It is rare to find a vegetarian restaurant in central Portugal so we were super-excited to visit Mãos da Horta in Castelo Branco, and we were not disappointed. Firstly the location and building is beautiful. Set on a small stone square in the centre of the city, the building is an old stone hall with beautiful wooden beams, a large open fire and huge stone arch when you enter. Each table is impeccably laid and also placed some distance from other tables to give you a sense of privacy. The decoration is traditional with elements of modernity. So onto the food… there is no menu since the choices change frequently with what is harvested at their farm. Instead, one of the staff will talk you through what starters are available that day, and what the main dish is. Our main dish was served on a large square plate split into four different foods, a vegetable and lentil lasagne, a beetroot couscous, an apple salad and spicy potato and spinach. And they were all delicious! Everything tasted fresh and wholesome with a lovely variation on the plate. The wine list is good and we drank a fantastic orange wine from Outeiros Altos. Starters and desserts were also tasty and the price is super reasonable. Overall we were so impressed with this restaurant; the staff are attentive and friendly, the food is great, and the ambience is simply beautiful. And without any heavy meat dishes we left with a spring in our step! We can’t wait to return.
Mãos da Horta is open for lunch and dinner, Wednesday to Saturday. You can drive there in 45 mins from Moinho da Fadagosa, or you can catch a train from one of our nearby stations to Castelo Branco - the restaurant is a 15 min walk from the station.