A Foodie’s Guide to Eating in _____ is a delicious series exploring blogger’s favorite foodie cities! Each month, we’ll highlight a different city known for its culinary prowess, and hit the streets on search for best foods they have to offer. This month we travel to Lisbon, Portugal with Luciana from Foodie Bookings.com as she shares her best tips for eating in Lisbon.
Lisbon: A Top Foodie Destination in Europe
Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is famous for its weather and bright natural sunlight. Because of this, it’s the perfect place for those who seek amazing beaches, ancient history, vibrant culture, fantastic nightlife, and food diversity.
Portuguese food and wine are second to none. This uber romantic city offers the tastiest treats. Who can resist? (And who even wants to?!)
Its food is a perfect representation of the country’s wide diversity of cultures and eras. Here, the past walks hand in hand with the future – and they make the perfect couple! This is the city that still has its “tasquinhas” (informal restaurants where they serve traditional Portuguese food), and the ever so trendy, albeit traditional, local markets with restaurants on the inside.
For those who fancy all things trendy, there are restaurants serving traditional Portuguese cuisine with a gourmet twist. It’s easy to find fresh seafood and shellfish anywhere and fantastic meat dishes. There are also restaurants that serve delicious gastronomy from the former Portuguese colonies (a fusion of Indian, African and Portuguese cuisines) and international restaurants that combine local wines and ingredients with world cuisine.
Lisbon is the perfect city for foodies, and Portugal is on the path to becoming Europe’s number one go-to foodie destination.
If you are considering a visit to the country, it’s imperative to taste the dozens of delicious traditional snacks (the so-called “petiscos”). Believe me, your taste buds will be forever grateful. Here are a few of my must-try favorites on any visit to Lisbon.
Must-Try Foods in Lisbon From a Local
1. Pipis, Picapau, and Moelas
So tasty… these meat “petiscos” are served with tomato, garlic, onion, red bell pepper, herbs and spiced sauce. You can taste some of these delicacies booking any Lisbon Food Tours.
Oh, so delicious… The famous Portuguese codfish. They say there are 101 ways to cook it. True story! From the “pasteis de bacalhau” (codfish cakes) to the “bacalhau à brás” or “bacalhau à lagareiro”. Modesty aside, all codfish dishes are quite superb.
3. Prego (pork) and Bifana (beef) Sandwiches
These are the best meat sandwiches ever. You can have it plain, but in Portugal, locals eat it with mustard. Your choice. Either way, it’s finger lickin’ good. Late Chef Anthony Bourdain fell in love with these “petiscos.”
4. Seafood and Shellfish
If you’re a seafood enthusiast, Portugal will become one of your favorite countries. The immense coastline makes it the perfect place for shellfish. Treats like “gambas à guilho” (the Portuguese version of the Spanish “gambas al ajillo” is a delicious garlic shrimp dish and a must-have after a long day at the beach), “ostras” (oysters), “sapateira” (stone-crab, simply marvelous), are but a few. Here are some local tips, the best shellfish food experiences are in Cascais and Sesimbra.
Don’t even get me started on Portuguese pastry… As a mostly Roman Catholic country, most of its desserts were invented in convents and monasteries, by nuns and monks. Legend says it that they had too many eggs and didn’t know what to do with the yolks that were left-over from the egg-whites that were used to make the Sacramental Bread for mass. Well, miracles do happen: we call them “dessert”. Among them are the “Arroz doce” (sweet rice pudding), “Pastel de Nata” (the king of Portuguese pastry custard pie invented in the Jerónimos Monastery), the “travesseiros de Sintra” from the 13th century…. Plain mouth-watering pastry divinity…
But Portugal is not only known for its awesome food. It’s also known for its excellent wine culture.
6. Vinho Verde
Literally “green wine” (don’t worry, it’s not actually green). This wine is produced in the north of Portugal, and it is the second most exported wine in the country.
A Portuguese sour cherry liqueur originally from Óbidos and Alcobaça. Long story short: a Galician friar, Francisco Espinheira, left some sour cherries in aguardente – Portuguese brandy – then added sugar, water and cinnamon, and (tah-dah) it became a favorite among Lisboners.
8. Amêndoa Amarga
Literally “Sour Almond”. This drink from the Algarve is one of the favorites when going out for a drink with friends.
9. Bica (espresso)
Last, but not least, every meal ends with a “bica.” Coffee is big in Portugal, and it’s an excuse for everything. There’s no such thing as too much caffeine. One of the favorite local brandas is Delta Q .. “delicioso!”
So these are my foodie reasons to pursue you to visit Lisbon whenever you’re planning your next trip abroad. Just make sure you eat your way through the city with local foodies. To get a closer look at the food scene in Lisbon, be sure to check out FoodieBookings.com. We specialize in Portuguese food experiences including food tours, cooking classes and more. If your travel buddy is vegan, vegetarian or gluten-intolerant, don’t worry. Most locals hosting food experiences can adapt the tastings – as we also provide 100% vegan food experiences.
About the Author
I’m fascinated by the unique cultures of the world and I love to explore new places through local gastronomy. My passion for food lead me on my biggest adventure: build my own startup. So, 10kg later, FoodieBookings.com was born to provide the best (and most authentic) Portuguese food experiences 🙂