With its location on the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon has a never-ending bounty of fresh seafood ready for the taking. It comes as no surprise that Portuguese cuisine is therefore heavily fish-based, but when you see that they have 365 ways of cooking cod (one for every day of the year!), it’s hard to deny that they are true fish connoisseurs.
While fish is the country’s national dish, Lisbon offers a wide range of gastronomic delights, from the rolling mountains in the north to the plains of the south. To help you explore all that Lisbon has to give, here are eight hearty dishes that you must try!
Lisbon food; expand your taste
Bacalhau A Bras
Kicking off our list has to Bacalhau, because let’s be honest, we can’t not mention cod when talking about Portugal! Out of the numerous ways to cook salted cod, you’ll find that the “Bras style” is a particular favourite in Lisbon. With shredded cod sautéed in a pan, complete with onions, straw fried potatoes, eggs, garlic and parsley, this dish is the taste of the whole country on one plate!
Want to try Bacalhau A Bras in the most authentic way? Chef André offers a cosy night in with good music, fine wine and even better food.
Cozido A Portuguesa
Calling all meat lovers! Portuguese stews may not be the most aesthetic dishes on the menu, but they are definitely worth a try. The Portuguese are known to use every part of an animal so that no meat goes to waste, and it is no different in Lisbon. Here you will find meaty bombs of beef, pork, chicken and a variety of their derivatives. Make sure to try fish or wild boar stew while in Lisbon, they are local delicacies!
Join Manuel and Ana for a traditional Portuguese wild boar stew and learn about the adventure behind it! Nothing beats a home cooked meal.
If you’re travelling anywhere in Portugal, you’ve got to at least try caldo verde. The most traditional of Portuguese soups, this is the ultimate comfort food dish! A simple mix of potato, onions, and shredded kale, cooked in nothing but garlic and olive oil, this simply stunning dish will often be served with a slice of smoked pork sausage. All is left to do is dip and enjoy!
Experience a food tour and cooking class experience with Óscar, where you will fall in love with Lisbon and relish in a traditional three-course meal.
Although “alheira” is translated into “sausage,” it is so much more than that; it is the fascinating history behind it that makes eating it an experience. Originally created by the Jews in Portugal to fool others into thinking they were eating pork, these sausages can now be found in any corner eatery in Lisbon.
What are you waiting for? Eat a fried alheira with a fried egg and fries, and you will experience the city like a local.
Polvo à Lagareiro
Praised as one of the best meals in the country, you can’t leave Lisbon without trying polvo à lagareiro, or octopus. Again, the simplicity of this dish is to be admired. The most common way to cook the dish is to boil a whole octopus before roasting it in the oven with plenty of garlic and olive oil. You will find this popular dish in any city in the country, so surely if the locals love it, it’s guaranteed to be delicious!
Want some wine with that fish? Go wine tasting with Mariana and Antonio, where you will taste a variety of fine wine and learn to pair them with typical regional dishes.
Arroz de Cabidela
Loosely translated to “chicken blood rice,” this dish is definitely not for the faint-hearted! As the name suggests, chicken or rabbit meat is cooked in its own blood, resulting in a not-so-delicious-looking greyish-brown rice dish. If you can look past its appearance though, the food actually tastes rather tasty!
Due to EU culinary restrictions, your best bet to find authentic cabidela is if you eat with a family.
Homemade meals are often the best, so cook and eat with locals like Patrícia who will teach you the tricks of the trade!
Ameijoas A Bulhao Pato
More than a meal, clams in the Bulhao Pato style are a very popular appetiser; they are also particularly enjoyed as a snack with an ice-cold beer. Cooked in olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and coriander, these exquisitely tender pieces of seafood are simply delicious! To enjoy the full experience of tasting clams, we highly recommend dipping bread into the remaining juices, you can thank us later.
What better way to end our Lisbon food list that with something for the sweet-tooth! One of the most popular and traditional desserts in the country, there is no better way to end a meal in Lisbon than with this sweet and creamy egg-based rice pudding. With caramel custard and a sprinkle of cinnamon to finish, this is another simple delicacy that will give you an out-of-body experience.
If Lisbon is on your list of go-to cities, surely we’ve convinced you to go for its food alone! If not? We offer immersive food experiences with amazing hosts all over the world. All you need to do is choose your favorite city and explore its culture with Eatwith.