With friendly, efficient service and great food, Fagins is good enough that we are more than happy to spend over an hour driving there when the fish and chips craving strikes. It is currently up for sale, as the current owners are planning to retire, so we can only hope that whoever takes it on next manages to maintain the great reputation that the team has managed to build up – a reputation so good that Fagins was recently awarded a much-deserved Trip Advisor 2013 Certificate of Excellence.