Discover Portugal dishes reading our guide, find out the typical restaurants where to eat Portuguese specialties
You can’t say you’ve been to Portugal if you haven’t eaten a cod-based dish, which is quite unthinkable since it is said that there is a cod-based dish every day of the year. To get to know their culture and tradition in full here is a typical day on the Portuguese tables.
For breakfast there is both the sweet option which consists of cereal with milk or yogurt accompanied by fruit or a piece of sweet, the savory option is a slice of fresh bread with butter and cheese on top, all accompanied by some ham or jam.
What can never be missing for breakfast is a drink that is paired, this can be a steaming cup of tea or coffee, a glass of milk, or a delicious hot chocolate.
The meals that are usually eaten for lunch or dinner go to your preference and are mostly based on fish, here are some tips on what to order and where to eat for less than € 15 per person.
Remember that in most restaurants they will bring you snacks without ordering them and if you do not eat them they will not be added to your bill, but I suggest you try, here are some suggestions:
- Pastéis de bacalhau, are golden croquettes on the outside and with a soft heart of cod inside
- Polvo à Lagareiro, where the octopus is first roasted and then left to marinate in olive oil, all served with a side of baked potatoes
- Queijo Serra da Estrela, if instead, you are a cheese lover you cannot miss this cheese made from sheep’s milk which after a 120-day maturation gives them a heart that can be soft or semi-hard
After warming up with the appetizers, here are the main courses, perfect for both lunch and dinner:
- Caldo Verde is a soup made from cabbage, potatoes, and chorizo which is an optional ingredient
- Tripas à Moda do Porto, this dish comes from scraps and entrails on the need of Enrico the Navigator as a supply for his shipment, nowadays you can enjoy it with the addition of beans, sausage, and vegetables
- Francesinha, if you like cheese this is your dish! Imagine a sandwich with more cheese than bread and with ham, all accompanied by a meat sauce, and here is the Francesinha
- Bacalhau à bràs, cod returns as the protagonist which in this specialty is cut into slices and combined with onions, olives, and parsley all served with fries
- Carne de Porco à Alentejana, if you can’t decide between meat or fish this dish is for you where the pork joins the clams. The meat is marinated with coriander, wine, paprika, and pepper together with the fried clams resulting in a taste very good
- Camarao do Moçambique, don’t let the name fool you this is a typical dish of Lisbon and the reason why it is called Mozambique here is for the origin of the chilies that make this dish perfect for spicy lovers
- Bacalhau, another great classic of Portuguese gastronomy after cod, is certainly the cod which in this dish is enhanced by egg, potatoes, and black olives.
- Alheira de Mirandela is a sausage born from an idea of the Jews who, not consuming pork to “integrate”, created this recipe where instead of pork they used bird meat. Nowadays it is served, after being grilled, with a side of vegetables
Like every meal to be enjoyed at its best, it must be accompanied by a drink, preferably alcoholic and typical of the place, here are some tips on what to order:
- Ginjinha, or Ginja, is a liqueur obtained from the infusion of black cherries, and once ready it is served in a glass with a piece of fruit on the bottom
- Poncha de Madeira, a typical drink of Pescatori, has three main ingredients such as alcohol, sugar, and honey
If you are a beer lover, here are some Portuguese beers that have conquered the market:
- Sovina, in Porto in addition to wine also knows how to make beer that is aged in barrels that give it a complex flavor
- Letra, typical of the city of Braga, each bottle is marked with a letter of the alphabet and offers a wide range of products to suit your every taste
- Musa, in addition to the artisan taste, this beer will win you over for its comic names, you just have to find the most original one
- Dois Corvos, a brewery located in Lisbon on Rua Capitao offers you a variety of 64 beers and if you are lucky you can be among the first to taste their experimental beers
There is always a place for dessert and with the Portuguese ones you won’t regret it! In addition to the now famous Pastel de Nata, here are other desserts that are delicious:
Torta de Azeitao is a lemon and cinnamon-flavored cake and once tasted you will not be able to eat it again
Ovos Moles de Aveiro, a cream of raw egg yolks and sugar syrup is enclosed in a host whose shapes recall the lagoon motifs of the Aveiro area
Arroz Doce, the scent of cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon in this sweet risotto will make you fall in love.
Queijada de Sintra, is a dessert with a sweetened cheese inside and covered with icing sugar on the outside
All these delights can be enjoyed in almost any Portuguese restaurant but here are somewhere the cost is € 15 per person or less:
- Time out Market, is an indoor market where in addition to street food you can also enjoy traditional gourmet-style dishes
- Mercearia das Flores, perfect for a quick snack you can also buy local and organic products
- Mini Chefe, in this small restaurant the dishes are prepared according to tradition
- Casa do Pescador, here the fish is a guarantee
- Cafè Santiago, if Francesinha has conquered you then you must go to this restaurant just a few steps from the charming Igreja de Santo Ildefonso.
This was a guide about Portugal Dishes. Check out our blog page for more articles about Lisbon and other cities. Don’t miss them out!
written by Anita Gajic