The heart of the town is an attractive pedestrianized shopping area on either side of Rua de Santo António, where you can find innumerable restaurants, cafés and bakeries – the latter stocked with almond delicacies, the regional speciality; try Gardy takeaway at Rua de Santo António 33. Most of the pavement restaurants have similar menus and similar prices;
if you’re prepared to scout around the back streets, you can often find cheaper, better food, though without the accompanying streetlife that makes central Faro so attractive. As you’d expect, the cuisine is predominantly seafood-based, the highlight the ubiquitous arroz de mariscos (a stew of shellfish and rice).
The best of Faro’s nightlife is concentrated along two or three central pedestrianized streets – in particular Rua Conselheiro Bivar, with its café-bars with outdoor seating, and the parallel Rua do Prior, where many of the bars and clubs feature DJs, live bands and video screens; there are rarely cover charges, though there is a high turnover of places. Few places open much before 11pm and things get going around midnight; soon afterwards, as the bars fill up, drinkers spill out onto the cobbled alleys to party. Faro also occasionally hosts big-name rock and pop gigs at the football stadium – check posters around town, or ask at the turismo.