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Lisbon RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Flavors of Lisbon

By Viator, August 2013

5 40 Reviews | Add your review

Eating and drinking is done with a passion in Lisbon, from the local bars selling tots of port and the cafés offering breakfast of bica (espresso) or galão – coffee served with lashings of milk in a tall glass – and pastel de nata (custard tarts) through to tapas bars and fine-dining restaurants.

Seafood abounds throughout the city; sardines, dorado and sea bass come perfectly grilled, while the rich fish and seafood stew Caldeirada is spiced with chili and bulked with green vegetables, but the national dish of Portugal is cod – bacalhau – and it is served in virtually all Lisbon restaurants, whether grilled, cooked with rice and scrambled eggs, cooked au gratin or as fritters. Pork comes in many guises too; carne de porco Alentejana pairs pork with clams and roast potatoes, while the bifana is the Lisbon street food of choice, comprising layers of thinly sliced pork steak sautéed with garlic or onions and presented in a bread roll.

Rivaling cod in the popularity stakes, Caldo verde (literally ‘green soup’) is a broth made with onions, cabbage, potatoes and occasionally chourico (smoked sausage). It’s often served late at night in fado clubs, as reassuring and nourishing as fado is mournful and haunting.

Spanish-style tapas (petiscos) is also big business in the blue-and-white tiled cafés and tavernas of Lisbon; choose from gambas (prawns) flavored with saffron and piri-piri (searingly hot red chili peppers), clams, octopus, snails, batter-dipped prawns, chicken livers, meatballs, tortilla, garlicky mushrooms … the list is endless.

The Portuguese tradition for cooking up delicious pastries was started by nuns looking to augment their incomes in the 18th century, which is why so many pastries and desserts have Catholic names. A firm Lisbon favorite is the Pasteis de Belem, a little egg custard tart made with filo pastry and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

Queijo (cheese) is integral to Lisbon cuisine, from the Edam-like Queijo Flamengo through to hard cheeses made from sheep’s milk and the slightly spicy São Jorge cow’s cheese imported from the Azores.

The most famous Portuguese wine is fortified port, but a sharp, clean glass of vinho verde (young, ‘green’ wine) and shots of locally distilled cherry brandy are equally as popular in Lisbon.

Getting to grips with Lisbon’s cuisine can be made much easier by taking a guided walking tour; you’ll get expert advice and visit the best stores and bars for the chance to sample the wares and learn about the city’s gastronomy from the experts. Tours can be combined with wine tasting and you can even choose to cut out the walking, instead exploring on Segway.

Tours & Tickets

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Lisbon Small-Group Gourmet Portuguese Food and Wine Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 52 Reviews

Enjoy the flavors of Portuguese cuisine on a small-group gourmet Portuguese food and wine tour of Lisbon! Visit traditional eateries and taste some of ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $49.15

Small-Group Lisbon Sightseeing Tour by Segway with Food Tastings

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 11 Reviews

Go on this guided Segway tour to explore Lisbon’s top attractions and enjoy food tastings of local Portuguese cuisine. With your expert guide, ride by ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $82.85

Small-Group Lisbon Sightseeing Tour with Fado Show and Dinner

4.5 star rating: Recommended 33 Reviews

Experience Lisbon’s unique culture like a local on this evening sightseeing tour and discover where the musical genre Fado was born. As you are driven through ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $85.31

Private Lisbon History and Tapas Walking Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

On this private guided walking tour you will be able to sample a small taste of what this region has to offer.

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $119.36

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