Best Things to Eat in Portugal
Best Food to Eat in Portugal
Portugal is blessed with fresh food access. In general, the food is not expensive compared to other countries.
It is normal to see chefs buying some ingredients in the local market. Several restaurants focus on seasonal and sustainable cuisine. They prefer to buy the food directly from small producers. Because they know the vegetables and fruits are grown on-site at small organic farms in compost soil.
We select the best things you must eat when you visit Portugal.
What is the best fish to eat in Portugal?
Everyone thinks that the Portuguese only eat Bacalhau (Salt-dried cod) and grilled sardines. That is not entirely true! These are the fish that you will find in Portuguese restaurants: Seabass (Robalo), Gilthead Bream (Dourada), Black Scabbard Fish (Peixe Espada is more frequent in Madeira island, you must try this fish with banana fried or passionfruit custard it is delicious!), Monkfish (Tamboril is an ugly fish with very mild white fish), Sea Bream (Sargo is similar in shape to Gilthead Bream), Pout (Faneca), Mackerel (Carapau & Cavala), Sole (Linguado), and Hake (Pescada).
In Portugal, fish is usually grilled and served with boiled potatoes, carrots, and cabbages.
There are more than 365 different ways to cook bacalhau. The most popular are: Codfish cakes (bolinhos de bacalhau). Boiled cod is mixed with boiled potatoes, eggs, garlic, parsley, and species. Then, it is deep-fried. Codfish cakes are sometimes included as part of the couvert. Please read our tips about lunchtime and see more details about the couvert in Portugal.
Find here: The Best Restaurants in Lisbon, Porto, and Braga.
What is the best seafood to eat in Portugal?
Portugal is a paradise for seafood lovers. But please avoid eating seafood in the months without “R”. Because a higher concentration of toxic microalgae can contaminate clams, mussels, and cockles.
These are the shellfish and mollusks that you will find in Portuguese restaurants: clams (ameijoas), octopus (polvo), mussels (mexilhão), shrimp (camarão), brown crab (sapateira), cockles (berbigão), oysters (small quantity in Algarve, but it has a high quality!) sea urchin (we have a lot in Portugal, but we export 80%!), cuttlefish (choco frito is a typical dish in Setubal), squid (lula), Gooseneck Barnacles (Percebes is the most bizarre crustaceans in Portugal), etc.
Portuguese Sardines Canned
You can visit a souvenir shop Mundo Fantástico da Sardinha Portuguesa (Fantastic World of the Portuguese Sardines). There you can see colorful tinned fish. You can pick one that shows the year you were born. These canned feature events and celebrities were born that year. That is a souvenir, and it is not cheap!
If you want to buy the traditional Portuguese Sardines Canned, please ask our local guide to stop in a conventional store in Porto or Lisbon. You can buy canned sardines. But there’s also mackerel, octopus, tuna, and codfish.
What do they eat for breakfast in Portugal?
A typical Portuguese breakfast is really simple. It consists of fresh bread with butter or cheese, accompanied by coffee and milk.
Traditional Portuguese Soups
What is the most popular soup in Portugal? No doubt it is Caldo Verde! Portugueses love soup! Read here our post about the traditional Portuguese kale soup.
What are the best Portuguese Meat dishes?
Due to the old colonies, spice plays a significant role in Portuguese cooking. We always use these species: Piri-Piri, black pepper, cinnamon, and saffron.
Don’t forget to taste: Francesinha (similar to French croque-monsieur), Tripas à Moda do Porto (This dish is made of tripe, beans, and sausage), and Cozida a Portuguesa (this dish has chicken, lamb, pork, chorizo, blood sausage, ham, potatoes, carrots, turnips, chickpeas, and cabbage).
What do you Drink in Portugal?
The most famous drink in Portugal is the Port Wine. But that is not a wine we drink every day.
Besides the white and red table wines and a variety of local beers, here are other typical alcoholic drinks from Portugal.
We suggest you try Poncha (sweet drinks made of brandy cane sugar, honey, and lemon juice), Ginjinha, Licor Beirão (it is distilled drink that was created in the Beiras region of Portugal. The secret liquor has herbs, cinnamon, mint, lavender, rosemary, and cardamom), and Porto Tonic.
What are the Best Portuguese Cheeses?
That is a difficult question! Portugal has thousand of cheeses, and each region has a special cheese. Book our Braga Food Tour. We select unique Portuguese cheeses. You will try creamy cheeses, dry, strong, and with spices!
If you are planning on buying Portuguese cheeses, please read the Department of Customs online. You must declare all food products you bring from another country, even for personal consumption.
Some cheese packages are not translated. Here you have a few words that will help you when you buy Portuguese Cheese:
- Queijo – Cheese
- Ovelha – Sheep
- Cabra – Goat
- Vaca – Cow
- Fresco – Fresh
- Curado – Cured
- Sabor Suave – Smooth flavor
- Sabor Forte – Strong flavor
Start thinking about your travel experience in Portugal. These itineraries below are simply suggestions for how you could enjoy some of the same food experiences with our local guide.