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WE LOVE FOOD! Yes, there is no point in covering it up, or trying to justify it by insisting it is part of our job to explore the city’s best eateries in order to provide our readers with an in-depth city guide. Ever since our childhood, we still remember the places we visited in by their flavors…. So food is responsible for a great part of our enjoyment in any place we visit. Which brings us to our Portugal Foodie Guide. What are the best dishes to try in Portugal? Where to eat in Lisbon and Porto? Where do locals eat in Porto and Lisbon? We got you covered!
What to Eat in Portugal?
Wine and Cheese
Portugal has a great selection of wine and cheese. In Porto you must try the local Port wine and to accompany it you can choose from a variety of savory or sweet cheese dishes. Try one of the local grilled cheese dishes which are to die for.
This traditional cherry liquor is served in regular or chocolate shot glasses. You have to try this local delicacy at least once to feel like a local! It was part of our Lisbon bucket list so most evenings we just popped into these little shops and and start our evenings like the locals do.
Wherever you go, you will see these canned sardines, organized in colorful rows all over the deli shops and souvenir shops. Portugal has a long history of preserving fish but do yourself a favor and try the fresh grilled ones.
Arroz de Marisco
The Portuguese seafood rice is full of flavors and very hearty and it is a great opportunity to try the local seafood.
This is the signature dish of Porto so it must be on any foodie’s Porto itinerary! If you are into an enormous sandwich with layers of ham, sausage, steak, covered with melted cheese and served with spicy tomato sauce and chips , this is the dish for you!
Another fish that Portugal is famous for is the codfish (bacalhau). There are hundreds of dishes to choose from all over Portugal so make sure to try it at least once.
Where to Eat in Porto?
This unique restaurant is a combination of a shop (kitchen utilities, jewelry and media products) and a restaurant which is located in a uniquely designed space. The dishes aren’t very big but they are beautiful work of arts which happen to taste great as well! And the staff is so friendly! Don’t forget to try the lemon pie with lavender ice cream. http://www.mondodeli.com/en/shop/
Mercearia das Flores
Located in the charming Flores Street this local deli offers fresh and high quality local products. Eat a light meal, take a picnic basket with you or buy some souvenirs to bring back home. Try the grilled goat cheese with oregano, olive oil and honey. http://www.merceariadasflores.com/en/index.php
For tasty, healthy and unique salads, wraps, soups and more try this great spot just near the Clérigos Tower. This is where the locals eat in Porto when they crave some light healthy dishes. It has a great atmosphere but limited space so try and reserve a table in advance or just show up and wait for a little while. These kinds of places are our favorites! https://www.facebook.com/brickclerigos/
Ostras & Coisas
For great fish and seafood try this place. We actually spotted it while walking outside (it was closed) and came back especially to give it a try. We had a wonderful meal and it was one of our local favorite restaurants. http://ostrasecoisas.pt/
Where to Eat in Lisbon?
Where do the locals eat in Lisbon? This is the place so you’d better find time for it in your Lisbon itinerary! This huge food hall was opened in 2014 and since then it has become one of Lisbon’s favorite places to grab lunch or dinner. You can find here many of Lisbon’s finest restaurants that offer their best of the best in reasonable prices. Enjoy your dish at the communal tables and mingle among the locals and tourists alike. https://www.timeoutmarket.com/lisboa/en/
Taberna Do Bairro Do Avillez
This place is part of a group of restaurants of the famous chef Jose Avillez. You can find a gourmand shop and traditional taberna in the front, and a seafood restaurant set in an indoor courtyard in the back. Enjoy the lovely interior design and the great food! http://www.bairrodoavillez.pt/en/
We happen to stumble upon this gem by mistake during lunch time but it turned out to be one of the greatest restaurants in Lisbon. Each dish here was a feast for the eyes and the palate. You can’t go wrong with whatever dish you choose here! https://www.mesonandaluzlisboa.com/
A great place to experience the seafood of Portugal is Ramiro (not to mention the reasonable prices). Always busy with locals and tourists alike it is not a place for the faint-hearted. Rows and rows of tables and benches, bowls and plates filled with the best seafood Lisbon has to offer, glasses of wine, the sound of hammers and crab crackers fill the air… you get the pictures. There’s always a line outside this place because this is where the locals eat seafood in Lisbon, so to avoid it, try to come between the official meal times (we arrived at around 6:00 and found a table quite quickly). Don’t skip this simple and great restaurant if you are a seafood lover!
I am all about ice cream unlike my sister who isn’t a huge fan. However when I found myself being dragged by my sis in the middle of the night to have another scoop of ice cream at this place (our third visit) before leaving Lisbon, it was clear that this should be a MUST on every tourist’s Lisbon itinerary. https://www.amorino.com/en/index.html