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Foods to Try in Portugal

Portuguese cuisine reflects its seafaring and fishing heritage. Portugal is a nation of fish-eaters, with sardines, mackerel, and the famous bacalhau reliably on menus in all types of restaurants. The Portuguese adore their sweets and pastries, and a visit to a pasteleria will reveal all sorts of imaginatively named delights. Here are some typical Portuguese dishes to try during your next visit.

Arroz de Cabidela

It might seem daunting once you know what this dish derives from, but this chicken blood rice is a native favorite in Portugal. You can also get this dish made with rabbit and rabbit blood.


This delightful lunch includes sausage, typically prepared with french fries and fried eggs.

Arroz Doce

As an authentic Portuguese dessert, this dish is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. This creamy rice pudding is topped with cinnamon and caramel custard to add to the burst of flavor.

Bacalhau A Bras

Cod is shredded and sauteed to perfection and served with onion, straw fried potatoes, eggs, parsley, and garlic.

Caldo Verde

On a chilly night, treat yourself to this fantastic soup. It's merely potato, onions, and shredded kale, cooked in garlic and olive oil, and yet it certainly doesn't lack in flavor!

Cozido is a completely Portuguese dish – basically, a stew with different meat served with cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and onions. Each area in Portugal has its own version of this dish.

Francesinha may be the most popular dish in Portugal. Not for the light eater, the Francesinha has 4-5 different types of meat, topped with cheese and smothered in a secret beer sauce. Every local will have their own recommendation about the best place to get a francesinha. In case this great local sandwich doesn’t fill you up, it is usually served with French fries as well!

Pastel de nata

Monks and nuns originally baked many of Portugal's best cakes. In fact, the original recipe for Pastel de Nata came from the monks at the Jerónimos Monastery in Belem, Lisbon. In 1834, when the monastery closed, the formula was sold to the eventual owners of the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém, which opened in 1837. (I have been there and can attest to its deliciousness).

Pastel de Nata looks like a cross between a custard tart and a cake. The outside is crispy and flaky, while the inside is creamy and sweet. To order this in Lisbon, request "pastel de nata." However, other regions call it by different names.

Tripas à Moda do Porto is a very traditional dish made of pork stomach, veal cubes, white beans, and carrots and usually served with rice.

If you are ready to eat your way through Portugal, contact me and let's start planning your stay! You'll be amazed by the nation's delicious food options and breathtaking sights!


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