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5 must-try foods and drinks in Portugal

From fresh seafood and spicy barbequed chicken to sweet pastries and delicious fortified wines, Portugal’s traditional cuisine offers a wide variety of flavours. Here are our must-try Portuguese foods and drinks to sample on your trip to Portugal.


Cataplana de Marisco

A trip to Portugal wouldn’t be complete without ordering a mouth-watering portion of Cataplana de Marisco. Typical to the Algarve region but originally influenced by North African cuisine, this seafood stew of prawns, clams, fresh fish, ripe tomatoes and seasonal Mediterranean vegetables, is steam-cooked in a copper clam-shaped dish that folds shut. Enjoy this traditional Portuguese meal with a chilled, crisp white wine overlooking the azure-blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Grilled Sardines

Sardines have always been a popular catch in Portugal and, although shoals have diminished over the years, this fish remains a prominent emblem and beloved local dish, especially in the Algarve. Sardines are typically grilled, sprinkled with salt and served on a slice of rustic bread with a chunk of lemon. The local way to eat sardines is with your fingers, like a cob of corn, so no cutlery is required and messy fingers are guaranteed!

Piri Piri Chicken

A far cry from a quick grab-and-go meal at Nando’s, a traditional Portuguese dish of Piri-Piri chicken is full of fresh spices and punchy flavours. Spatchcocked chicken is marinaded in a homemade concoction of garlic, olive oil, salt, lemon juice and Piri-Piri chillies, before being grilled on the barbecue for a slight charcoaled aroma. Served with a fresh green salad, rice or chips, you’ll find this simple yet zesty dish served throughout Portugal. 


Port is a sweet fortified wine that is often served as an after-dinner aperitif or alongside a board of delicious artisan cheeses. Port wine derives from the verdant vineyards of Portugal’s Douro Valley, but it is in Porto where the crushed grapes are fortified with an aguardente spirit, aged in barrels, and bottled. Visit a traditional port lodge in the city to learn about the history and production of white, ruby and tawny port varieties and savour the different flavours in a tasting session.

Pastéis de Nata

Sit back and watch the world go by in a stylish Lisbon cafe as you tuck into some of Portugal’s famous custard tarts - Pastéis de Nata. These flaky pastry cups are filled with a rich vanilla custard infused with a hint of cinnamon, whisked to perfection and perfectly browned. This sumptuous sweet treat can be served hot or cold but is best enjoyed alfresco with a smooth black coffee. 


Feeling hungry now?

Try out these tasty dishes for yourself on one of our Portugal tours. From Discovery tours that visit Lisbon and Porto to walking remote coastal trails and cycling in the Algarve, there is sure to be a tour to suit you. 
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