Visiting Lisboa anytime soon and not quite sure what to eat in Lisbon?
Many first-time visitors to Lisbon come for the incredible architecture, gorgeous sunshine and of course the breathtaking views! But what often surprises newbie travellers to Lisbon is the Portuguese cuisine on offer.
Sure, Portuguese cuisine has not received the same acclaim and attention compared to some of its other European counterparts. But that doesn’t imply that Portuguese cuisine is in anyway inferior. Quite on the contrary!
With such a vibrant Portuguese drinks & foodie scene, I’ve decided to put together this Lisbon Food Guide to help you decide what to eat in Lisbon on your next visit!
Lisbon Food – What You Need to Know
Food in Lisbon is an absolute treat to the senses, especially for those who have never travelled to Portugal before. Portuguese cuisine is not too common in most parts of the world, so it will likely be a unique delight. Experiencing new flavours, and smelling delicious fragrant dishes around each street corner will have your mouth watering.
Fill up your Lisbon itinerary with sensational foodie escapades, and you’re sure to be back for more. Learn about the best food in Lisbon, so you know exactly what to try during your travels.
What Food is Lisbon Famous For?
Traditional Portuguese food ranges wildly in texture, flavours and ingredients. However, there are a few food items that you’ll find around every street corner and a staple on almost every restaurant menu in Lisbon.
Directly translated, Caldo Verde means kale soup, a thick brothy soup that’s often eaten as a light meal, starter, or late-night snack. Most Lisbonian people eat this dish on a weekly basis. Like many dishes in Portugal, garlic and chouriço are added to enhance the soup’s flavour.
The Lisbon locals love their snails. This delicacy is served with butter and garlic, and is certainly must-try. Between May and September, you’ll find these little critters being served at almost every restaurant in the city.
They’re usually dished up as a starter, or enjoyed socially by a group of friends, accompanied by cold traditional Portuguese beers.
Frango no Churrasco
Are you looking for the ultimate Lisbon street food? Frango no Churrasco is barbeque chicken covered in a delectable Piri Piri sauce. The sauce has a spicy garlic-infused flavour that enhances the chicken dish.
It’s often served with a side of chips or salad to make a complete meal.
Pst…If you’re wondering where to eat in Lisbon, the answer is around every street corner.
Bacalhau à brás
Bacalhau à brás can be found on just about every menu in the city. Shredded codfish with fried potato and scrambled egg is a local favourite. It’s usually topped off with olives to inspire the taste buds.
Best Things to Eat in Lisbon
The top restaurants in Lisbon are sure to serve the most famous Portuguese dishes. But what should you be trying while travelling around the city? Here are some of the hidden gems of Lisbon that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
Pastéis de Nata
These delightful custard tarts can be found all around the world, but nowhere does them quite like Lisbon. They’re small custard desserts with a creamy centre. The top is caramelized and brown in colour.
You’ll find them at just about every bakery, and a few restaurants even serve them as a dessert or snack.
Sardinhas (sardines) is a typical dish found all around Lisbon. These delightful fish are usually grilled and doused in olive oil before being served along with a side salad. They’re freshest in June however don’t hesitate to order them all year round as the locals flash-freeze them.
Visiting the land of the famous Chouriço without giving it a try would be absolute sacrilege. The sausage is flavoured with paprika and eaten as a snack or used as an ingredient while cooking. You can order a Chouriço dish on just about every menu in the city. So if you’re a fan, you can keep coming back for more.
Azeitão Cheese is a gooey cheese usually eaten with a spoon. It’s made from sheep’s milk and makes for great snack food, or pairing it with your favourite red wine. Thistle flowers are used to separate the whey from the sheep milk curds. This gives the cheese a very distinct flavour similar to that of herbal infusion.
A sandwich favoured by the locals, Bifana is simple yet incredibly tasty. A freshly baked bread roll is stuffed with thin slices of pork that have been cooked in white wine. Garlic and spices are added to the roll along with Piri Piri sauce (if you choose).
This is one of those Portuguese meals that fill the stomach while simultaneously filling the heart.
You can find shellfish in every variety in Portugal, all of them fresh as they come. Barnacles, mussels, shrimp, lobster, and clams are all up for grabs. These can be found at restaurants all along Lisbon’s coastline, so be sure to try some unique shellfish during your visit.
Foodies Guide to Lisbon Tours
If there’s one thing that the locals do best, it’s finding the best places to eat in Lisbon. So why not take a food tour while exploring the city. You’ll learn all about the local cuisine and try some of Lisbon’s most favoured dishes.
Lisbon Food Tour by Segway
On this 2.5-hour food tour by segway, you’ll glide through the historic portion of the city, learning about the famous sites as you go. You better save your stomach for this trip as you’ll taste just about all the local favourites. A few of these include codfish cake, cheese octopus salad, custard tart, smoked meats, as well as red or white wine.
Lisbon Food Tour by Eco-Tuk
Take a 2.5-hour food tour by eco-tuk for a truly unique experience. You’ll follow the city’s tram routes as you make your way through Lisbon’s traditional neighbourhoods. The eco-tuk is 100% electric so you can travel guilt-free.
You’ll indulge in foods prepared at local markets as well as canned fish, marmalade and bread, Vinho Verde, ham, cheese, and Port wine.
Lisbon Food and Wine Walking Tour
Taking a food and wine walking tour allows you to see the beautiful city by foot while indulging in some delightful cuisine. You’ll visit traditional eateries and famous restaurants around the city’s historic centre.
You’ll learn about Lisbon’s cafe culture that has been around for years while tasting some of the best dishes that the city has to offer.