The Portuguese are proud of their gastronomy. They appreciate eating and drinking well. Almost all parties include a meal, especially family gatherings.
Staple foods in the Portuguese diet include fish, chicken, vegetables and fruits. Pork, goat, partridge, quail and rabbit are typical meats in Portugal. Famous specialties are sardinhas assadas (charcoal-grilled sardines), pastéis de bacalhau (cod fishcakes) and caldo verde (a soup of cabbage and potatoes). Codfish is prepared in many ways, and it is usually served as the most typical Portuguese dish. Sweets are very popular, and wine is often consumed with meals. Since red meat and fish are a part of the everyday diet, vegetarianism is extremely rare, making vegetarians difficult to place.
At restaurants, waiters will bring out bread, butter, maybe some cheeses and other little things. What you eat you pay, if you don't touch it, you shouldn't pay for it. The daily specials are usually the best bet, especially with the fish, which should be fresh from that same day. Tips are not outrageously high here, just a couple of € is enough.
Some examples of Portuguese gastronomy that you can expect a bit through Lisbon are below.
The traditional starter in Portugal is soup. You can find it in many different recipes.
Bacalhau: salted and dried under the sun, it is said that there are 365 ways to prepare cod in Portugal.
Other very common dishes in Portugal are:
Coffee: Coffee is a veritable institution in Portugal. People tend to drink coffee in cafés rather than at home. It is served in small shots and very strong.
Portugal is a big wine producer and offers a very broad range of both whites and reds, which should have something to please everyone.
A Portuguese speciality: Vinho Verde. The name “Green Wine” indicates that the wine is young and its fermentation short, giving a low-alcohol, light, sparkling, fruity and slightly acidic wine.
Dão: Grown on the granite slopes of the Dão valley, two wines are produced, a fresh white wine and a very soft, velvet-smooth red wine with a rich aroma, similar to Burgundy.
Bairrada: This traditional wine-growing region produces a robust and highly aromatic red wine.
Colares: a dry white wine from the Serra de Sintra, near Lisbon. A world-famous wine produced since the 13th century.
Moscatel: a sweet golden white wine from the Serra d'Arrábida, south of Lisbon. Usually drunk as an aperitif.
Portugal’s most famous wine is Port, sweet and syrupy, which can be either red or white, and is drunk as an aperitif or after a meal. The Port we know today has been made since the 1830s. It was developed as a result of trading alliances between Great Britain and Portugal.