Traditional Portuguese food - 26 best dishes to eat in Portugal – travel drafts (2022)

Portuguese food isn’t as famous as French, Italian, or even Spanish, but it has strongly influenced world cuisine. Portuguese have changed history by cruising the world during the age of discoveries. We reached unknown places and did trade with Africa, America, and Asia, even reaching Japan. Furthermore, tons of Portuguese emigrated worldwide, looking for a better life and spreading Traditional Portuguese Food all over the world and then bringing influence to Portugal.

All these events impacted Portuguese cuisine and also left a trace of our cuisine in the world. Piri-Piri, our pastry, fios de ovos, tempura, tea, Piri-Piri chicken, and Pan de castella are some of the examples of our influence on world cuisine. We will explore the main aspects of Portuguese cuisine in general, but also the best typical dishes to eat in Portugal in particular.

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One of the most important things you need to bear in mind is that the Portuguese love food! We easily do hundreds of kilometers just to eat a specific dish or go to a particular restaurant. Plus, we are always thinking about the next meal – even while eating. So, food is a big deal in Portugal! It is always a good opportunity to join family and friends on a traditional Portuguese dish. Oh, we forgot to mention, to the Portuguese, there’s nothing like Portuguese food, it’s the best in the world.

As Portuguese foodies with extensive knowledge of Portuguese food (we do eat several times a day…), we created this guide to help you understand better the traditional Portuguese cuisine.

Page Contents

What should you know about traditional Portuguese food?

Each region has its own traditional dishes

Although Portugal is a very small country, each region has its typical plates creating a huge variety of dishes and an extremely diverse culinary. In the North of Portugal, the food is typically heavy – it’s farmer’s food, like Feijoada, Cozido,and different kinds of sausages. By the coast, fish and seafood are predominant, so you’ll see plenty of grilled Sardines, clamshells, and octopus. Some of the typical dishes of the south of Portugal are Açorda, Sopa da Pedra, and Xarém.

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Staple ingredients of traditional Portuguese cuisine

Portugal produces exceptional olive oil, and we use it in abundance. Olive oil is used in everything salads, stir-frying, dressing food, or simply dipping bread. We are lucky, we have the opportunity to use top-quality olive oil in every meal.

Portuguese use onion and garlic in everything, moreover, I think it’s safe to say that we don’t know how to cook without onion and garlic. Portuguese traditional food isn’t spicy, we don’t use too many condiments, most of the time, only salt. Apart from some dishes, Portuguese traditional food is healthy – it is regarded as part of the Mediterranean diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, fish, and olive oil.

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Cod’s special place in Portuguese cuisine

Portugal is the 3rd highest per capita fish consumption in Europe, and codfish is the main reason. Portuguese love codfish but salted cold. We even say that there are more than 365 ways to cook cod (in Portugal, Cod is Bacalhau). One for each day of the year… We never counted them, but we believe that there are even more!

Cod/Bacalhau is so important in Portuguese food that the Portuguese don’t even regard cod/bacalhau as a fish! It has its own category. There is fish, meat, and cod/Bacalhau.

What to eat in Portugal – Best Traditional Portuguese dishes

Typical Portuguese snacks

Chouriço

Chouriço is a traditional sausage that is cured, smoked, and fermented. It is mostly made with pork, fat, salt, red pepper paste, garlic, and wine. There is a wide variety of Chouriços, and each region or even family has its own recipes and uses different seasonings. Traditionally, the best chouriços come from Trás-os-Montes and Alentejo.

(Video) 20 BEST Portuguese Foods to Try 😍

There is a black Chouriço called Morcela, which is made with pork meat and blood and is also very tasty. We advise you to try several varieties of chouriços, don’t be afraid to experience all the different tastes!

Chouriço is usually eaten as a snack or appetizer before the main meal. Portuguese may roast them in a typical clay plate called the assador.

Don’t mistake chouriço for chorizo, the Spanish version. They are similar but not the same. Although it is a typical Iberian food, each country has its own version. The Spanish chorizo tastes different from the Portuguese chouriço.

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Alheira – a unique Portuguese sausage

Alheira is a type of smoked sausage made with poultry (instead of pork) and connected with bread and fat. Opposite to chouriço, which you don’t need to cook, an alheira must be fried for a few minutes. It is good as a snack or even as a main meal with fried egg and chips. You’ll find them everywhere, but they are really traditional in Trás-os-Montes. The most famous Portuguese alheiras come from Mirandela, but the ones from Vinhais and Boticas are equally good.

The story behind alheiras is very interesting. They were created by the Jews during the Portuguese Inquisition. To prove to the community that they had converted to Christianity, they created a Sausage – the Alheira, a poultry sausage instead of the forbidden pork. People thought that they were eating pork when they were, in fact, eating poultry.

Bolinhos de Bacalhau

Bolinhos de Bacalhau is one of the most typical snacks in Portugal. They are made of Portugal’s favorite ingredient, Bacalhau (cod). They are deep-fried fish cakes made of codfish, potatoes, onion, parsley, and eggs. It is simply fantastic to eat a Bolinho de Bacalhau with a fresh soda or a beer. You can’t really have a picnic in Portugal without having Bolinhos de Bacalhau.

Top tip: You will find restaurants selling different types of Bolinhos de Bacalhau, with cheese or other ingredients, but these aren’t typical Portuguese. The best is the original and plain simple ones. There’s a tourist trap in Porto and Lisbon selling a Bolinho de bacalhau com Queijo da Serra (cheese from Serra da Estrela)… Don’t eat this! They are bad and not typical at all! Bolinhos de Bacalhau are great! Queijo da Serra is a typical and delicious Portuguese cheese from Serra da Estrela. Bolinhos de Bacalhau with Queijo da Serra is horrible!

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Bifana

Bifana is one of Portugal’s best sandwiches, it is a pork steak sandwich seasoned with garlic and a spicy sauce. It is simply mouthwatering. The sauce is obviously the secret of this sandwich. Normally you can find these sandwiches in food stalls at fairs, festivities, or in some specific restaurants.

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Although they originated in Vendas Novas, Alentejo, you are able to find them all over Portugal, with slight differences. In the North of Portugal, they are a bit different, the pork steak is cut into extremely thin pieces, and they are seasoned in a big pot of spicy sauce and placed in a small bread roll along with the sauce. In the South of Portugal, the steak isn’t cut into small pieces, and the sauce isn’t as spicy, they are served simply on a bigger bread with a touch of mustard.

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Olives

A plate of olives seasoned with garlic and olive oil is served as an appetizer in almost every restaurant. They are simply addictive and very difficult to resist while waiting for the main dishes. As we said before, Portugal has pretty good olives, and you will find many different kinds – some are small and sour, and others are big and full-bodied.

Typical Portuguese soups

Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde is one of the most traditional dishes in Portugal. It literally means green soup, and it is comfort food. Originated in Minho, in the north of Portugal, this soup is cooked with thinly cut Couve Galega (a type of cabbage), onion, garlic, potato, and chouriço/Salpicão and served with Broa de Milho (cornbread).

It may sound simple, but it’s very good. If you have the opportunity to have a good Caldo Verde, you won’t be disappointed.

Canja de Galinha

Canja de Galinha is chicken soup, the soup you eat when you are sick. Every country has a version of this soup. In Portugal, it is made with chicken (sometimes with chicken liver and heart) and chicken broth, rice, or small pasta.

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Sopa da Pedra – Stone Soup

Sopa da Pedra means stone soup, yes literally made with stone, but also with several types of meat, chouriço, beans, cabbage, potatoes, and carrot. This traditional dish is typical of Almeirim in Santarém, in the South of Portugal. It is a very rich and satisfying soup. Actually, Sopa da Pedra may look more like a stew, and you won’t want to have anything else after eating a typical Sopa da Pedra in Almeirim.

Legend says that this soup was created by a monk passing by the village of Almerim who was starving. He asked each person in the village for only one ingredient so he could do his stone soup. The people were so curious about this soup made with stones that they gave him the ingredient just to see how he could make soup with stones. He used every ingredient received to make a rich, hearty, and delicious soup and then put one stone in it.

In Almeirim, they still serve the soup with a stone inside.

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Açorda Alentejana

Açorda is a traditional dish from Alentejo, but you will find many variations of this dish. With several different ingredients, more or less liquid, but the base of the dish is the bread. This dish was created as a way to reuse stale bread by the Morish when they occupied the Iberian Peninsula.

The soup is made with garlic, salt, bread, olive oil, and water, poured on top of the bread. In the end, a poached egg is added as well as a hand full of coriander. The bread soaks the delicious liquid of the soup.

What is the National dish of Portugal?

Portugal doesn’t have one national dish. On the other hand, any dish with salted Cod is Portugal’s National dish, the Portuguese simply love it, and it is part of our history. Ironicallycodfish aren’t fished on the coast of Portugal, but in the North in the Norway sea and near Newfoundland. As cod was a good fish to dry, the ships were packed with dry cod during the Portuguese discoveries because it would last for years. Later on, with the refrigeration process, salted cod became very cheap, and as a poor country, we adopted salted cod as our main protein.

Note: Be aware that in Portugal, there is no such thing as fresh cod, only salted. So, to cook dry cod, you need to soak the cod in fresh water for several days, or it will be very, very salty.

Bacalhau Assado com Batatas a Murro (Roasted Cod with punched potatoes)

Roasted Cod with potatoes is a classic Bacalhau dish. The Cod is roasted in the oven with garlic, bay leaves, and a generous portion of olive oil for at least one hour with small new potatoes with skin. In the end, you must give a small punch to the potatoes and add more olive oil. This is probably the most traditional dry cod dish.

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Bacalhau à Bras

Bacalhau à Brás is one of Portugal’s most loved recipes of Bacalhau. It is made with shreds of cod, very small and thin fried potatoes, and onions involved with mixed eggs. Everything is stir-fried, and, in the end, the dish is garnished with eggs and parsley. This is a traditional Portuguese dish that needs to be on your list when visiting Portugal. It’s also one of the easiest to find in restaurants all over the country.

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Bacalhau com Natas (Dry cod with cream)

Bacalhau com Natas isn’t one of the most traditional recipes, but it is very popular, and it is a staple dish in several restaurants. Although Portuguese cuisine doesn’t use cream and cheese frequently, this luscious recipe has plenty of both. It consists of shreds of cod and potatoes boiled in milk and then roasted in the oven, topped with cheese.

Typical Portuguese food – fish and seafood dishes

Grilled Sardines

Sardines are oily fish packed with flavor. This simple dish is cooked by grilling the sardines on a hot grill. It is mostly served in the summer, particularly during the Popular Saints’ festivities. Normally it is eaten with a slice of cornbread and roasted red peppers. We could have included this in the snacks or street food headings too.

Sardines are one of the most abundant fish on the Portuguese coast, it is one of the most popular and typical dishes in Portugal.

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Ameijoas à Bulhão Pato (Clams)

Ameijoas à Bulhão Pato is one of those dishes that makes us salivate merely by thinking about it. This traditional Portuguese dish is light and perfect to eat in Summer after coming from the beach, preferably on a terrace. It consists of stir-fried fresh clams, garlic, and olive oil, then adding lemon juice and coriander. Make sure you have bread to dip in the sauce.

(Video) VEGAN PORTUGUESE FOOD! | WHAT TO EAT WHEN VISITING PORTO, PORTUGAL

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Choco Frito com Arroz de Tomate (fried cuttlefish with tomato rice)

Choco Frito with tomato rice is a traditional Portuguese food from Setubal and an example of a dish you simply have to eat where it is the best. This dish is made with fried cuttlefish involved in egg and flour (it is similar to calamari) and then served with very humid tomato rice.

In Portugal, this kind of humid rice is called“Arrozmalandro” (which translates literally to “naughty rice”). Note that Lemon is always served with the dish, so you cansqueeze it on top of the cuttlefish.

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Arroz de Marisco (Seafood rice)

Arroz de Marisco is a traditional dish very appreciated by the Portuguese, normally eaten at a festival or on important days. The dish consists of a combination of several sorts of seafood like shrimp, clams, cockles, mussels, and lobster. The rice is slowly cooked in a seafood broth, and in the end, the seafood is added. The rice should be very humid, as we referred above to as the so-called “Arroz malandro”. This is also a dish very easy to find in Portuguese restaurants, but try to taste it in a restaurant that specializes in seafood.

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Polvo à Lagareiro (Octopus)

Polvo à Lagareiro is a traditional Portuguese food made with octopus and potatoes. Any octopus lover will be delighted with this dish. After being cooked for 1 hour, the octopus is roasted in the oven with punched potatoes and a huge amount of olive oil. The octopus is tender and silky, and the olive oil makes it so decadent, that you will love it.

There are several other good dishes with octopus in Portugal, like a green sauce with octopus, octopus stew… Try to eat a few of them, you won’t regret it. Though our favorite is Polvo à Lagareiro.

Note: You may also find Bacalhau à Lagareiro, which is a very similar dish but made with cod instead of Octopus. It’s also very good if you are fond of salted cod.

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Best Portuguese Food – Meat main dishes

Cozido à Portuguesa (Portuguese stew)

Cozido à Portuguesa is the mother of all traditional Portuguese food! It is a slow-cooked dish made with a variety of vegetables like carrots, onions, potatoes, cabbage, turnip, and different pieces of meat, chicken, beef, pork, chouriço, and morcela. It is a heavy farmer’s dish, eaten in winter and typical of the North of Portugal.

Cozido à Portuguesa is traditionally a Sunday dish in Portugal, but it’s very difficult to find in restaurants, and unfortunately, it’s even more difficult to find good ones.

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Feijoada à transmontana

Feijoada, which literally means beans, is another traditional Portuguese dish from the north of Portugal, more specifically from Trás-os-Montes. The dish is made mainly of red beans, different cuts of pork meat (ear, trotter, nose), and then several cured sausages like chouriço, salpicão. Traditionally feijoada is eaten on the Sunday after Carnaval, which is called Domingo Gordo (Fat Sanday), where you can make a pig of yourself before fasting for Easter.

This is one of our favorite Portuguese traditional dishes on this list, but similarly to Cozido, it’s not easy to find in restaurants and even harder in tourist areas. Though it’s worth searching for a good Feijoada restaurant just to try it out!

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Leitão à Bairrada

Leitão à Bairrada is a roasted piglet cooked in a wood-fired oven. It is a succulent piglet with crispy skin typical of the region of Bairrada in the center of Portugal. This is the kind of dish that you should eat only in the Bairrada region (Mealhada, Anadia) or in very specific restaurants. It has to be prepared and cooked in a very particular way for it to be truly good.

Leitão is served with chips, salad, and a spicy sauce made with the fat of the piglet to dip your fries and season the Leitão. Most restaurants also serve sandwiches of Leitão, which are also very tasty.

Important note: Please don’t eat supermarket leitão, it’s horrible. If you are trying leitão, you have to do it the right way in a specialized restaurant.

(Video) Trying Authentic Portuguese Food For The First Time In Lisbon, Portugal | Portuguese Food Tour

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Carne de Porco à Alentejana

By now, you probably have noticed that the Portuguese have plenty of traditional foods with Pork, but this dish has to be on your shortlist and won’t disappoint you. This is a Portuguese surf and turf!

Carne de porco à alentejana is made with pork meat and clams combined with fried potatoes. The dish is seasoned with garlic, paprika, red wine, bay leaf, and coriander. This is traditional Portuguese food at its best! Curiously, this dish is from Algarve despite the name saying it is from Alentejo. This happens because Alentejo is well known for its good quality pork.

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Frango Churrasco (Piri Piri Chicken)

Portuguese Frango de Churrasco, aka Piri Piri Chicken, is one of Portugal’s most famous foods, and you are able to find it all over the world, in restaurants like Nando’s or Oporto (Australia). For those who haven’t tried it, Frango de Churrasco (or Piri-Piri Chicken) is a succulent roasted chicken on a hot grill and is seasoned with a hot Piri-Piri sauce (It’s a type of chili). Frango de Churrasco is a meal that people eat quite frequently in Portugal, there are tons of places that sell it, although you won’t find Nando’s (the most famous chain) in Portugal.

This universally known Portuguese dish isn’t exactly from Portugal but from Moçambique, which was a colony of Portugal. It was created in Moçambique, where the Piri-Piri originated. The Portuguese loved it so much and started opening Piri-Piri chicken restaurants everywhere, in Portugal and the rest of the world.

Portuguese Food – desserts

Pastel de Nata and Pastel de Belém

Pastel de Nata is easily the most famous Portuguese dessert. It is a crunchy tart made with a delicious egg cream that is roasted in the oven and topped with cinnamon and/or icing sugar. This traditional Portuguese dessert was created in Lisbon by the monks of the Jerónimos Monastery.

Is there a difference between Pastel de Nata and Pastel de Belém? Pastel de Nata is sold all over Portugal, but Pastel de Belém is only sold in Belém, Lisboa, right next to the Jerónimos Monastery. Pastel de Belém is the original Portuguese tart, and its recipe is a secret. They are only slightly different from most of the Pastel de Nata.

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Ovos Moles

Ovos Moles means soft eggs, and it is a dessert made of egg yolks and sugar covered by wafers. This is a traditional dessert of Aveiro in the center of Portugal, and it is designated a product with Protected Geographical Indication by the European Union. Ovos moles are sold in different shapes like shells, fish, and Moliceiros (a typical boat of Aveiro). It may sound weird, but it is good, so good…

In Portugal, most of the desserts are made with Ovos Moles paste (yolks and sugar). In the past, convents and monasteries were the creators and producers of these sweets. Why? They used egg whites to iron their habits, so there was a surplus of egg yolks. These were later used to cook desserts. There are hundreds of varieties of these sweets, but they are all designated as “Doçaria Conventual”, which literally means sweets from convents.

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Bolo Rei

Bolo Rei or Kings Cake is a traditional Portuguese cake eaten at Christmas and the Epiphany. Although nowadays you are able to find Bolo Rei year around. The cake is made of soft dough with nuts and dried fruit and covered with crystallized fruit. Tradition says that the one who finds the fava bean in the cake has to pay for the Kings Cake next year.

Honestly, I don’t like it… the dough is too dry and crystallized fruit…? Nah… But it is very, very traditional!

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Pão de Ló de Ovar

Pão de Ló is a sponge cake made with a generous amount of egg yolks, which makes the cake very humid. There are different versions of this cake, but the best one is from Ovar, in the center of Portugal. The cake is humid on the outside and very liquid on the inside. It looks very simple, but it’s delicious and completely decadent. Plus, if you like Portuguese egg cream, then it’s just irresistible. It also used to be cooked in convents and monasteries.

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Final thoughts on Portuguese Cuisine

Don’t be afraid to try different things and allow an opportunity to discover all the delicious Portuguese dishes. It is effortless and cheap to eat in Portugal. Like everywhere else in the world, always try to eat where the locals are eating. They know all the best places. Some of these (and other) traditional dishes are very regional-specific and best found in certain regions.

Anyhow, in Portugal, you will eat like a king, the food is luscious, tasty and it won’t break your wallet.

(Video) Discovering TRADITIONAL PORTUGUESE FOOD | Food Tour in Porto, Portugal

FAQs

What is the most traditional Portuguese food? ›

Bacalhau. Bacalhau (dried, salted cod) is Portugal's national dish, although saying national dish is a bit confusing as there really isn't just one recipe for bacalhau: rumour has it that there are more than 365 different ways to cook bacalhau, and some people say that's even an under-estimation.

What are some famous Portuguese dishes? ›

Typical dishes include à lagareiro, à Brás, and à Gomes Sá. One of the most famous petiscos in Lisbon is pasteis de bacalhau.

What are the national dishes of Portugal? ›

The national dish of Portugal, bacalhau is dried and salted codfish, which is usually soaked in milk or water before cooking. The Portuguese have been eating bacalhau since the 16th century when their fishing boats brought it back from Newfoundland.

What is a typical Portuguese breakfast? ›

The most common items you'll find in a Portuguese breakfast are: bread, sliced cheese, sliced ham, bread, jam, and a milky coffee. Sometimes it's just toast without the ham and cheese, but the common denominators are almost always bread and a milky coffee like a galão or a meia de leite.

What food and drink is Portugal famous for? ›

5 must-try foods and drinks in Portugal
  • Cataplana de Marisco. A trip to Portugal wouldn't be complete without ordering a mouth-watering portion of Cataplana de Marisco. ...
  • Grilled Sardines. ...
  • Piri Piri Chicken. ...
  • Port. ...
  • Pastéis de Nata. ...
  • Feeling hungry now?

What is a typical lunch in Portugal? ›

Typical Lunch in Portugal (12 p.m. to 2 p.m.)

These menus usually include a soup, prato do dia (dish of the day), dessert, and a coffee. If they're really in a rush, they'll order something quick at the counter like a soup and a bifana (pork sandwich).

What drink is Portugal famous for? ›

Port Wine

This is one of the most famous Portuguese drinks ever. It is so well known and drank all over the country and even abroad – especially in the UK since their citizens appreciate this type of wine so much. Port Wine is made from distilled grape spirits exclusively made in the Douro Valley (north of Portugal).

What should I know before traveling to Portugal? ›

15 Things To Know Before Visiting Portugal
  • Wear comfortable footwear. ...
  • Brush up on some Portuguese vocabulary. ...
  • Keep an eye on personal items. ...
  • Know how to properly ask for coffee. ...
  • Remember the number 112. ...
  • Ignore drug dealers. ...
  • Use a G.P.S. ...
  • Stay in a group at night.
24 May 2017

What is the national drink of Portugal? ›

In a country of exceptional wines and ports, something that is often missed off visitors' drinking lists is Licor Beirão. It might even be a surprise to some that its slogan 'O licor de Portugal' claims to be the national liquor.

What fruit is Portugal known for? ›

Fruit. Pêra Rocha (pears), Maçã de Alcobaça (apples), Cova da Beira's cherries, a number of chestnut producing regions, and the Laranja do Algarve (oranges), are examples of well-known Portuguese certified products.

What is the biggest meal of the day in Portugal? ›

The most important meal of the day in Portugal is lunch. Portuguese love food and wine, in fact, Portuguese are the major consumers of wine in the world.

What time do you eat dinner in Portugal? ›

The Dining Experience In Portugal

In Portugal, restaurants open for lunch starting at 12:00 p.m. or 12:30 p.m. but don't usually fill up until around 1:00 p.m. Dinner is most commonly taken at 9:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m., but restaurants do open as early as 7:00 p.m.

Can you drink tap water in Portugal? ›

Tap water in Portugal is clean and meets all EU safety standards. It therefore complies comply with international water quality standards.

Do you tip on Portugal? ›

In general, Portugal is not a tipping culture, there are no established rules, and different people follow different rules. There is no obligation to tip in restaurants, hotels, bars, or personal service locations like salons and spas.

What is the most common Portuguese last name? ›

Most Common Last Names In Portugal
RankSurnameIncidence
1Silva283,326
2Santos222,145
3Ferreira191,083
4Pereira173,391
119 more rows

What time do people wake up in Portugal? ›

THE WORLD'S SLEEPING HABITS
RankingCountryAverage wake-up
10Germany7:25 AM
11Russia8:06 AM
12Portugal8:22 AM
13Italy7:52 AM
46 more rows
17 Apr 2015

Can you eat salad in Portugal? ›

Know what sides to expect

Grilled and fried meat usually come with rice and fries, and fish comes with boiled potatoes and vegetables. Salad is usually extra and typically includes lettuce, tomato, and onions. The waiter will ask you quer salada? (do you want salad?).

What spices are used in Portugal? ›

7 most used seasonings on traditional Portuguese food
  • Salt (“Sal”) ...
  • Black pepper (“Pimenta preta”) ...
  • Cumin (“Cominho”) ...
  • Red bell pepper powder (“Colorau” or “Pimentão doce”) ...
  • Cinnamon (“Canela”) ...
  • Bay leaves (“Louro”)
18 Jun 2020

What is the diet of Portugal? ›

The roots of Portuguese food lie in both native peasant cookery and the ingredients obtained through trade routes established many centuries ago. Bread, rice, spices, pastries, sausages, and seafood — especially cod — remain the staples of many Portuguese meals.

Are Portuguese heavy drinkers? ›

Among countries within the European Union, Portugal is the one that has the highest alcohol consumption and Linked Alcohol Problems prevalence. The consumption per capita was the highest in the world, standing in 2000 at 10.8 litres of pure alcohol, being the 3rd largest consumer [12].

What should I be careful of in Portugal? ›

Crime rates are low but pickpocketing, handbag snatching and theft from cars and holiday properties are common in major tourist areas and can be accompanied by violence. Be alert, keep sight of your belongings at all times and beware of thieves using distraction techniques.

How do I not look like a tourist in Portugal? ›

How To NOT Look Like A Tourist | What To Wear In Europe - YouTube

What is the best currency to use in Portugal? ›

While you are taking up a Portugal trip, ensure that you carry Euro with you as that is the currency in Portugal. Before Euro, Escudo was the legally accepted currency in Portugal.

What is Portugal famous for? ›

Portugal is famous for its typical seafood dishes, popular beach destinations, and 16th to 19th-century architecture, from when this country was a powerful maritime empire. It's also known for its soccer legends, fado music, historical cities, and port wine.

What is a typical lunch in Portugal? ›

Typical Lunch in Portugal (12 p.m. to 2 p.m.)

These menus usually include a soup, prato do dia (dish of the day), dessert, and a coffee. If they're really in a rush, they'll order something quick at the counter like a soup and a bifana (pork sandwich).

What drink is Portugal famous for? ›

Port Wine

This is one of the most famous Portuguese drinks ever. It is so well known and drank all over the country and even abroad – especially in the UK since their citizens appreciate this type of wine so much. Port Wine is made from distilled grape spirits exclusively made in the Douro Valley (north of Portugal).

What is the Portuguese national drink? ›

In a country of exceptional wines and ports, something that is often missed off visitors' drinking lists is Licor Beirão. It might even be a surprise to some that its slogan 'O licor de Portugal' claims to be the national liquor.

What is the best month to visit Portugal? ›

The best time to visit Portugal is in spring (March-May), when the country is in bloom and waking after the winter. You could also go in fall (between September and October) when the sun is still shining, the weather is warm, and many of the crowds have dispersed.

How well is English spoken in Portugal? ›

Portugal is the seventh most proficient country in the world when it comes to speaking English as a second language, according to the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), which analyses data from 2.2 million non-native English speakers in 100 countries and regions.

What is the main meal of the day in Portugal? ›

The most important meal of the day in Portugal is lunch.

What is the most common Portuguese last name? ›

Most Common Last Names In Portugal
RankSurnameIncidence
1Silva283,326
2Santos222,145
3Ferreira191,083
4Pereira173,391
119 more rows

What should I know before traveling to Portugal? ›

15 Things To Know Before Visiting Portugal
  • Wear comfortable footwear. ...
  • Brush up on some Portuguese vocabulary. ...
  • Keep an eye on personal items. ...
  • Know how to properly ask for coffee. ...
  • Remember the number 112. ...
  • Ignore drug dealers. ...
  • Use a G.P.S. ...
  • Stay in a group at night.
24 May 2017

What spices are used in Portugal? ›

7 most used seasonings on traditional Portuguese food
  • Salt (“Sal”) ...
  • Black pepper (“Pimenta preta”) ...
  • Cumin (“Cominho”) ...
  • Red bell pepper powder (“Colorau” or “Pimentão doce”) ...
  • Cinnamon (“Canela”) ...
  • Bay leaves (“Louro”)
18 Jun 2020

Are Portuguese heavy drinkers? ›

Among countries within the European Union, Portugal is the one that has the highest alcohol consumption and Linked Alcohol Problems prevalence. The consumption per capita was the highest in the world, standing in 2000 at 10.8 litres of pure alcohol, being the 3rd largest consumer [12].

What is the most popular wine in Portugal? ›

Port is the most famous and most copied wine from Portugal, and it grows in the Douro Valley.

What time do people eat dinner in Portugal? ›

In Portugal, restaurants open for lunch starting at 12:00 p.m. or 12:30 p.m. but don't usually fill up until around 1:00 p.m. Dinner is most commonly taken at 9:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m., but restaurants do open as early as 7:00 p.m.

Do you tip on Portugal? ›

In general, Portugal is not a tipping culture, there are no established rules, and different people follow different rules. There is no obligation to tip in restaurants, hotels, bars, or personal service locations like salons and spas.

Is there street food in Portugal? ›

Whether you prefer savory delicacies or enjoy filling up with sweets, Portugal has plenty of street food options for you to taste.

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