When you travel, food is not just for satisfying your hunger. It is part of the adventure, it is completely soaking up the culture and creating memories. If you are heading to Portugal and want to give the foodie in you a feast, here’s a list of the meals that you should not miss:


Originally from Porto, this meal is meat-lover’s heaven and it sure is a challenge to eat a whole sandwich and the fries that it is usually served with. It consists of ham, smoke-cured pork, fresh sausage, steak or roast meat. All of that is then covered in sauce made of tomato, beer and chili. This dish is now emblematic for the whole country and comes in different variations. It was first made by Daniel David Silva who was a Portuguese emigrant in France. When he came back to his home country he wanted to create a dish similar to the French croque-monsieur that would be suitable for the taste of the Portuguese and started first serving it in a restaurant called A Regaleira, where he was working at the time. Now that is the most popular traditional Portuguese dish that is alone worth travelling for.

4323193893_a430c13ca5_b (1)


Portugal is a maritime nation so it’s no surprise that its traditional cuisine includes a lot of fish and seafood. It has actually the highest per capita fish consumption in the European Union. Bacalhau, which literally means “dried and salted cod”, is a favorite ingredient throughout the whole country. Although it is not consumed fresh, there are more than 1000 recipes with it that you can try – Bacalhau com todos, Bacalhau à Zé do Pipo, Bacalhau com natas just to name a few.

Polvo à Lagareiro

Yet another seafood meal in the Portuguese menu – this octopus dish can be found in all parts of Portugal. The octopus is first boiled and then grilled and brushed with olive oil. It is often dressed with chopped parsley and garlic and served with roasted potatoes with their skin.

Arroz de marisco

When in Portugal, you can never get tired of all the seafood, since there are so many recipes and so many different ways that it is served. One classic that you can not miss, especially if you visiting a coastal city,  is Arroz de Marisco – rice dish with either prawns, mussels or squids, seasoned with fresh herbs and sometimes even white wine.  In some variations, vegetables like tomatoes and peas are added. Get a glass of wine along with that and you have the perfect summer dish to enjoy with a view of the sea.


Porco Preto

Black pigs are species that are native to the Iberian Peninsula. Having that in mind, it is easy to understand why pata negra – the ham made from that species has long been a traditional meal in Portugal and one of the delicacies it is famous for. The process of making pata negra is really long – about two years, one to carefully raise a piglet, the meat then needs to stay covered in sea salt for three months  and is then hung in a cold room for another 8 month. But it’s worth the wait since many people describe that as the best ham they’ve ever tried so if you are in Portugal you can check for yourself what all the hype is about.

Caldo verde

If you want to give yourself a break from all the fish and meat, try this delicious soup, traditionally made with potatoes and kale and flavored with olive oil and salt, sometimes garlic and onion too. It is usually served with broa – traditional corn and rye bread. This soup is important part of Portuguese culture since it is often consumed during celebrations like weddings, birthdays or national holidays.

Pastel de Nata

We’re finishing our list with a dessert – the Pastel de Nata. This delicious cinnamon-dusted egg tart is the perfect dessert for your morning coffee and is a favorite of locals and tourist alike as you can tell by the queues in front of the best Portuguese bakeries. Pastel de Nata has an interesting origin as well. It was invented by Catholic monks at the Jerónimos Monastery who used egg-whites to starch their clothes and created recipes with the remaining yolks. When a bakery nearby started selling the tart, it had a huge commercial success that continues all over the country to these days.