10 Most Popular Portuguese Dishes You want to Enjoy

When you think about the Portuguese dishes and traditional Portuguese food, what comes to mind?

Besides the famous Portuguese egg tarts or pastel de nata, can you name other local Portuguese dishes?

Portugal food and its rich gastronomy have been overshadowed by the culinary traditions of its famous neighbor, Spain, as well as Italy and France.

The Portuguese love good food and this simple joy permeates all aspects of life. You’ll find many regional Portuguese dishes across the country, emphasizing fish, meat, olive oil, bread, tomato, herbs, and spices.

The food in Portugal is made with simple ingredients that are impeccably prepared. The flavors are fresh and wholesome. And, the local wines and beverages to wash everything down are extensive.

If you want to know what to eat in Portugal, don’t miss traditional Portuguese food.

Here are 10 local and popular Portuguese dishes you want to enjoy.

Bom apetite!

Article last updated – March 19th, 2020
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1 – Caldo Verde – Iconic Traditional Portuguese Dish

From the north of Portugal, comes Caldo Verde, the famous Portuguese soup. This is one of the most popular soups and Portuguese dishes.

While Caldo Verde soup is particularly popular in the winter, you can enjoy it all year round, whether it is warm or cold outside.

The soup is green in color and made with a particular dark green cabbage that is not widely available beyond Portugal’s borders. Substitutes include collard greens or kale.

Wonderful flavors from the combination of potato puree, slices of chouriço sausage and local Portuguese olive oil, complete this delicious and hearty soup.

We enjoyed Caldo Verde on several occasions. The soup is simple, full of flavor, and delicious textures.

If you want to make this soup at home, this simple Caldo Verde recipe will have you tasting Portugal in no time.

Caldo verde soup Braga Food Tour Day Trips From Porto Authentic Food QuestBeautiful mix of flavors and textures in this Caldo Verde soup

2 – Bacalhau or Portuguese Cod Fish – A Treasured Portuguese Food

No trip to Portugal would be complete without indulging in this Portuguese traditional food. Bacalhau or Portuguese codfish is a national obsession. In Portugal, there are over 365 ways of preparing bacalhauone for each day of the year.

We loved the simplicity of this typical Portuguese seafood dish. The rich flavors and multiple ways of eating it. Bacalhau even landed on our personal list of  “top 100 authentic food experiences to have before I die.”

Bacalhau Codfish Eat Bacalhau in Portugal Authentic Food QuestSalted Portuguese codfish or bacalhau at a local Porto supermarket

You’ll find Portuguese codfish prepared in many different ways. From grilled, baked, canned, and fried you’ll easily find your eating pleasure.

Our favorite codfish preparation is the Bacalhau à brás. This is a codfish and egg scramble that is very popular. It is made with thin strips of codfish mixed together with potatoes, eggs, onions, garlic, and olives and topped with chopped parsley.

Simple and uncomplicated, this is one of the most typical Portuguese dishes not to miss in Portugal.

If you are curious and want to try bacalhau, have it delivered to you by Amazon.

BacalhauaBras_eatyourwayinSintra_AuthenticFoodQuestBacalhau a bras with asparagus and olives

Authentic Food Quest Tip: Bacalhau a bras is a simple and delicious meal to make at home. Our article How to Make Bacalhau a Bras at Home – Recipe, takes you through our experience making it in Porto. Try something different and make one of Portugal’s most delicious bacalhau or codfish dishes.

3 – Sardines – Celebrated Portuguese Seafood Dishes

Grilled Sardines

Grilled Portuguese sardines or sardinhas asadas is the summertime food of choice in Portugal. In June, the smell of grilled sardines infuse the streets of Lisbon for the whole month.

That’s when Lisbon hosts the most popular festival dedicated to sardines.  The Day of Saint Anthony or Santo António Festival celebrates grilled Portuguese sardines on June 12th and 13th.

From there, the Festas de Sardinha season all other Portugal kicks off, where sardines are celebrated at several Summer festivals.

Where does the sardine popularity come from? Historically, the Portuguese with the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean have relied heavily on seafood for food and commerce.

Portuguese sardines are primarily consumed fresh with 12 pounds of sardines eaten per person every year.

The best time to eat fresh Portuguese sardines is during the peak season between June and August.

When fresh, sardines are eaten directly from the charcoal grill, marinated with Portuguese olive oil and served with salads, rice or potatoes. Simply delicious, this Portuguese dish is a feast for the taste buds.

Sardinhas food in Portugal for grilled Portuguese sardines and Portuguese dishes Authentic Food QuestGrilled Portuguese sardines with steamed potatoes

Canned Portuguese Sardines

Portugal is also historically known for fish preservation with canned sardines being one of its most popular culinary heritage.

In recent years, eating canned sardines has become a gourmet activity, especially in Lisbon and Porto.

You will find canned Portuguese sardines offered as petiscos or Portuguese tapas (small bites) at many bars and restaurants.

In our article, food in Portugal, visiting the loja de conservas or House of Canned Goods in Lisbon is a great way to sample canned sardines.

Canned Portuguese sardines are presented in beautiful cans with artsy designs. The sardines are preserved in various condiments and ingredients. From the simple olive oil, lemon, tomato sauce to the more creative red pepper fennel, curry or chickpeas.

There’s a can of Portuguese sardines for every taste.

Canned Fish food in Portugal Authentic Food QuestTasting of canned sardines, tuna and mackerel

RELATED: For delicious bites of popular Portuguese dishes, consider taking a food tour. Read  about the best Lisbon food tours to make your travels tasty.

4 – Bifanas – The National Portuguese Sandwich

Bifanas are traditional Portuguese pork sandwiches, so popular that you’ll find them everywhere in the country.

These Portuguese sandwiches are made of succulent marinated pork served in crunchy white bread. The marinade is made with spices including paprika, garlic, and white wine. The bread has a crunchy crust on the outside while being soft on the inside.

Bifanas can be served with a bowl of soup and fries for a full meal at lunch or dinner time. Or served with beer, for a typical late night Portuguese snack.

There are several variations of the bifanas Portugal sandwiches. You can add more ingredients to your sandwich such as eggs, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes or stick with the traditional one.

Each eatery that makes bifanas will have their own secret recipe for the marinade.

The original Bifana Portugal recipe is said to come from Vendas Novas, a small town in the Alentejo region, mid-distance between Lisbon and Evora.

While little is known about the original recipe, every Bifana eatery claims to make their own version of the original.

Although considered a light Portuguese snack, be wary of the portion sizes. When accompanied by french fries, consider it a full meal.

As far as sandwiches go, the bifana ranks as one of our favorites. You’ll find the perfect combination of crunchy bread and flavorful pork.

So good, you won’t want to miss a bite.

Bifanas sandwich Portugese dishes Authentic Food QuestScrumptious Bifanas sandwich with egg, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and bacon

5 – Francesinha Sandwich – The Famous Portuguese Food from Porto

The Francesinha sandwich is an impressive plated sandwich that will make your “heart sing”.

Very popular in Porto, you will see it on almost every menu. Made with bread, ham, sausages, and steak, the sandwich is typically covered with melted cheese and an egg on top.

What makes the francesinha unique is the secret sauce that each restaurant prepares in its own special way.

The sauce is typically is a hot thick tomato and beer sauce used to dip or “flood” your sandwich. And the best part is that you can ask for more as needed, for no additional cost.

Francesinha literally means “little French girl.” It is said to have been brought to Porto by an immigrant returning back from France. This sandwich is an adaptation of the French toasted sandwich, croque-monsieur.

Served with a side of french fries, this famous Porto food packs calories, with loads of meats, cheese and sauce combined.

Although it is quite heavy, it is surprisingly delightful. This is a flavorful Portuguese sandwich from Porto to enjoy in moderation.

Francesinha one of the best Porto Foods by Authentic Food Quest for best food in PortoFrancesinha sandwich, the most popular Porto food

Read: Heading to Porto? Check our article Top 10 Authentic Foods You Want to Delight in Porto

6 – Chicken Piri-Piri – Outstanding Portuguese Chicken Dish

During the Age of Exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries, Portuguese explorers traveled through coastal Africa and discovered many new spices.

One of the spices was a small spicy chili pepper known as Piri-Piri, Peri-Peri, or “African devil.”

Today, Portuguese chicken covered in piripiri is served with chips or french fries and small lettuce, tomato, and onion salad is a very popular Portuguese national dish.

In Portugal, places that sell Portuguese chicken piri-piri are called churrascarias. You’ll find them in every neighborhood throughout the country.

You want to eat the chicken, known as frango in Portuguese, using your hands. Locals do not use a fork and knife. The chicken is cut up in such a way that makes it easy for you to tuck in and get all the juicy bites around the bones.

For dinner or a snack during the day, we savored amazingly tasty chicken piri-piri from local churrascarias to go.

We found the chicken in Portugal to be very flavorful, yet different from the popular chicken dish in Peru called pollo a la brasa.

You may be familiar with the popular chain, Nando’s, originally from South Africa, with Portuguese and Mozambique inspiration.

Nando’s, has spread chicken peri-peri globally.

Interestingly, you’ll not find Nando’s in Portugal, you’ll have to get your chicken at local churrascarias.

Chicken piri piri by Kolform by Authentic Food Quest for traditional Portuguese dishesRoasted Portuguese chicken piri-piri (photocredit: Kolform)

7 – Polvo à la Lagareiro – Traditional Portuguese Octopus Dish

Portuguese cuisine is famous for its delicious seafood. Beyond Bacalhau or Portuguese codfish and sardines, octopus or polvo is another popular Portuguese seafood dish loved by all.

Polvo à la lagareiro is a famous octopus dish that you will find across the country. Lagareiro is a popular way of cooking seafood which includes using generous amounts of Portuguese olive oil.

In this traditional Portuguese food, the octopus is typically served with boiled potatoes. The potatoes and the octopus are baked and roasted.  

Polvo à la lagareiro is deceptively simple and exquisite. The octopus when well cooked is really tender and flavorful. The Portuguese olive oil adds a unique fruity and slightly bitter taste to this seafood dish.

With this popular Portuguese dish, you’ll find yourself enjoying octopus as you’ve never before.

Polvo à la Lagareiro Portugese dishes Authentic Food QuestPolvo à la Lagareiro - octopus perfectly prepared with baked potatoes and olive oil

8 – World Famous Porco Preto – Exceptional Portuguese Cured Ham

One of the most expensive cured hams in the world is Jamon Iberico de Bellota from Spain.

What is not commonly known, is the same pigs are found in Portugal, across the border from Spain in the Alentejo region.

In Spanish, the pigs are known as Iberico pigs, some are raised in Portugal in the Alentejo region. Across the border in Portugal, the pigs are known as raça Alentejana. The pigs roam freely in the countryside eating acorns of cork and holm oak trees.

The Alentejo black pigs, produce amazing Portuguese ham with exceptional flavors. In Evora, the capital of the Alentejo region, we wrote about the food in Evora including black pork or porco preto.

On your travels to Portugal, don’t miss the exceptional porco preto. You’ll find Portuguese pork dishes on restaurant menus and in dishes like plumas or secretos, which is pork shoulder. And it is also quite popular in Portuguese tapas, known as presunto.

The flavors are second to none. The black pork will simply melt in your mouth. Be sure not to miss this celebrated Portuguese cured ham or black pork unique to Southeastern Portugal.

Black Pork Food in Evora Authentic Food QuestGrilled Alentejo black pork plumas at 5 amêndoas Restaurante

9-  Pastel de Nata – Iconic Portuguese Dessert

Pastel de nata or Pastéis de natas (in plural)  is the iconic and famous Portuguese dessert. Every Pastelerias or pastry shop has their own version of Pastel de nata.

This sweet and creamy Portuguese egg tart is so addictive and it might become your daily pastry of choice.

These Portuguese desserts or Pastéis de natas are made of flour, butter, eggs, cinnamon and of course sugar. Lots of butter is layered in the dough which gives the shells their crispy and crackling texture.

The dough is then cut into small pie shell and filled with the egg custard preparation. Cooked in a very hot oven, Pastel de nata is served warm with a small strong cup of Portuguese coffee, called bica in Lisbon.

One bite into this crispy, creamy sweet custard, dusted with cinnamon will make your eyes roll in delight.

PasteisdeNata_LisbonFoodTour_AuthenticFoodQuestAbsolutely amazing Pastéis de Nata from Manteigaria in Lisbon

Did you know that the original Portuguese egg tart is actually the Pastel de Belém?

Pastéis de natas, are said to have originated in a Belém pastry shop in 1837. They were made by Monks who were expelled during a revolution in 1820 and began baking pastries to make money.

The Pastel de nata pastries became very popular when a small store attached to a sugar refinery started selling them to visitors.

Today, the store Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém has preserved the traditional recipe. Nowadays, they bake over 10,000 tarts per day to serve the many visitors seeking to taste this unique traditional recipe.

This is the only store that can sell these Portuguese pastries under the name Pastel de Belém.  

After eating many of these mouthwatering pastries, our preference goes to the original Pastel de Belém. Our second favorite are the Pastel de Nata from Manteigueira in Lisbon.

PasteisdeBelemShop_Portugesedishes_AuthenticFoodQuest.jpgThe only place to get the original Pasteis de belem

Authentic Food Quest Tip: If you are curious about learning to make pastel de nata, take a consider taking Pastel de Nata cooking class in Lisbon.

10 – Portuguese Desserts – Conventual Portuguese Treats

Beyond Pastel de nata, the most popular Portuguese desserts are what the Portuguese call conventual desserts.

Conventual desserts are pastries that were created in convents and monasteries typically made with lots of egg yolks and large amounts of sugar. Other common ingredients are almonds or cinnamon.

Traditionally, eggs whites were used in convents to starch the priest clothing and the nun’s robes. Left with the egg yolks and time to kill, the nuns had to get creative. Making the most delicious and famous desserts became a tradition in Portugal.

As a result, every city and every region has its own conventual desserts, competing for the best-in-class Portuguese desserts.

In Sintra, you can taste the Queijadas de Sintra and compare it in Evora with the flavors of the Queijadas de Evora.

In Braga, you’ll experience the traditional Tíbias de Braga, a puff pastry filled with a soft sweet creamy paste with powdered sugar on top.

In Alentejo, you will find Sericaia a typical Alentejano dessert from the Convents of Elvas, a city east of Évora.

Add to these: Pao de Lo, Queijadas, Toucinho do céu, Travesseiro and other conventual Portuguese desserts and your taste buds will love you.

Portugal has no shortages of conventual desserts. Rest assured you find one, or possibly two, to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Pao de Lo Portuguese sponge cake Lisbon by AuthenticFoodQuestPao de Lo, famous nun's sponge cake
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In Summary

Portugal has a lot to offer in terms of food and wines. You’ll find amazing Portuguese seafood dishes, world-famous Portuguese pork dishes and a wide array of conventual desserts.

With everyday favorites like Portuguese chicken and sandwiches, there are plenty of local Portuguese dishes to savor.

This list of the 10 most popular Portuguese dishes is only an introduction. There are a lot more traditional Portuguese foods to discover.

Use this list to guide your food choices as you travel through Portugal. If your travels take you through Lisbon, stop by any of these 10 authentic restaurants to eat like a local and sample some of these dishes.

Portuguese dishes deserve more recognition worldwide. After you’ve enjoyed these local dishes, you’ll no doubt join us in singing the praises for Portuguese gastronomy.

Have you had Portuguese food? What was your favorite Portuguese dishes? Leave your comments below.

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99 comments

  1. I just found out your site and I simply must reply to this post – it’s one of the few times I’ve seen my country’s food well represented out there :).
    The thing about Portuguese cuisine is that we have so many influences from all around the globe and so many centuries on our shoulders to develop different dishes and traditions, that it’s hard to pinpoint those dishes that somehow identify a country (like Italians have pasta dishes, for instance). Also, for such a tiny country we do have many differences between different regions. But common to every single one of them is the fact that while our dishes are done very elaborate, our ingredients are still mostly fresh, local and full of flavour, giving our cuisine an authenticity without parallel (can you tell I love my country’s food? :))
    Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Salted codfish is actually from Norway, Portugal doesn’t have that natively. However it’s definitely a must for every religious holiday. Also, chicken piri-piri is from Angola, but was stolen when was invaded by Portugal and became a colony. Nando’s has good chicken, but changed to please foreigners, you won’t see natives eating that.
    Portugues folk are obsessed with food, and there’s something for every taste!

    Reply
    • True about bacalhau. It is not native to Portugal. Interesting thoughts about piri-piri, we had some interesting discussions with local Portuguese on this subject. The best thing about Portugal (or one of the best) is the amazing food. Indeed, there is something for everyone. Thanks, for stopping by.

      Reply
  3. Where is feijoada (yes it is actually Portuguese not Brazilian, they were our colony and learned it from us) ?!?!? Where is leitão assado?!?! Where is broa?! Where is cozido à portuguesa?!?! Where is our amazing cheese?!?! Not even a single of our salads? Really?? Where is cataplana?? One of the most amazing dishes in the world!!! Not even a single stew of the dozens we have!! What about our bread, what about our fine pastries? Not even one single mention of our wine!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much, Ricardo, for your feedback. You are so right, Portugal has so many delicacies that are beyond this article. Did you see other articles about Douro Valley Wines and Broa and cheese mentioned in the foods of Porto article? We certainly look forward to expanding on the amazing rich culinary Portuguese delights.

      Reply
  4. We leave in two weeks, for a three week stay in Portugal. Can’t wait to try them all .
    I grew up in Iowa where pork is king. looking forward to all the pork dishes especially the two pork sandwiches: Bifana & the Francesin. Can’t wait!!!!

    Reply
  5. I love reading reviews of national cuisine of different countries. Then take the recipe and maybe cook something …. Thank you for sharing the information. Loved it!

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  6. It’s so cool seeing how different cultures prepare and cook food. I like how you added recipe links and links to order some on amazon. I’d like to try cooking some of it.

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  7. This is a wonderful post . I have tasted the egg tarts in Macao , which is supposed to be authentic and handed down by the Portuguese when Macau was a Portuguese colony.

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  8. I have not made to visit Portugal yet. But as a pescatarian, I find the Portuguese cuisine appealing for the seafood. Well, bacalhau prepared in 365 ways sounds like a true delight to all seafood lovers. Can’t get wrong with Portuguese seafood!

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      • Do you think Portuguese food taste better than Spainard food? I can’t wait to go to Portugal one day
        I have never eaten Portuguese food, which is appalling since I am Portuguese-American. How would you compare Portuguese food to Italian and Spanish food and which do you like better?

        Reply
        • Wow, that’s a tough question because the local food in each country is so different. There are many local Portuguese dishes we love and the same is true for Spanish as well. We would say they are different, they both share some similarities and they are both good. Even though you haven’t made it to Portugal yet, look for a Portuguese restaurant in your area and try Portuguese food. Let us know what you think. Cheers 🙂

          Reply
  9. Portuguese egg tarts look amazing! Actually, all of this food does. I keep realizing there are so many foods I still need to taste and experience.

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    • A trip to Portugal just for the food Tami is a must. There is much more beyond the egg tarts and most local dishes have a wonderful story to them. Hope you get to Portugal soon. Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. Portugal has been on my list for so long, and this post certainly makes me want to visit even more! I’m not a fan of salted fish, but the other seafoods and especially the pork appeal to me. I’m sure I can put away a fair few pastel de natas too!

    Reply
    • And the good news Hannah, there are plenty of bakeries that will help you put down your fair share of pasteis de nata 🙂 Hope you get to Portual soon. You’ll be surprised by the simple and delightful food. Thanks for stopping by!!

      Reply
  11. I never heard of Bifanas before whilst on my three visits to Portugal but they sure do look yummy. I have to admit, i try and not eat sandwiches when I am traveling but to try other local foods but I am heading out there in September, so I am going to look for this and try it out. Hope its nice pork they use 😀

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  12. Seems like they are quite heavy on meat – specifically pork and sea food. Among the veg options, seems like we have the soup and desserts – which is not a bad option at all. They definitely look yummy. Lovely food shots

    Reply
  13. I really love Portuguese food so this post was heaven to me! The custard tarts are my absolute fave, still can’t find something close to what I had in Lisbon back home in London. I also love the Piri Chicken, we found an incredible little place down a side street in Lisbon that did the best version I have ever tasted!

    Reply
    • Totally agree with you, Samantha…Portuguese food is the best. That’s awesome you found a little chicken piri piri place close to you. We did as well and it was divine. Along with the pasteis de nata for dessert, you’ve got the perfect combination! Any other favorite dishes from the list?

      Reply
  14. You had me, I couldn’t name another dish off the top of my head beside their egg tarts, then Portuguese chicken followed quickly in my brain.

    Then I kept reading and, of course, Bacalhau!! I knew that, just didn’t realise it came from Portugal…. whoops!

    Now I just need to find a Francesinha locally. Wow that looks so good

    Reply
    • It’s amazing Sara, how little is known about Portuguese food. Indeed, bacalhau is considered the national dish and the multitude of preparation styles is mind-boggling. The Francesinha is worth seeking out…but in moderation 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

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  15. This is a mouth-watering selection, with a few I’d never heard of. Portuguese food has been unsung in our country for too long! I’m a big convert to vinho verde these days.

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  16. Portugal’s dishes looks awesome and I feel bad that they are not very popular beyond Portugal. Thanks for sharing this list. I would love to try Caldo Verde for it suits me as vegetarian. Is there a veg version of Bifanas available?

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    • For vegetarians, the Caldo Verde is the best option from the list. However, you can find vegetarian options in Portugal and you can also ask restaurants to make special vegetarian plates for you. Don’t let the food keep you from discovering this amazing country.

      Reply
  17. Loved this article. And I must admit that on a business trip to Lisbon years ago, except for eating the pastry at the Belem shop (divine!), I haven’t experienced all the other dishes. I dont eat pork but would love to try some of their seafood and chicken preparations if I go back to Portugal.

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    • Thank you for your feedback Shweta. Hope you have plans to travel back to Portugal soon? There are many dishes that don’t involve pork. Spend time with the seafood dishes and be prepared to be delighted. Cheers.

      Reply
  18. Other than Pastel de Natas, the bifana sandwich looks delicious and definitely top of my list of foods to try! Can’t wait to get to Portugal!

    Reply
  19. I don’t think I could name one single Portuguese dish, I’m afraid – even those Portuguese egg tarts (pastéis de nata) aren’t ringing any bells, but they look delicious! So this list was all new too me. It’s definitely whetted my appetite though! x

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    • I’m glad now that after reading this article you are a little more familiar with Portuguese cuisine. If there is a local Portuguese restaurant in your area, highly recommend checking it out. The food is amazing and worth experiencing.

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  20. Ahh so excited to go to Portugal! I never knew much about Portuguese food so I’m happy I stumbled into this post. I’ll be sure to try all of them when I’m there in a few weeks!

    Reply
  21. wow! Such a mouthwatering post 😀 I didn’t know anything about Portugees dishes at all before reading your piece. Caldo Verde soup looks like a soup I had in the north of Iran. I don’t know why I always thought Chicken Pri Pri is Mexican dish. I think Portuguese dishes have some similarity with Mexican too, is it true?

    Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed reading and discovering Portuguese cuisine. The food is exceptional and worthy of tasting. The next time you go out to eat, try a Portuguese restaurant in your area and you’ll be amazed. Personally, I didn’t find Portuguese food to have any resemblance to Mexican cuisine. The chili used in Portuguese cuisine comes from their heritage in India 🙂

      Reply
  22. I wasn’t so impressed with Portuguese food. Maybe part of it was traveling in the north, we had a lot of rice dishes and rice isn’t my favorite thing. The bifana, the chicken and the octopus all look delicious. And I’ve had some pretty fantastic octopus, so I’d be all about this life changing one you’ve recommended.

    Reply
    • I think the flavors are what make Portuguese cuisine so delectable. Not necessary “the look” of the dishes, but the flavors. Give Portuguese food another shot and yes, the octopus is to die for 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Jennifer.

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  23. I have to start off by saying that I loved pretty much all the food we had when we visited Portugal for 4 weeks. We do not like spicy food, so Portugal was mostly perfect for us. We had to watch the chicken piri-piri though. Everyone told us we would eat a lot of cod but we really didn’t. Instead we ate so much great octopus that I thought I would grow an extra arm before we left! We liked the bifanas but really did not like the Francesinha sandwiches. Maybe we didn’t get a good one. We became quite addicted to the Pasteis de Nata and did find that the best ones were at Paseis de Belem too. I am drooling looking at your pics and remembering all the food of Portugal. Thanks!

    Reply
    • That’s awesome and happy to share great drool-worthy memories. Like you, while we enjoyed the Francesinha sandwich, we particularly enjoyed a good bifana. We had to “go easy” on the pastel de nata, as they are quite addictive. So glad you enjoyed the article, Linda.

      Reply
  24. OMG I need to go to Portugal! I still can’t believe I haven’t been, I lived in Spain for 3 years so shame on me! All of these dishes sound incredible, I love bacalhau that I tried in Spain, and the octopus too, and wow that Francesinha sounds like a delicious heart attack waiting to happen!! 😀

    Reply
    • You were right next door and never made it to Portugal? Understandable though, Spain has so much to offer and rich culinary tradition. The next time you are in the region, stop by Portugal and try these delightful dishes.

      Reply
  25. I often eat chicken peri-peri. It is one of my favourite dishes. Have you heard of a chain called Nandos? They make divine Portuguese styled chicken. I am also a fan of pastei de nata. I am heading to Portugal later this year so this post will be really useful. I have bookmarked it!

    Reply
    • Enjoy your upcoming travels to Portugal. You’ll find amazing food and very affordable prices. Just be wary of the portion sizes 🙂 In the article, we talk about Nandos and how you will not find it in Portugal. You’ll taste the original flavors, which are second to none. Cheers, Janine.

      Reply
  26. Looks yummy! As a Goan, I am very interested in Portuguese food as much of the food in Goa has Portuguese influences, like the Chicken Cafreal and Xacuti. I don’t eat pork or beef but would love to sample the dishes that don’t contain it.

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    • That’s good to know that you’ll still find Portuguese influence in Goan cuisine today. Besides the caldo verde, there are other dishes that are meat-free, what we highlighted here are the national favorites. You would eat very well in Portugal 🙂

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  27. As a local, I always recommend folks to try any octopus dish. Particularly Polvo a Lagareiro. Some people are turned off by the look of the tentacles… but once you get past the “beast” kinda look, it’s so damn delicious!! 😀

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  28. I adore Portugal, and feel lucky to be able to fly there in 1 hour! The food culture is one of my favourites, more than Spain. The polvo is my favourite, and the pasteis de nata are to die for!

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  29. I was actually not able to answer the question of what Portuguese dishes come to my mind when I think about their local authentic food because I don’t think I have ever had Portuguese food! I am a foodie and I love trying local dishes when I travel and obviously I haven’t been to Portugal so I really don’t know what to expect there! However, your guide gives really good directions! I am not so sure about the green cabbage soup although I think I will give it a shot. I can see that a lot of sea food has made it to the list, like sardines, and I love sea food so I would want to try that for sure. Thanks for this detailed food guide!

    Reply
  30. When it comes to the must-try food in Portugal the first thing that comes to mind is the Pastel de Nata. We had it a few times when in Lisbon. And we had no idea that Piri Piri chicken is one of the popular national dishes in Portugal until we visited Lisbon. Caldo Verde sounds delicious we would love it try it sometime.

    Reply
    • You can’t go wrong with pastel de nata and it’s difficult not to overindulge in Portugal. On your next visit, give the other dishes a try and be prepared to be delighted. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  31. We have been following you eating your way around Portugal and it has been a delightful torture. We just started a Keto diet and are fighting to keep under 30 g of carbs a day. It is working on many levels, but there have been cravings. We have found solace in rotisserie chicken and that Piri-Piri chicken looks incredible.

    Reply
    • Could not agree more about the dangers of reading about food when on a diet. We fight in the same battle. In addition to the piri-piri chicken, the sardines and octopus, will keep you honest 🙂 Thanks, Jenn and Ed!

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  32. Number 7 down have my full attention, especially the Polvo à la Lagareiro. I’d totally try the first few on the list, as everything Portuguese I’ve tasted is yummy, but I think I’d have a hard time with the canned sardines. Just really don’t care for fish in a can or jar. 🙂

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    • Glad you enjoyed the article. And agree, that Portuguese food is quite yummy. To that point, try Portuguese canned sardines first before judging them. These are the best canned sardines out there 🙂 Thanks, Leah

      Reply
  33. There couldn’t be a better timing for this! I’m just planning a trip to Portugal and so glad to have found this article. Going to follow it. Thanks so much for sharing it.. Loved the attention to detail It was sooo helpful 🙂

    Reply
  34. I tried Portuguese food last year, my favourite dish is definitely the Pastéis de Natas.
    But I’d love to try Francesinha, that sounds like a delicious alternative to a croque monsieur!

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  35. Portuguese cuisine is not very popular like some of the other cuisines from Europe. These dishes look simple and yet flavourful. I am saving this post for my future reference.

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  36. I love the custard desserts! I used to go to a Portuguese bakery near my house which had them, I can’t imagine how good the authentic ones would taste. So awesome how we can get a taste of the world wherever we are!

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  37. Maybe it’s safer for me to never visit Portugal….I feel like I would leave a good 20 kilos heavier! I absolutely have to try one (or six) of those Pastéis de natas though!

    Reply

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