What to eat in Portugal: 5 fabulous local delicacies

If food is an important part of your travels, you may be wondering what to eat in Portugal. Portugal is a delightful part of the world to linger over a meal and drink wine. You’ll find lots of Portugal’s special dishes here and below you’ll find five of them to get you started! Don’t leave Portugal without trying these Portuguese specialties!

The most famous Portuguese dish, particularly outside the country, is the pasteis de nata or custard tart, often dusted with cinnamon. However, in 2011, salted cod earned the top spot as Portugal’s national dish. It’s a great example of the hearty cuisine loved all over the country.

At one time, Portugal was the largest empire on earth and colonizers returned home with exquisite spices for their sweet and savory dishes

Traditional Portuguese cuisine is a variation of the Mediterranean diet with colorful vegetables, bread, olive oil, seafood, and cooked and cured meats. Two important additions are a rich dessert culture and a mixture of spices.

The most famous Portuguese dish, particularly outside the country, is the pasteis de nata or custard tart, often dusted with cinnamon. However, in 2011, salted cod earned the top spot as Portugal’s national dish. It’s a great example of the hearty cuisine loved all over the country.

You’ll find lots of Portugal’s special dishes here and below you’ll find five of them to get you started. Don’t leave Portugal without trying these Portuguese specialties!

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Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese Tarts)

Portugal has given the world an astonishing culinary treat – the humble-looking Pasteis de Nata, or Portuguese Tart.

portuguese-tarts

Of course, if you’re a connoisseur of Portuguese tarts, you’ll know how to spot the best ones. We’ve written a comprehensive article on the very best Pasteis de Nata in Lisbon so that you can start each day of your holiday the Portuguese way – and certainly the most delicious way! Just try stopping at one though. We have shared our favorite places to eat Portuguese tarts in Lisbon to get you off to a good start. These must be on your list of what to eat in Portugal!

Francesinha (Portuguese sandwiches)

Francesinha is the Portuguese version of France’s Croque Monsieur. It is the signature dish of the city of Porto.

A typical Francesinha in Porto

Three layers of meat and sausage are wrapped in cheese and topped with a fried egg. The ‘secret sauce’ is poured on top and around the sandwich – if you’re in Porto, you’ll have to try one! Check out our list of places the locals head for their Francesinha fix.

Sardines

Freshly grilled sardines are so beloved by the Portuguese that they even feature in Saint’s feast days, including the street party in Lisbon for its Patron Saint, the Festo do Santo Antonio.

portuguese-sardines

There are restaurants dedicated to them and during the sardines season, you’ll find them everywhere!

Bacalhau (Portuguese salted cod)

Traditionally Bacalhau is served on Good Friday, but don’t let that stop you from trying this fish stew. It’s always made with the same ingredients and it’s so important to Portugal, there’s even a Bacalhau Museum in Lisbon!

What to eat in Portugal - Cod

Piri Piri Chicken

The Nando’s chain made it famous around the world, but Portuguese Piri Piri Chicken marinated in a freshly made Piri Piri sauce and flame-grilled in Portugal is something else entirely!

What to eat in Portgual Piri Piri Chicken

Piri Piri sauce is uniquely Portuguese – the chilis originally came from South America via Mozambique to Portugal. Eat as much of this authentic and absolutely delicious dish as you can get your hands on in Portugal!

We hope we have given you enough information to help you decide what to eat in Portugal!

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