Food is a big part part of our travelling life.
We experience the countries we’re in through the food:
Food we eat in restaurants, food we see in markets and shops, food we taste in peoples homes, food we cook ourselves, when we stay in a place for a longer time, food we read about in books we buy, food we hear about, food we watch on TV in hotels, and food we dream about.
A lot of friends and fellow travellers ask us about good restaurants
We don’t mind telling people what we think about the Portuguese food and kitchen – we did that on this blog in March and will do it again whenever we have something to say.
But we very rarely recommend places to eat.
First: We have tried too few of all the restaurants in Lisbon to feel confident about recommending. Second: People have different tastes and preferences and are not always as critical as we are – places where we don’t find the quality of the food good, other people love because of the ambiance. Third. You need to eat in a place several times to recommend it – it’s not fair to judge a restaurant if you visit the place when the chef had a bad day.
We only have a handful of places we visit frequently. If people insist we don’t mind sharing them. But then we specifically tell them, that it’s places we like returning to – not the best places in town. One of them is O Palacio in Alcantara which Culinary Backstreets highlighted.
Largo de Alcântara (from the Arab al-qantara, meaning “bridge,” ) has just joined in on the wave of renovations, the number of cervejarias-marisqueiras still gives a clue to the legacy of the area, which was strongly related to the fishing and canning industries.
Marisqueira O Palácio is the most frequented, both for its consolidated fame among locals and for the large variety of fresh fish and crustaceans displayed enticingly just behind the front window.
Read Syma Tariq & Francesca Savoldi’s story here
Our favorite Portuguese dishes are Fish & Seafood.
We love Portuguese food – but we find it very heavy and very oily. Most of the time we order fish and seafood with salad only. Most restaurants have at least fish on their menus, and it’s normally good.
But it’s in the Cervejarias & Marisqueiras you find the biggest assortment. It’s HEAVEN.
The prices here are not cheap compared to all the small restaurants. So don’t expect a menu for 10 €. But compared to Denmark, where we come from, it’s very cheap.
Four weeks ago we took our friends to O Palacio (again).
We had two plates of Jamón ibérico and a plate of percebes (our favorite seafood) as starters. Thomas had a fresh Dorade from the grill and the 3 others shared a whole crab – maybe we had a plate of shrimps too, and some fries. For drinks we got 2 bottles of vino verde, 2 canecas (a pint of beer is called a caneca – half pints are called imperial) and 2 bottles of water.
The total price for the four of us was 150 €. But as always we ordered far too much food. The crab was huge (3 kg – 77 €) and would have been enough for all of us… but that’s what always happens. When you get there, you want to taste everything!
O Palacio is our favorite Cervejaria & Marisqueira right now. There are a lot of other good ones in Lisbon and in Portugal.
But remember one thing – the best places are always the ones you find yourself. Like the marisqueira we found on Azores… but that’s another story).
Annette & Thomas