Places to eat
The traditional Portuguese cuisine is related to the Mediterranean cuisine but it’s greatly influenced by a wide range of spices, a habit that dates back to the colonial age. It’s also one of the most influential in Europe having in mind the fact that namely the Portuguese brought, introduced and popularized tomatoes, potatoes and tea on the Old Continent. Piri-piri (very hot chili peppers) or black pepper, cinnamon and saffron are almost inevitable ingredients of Portuguese dishes.
Although there are regional differences there are some typical Portuguese specialties served all over the country and in Lisbon, in particular, like Bacalhau (dried, salted cod), Cozido a portuguesa (a traditional stew of different meats and vegetables for meat-lovers), Caldeirada (a stew of fresh fish, seafood and vegetables fish-lovers), Leitao assado (roast suckling pig) and the traditional Portuguese sausages linguica and chorico.
Portugal has long traditions in the wine production. Even the country has two wine producing regions protected by UNESCO. Regional wines of high quality are Subregion of Bucelas (white wine) and Colares red wines.
Very good tascas and tabernas (taverns) in Lisbon are:
* Café Martinho da Arcada is a café-restaurant offers traditional seafood dishes.
* Restaurant Telheiro is specialized in traditional Portuguese cuisine (suckling pig, seafood and rice).
* Restaurante A Travesa has a menu that focuses on traditional Portuguese dishes.
When it comes to desserts, Lisbon offers a great variety of Portuguese pastries. Pastéis de nata is an egg tart pastry. Bolo Rei (King’s Cake) is a Christmas cake that is a sweet dough ring with a hole in the middle topped with crystallized pieces of fruit. Leite-crème can be described as a Portuguese milk custard pastry. Arroz doce is a rice pudding with both cinnamon and lemon and is supposed to be more of a holiday (Christmas New Year’s) dessert. Lisbon’s pastry places also offer Sintra’s famous queijadas (sweet cheese cakes) and travesseiros (almond pastries). Pastelarias in Lisbon that are worth a visit are:
* Café e Pastelaria Tirolesa de Santos: Largo de Santos 3, 1200-808 Lisbon, Portugal
* Pastéis de Cerveja: Rua Belém, 1300-082 Lisbon, Portugal
* Vertigo Café: Travessa Carmo 4, 1200 Lisbon, Portugal
Casa de Fado (Fado Restaurant)
Fado is the traditional Portuguese music. There are different kinds of fado songs, the Fado de Lisboa with its more upbeat, soulful sound being the most popular by far. Fado music is played in Fado bars where meals and drinks are served while enjoying the passionate live music.
* Parreirinha de Alfama is probably the best fado place attracting visitors with its authentic atmosphere and fado music. The address is: Beco Espírito Santo 1, 1100-222 Santo Estêvão – Lisbon, Portugal
* SR. FADO is a restaurant offering traditional Portuguese cuisine and fado music. The address is Rua dos Remédios 176, 1100 Lisbon, Portugal.
* SENHOR VINHO is the best and most authentic fado restaurant. It is owned by one of the country’s top Fado performers, Maria da Fé. Rua do Meio à Lapa, 18, 1200 – 723 Lisbon, Portugal.