You’re very lucky if you stay in Lisbon because the cuisine is just amazing. Offering a rich cuisine ranging from fish to desserts, Lisbon promises an unforgettable experience.
Although Lisbon is known mainly for fish meals, there are other types of food waiting for you to discover.
In this article, you will find the most popular foods in Lisbon which we’ve sorted under the categories of fish, meat, dessert, soup, and others. Don’t leave Lisbon without trying at least half of them!
Seafood Is an Essential Part of Portuguese Cuisine
Thanks to its location, you’ll find delicious seafood in Lisbon.
You must definitely try the sardines in Lisbon, especially in summer. Also, you can find fresh sardines at the Festo de Santo Antonio every year in June. This is the time when you can find the sardines in the freshest condition. During the festival, you can see people grilling the sardines in the streets. They eat it along with wine or boiled potatoes.
Note that people here also eat it during the whole year either grilled or canned. The price of the canned sardines ranges between a few euros in Lisbon. If you wonder where you can get these sardines, the store Conserveira de Lisboa can be a good choice. You can find a variety of tinned food here.
Another traditional food here is Bacalhau, a dried codfish that is salted. The locals cook it in different ways. However, the most well-known way is to prepare it with potatoes, scrambled eggs, and olives.
This dish also has an old history, dating back to the times of explorers. They used to consume preserved fish so that they can bear the long voyages.
If you want to cook it by yourself, you can find it in most of the markets and grocery stores. If you want to eat it at a good restaurant, you can consider A Casa do Bacalhau. Note however that it is a touristy place, and a bit far from the city center.
Arroz de Marisco
Arroz de marisco is a rich food in terms of its ingredients. It consists of clams, prawns, and mussels. In addition, some vegetables, herbs, and rice are also added in the process of cooking. You’ll find that it’s similar to the Spanish paella, but this one is moister.
Meat and Chicken
Don’t assume that only seafood is famous here. Chicken Piri Piri, Chouriço, and Alheira are famous dishes made with meat or chicken.
Chicken Piri Piri
The food takes its name from the pepper Piri Piri which is from Mozambique and Angola. So, this food is taking its root from African colonies. Over an open flame, they grill marinated chickens. Its delicious taste comes from these Piri Piri peppers, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. It tastes even better if you eat it with potatoes, rice, and salad.
You can prefer Cantinho do Aziz to eat this special chicken meal. Chicken Piri Piri is the most famous dish in the restaurant as well.
Bifana is mainly a sandwich with marinated pork. The pork is sautéed and marinated in white wine and garlic. Then it’s fried, and put inside the bread or a crispy roll. You can accompany this sandwich with french fries as well. Mustard and hot sauce are also preferable depending on your choice. A cold beer is always suggested as a pair to this delicious meal.
It’s possible to find this food in nearly any food stall in Lisbon. You may need to eat them at the bar of a store with many people as it’s difficult to find proper chairs and tables. However, the taste is worth everything!
It’s possible to find Chouriço on every menu in Lisbon. It’s a very popular sausage in Portugal, flavored with paprika. People here both put this inside a meal or eat it simply as a snack. Chouriço Assado can also be a choice if you’re at a restaurant. This type of dish is cooked on the side of a clay dish with flames. It also tastes well inside bread.
This is another type of sausage in Lisbon. You can find different ingredients in different places, however, you’ll usually don’t find pork in it. The making of this sausage also comes from a Jewish tradition.
The ingredients of this sausage can include chicken, beef, duck, and bread. It’s possible to grill or fry this sausage. Often, you’ll find it served with eggs and french fries. It’s also nice to serve it with rice and salad as well.
Overall, Portugal is famous for its various unique desserts. However, Pasteis de Nata is the one that comes from Lisbon.
Pasteis de Nata
Firstly, the dessert dates back as far as the 1800s. This was the time when monasteries came up with this to benefit from the extra eggs.
Another interesting fact: the Clarinha family has the copyright of the recipe for this dessert. They say that it’s centuries old. It’s also popular in Macau and Mozambique, the Portuguese colonies in the past.
It’s mainly a custard tart with an egg in it. It’s creamy and yellow. The top of this dessert is dark brown because of the caramelization process.
You can find the best-served and famous pastéis de nata in Pastéis de Belém, Pastelaria Aloma, Manteigaria, or Confeitaria Nacional. As you can see, you can realize differences in taste in each place you go. This is also a fun way to rank the best place according to your taste.
Soup and Other Tastes
Cozido à Portuguesa
This is another traditional dish in Portugal. Restaurants generally serve it in big sizes. So, you’ll find a variety of meat and boiled vegetables inside the meal. Beef and pork, potatoes, carrots, turnips, and cabbages are all inside. Sometimes, they add chicken as well. If that’s not enough, you can find sausages like chouriços as well.
Caldo Verde is a type of soup, which is green. Its ingredients include potatoes, kale, salt and olive oil. The best version of this soup that it feels creamy, although there isn’t any cream in it. Also, you’ll most probably find a few slices of Chouriços inside the soup as well. It’s easy to find this soup anywhere in Lisbon.
Azeitão, also known as Queijo de Azeitão is quite famous in Portugal. It’s made with the milk of raw sheep, near Azeitão. It’s a delicious taste that tastes even better with red wine.