Relying on fresh ingredients, like herbs and garlic, olive oil, but also on spices from its former colonies (India, Mozambique and Brazil), Portuguese food is amongst the tastiest in the world. Although mostly famous for the seafood, you’ll find amazing traditional meat dishes as well. As for desserts, prepare to go beyond the world-famous “Pastel de Nata” and taste other-worldly flavors.
Heavily influenced by the Mediterranean, traditional Portuguese food is incredibly rich and diverse. Follow our guide and find the best dishes!
Fish and Seafood
With one of the highest fish consumption rates in Europe, seafood is naturally part of many traditional Portuguese dishes. Grilled fish – especially sardines during summer time –, fish stew (“caldeirada”) and grilled octopus are some of the dishes served in coastal towns. Codfish is, however, the type of seafood most used in traditional dishes and it is said there are more than 365 different ways to cook it in Portugal. Some of the most famous cod dishes are “Bacalhau à Brás” and “Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá”. Other amazing seafood dishes include clams and mussels, like “Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato”.
In Portugal you’ll also find amazing meat and game dishes. Try the “Rojões à Moda do Minho”, “Açorda à Alentejana”, “Cozido à Portuguesa” or the traditional sausages made from bread and game called “Alheiras”.
For dessert, go beyond the famous custard tarts (“Pastel de Nata”) and try other traditional pastries. Some recipes date back centuries and were created by nuns and monks. “Toucinho do Céu”, “Papos de Anjo” and “Fios de Ovos” are some good examples of these egg-rich desserts. Other popular pastries include “Pastéis de Tentúgal”, “Pão de Ló” and “Tortas de Azeitão” which are found in most bakeries and pastry shops around Portugal.