Move over pizza and croissants, Portugal and its culinary treats are the new rising star. Don’t miss out on these mouthwatering dishes that will make your taste buds do the samba.
10 years ago you’d come to Europe to visit Paris, Berlin, Rome. You’d consider Madrid, Copenhagen and Athens. Nowadays a trip to Europe isn’t complete without a visit to Portugal, and if there’s one thing you should be doing in Portugal (besides exploring the beaches, sightseeing and trying Port wine), it’s eating its astounding culinary treats.
Pasteis de Nata
Image courtesy of Manteigaria
You know these guys because every hip bakery makes a rendition of this traditional Portuguese treat. In Lisbon and Porto you’ll find these fancy looking stores, elegantly decorated on the inside, named Manteigaria, where you can get some of the best Pasteis de Nata of the country – approved by Portuguese people.
Considering Portugal practically all coast (it clearly isn’t, and the interior landscape of Portugal is completely different and equally as beautiful as the country’s coastline), it is no surprise that fish is one of the big things to eat. In this case salty cod, aka Bacalhau, takes the win. For Bacalhau we recommend a Casa Guedes in Porto, a cheap but unequivocally traditional eat in the city centre.
This one is not for the fait hearted. Made with bread, ham, sausage, and steak, this hearty meal is topped with melted cheese and a tomato-based sauce, and is often served with fries and a beer. It originated in Porto, which is where you’re going to want to go scout this delicacy out. You won’t find this dish in Portugal’s fancier eateries, but the best ones you will get your hands on will likely be in Velho Macedo (Lisbon) or Café Santiago (Porto).
Caldo verde is a simple but delicious soup that is popular throughout Portugal. It is essentially a soup, elaborated with kale, potatoes, and onions, and it often served with bread. It is a comforting and satisfying dish, especially on a cold day, which you find often in the Northern ends of the country.
Queijo da Serra
Queijo da Serra is a cheese that is made in the Serra da Estrela region of Portugal and is a soft cheese that is made with sheep’s milk. Its rich and creamy texture make it ideal to serve alongside bread and wine… a very French aperitif, but the Portuguese way.
Vinho do Porto
Image courtesy of Sandeman
With a history dating back to the 17th century, port wine is a Douro Valley delicacy. It originated from British merchants, who began to add brandy to their wine to preserve it during transportation. This process, known as fortification, gave the wine a higher alcohol content and a sweeter taste, which proved popular among consumers, and is what we now know as Port wine. If you’re visiting Porto, you’ll find all the wineries lined up against the river at Vila Nova de Gaia, with the WOW (World of Wine) museum a short walk away.