10 Best Portuguese Food You’ll Love

While Portuguese food is not well-known worldwide, they are delicious. The dishes are simple and usually a combination of lots of fish, seafood, and potatoes.

So, what to eat in Portugal? Here are some delicious Portuguese dishes you should try on your trip.

Pastel de Nata

Pastel de Nata is probably one of the most famous Portuguese food.

These Portuguese custard tarts are insanely delicious! Crisp pastry filled with egg custard and served with a dusting of powdered sounds like heaven.

The most famous ones come from Belem (Pastéis de belém), a small monastery outside of Lisbon. The Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém is the most popular place to buy Pastéis de Nata around Lisbon. However, you can find this delicious dessert anywhere in Portugal.

Pastel de Nata.

Codfish (Bacalhau)

Do you know that there are more than 300 recipes for cod in Portugal?

While codfish is mainly imported from Norway and Iceland, the Portuguese have mastered the dish. 

One of the most popular cod dishes is Pasteis de Bacalhau, Portuguese salt cod fritters. The dish is made with salt code, potatoes,  onion, and parsley and is fried till crispy.

Pasteis de Bacalhau.
Pasteis de Bacalhau is a a traditional Portuguese treat.

I also tried codfish dishes cooked with potatoes and veggies, and they were yummy!

fish dish.
Fish, potatoes, and veggies make an oh-so-satisfying combination.

Pork and clams (Porco Alentejana)

Another popular dish in Portugal is Porco Alentejana, a combination of pork and clams.

A strange mix, I know. I was surprised when I first knew about it, but this dish is indeed tasty. 

The dish is originated in the Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost province.

Pork shoulder is marinated overnight in lots of garlic, paprika, and cilantro. It’s then cooked in garlic and wine-based sauce, together with briny clams and boiled potatoes.

portuguese food pork and clams.
Marinated pork shoulder and clams in white wine and garlic sauce.

Grilled sardines

You’ll see plenty of grilled sardines in Portugal too. Portuguese actually spend the entire month of June celebrating the Lisbon Sardine Festival in honor of its patron saint, Saint Anthony.

Fresh sardines are usually available between May and October. They are seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper before grilling.

Portuguese food grilled sardine.
You can find these delicious grilled sardines at many restaurants in Portugal.

Francesinha

Francesinha, the little French girl, is quite similar to French Croque monsieur.

It’s a ham and cheese sandwich wrapped in cheese, then baked and covered with gravy that has beer in it. The dish is usually served with fries.

Francesinha originates from Porto. Francesinhas Al Forno da Baixa and Francesinhas Cafe are great places to try this dish.

Read more: Amazing things to do in Porto.

Francesinha Portuguese Food.
Francesinha is a delicious dish to try in Portugal.

Churrasco

For meat lovers, churrasco is a delicious choice. Churrasco is a Portuguese-Brazilian term for grilled meat.

You can find these affordable meat buffets everywhere in Portugal. The waiter will come to your table with different meat cuts on skewers, then carve them to plates at your table.

portuguese food churrassco steak.
Garlic steak.

Acorda bread soup (Acorda Alentejana)

Another popular Portuguese dish that you should try is Acorda bread soup. This dish is especially popular in Alentejo. 

There are thousands of recipes for this, but it generally combines chicken broth, stale dried bread, and poached egg.

portuguese food acorda bread soup.

Octopus salad (Salada de Polvo)

Octopus salad is a delicious dish to try in Portugal. It’s usually a starter or snack. 

The octopus is precooked till tender and grilled to have a smoky crust. Chopped onions, red bell peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes are usually added.

The dish is served in a fragrant sauce of parsley and garlic.

portuguese food octopus salad.
Octopus salad is a delicious starter for your dinner.

Portuguese Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce)

Arroz Doce is a traditional Portuguese rice pudding made with short-grain rice, sugar, milk, and eggs. It’s served with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

This traditional Portuguese dessert offers a thick, creamy, and sweet taste. It’s lightly flavored with lemon.

Arroz Doce is a perfect dessert choice.

Piri Piri chicken

With its crispy, lightly charred skin, and delicious spicy sauce, Piri-Piri chicken is an excellent Portuguese dish that you should try.

The dish originates in Angola and Mozambique when Portuguese settlers brought chile peppers.

A whole chicken is marinated in a chili-based sauce at least 4 hours before being grilled. This dish is usually served with French fries and salad.

portuguese food piri piri chicken.
One of the most common and affordable Portuguese dishes is Piri Piri chicken.

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