Much like those of other European countries, contemporary Portuguese cuisine is the perfect combination of the country’s centuries-old cooking traditions and modern influences. Today, Portugal is home to traditional family-run tabernas, which serve local dishes based on freshly-caught seafood; twenty Michelin-starred restaurants (23 stars all together in 2017); and the widespread, trendy pesticos spots, the affordable Portuguese “tapas” places that have flourished in response to the recent economic crisis.
Regardless of where you choose to eat at, one thing is certain: Portuguese cuisine is hearty, generous and has that home-made quality to it that reminds us of our grandmothers’ food, awakening our senses and bringing back memories with every bite… even if it is the first time we try those dishes.
For a tasty insight into Portugal and its culture, make sure you try some of the most renowned traditional Portuguese cuisine staples during your stay: not to be missed are the ubiquitous bacalhau (dried, salted cod that you will find prepared in hundreds of different ways), the succulent francesinhas (ham, sausage and steak sandwiches smothered in a tomato and beer sauce) or the caldo verde and the caldeirada, two typical stews present on most menus.
Whether your dinner is a secret recipe from the restaurant’s owner’s wife or a two-star Michelin chef, you will find Portugal’s true essence on every plate you indulge in and you will begin to understand why this small country on the Atlantic Ocean is the up-and-coming European foodie destination of choice.
For some inspiration, take a look below.