Carcavelos beach near Oeiras, 2007

In Portugal, you can eat and drink relatively cheap. Traditions are strong and there are not many restaurants serving foreign cuisine, at least not in the countryside. Here I have collected some tips on food and even some restaurants. The ingredients are so flavorful in themselves that not too much spices are used. They often begin the meal, even for lunch with a soup, main course and then dessert, often made of fruit. Wine drinking at lunch is more common than in the evening as we are accustomed. Lunch is served between 12:00 to 15:30, snack at 17:00 and dinner is at 21.00. Evening restaurants are often open at 19:30 to 22:30. Take the opportunity to enjoy a meal at a Fado restaurant. Fado is the traditional Portuguese song, read more in nightlife.


Seafood and Fish

The Atlantic Ocean has much to offer and you should take the opportunity when you're here. Grilled fresh fish served with potatoes is really good and there are many different kinds of fish. A traditional one is Sardinhas, sardines. The Portuguese favorite fish is "cod" (bacalhau) imported dried from Norway. The recipes are endless, but for example, try the grilled, with roasted potatoes, garlic and lots of olive oil! White snails fried in coriander, squid (there are many variations on both large and small).  
  The meat is served simply and fresh, seldom with sauce. Often, both rice and chips (usually made from fresh potatoes at the restaurant and not the frozen variety most of us are used to). Chouriço can be grill or just as a snack.

Egg is the key word in Portuguese desserts and pastries. It can be "too sweet" to our taste but there are good and well-made varieties. Arroz doce is sweet rice pudding with egg yolks added, served as dessert.

Cheese-lovers get spoiled with the choice options, both as a starter and dessert.    


Portugal is a major producer of wine. Most famous is perhaps "Port wine" from Oporto in the north, a sweet dessert wine. Vinho verde (green wine) also comes from the north and is made of red grapes where the skin is removed not to give the characteristic color that creates the red wine. Table wines are simple, inexpensive and ok quality.


Portugal also produces very good beer. Try Sagres or Super Bock!


Here you can download allergy dictionary.

Suggested restaurants and cafés


Mesa de Frades
One of the best fado restaurants in Lisbon, the venue is an old chapel. Traditional food, good wine and sweet vocal entertainment.  
  To hear fado it must be in the evening. Open: 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Rua Remedios 139A in Alfama. Closed Tuesdays and Sundays.

Restaurang Chapitô
Wonderful view of Lisbon city center and very good food in a special atmosphere. Main course about € 12.
Link: Chapitô.


"Pastéis de Belem": A café that is worth visiting because they are so incredibly delicious cakes. Pastry filled with vanilla cream and topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar. These served piping hot and is immensely poppulära.


Take-away and a few tables if you want to stay. In Maceira center 2km from the houses. Cheap good and generous!

Buffet also includes dessert although take-away. Located in Vimeiro.

Porto Dinheiro (Money-port) 7 km from the houses. Very charming, with several restaurants to choose from. The place for seafood!, 30 euros for two and you get lobster, shrimp, crab and more. It's so fresh and tastes so good as it can be! Sit outside and you have stunning views of the bay with a beach.


In Oeiras port there are several restaurants to choose from, also serving hamburgers at times outside lunch and dinner times, but also the most traditional and good food. From 6.5 euros. Menus are available in English.

In Oeiras is a small center with several small restaurants serving traditional cuisine Sardinhas, sardines, Bitoque; beef steak served with fried eggs, rice and French fries. Main course from € 6.

Tired of Portuguese cuisine and new dishes, do not worry, McDonalds and pizzerias are also close.
Pizza take-away or home delivery. Good stone baked pizzas from € 10. Menu available online, but not in English.
Linkn Pizza na brasa.


Casa da Guia

Here you find and intimate setting with several restaurants including a Swedish for those who want "cinnamon rolls" or "meatballs" on holiday, and even some stores combined in the area. A little extra atmosphere, more expensive, a little cozier and a really nice view! Worth a visit!


"O Caniço". Adress: Aldeamento Turístico da Prainha 8500-072 Alvo (Portimão).

What to bring home as souvenir or present?

A piece of Chouriço, Portuguese sausage can with just a small piece of it turn mincemeat or lasagne into an unforgettable meal for example. Spices such as bay leaves, oregano, coriander and other herbs are worth having. Honey comes in many varieties with flavors from different kinds of flowers. Wine is also a good idea, although better to buy inside the airport checkin area because of security restrictions with liquids. If you put wine in the travelling bad keep in mind it might receive some bad treatment, so wrap it good!.