No trip is complete without a taste of the local cuisine. Lisbon is the perfect place for you to indulge yourself with the delicious bites and drinks from the Portuguese cuisine.
So if you’re wondering what to eat while in Lisbon for UXLx we’ve put together our food favourites you can’t go back home without trying.
Pastel de Nata
You can’t leave Lisbon without tasting one of these. Pastel de Nata (or Portuguese custard tart) is a golden puff circle with a barely firm rich egg custard in the middle.
You can find pastéis de nata in almost every pastry and coffee shop in Lisbon (or anywhere in Portugal) however the most famous ones are from Fábrica dos Pastéis de Belém, located in Belém neighbourhood. Their recipe is centuries old and only a handful of people know it.
💡Insider’s tip: Want to have it like a true local? Portuguese people usually order a pastel de nata and a café. And don’t forget to dust it with cinnamon too.
Many countries have their signature sandwich. In Portugal, that sandwich is Bifana. There’s little secret to it. Basically, it is comprised of sautéed, marinated pork packed inside some bread. Some people choose to add mustard or a bit of piri piri sauce. For the complete experience, don’t forget to order a cold beer (imperial) to go with it.
There’re 1001 ways to cook bacalhau. I’m not sure anyone has ever confirmed that number but if not, then I’m sure it’s pretty close. Codfish is not just a Portuguese food staple, it’s part of the country’s heritage. The difference from eating it in Portugal is because it’s dried and salted rather than fresh.
You’ll find bacalhau on Portuguese menus throughout Lisbon. One of the most famous one’s is Bacalhau à Brás — shredded cod mixed with potatoes, eggs, onions, chopped parsley and olives for garnish. Bacalhau com Natas — cod with a cream-based sauce — is also a delicious option.
Fish and seafood
Portugal’s 800-kilometer coastline makes it a perfect place to eat delicious fresh fish and shellfish. The variety and freshness is unbelievable. And what better way to eat fish than simply grilled over charcoal? Many fish are eaten throughout the year, such as robalo (sea bass), dourada (sea bream), garoupa (grouper), cherne (wreckfish), atum (tuna) and salmonetes (red mullet).
If you want to have a variety of shellfish together the perfect option is Arroz de Marisco (Seafood rice). It usually contains crab, shrimp, clams and mussels, all cooked beautifully with rice and flavoured with typical Portuguese spices and herbs like garlic, piri-piri and parsley.
And, of course, let’s not forget about sardines, Portugal’s best known fish. The best time to eat it is in June, when they’re the highlight of Santos Populares, a festival that celebrates St. Anthony. Grilled and served on a thick slice of sourdough bread.
This is much likely Portugal’s favourite soup. Soups are very popular in Portugal and eaten on a weekly basis. This soup’s main ingredient is kale and the broth is thickened with potatoes. The soup isn’t complete without some coin-size chorizo rounds that add an extra flavour.
Although technically a drink, not a food, Ginjinha is a sour cherry liquor worth tasting in Lisbon. It’s typically served in a small shot glass, but there’s also the option to drink it from a chocolate cup.
📍 Where to try it: One of the most famous bars to drink it is A Ginjinha , located in Rossio, in the heart of the city.
Some of the world’s best wines are seeded in Douro Valley in the North of Portugal but other regions of Portugal also produce great wine. And guess where you can try them? In Lisbon, of course. You can easily find an exquisite bottle of wine for fairly cheap prices so it might be a good idea to take a couple with you back home.
You should give a try to the famous Porto wine. With a higher level of alcohol and sweet flavour, it’s consumed as digestive after meals.
Are you a Portuguese UXer coming to UXLx and have any other tasty national dishes or tips for where to try them? Or have you been to Portugal before and tried something so delicious you never forgot about?
We’d love to know all about it. Share with your fellow UXLxers your food favourite bellow 👇