25 Best Portuguese Foods

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Portuguese cuisine is wonderful and will satisfy your hunger without a doubt. The inhabitants employ a variety of ingredients to prepare their delights, including meat, seafood, veggies, and spices. Portuguese treats are therefore flavorful and varied.

The culinary traditions of Portugal’s well-known neighbour, Spain, as well as those of Italy and France, have eclipsed the country’s delectable cuisine and diverse Portuguese gastronomy.

Portuguese Foods
Image by Antonio Cavalcanti from Pixabay

Traditional Portuguese foods and favourite Portuguese dishes should not be missed if you’re wondering what to eat in Portugal. The best and most typical Portuguese dishes are highlighted in this article.

You can find them on the Portuguese menu. Don’t skip miss traditional Portuguese food if you’re wondering what to eat in Portugal.

Best 25 Portuguese Foods

You can enjoy the following popular Portuguese foods.

1. Grilled Sardines

The fantastic seafood flavours in Portuguese cuisine stem from simplicity. The Atlantic’s crisp, salty flavour is plenty on its own.

Portugal has excellent grilled sardines. You can find tender seafood dish that was just caught if you visit eateries and fish markets near ports.

Image by DanaTentis from Pixabay

Portuguese cooks from the Vila Nova de Gaia neighbourhood enjoy grilling them while they are still in the foil to preserve the flavour. Many times, locals will not even strip the fish. They’ll also consume the burned skin.

Only a small amount of spice and perhaps some lemon juice are required. You’ll be eating these freshly grilled sardines like a local with some boiled potatoes and vegetables.

Visit O Pitéu in Graça in Lisbon, which has served as a traditional Portuguese cuisine reference for more than 30 years. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

2. Queijo da Serra da Estrela or Portuguese Cheese

Portugal is more well-known for its wines than for its cheeses around the world. But there are plenty of flavorful cheeses in Portuguese cuisine.

One of its most well-known Portuguese dishes is Queijo da Serra da Estrela or Portuguese cheese. Unpasteurized ewe’s milk is used to make this pungent, earthy cheese.

It is produced using thistles. When ripe, this imparts a wonderful tinge of herb-like taste to its creamy core.

Queijo da Serra da Estrela is one of many Portuguese varieties of cheese created from ewe’s milk, and it is native to the Arrabida Mountains, which are close to Lisbon.

In Portuguese, there is a flavour for every cheese lover, from the heat of Castelo Branco to the buttery consistency of Bica de Queijo.

You may try these cheeses at farmer’s markets. You may get closer to a variety of Portuguese cheeses and cheesemakers by taking excursions into the rural, mountainous areas. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

3. Piri Piri Chicken – Best Portuguese Chicken Recipe

Portuguese explorers traversed coastal Africa during the Age of Exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries, discovering numerous new spices.

After the pastel de nata, Portuguese Chicken Piri Piri – grilled chicken flavoured with a little spicy tomato sauce is one of Portugal’s most well-known meals.

It is a native of the Algarve. It is also known as Frango Assado which is Portuguese chicken covered in Piri-Piri chilli.

The Portuguese soon started growing this fiery chilli, known as “pilipili” in Swahili, for use in cookery. Soon many Portuguese recipes adopted its robust, peppery flavour. The Portuguese Empire then began to consume these best Portuguese dishes.

Piri Piri Chicken
Photo by Magda V on Unsplash

The chilis are now combined with a variety of delectable seasonings to create piri-piri sauce. Among them are paprika, bell peppers, garlic, and lemon with a kick.

The “African devil,” also known as the Piri-Piri, Peri-Peri, or small spicy chilli pepper, was one of the spices.

You get a zingy, spicy flavour that few chicken meals can equal when you combine a Piri-piri glaze across the charred skin of a smokey chicken leg with a side of crispy fries.

Nowadays, Piri-piri-covered Portuguese chicken is served with french fries or fried potatoes, and the Portuguese national dish is a tiny salad of lettuce, tomato, and onion. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

4. Bifanas or Portuguese Sandwich

You’ll find the Portuguese sandwiches you’re looking for here! One that is straightforward and includes a thin slice of grilled pork that has been spiced with white wine, garlic, and other herbs and spices.

But the tomato sauce holds the secret! Due to the marinade, you will encounter numerous variations in various parts of this country.

In the Alentejo region between Lisbon and Evora, a small village named Vendas Novas is where you may get the purest and original Bifanas or Portuguese sandwich.

Later, with the addition of extra ingredients like bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, eggs, etc., the Portuguese created a variety of best Portuguese dishes based on this one.

In Portugal, Portuguese sandwiches are a very well-known type of street food. Simply eat Bifanas with some soup and French fries if you want a substantial lunch or dinner, or a beef dish for a late-night snack.

It is true that McDonald’s serves its own variation of this beloved national sandwich under the name McBifana! Those who eat pork can eat. Portuguese people in the south prefer to utilize thicker slices of meat.

These are stuffed inside a Portuguese bread roll that has been lightly toasted and eaten with some mustard. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

5. Cozido à Portuguesa

Portugal’s national dish is a traditional pork stew known as Cozido à Portuguesa (Portuguese Boiled Dinner), or simply “cozido.”

It contains the meats, sausages, beans, and vegetables that are most typical of Portuguese cuisine. To create the ideal Cozido dish, the cook will combine them all in a sizable pot and simmer them for a long time.

Depending on regional cuisine, the components in Cozido à Portuguesa may change. A variant with chicken, mint, and potatoes might be found in the southern region of Portugal.

In the meantime, Cozido in the Northeast consists of Farinheira, Alheira, and Morcela, which are all types of sausage (breaded sausage).

Depending on local cuisine, the components in Cozido may change. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

6. Pastel de Nata

The most well-known and recognizable Portuguese dessert is the pastel de nata, or Pastéis de Nata. Every pastry store or pasteleria has its unique take on the pastel de nata.

Your everyday pastry of choice may change to this sweet and creamy Portuguese egg tart because it is so addicting.

Pastel de nata (Pastéis de Nata), traditional Portuguese pastries, are created using flour, butter, eggs, cinnamon, and sugar. The dough is thickly coated with butter, giving the shells their crispy, crackling quality.

Pastel De Nata
Image by CarolinaP from Pixabay

The prepared egg custard is then put within the dough-lined mini pie shell. Pastel de nata, which is prepared in a very hot oven, is served warm with a tiny, robust cup of Portuguese coffee known as bica in Lisbon.

Your eyes will roll in joy after taking a piece of this crunchy, creamy, sweet custard that is coated with cinnamon. Additionally, they are regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Gastronomy. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

7. Caldo Verde – Unique Traditional Portuguese Dish

The renowned Portuguese soup, Caldo Verde, originates in the north of the country. One of the most well-liked Portuguese recipes is this soup.

Although Caldo Verde soup is popular all year long, it is especially popular in the winter. You may eat it whether it is hot or cold outside.

The soup is cooked with a specific type of dark green cabbage that is scarce outside of Portugal and gives the soup its green colour. Alternatives include kale or collard greens. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

This tasty and substantial soup is finished off with wonderful flavours from the mix of potato puree, slices of chouriço sausage, and local Portuguese olive oil.

Some people also like it with a big slice of Portuguese smoked sausage or chourico. Caldo Verde is a beloved Portuguese dish that will warm your belly.

8. Arroz de Pato (Duck Rice)

Steamed rice and roast duck are the only ingredients in Arroz de pato or duck rice. Before roasting the duck, the Portuguese will add slices of smoked chouriço sausages to give it the right amount of softness. Fresh orange slices will be used by the chef to decorate the finished dish.

The northern region of Portugal, particularly the city of Braga, is where Arroz de pato is from. It combines the finest components of Portuguese cooking, including rice, Portuguese wine, bay leaves, and garlic.

Carolino, well-liked short-grain rice in Portugal, is the type of rice used in this recipe. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

9. Bacalhau

Codfish, one of the most well-liked fish in Portugal, is referred to as “bacalhau.” Are you aware that there are several methods to prepare bacon in Portugal? To create the perfect dish, they can bake, grill, fry, sauté, or do anything else with codfish!

Due to its versatility, bacalhau frequently features in Portuguese supper preparations. If you visit Portugal, you must eat at least one dinner with Bacalhau. As a guest, you should definitely taste it because it is the national dish of this nation, the seafood!

bolinhos de bacalhau
Image by Mogens Petersen from Pixabay

Bacalhau à Brás, a well-known meal from Bacalhau, consists of codfish with eggs, garlic, onions, potatoes, and parsley. Bacalhau à Brás originates from Lisbon but can be found throughout Portugal.

Another well-liked variation is Pastel de Bacalhau, which is made from minced codfish and potatoes, onion, and garlic. The chef will form balls out of the ingredients and fry them.

It is puzzling that despite producing olives right there in Portugal, the Portuguese prefer to top off most of their Bacalhau editions with canned black olives! It is the Portuguese salted cod fish.

Pastéis de bacalhau (or bolinhos de bacalhau, depending on where in the country you are) is another popular snack item in cafés and snack bars. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

10. Poncha

A cool alcoholic beverage for the summer is here! Poncha is a classic drink from the Portuguese island of Madeira. It contains a blend of sugar cane juice-distilled alcohol. This lovely beverage also includes honey, sugar, and lemon juice.

Photo by Yong Yi on Unsplash

Poncha(a traditional Portuguese drink) looks amazing because of the sugar cane and lemon juice that give it its vivid yellow colour. In the summer, the Portuguese frequently serve it with ice; in the winter, they don’t.

Poncha is a fantastic energy drink that can help you absorb vitamin C! It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

11. Açorda – Portuguese Bread Soup

Garlic, olive oil, vinegar, coriander, and mashed bread pieces make a tasty addition to açorda( Portuguese bread soup ). Although it originated in Portugal’s Alentejo region, it has since gained popularity there. It is the most adaptable kind of meal and goes well with both seafood and game.

Lisbon Açorda made from Papo Seco bread and Alentejo Açorda made from leftover Sopas, a regional bread from Alentejo, are the two most popular varieties of açorda in Portugal. Açorda can stand in as the main course by itself. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

Due to its low-cost foundation components, açorda is a famous dish that can be enjoyed by both the rich and the poor. Old-fashioned bread and some common herbs and spices are all that are required. The family’s riches will determine the rest of it!

12. Alheira de Mirandela – Portuguese Traditional Sausage

Alheira de Mirandela, often known as Alheira, is a typical Portuguese sausage. It is made of bread and a mixture of meat (veal, rabbit, etc.). It is smoked.

Alheira de Mirandela is typically grilled or roasted in Portugal and served with a fried egg and some salty, crunchy French fries.

Alheira de Mirandela
Image by Antonio Cavalcanti from Pixabay

The beef that is utilized in Alheira has a fascinating past. It demonstrates how persistently Portuguese Jews who were expelled in the fifteenth century still hold this notion. As a result, this sausage does not include any pork. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

13. Porco Preto

Spain and Portugal are home to the pig breed known as Porco Preto. It is frequently referred to as Porco Preto Alentejano because it is mostly grown in the Alentejo region of Portugal.

The pigs are grown on an acorn Portuguese diet, and the meat is used to make presunto, a cured ham that is similar to prosciutto or jamón ibérico, as well as roasted and grilled pork meals.

Porco Preto
Image by Rob Owen-Wahl from Pixabay

Two of the most popular porco preto portuguese dishes you’ll find on a Portuguese menu are Secretos de Porco Preto and Plumas de Porco Preto. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

14. Polvo à la Lagareiro

For its succulent seafood, Portuguese cuisine is renowned. In addition to bacalhau, or codfish and sardines in Portuguese, octopus, or Polvo, is another well-liked Portuguese seafood dish.

A well-known octopus dish that is served all around the nation is Polvo à la lagareiro. Popular fish preparation known as lagareiro involves using copious amounts of olive oil.

The octopus in this dish is frequently served with cooked potatoes in Portuguese food. In addition to being roasted, the potatoes are also baked.

Image by Mikele Designer from Pixabay

Deceptively straightforward and beautiful is Polvo à la lagareiro. When properly prepared, octopus is incredibly delicate and tasty. This seafood Portuguese dish gains a distinctive fruity and slightly bitter flavour from the Portuguese olive oil.

You’ll discover that this well-known Portuguese food will make you appreciate octopus like never before. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

15. Francesinha

This is one substantial sandwich, made with ham, beef, sausage, thick pieces of bread, melted cheese, beer and tomato sauce, and chips.

The novelty factor of the francesinha is undeniable, but there’s more to it than that; the Portuguese also adore them for their flavour.

If you go to Porto, where the meal is from, you can find yourself arguing with a local about which café serves the best francesinha. You’ll be told that the francesinhas in Braga is superior if you go there.

Even though Francesinhas are native to Porto, they are beginning to spread throughout the nation. There is a possibility that you will be able to try one, regardless of whether they are as good as the ones from Porto. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

16. Chouriço

There is no need to introduce Spanish food chorizo. However, this popular and rich meat is prepared in a scrumptious way by the Portuguese.

Portuguese chourico is made from fat-rich minced pigs. The juicy flesh is then combined with a variety of seasonings.

These include copious amounts of garlic, paprika, Portuguese wine, and salt and pepper. A lengthy casing is filled with this mouthwatering beef mixture, which is then smoked as it dries.

Image by martin prieto from Pixabay

With chourico, Portuguese and Brazilian cuisines have gotten immensely inventive. The variety and flavours are a sensory assault.

The magic occurs, however, in chourico a bombeiro. To unleash the flavour, the top of the chourico must be cut. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

17. Bife com Ovo a Cavalo

Who would have imagined that two traditional Portuguese dishes would go so nicely together? Bife com Ovo a Cavalo, advance.

In this classic Portuguese dish, a fried egg is placed on top of a lean, grilled piece of beef or pork. Then it is offered with rice, fries, or a fresh salad.

This meal is a lunchtime favourite among the Portuguese. This dish is frequently advertised on lunch menus and signs outside portuguese restaurants.

As implied by the name, “on horseback” alludes to how the egg is placed on top of the lean cut of meat, as if it were astride the flesh.

Cuts of beef were cooked in the ovens at the olive oil mills by Beira’s labourers who worked on the olive farms. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

18. Vinho Verde

Vinho Verde is the ideal summertime refresher due to its tart acidity, low alcohol content, and subtle fizz. It’s not only “green wine,” though; red and rosé varieties are also drinkable and cost less than ten dollars per bottle, so it doesn’t hurt to try all three.

The largest appellation in the nation is the Denominaço de Origem Controlada (DOC) region of Vinho Verde, which produces the wine known as Vinho Verde.

Most Vinho Verde wines are produced from a combination of local Portuguese grapes and are sold young. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

Although 85% is white wine, the wine is also produced in red and rosé types, contrary to popular belief, which holds that this portuguese wine is just white wine. Wines from the Verde region are known for their strong acidity, low alcohol content, and gentle spritz.

19. Bolinhos de bacalhau

Little cod and potato patties that have been deep-fried are known as bolinhos de bacalhau (or pastéis de bacalhau). Yes, this is yet another bacalhau dish, but it’s one that you should try, especially because you can find Portuguese cafés and snack bars serving it with ease.

20. Arroz de Marisco

Rich seafood stew called Arroz de marisco is made of fish and rice. It’s a favourite among Portuguese people and one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Gastronomy. The amount of sauce makes it significantly different from Spanish paella, despite some people’s claims to the contrary.

Photo by Léo Roza on Unsplash

You can find meals like arroz de tamboril, arroz de bacalhau, and arroz de polvo in addition to arroz de marisco (seafood rice). It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

21. Pão de Ló – Portuguese Sponge Cake

In Portuguese cooking, a sponge cake variation known as po de ló is very common. There are numerous variations of it, including ones with a moist cake foundation or a dry middle. It is one of the most popular cakes on Easter Day in Portugal, next to Christmas Eve.

Pão de lo
Image by craveiro6 from Pixabay

Actually, Po de Ló is a derivative of the Pain de Lof cake from France. The Portuguese traders introduced this meal to Japan in the sixteenth century, and the Japanese created their own version, today known as castella or kasutera. It is one type of Portuguese dessert. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

22. Ovos Moles De Aveiro – Egg Yolk Sweets

The nuns in Aveiro at the beginning of the 20th century are credited with popularising the Portuguese pastry known as ovos moles. The recipe for Ovos Moles includes the right number of egg yolks, sugar, and occasionally chocolate.

It might surprise you to learn that the European Union even defends this unique meal! Since 2008, Ovos Moles has been included on the list of goods with a Protected Geographical Indication. It is one type of Portuguese dessert. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

23. Caldeirada de Peixe

The nuns in Aveiro are credited with popularising the Portuguese pastry treat Ovos Moles. Caldeirada de Peixe is a common fish stew served all around Portugal. A variety of fish will be combined and stewed along with potatoes, tomatoes, herbs, and peppers by the cook. Due to the various types of fish that are available in diverse places, this dish has several variations.

White fish with soft flesh that won’t easily come apart when cooked for a long time should be a part of the Caldeirada de Peixe. Fresh cod, conger, and grouper are three common forms of fish used by the Portuguese. There isn’t a precise recipe for this food in it! early in the 20th century. The recipe for Ovos Moles includes the right number of egg yolks, sugar, and occasionally chocolate.

It might surprise you to learn that the European Union even defends this unique meal! Since 2008, Ovos Moles has been included on the list of goods with a Protected Geographical Indication. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

24. Port Wine

Only the Douro Valley region, in Portugal’s north, produces port wine. Booking a wine tour or a trip to this incredibly beautiful region of Portugal is quite simple if you visit Porto.

Right in the middle of downtown Porto, you can also visit several unique port wine cellars. The flavour of port wine is extremely savoury and sweet. It is a popular dessert wine that goes well with a variety of popular Portuguese dishes.

Its rich grapes from the Douro area are what give it its deep crimson hue. Aguardente, a neutral wine spirit, is used in the winemaking process to stop the fermentation process when it is supposed to. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

25. Feijoada

A filling stew of beans and meat is called feijoada. The Roman conquest of Iberia gave it a permanent place in Portuguese dishes.

Feijoada was traditionally prepared by simmering it in a large saucepan. Today, many Brazilians and Portuguese continue to prepare it in this traditional way.

The main components of feijoada are beans and tender beef or pig bits. The broth can absorb the meat juice thanks to the slow cooking method. It is one of the best Portuguese foods.

Many types of beans are used in recipes. In both the Brazilian and Portuguese versions of feijoada, black beans are frequently utilised.

Final Remark

In conclusion, the 25 most popular Portuguese foods are a delicious and varied bunch.

Everyone will find something they appreciate, from rich stews to fresh seafood. Be sure to try some of these dishes the next time you visit Portugal.

Also check out, What’s the National Dish of England


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here