Any foodies around? Feel welcomed! Portugal, this small corner of Europe, has one of the richest cuisines in the world. Portuguese food is sure not to disappoint you.
Combining your trip with great typical food will now be easier thanks to this list we prepared specifically to guide you: a journey of tastes throughout Portugal, buckle up.
Go for authentic food
If you are here to truly experience Portuguese culture, including its gastronomy, this first tip is meant for you.
Don’t be afraid of trying out food in small local restaurants and cafés, these are certain to be the places where you will try genuine Portuguese produce and cuisine. Also, you will be welcomed with more generous prices and sincere smiles. Avoid flashy signs, restaurant chains and those places that scream with all big capital letters “best” or “typical”. The best and most authentic places will simply appear to be so, no need to announce it in words.
The more modest, the truer.
100 Ways of Cooking Bacalhau
Maybe saying 100 ways is exaggerating but we do have indeed a great variety of Codfish recipes! We are great fans of codfish, which here goes by the popular name of Bacalhau. We salt it and cook it in ways none of our fellow European countries do, so while you’re around, go for bacalhau at least once, it’s an experience that won’t repeat itself elsewhere.
Warning - important advice ahead. Can't leave our country without trying at least one of the following: “Bacalhau Assado no Forno”, “Bacalhau à Lagareiro”, “Bacalhau com Broa” or “Bacalhau com Natas”.
Francesinha is the ultimate improved version of the Croque Monsieur. It’s believed to have evolved from the French sandwich, thanks to a Portuguese immigrant who then improved the concept and brought it to Portugal.
Nonetheless, Francesinha is more than a simple sandwich, it’s a filling main course, we assure. This dish is typical from Porto, this is definitely the city where you can find the best Francesinha. Make sure to try it with a side of french fries and a fresh draught beer.
Pastel de Nata
The delicious Pastel de Nata (or Belem pastry), round shaped crisp crust filled with a creamy egg custard! This could not be left out of the list. It is a sweet pastry originally from Lisbon even though it’s found in almost every pastry shop across the country.
We strongly advise you to taste it in a local café in the streets of our capital, where they are sure to be more authentic and absolutely delicious.
One bite and you'll be sold on this pastry!
Fish & Seafood
We were once a country of great seamen and fishermen. Therefore we developed a great variety of ways of cooking all sorts of fish, as well as shellfish. So the tip to consider is we have great seafood dishes!
Not only is the fish fresh and of good quality but we also have a lot of different great ways of cooking it, depending on the season or the region within the country. Ask for a "Cataplana de Marisco" in the Algarve and you won't regret it! We also suggest sardines during the summer and all year-round Polvo à Lagareiro, roasted octopus, yes, octopus, a delicious one for that matter, your bravery will be rewarded, it is a true delicacy!
This list is not even close to gather all the pearls of Portuguese cuisine. Every regions has its gastronomic specialties based on local products, try around! Travel with our guides and they will advise you on the best regional cuisine and restaurants where to find it!