Shopping in Faro

Your guide to shopping in Faro, from us here on the ground in the Algarve. From shopping tips, opening hours, to useful phrases to help you shop. Uncover shopping in Faro with

Faro has some excellent shops both in the city centre and also at Forum Algarve shopping mall. The city centre has everything you would expect to find in a popular commercial city centre, including a wide variety of fashion shops, pefume and cosmetic shops, well-stocked wine shops, several pharmacies and home furnishing stores; all of which are within a very comfortable walking distance.

Food shopping in Faro is easy as there is a good selection of supermarkets to choose from that stock most things you are likely to want. You will also find gluten-free and diabetic foods and if you are travelling with a baby you can buy several of the same brands of baby milks (albeit with slightly different names) that baby is used to. Shopping for vegan and vegetarian food in Faro is easy in the supermarkets but there are also health food shops if you really can’t find what you are looking for.

Forum Algarve

Forum Algarve Shopping Mall is easy to find being on the main road (EN125) into Faro from Faro airport. It’s shops are along covered galleries around an open central square with cafes and outside seating – great for a rest in the sunshine before hitting the shops again! There is plenty of car-parking if you are driving. There are shops for everything – accessories, jewellers, home furnishings, sports equipment, fashion, electrical, cosmetics, perfumes, pet shops, and toys to name but a few! There are also hairdressers, opticians, drug store (‘parafarmácia’), travel agents, dry cleaners and banks and of course, a large Jumbo Supermercado for all your food shopping.

Forum Algarve – Opening hours:

  • Shops: January to May and October: 10.00 to 23.00 June to September and December: 10.00 to 24.00
  • Hipermercado Jumbo: 09.00 to 24.00 every day
  • Cinemas: 13.00 to 01.00 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday), 13.00 to 03.00 (Thursday, Friday), 10.00 to 03.00 (Saturday, Sunday) . You can check the cinema programme at Forum Algarve here.
  • Restaurants: 10.00 to 24.00 every day

For more information, you can visit the Forum Algarve website.

Faro Supermarkets (‘Supermercados’)

There are lots of big supermarkets in Faro for your food shopping, as well as smaller ones like the Ali-Super mini-mercados and they all stock fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh bread, milk, meat, fish and all the traditional food items you would expect to find. If you really miss those everyday foods from home, don’t worry because you can find most of them in Faro as well… even the smaller supermarkets keep very good ranges of familiar brands of baked beans, bacon, sausages, jams and marmalades (even frozen English sliced bread is imported!).

  • Pingo Doce – Edf. Tridente – R. Cândido Guerreiro and also Estádio S. Luís – Estrada da Penha. Opening hours daily : winter: 8.30 to 20.30, summer: 8.30 to 21.00.
  • Modelo – Urbanização Vale da Amoreira, Freguesia da Sé. Opening hours daily including holidays: 9.00 to 22.00.
  • Lidl – Bom João and also Vale Carneiros. Opening hours daily (including Sundays and holidays): 9.00 to 21.00
  • Jumbo Hipermercado at Forum Algarve: 09.00 to 24.00 every day
  • Aldi – Urbanização Vale da Amoreira. Opening hours daily including holidays: 09:00 to 21:00
  • Pão de Açúcar – Mercado Municipal de Faro, Largo Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro. Opening hours daily: 09.00 to 23.00

To help you find what you are looking for when you are shopping we have listed some portuguese translations for daily staples, different meats and cuts of meat and some of the many fish and seafoods that you are likely to come across.

Daily food shopping staples:

  • Milk – “leite” comes in skimmed (“magro”), semi-skimmed (“meio gordo”) and full fat (“gordo”).
  • Cheese – “queijo”; goat’s cheese “queijo da cabra”
  • Butter – “manteiga”; margarine “margarina”
  • Bread – “pão”
  • Water – “agua”
  • Tea – “chá”
  • Coffee – “café”
  • Meat – “carne”
  • Fish – “peixe”
  • Marmalade – “doce de laranja” (“Maramalada” is quince jelly – very good with a tasty cheese)

Meat shopping:

  • Chicken – “frango”
  • Turkey – “perú”
  • Pork – “porco”
  • Beef – “vaca”
  • Lamb – “borrego”
  • Veal – “vitela”
  • Rabbit – “coelho”
  • Duck – “pato”

If you are buying sliced meats you can either ask for it by weight or by the number of slices that you want, for instance: “Seis fatias” (pronounced “saysh fatee-ash”) six slices.

Some of the other Portuguese food shopping words that may come in useful:

  • Sirloin steak – “bife de vazia”
  • Thin pork steaks – “bifanas”
  • Steak – “bife de vaca”
  • Minute steak – “bitoque”
  • Lamb chops – “costeletas de borrego”
  • Ham – “fiambre”
  • Pork steak – “febras”
  • Pork loin – “lombo de porco”
  • Mince – “picar”

Sometimes a pack of meat will indicate what type of cooking it is suitable for:

  • Grill – “grelhar”
  • Roast – “assar”
  • Boil – “cozer”
  • Stew – “estufar”

Fish and seafood shopping:

There is a huge variety of fresh fish (“peixe”) and seafood (“mariscos”) to choose from, both in the supermarkets and at local fish markets. So that you know what you are looking at:

Fish – “Peixe”

  • Bream – “dourada”
  • Cod – “bacalhau”
  • Cuttlefish – “choco”
  • Hake – “pescada”
  • Mackerel – “cavala”
  • Monkfish – “tamboril”
  • Mullet – “salmonete”
  • Octopus – “polvo”
  • Salmon – “salmão”
  • Sardine – “sardinha”
  • Sea bass – “robalo”
  • Sea bream – “besugo”
  • Small mackerel – “carapau”
  • Sole – “linguado”
  • Squid – “lula”
  • Swordfish – “espadarte”
  • Tuna – “atum”

Seafood – “Mariscos”

  • Barnacle – “perceve”
  • Clam – “ameijoa”
  • Cockle – “berbigão”
  • Crab – “Carangueijo”
  • Crab (large) – “sapateira”
  • Lobster – “lagosta”
  • Mussel – “mexhilhão”
  • Oyster – “ostra”
  • Prawn – “camarão”
  • Razor clam -“lingueirão”
  • Small clam – “conquilha”
  • Whelk – “búzio”

Gluten-free food

Gluten-free products like pasta and biscuits are available in the Jumbo Supermercado (at Forum Algarve), Modelo and Pingo Doce supermarkets as well as health shops and some of the mini-mercados like the Ali-Supers. Gluten free breads are not as common in the supermarkets but you should be able to find brands like Schar in health food shops.

Diabetic food

Jumbo Supermercado (Forum Algarve), Modelo and Pingo Doce supermarkets as well as health shops and some of the mini-mercados like the Ali-Supers stock sugar free (‘sem açúcar’) biscuits, crackers, chocolate and preserves.

Baby milks

It’s always difficult to know what to pack when you are travelling with babies, so here are the brand equivalents for some popular baby milks:

  • Cow and Gate baby milks are marketed under the ‘Nutrilon’ brand in the Algarve.
  • Nutrilon 1,2 and 3 are equivalent to Cow and Gate 1,2 and 3
  • Nutrilon Confort 1 and 2 are equivalent to Comfort 1 and 2.
  • Nutrilon AR 1 and 2 are for babies with reflux.
  • Nutrilon HA 1 and 2 are hypo-allergenic but are not Soy based.
  • Aptamil milks are still marketed as Aptamil in the Algarve – Aptamil 1, 2 and 3; Aptamil Pepti; Aptamil HA (1,2 & 3) for infants with allergies and Aptamil Confort (Comfort) 1 & 2.
  • SMA baby milks are sold as S-26 Gold 1, 2 and 3 (from Wyeth Nutrição) which are equivalent to SMA 1,2 and 3. There doesn’t appear to be an equivalent of SMA Extra Hungry.
  • SMA special milks (with their portuguese equivalents) – Wysoy (Visoy), Staydown (S-26 AR) and SMA-LF( S-26 sem lactose).

The supermarkets commonly stock Aptamil and Nutrilon baby milk powders including the HA (hypo-allergenic) range, but other brands and the special milks like those for reflux are stocked in the ‘farmácias’.

All of the main supermarkets and many of the smaller ‘mini-mercados’ also stock a good range of jars of baby food and packets of baby cereals. Blédina (a Milupa brand ) do both jars and various baby rice and cereals. Baby Fennel drink is also available from Blédina, the portuguese translation for fennel being “funcho”.

Cerelac baby jars and cereals (made by Nestlé) are also commonly available.

Vegan and Vegetarian food shopping in Faro

Vegetarian and vegan products are now very easy to find and most supermarkets have a good range. Faro has “Modelo” and “Pingo Doce” supermarkets which stock a good range of tofu and soya products like sausages, burgers and grills, dried soya pieces and tofu blocks, soya spreads, soya milk plain and flavoured and soya desserts, soya ice-cream. Pingo Doce is particularly good for reasonably priced Tofu and Seitan blocks and also stock vegetarian pate and vegan mayonnaise. Their own brand soya milk also works well in hot drinks as it doesn’t curdle as many do. “Jumbo” also has some soya products although not as big a range as the others.

The Portuguese use a lot of beans (“feijões”) in their cooking and these are plentiful in all supermarkets either canned or dried. Pulses are also readily available.

There are normally some vegetarian meals in the freezer section, but do check the price….we have come across a pack of 4 vegetable grills for just under 10€ in one shop and less than 5€ in another!

The only supermarket in the Faro area where we have found products like vegan cheese slices / spreads and Quorn products is the Apólonia supermarket in Almancil. It also stocks a wide range of ingredients, condiments and sauces for chinese, indian and japanese, as well as english, cooking.

Not all food is clearly labelled as suitable for vegans or vegetarians, so some of the words to watch for in the ingredients are:

  • ‘ovos’ (eggs), ‘leite’ (milk), ‘queijo’ (cheese), ‘manteiga’ (butter)
  • ‘carne’ (meat), ‘peixe’ (fish), ‘frango’ or ‘galinha’ (chicken)
  • ‘gelatina’ (gelatine), ‘gordura animal’ (animal fat), ‘banha’ (lard)
  • ‘derivados do leite / laticínios’ (milk / dairy derivatives)

    Popular activities here in the Faro