Lisbon has the best food in the world. Get it from just outside our hotel door!
Why does it have to be so oily and over cooked?
Our foodies friends couldn’t stop instagraming items from their lunch in one of our favorite restaurants at Portinho Da Arrábida.
Their previous day’s encounters with the Portuguese kitchen hadn’t impressed them (to put it mildly). They found the Portuguese dishes too heavy, too over cooked and too oily. So when they finally found our delicious fish and seafood, they had to share it.
The whole world is raving about the food they get in Lisbon
For obvious reasons – with the country’s proximity to The Atlantic – you get all the fresh fish and seafood you can dream of, and when you get it BBQ’ed, topped with a good olive oil, a hand-picked lemon from the tree above you and with a green salad at the side, it’s some of the best dishes on earth. Only 2 minutes from Tings Lisbon (our hotel that will open end of May) we have several super delicious seafood restaurants. Walk 10 more minutes down the hill from our Miradouro and you’ll find the (sometimes) long line of people waiting to get a table at Cervejaria Ramiro – one of the most popular (and best) seafood places. And 20 minutes away by taxi or Tram #28 you reach our own favorite – O Palacio in Alcantara.
But as our friends said: You can hardly call fish and Seafood for Portuguese!
And they are right. You get it in Denmark, France, Spain, Greece, Italy and most of the other European countries close to the sea – not to mention Asia.
BUT in Europe you don’t find it as cheap as here 🙂
So what is the real Portuguese kitchen like? And what do you eat?
If you’re looking for the traditional Portuguese kitchen don’t panic. You don’t have to cruise the country to get it. In Lisbon you will find not only all the regional kitchens – you will find them in all categories from the very cheap, very small and very local Tascas to the famous and expensive International Michelin Star restaurants – and a wide range of new innovative places in between.
All of them serve their own versions of the Portuguese and Lisbon classics, including the ones About Travel highlighted in their blog story: 7 Classic Lisbon Dishes (And Where to Try Them)
Portuguese food is little-known outside southern Europe, which seems remarkable to anyone who’s spent any time in the country. Vegetables always make an appearance, but traditional meals are dominated by high-quality seafood and pork, expertly paired with a small number of herbs and spices. There’s rich regional variation for such a small nation.
Many centuries of exploration and experimentation have resulted in a number of classic dishes that are well worth seeking out during even a short trip to the country.
While several of these popular dishes come from Lisbon and surrounding areas, others originated elsewhere in the country. That’s ideal for visitors, who get a chance to try flavors from around Portugal without having to visit every small town and region to do so. Here are seven of the best to track down during your stay in the capital.
David Dean’s 7 classic Lisbon Dishes
- Salted Cod (aka bacalhau)
- Chicken Giblets (aka pipis)
- Snails (aka pitiscos) ( well, not quite right: Petiscos are small dishes, snails are called caracois.
- Green Soup (aka caldo verde)
- Portuguese Stew (aka cozido)
- Egg Tart (aka pastel de nata)
Important: Only eat Sardines in the season. AND try to get them from Caparica aka The Gold of Caparica. AND Bacalhau is not just Bacalhau – rumor says that the Portuguese have more than 1,000 recipes for this delicious dish. The FINALY – try Cozido on a Sunday – there are so many ingredients that the locals rarely cook this dish themselves. They eat it out on Sundays 😉
We miss 3 of our personal favorites: The Alheira, as well as one of the many squid/octupus dishes, and of course Portugal’s’ delicious cheeses. Add these 3 items to the list above and get a Top 10 🙂 Or maybe Top 11 – if you add one of the fantastic presuntos.
BONUS: Travel the world through food – only 5 minutes from Tings Lisbon
Only 5 minutes walk down hill from our hotel, scattered around Largo Intendente, we have the kitchens from all of Portugal’s old colonies and all the other ethnic restaurants you find in all international cities: Mocambique, Angola, Bangladesh & India, Vetinam, Japan, Turkey, Japan and (secretly hidden behind hom’ish curtains on 1st and 2nd floor) China.
Recommended reading: Best eating, drinking, & Dancing around our hotel in Graca, Lisbon.