Eating in Portugal

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If you do not have any breakfast in accommodation price included you can start your day with breakfast at any one of the numerous pastelarias (cafés or pastry shops), which are open all day and serve a selection of sweet and savory pastries and great, tasty coffee.

Do not hesitate to ask for a glass of water (copo de agua), it is free and served without ice if you do not ask for it. And remember, at a café or pasteleria you can pay only with – cash!

Portuguese restaurants are usually open for lunch from 12:00 to 15:00 and you can pay your meal and drink with cash or credit card. Dinner is served between 19:30 and 23:00, but you can also find some restaurants that are open until 02:00. And you can enjoy your meal with sounds of live Fado music.

The Portuguese adore their snacks so if you feel a bit peckish in the evening, enjoy a light petisco which is served in many bars.


Algrumas EntradasWhen you take your seat at the restaurant waiter will serve entradas – kind of appetizers. But be aware that if you eat them you will need to pay for it, if you don`t want you can tell waiter that you do not want to eat entradas and it is free to take it away. But if you want to eat it, do not worry, it is not expensive, it will cost you Euro or two but you will get basket of fresh bread (pao), a small plate of marinated olives (azeitonas) and a plate with packaged tuna and sardine patés, butter and in some cases - cheese. The most famous cheese is Queijo da Serra from the Serra da Estrela mountain range. Queijo de Azeitao, from Azeitao (near Lisbon) is also delicious.

In some restaurants you may also receive a plate of presunto, octopus salad (salada de polvo) or peel and eat shrimp (camaroes) which will cost you around 4-6 Euros each if you want to eat it.

Menu of the day - El Menu del Dia

During the lunch hour, all local restaurants are offering Menu of the day. This menu consists of the fresh fish a few meat or salt cod (bacalhau) dishes. The plate of the day can run as low as 3.95-4.95 (if you are ok with standing at the counter to eat) to about 6.95 Euros; which can be 3-5 Euros less than ordering from the main menu. The menu of the day will cost you average around 10 Euros.

Soup forms an integral part of everyday meals in Portugal and, in some regions, may even be the main dish at dinner time. Made with a variety of rich ingredients, Portuguese soups are tasty, nourishing and many of them so filling that they often constitute a meal in themselves.

Sopa de PedraThere is an enormous variety of soups to choose from in Portugal like Caldo Verde (Green soup with potatoes, onions, finely-shredded kale and a touch of olive oil. It’s served with a slice or two of spicy smoked sausage (chouriço) and a slice of corn bread ), Canja de Galinha (Classic chicken broth containing rice or short cut pasta ), Sopa da Pedra (Stone soup - This is one of Portugal’s richest soups made of kidney beans, pork’s ear, black pudding, smoked pork sausage, uncured bacon, potatoes, onions, garlic, bay leaves, coriander, salt, pepper and, naturally, the indispensable stone),
Sopa de Tomate (Tomato soup), Açorda/Sopa Alentejana (It consists of slices of white, crusty bread that are sprinkled with olive oil and then soaked in a delicious mixture of boiling water infused with garlic, salt and coriander. Poached eggs are placed on top of the bread just before serving.)

Despite Portugal’s long Atlantic coast and fame for producing excellent fish and seafood dishes, meat is an essential part of Portuguese gastronomy and has traditionally been the basis of many dishes in inland, mountainous regions, particularly in the north of the country. Meat dishes are served with fries, white rice and a small salad. Each region has a long list of specialties.

Cozido a PortuguesaArroz de Cabidela - This chicken and rice dish differs from others in that it is cooked in a mixture of the chicken’s blood and vinegar. Not for the faint-hearted!
Carne de Porco a Alentejana - An unusual, but very tasty combination of shellfish and pork.
Cozido a Portuguesa - Made with several traditional smoked meats (smoked sausage, spare ribs, pig's trotters, smoked ham, salted pork fat, bacon), boiled carrots, potatoes, cabbage and turnip. This dish is one of the national favourites.
Ensopado de Borrego - A tasty lamb stew with onions, garlic, coriander and various spices, served with slices of bread that are previously immersed in the stew broth.
Leitao a Bairrada - This roasted Bairrada suckling pig is considered as a delicacy. Made with marinade of garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, lard, bay leaves and olive oil..

Fish dishes usually come with boiled potatoes and broccoli or green beans.

Sardinhas AssadasArroz de Polvo - This is a rice stew made of diced octopus cooked in tomatoes and onions.
Bacalhau a Braz - Salted cod, very finely cut chips, garlic and onion mixed with eggs and garnished with parsley.
Bacalhau com Natas - The salted cod is fried with onions and baked in the oven in a cream-based white sauce and diced potatoes.
Caldeirada - This unique Portuguese fish stew is made with various types of fish, including monkfish, ray, sea bass and grey mullet which are mixed with onion, garlic, tomatoes, green and red peppers and parsley.
Sardinhas Assadas - You cannot come to Portugal and not try the grilled sardines! Served either on a simple slice of bread or with boiled potatoes and a delicious salad, Portugal’s freshly grilled sardines are an outstanding meal any time.

Dessert - El Postre
Pastéis de NataMany Portuguese sweets are a legacy of Moorish occupation, especially in the Algarve. Try the rebuçados da régua in the city of Peso da Régua in the Douro region. If you travel to Lisbon, stop by Belém to try the famous Pastéis de nata of Belém.

Last modified on Thursday, 15 August 2013 20:47
  • About Portugal




    Language: Portuguese
    Currency: Euro (EUR) Convert
    Capital: Lisbon
    Time Zone: UTC+1
    Unit system: metric
    Driving side: right
    Electricity: 220V

    Meal, Inexpensive: 7.00€/9.33$
    Meal for 2: 30.00€/39.98$
    Meal at McDonald's: 5.50€/7.33$
    Dom. Beer (0.5L): 1.50€/2.00$
    Imp. Beer (0.33L): 2.00€/2.67$
    Cappuccino: 1.00€/1.33$
    Coke/Pepsi (0.33L): 1.00€/1.33$
    Water (0.33L): 0.90€/1.20$
    Water (1.5L): 0.50€/0.67$
    Public Transport: 1.50€/2.00$
    Taxi Start: 2.50€/3.33$
    Taxi 1km: 0.50€/0.67$
    Last update : August, 2013

    VISAS: Citizens of the European Union, Andorra, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Romania and Switzerland need only an identity card to enter Portugal. For more information click HERE


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