Portuguese food: the best food experiences while in Portugal

Portugal offers plenty of temptations for food travelers. Thousands of different dishes, desserts, or traditional snacks will make your stay super unique. Renowned for seafood, sausages, fresh fish, pastries, and many regional specialties, portuguese food, and its celebrated chefs have also brought attention to incredible and unpretentious restaurants, many of them awarded with Michelin stars.

Portuguese food is made with simple ingredients, the flavors are fresh, and it is impeccably prepared. But, what are those dishes you can not miss while in Portugal?

The codfish – bacalhau, and its hundred ways to be cooked

When thinking about portuguese food you’ll always find an immediate relation with cod, bacalhau is all over our cuisine. It is also a typical dish on Christian celebrations, such as Christmas. It is typically dried and salted, not fresh and it can be boiled, fried, roasted, and served with potatoes, mash potatoes, rice… you name it.

There are though, some favourite dishes cooked with codfish:

bacalhau a bras portuguese fodd

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Bacalhau à brás
  • Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá
  • Bacalhau à Lagareiro
  • Bacalhau com Natas

Seafood and fresh fish

This includes a wide variety of dishes, from seafood rice to roasted octopus. Highlights go to the traditionals:

sardines portuguese food

  • Grilled sardines
  • Fresh seafood platter (including sapateira, clams, oysters, mussels, shrimp, crab legs…)
  • Roasted octopus

portuguese food - roasted octopus

Meat dishes

Usually, heavy dishes, full of protein and with unique portuguese flavors.

  • Arroz de Pato (duck rice)
  • Cozido à portuguesa (slow-cooked mix of meats with cabbage, rice and potatoes)
  • Francesinha (traditional meat and sausages sandwich)
  • Carne de porco à Alentejana (porc meat with, fries and clams)

portuguese traditional food carne de porco alentejana

Pastries and desserts

These are almost mandatory

portuguese food pasteis de nata

  • Pastéis de nata (aka patéis de Belém – custard tarts)
  • Arroz doce (sweet rice)
  • Bola de berlim (fluffy egg cream-filled sugar-coated dough balls)
  • Pudim de ovos (eggs pudin)

sweet rice portuguese desserts

Also, discover Michelin Stars restaurants in Portugal

Michelin 2 star restaurants

  • Alma – Henrique Sá Pessoa, Lisbon
  • Belcanto – José Avillez, Lisbon
  • Il Gallo d’Oro – Benoit Sinthon, Funchal (Madeira)
  • Ocean – Hans Neuner, Alporcinhos (Algarve)
  • The Yeatman – Ricardo Costa, Vila Nova de Gaia
  • Vila Joya – Dieter Koschina, Albufeira (Algarve)
  • Casa de Chá da Boa Nova (Porto, Leça da Palmeira)

Michelin 1 star restaurants

  • A Cozinha – António Loureiro, Guimarães
  • Antiqvvm – Vitor Matos, Porto
  • Bon Bon – Rui Silvestre, Carvoeiro (Algarve)
  • Largo do Paço – Tiago Bonito, Amarante
  • Eleven – Joachim Koerper, Lisbon
  • Eneko Lisboa (Lisboa)
  • Feitoria – João Rodrigues, Lisbon
  • Fortaleza do Guincho – Miguel Rocha Vieira, Cascais
  • Gusto by Heinz Beck, Quinta do Lago
  • G Pousada – António and Óscar Gonçalves, Bragança
  • Henrique Leis, Almancil (Algarve)
  • L’And Vineyards – Miguel Laffan, Montemor-o-Novo
  • Lab by Sergi Arola, Sintra
  • Loco – Alexandre Silva, Lisbon
  • Midori – Pedro Almeida, Sintra
  • Pedro Lemos, Porto
  • São Gabriel – Leonel Pereira, Almancil (Algarve)
  • Vista – João Oliveira, Portimão (Algarve)
  • William – Luís Pestana, Funchal (Madeira)
  • Willie’s – Willie Wurger, Vilamoura (Algarve)
  • 100 Maneiras – Ljubomir Stanisic, Lisboa

The full list is available on the Michelin Guide website.

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