Top Portuguese Food & Desserts


The Portuguese diet is the true Mediterranean diet, very healthy and delicious. It is high in fish, with an abundance of fresh fruit and fresh vegetables (often served in soups), olive oil, beans, whole grains and nuts. Portuguese would have at least one fish dish a day, if nor more! Below are some of the typical dishes you'll find on the menu in a Portuguese restaurant.

Portuguese Starters

  • Tomato soup, vegetable soup, fish soup, a regional speciality
  • Fish croquettes,
  • Melon with parma ham (presuinto)
  • Prawns (gambas) with garlic butter
  • Mixed salads, many varieties
  • Sardines, mackerel lemonade (marinated in lemon juice)
  • Goats cheese & olives
  • Goats cheese salad
  • Mixed salads
  • Squid rings

Portuguese Seafood Dishes

For centuries Portuguese fishermen have ventured out into the seas as far away as Canada staying out for week at a time. This is how the tradition of salting the cod for preservation began. Cod is not just a fish dish to the Portuguese it is a national treasure, and every Portuguese woman has to know how to cook it to perfection well before she gets married! There are over 365 ways to prepare and serve cod, some of them include:
  • Bacalhau à Brás (tiny strips mixed with egg and tiny slices of potatoes)
  • Bacalhau Gomes de Sá
  • Bacalhau Lagareiro
There are literally dozens and dozens of fish types, many of which you may never have seen or heard of! It's a fantastic experience to go into the local fish market to see the huge array of fish & shellfish. They include:
  • Dourada (sea-bream)
  • Besugo (sea bass)
  • Linguado (sole)
  • Tamboril (monk-fish)
  • Espardarte (sword fish)
  • Salmo (Salmon)
  • Atum (tuna-fish)
  • Perceves (barnacles)
  • Cherne (golden bream)
  • Grilled sardines ormackerel
  • Clams, cockles, mussels, etc.
Other popular seafood dishes include:
  • Cataplana, best described as a seafood 'stew' served with a variety of fish, prawns etc, and cooked in a dome-shaped cataplana dish, served with potatoes
  • Arroz de Marisco (Seafood rice): similar to the above but mixed in with rice in a fresh tomato stew
  • Many restaurants now offer paella, although traditionally it is a Spanish dish.

Portuguese Meat Dishes

  • Steak Portuguese, a steak cooked with a delicious gravy and circled with thin rounds of friend potatoes, topped with a fried egg
  • Large grilled Kebabs which could include pork or beef, squid, monk-fish, fish, mixed with onion & peppers, usually served with salad and potatoes
  • Lamb chops grilled, Algarvian lamb chops are succulent and tender
  • Black pork, tender grilled pieces of loin of pork
  • Piri piri chicken

Portuguese Desserts

  • Eclaires d' ovos, egg white roll
  • Creme Brul, creamy pudding with burnt topping,
  • Carrot cake
  • Almond cake or torte
  • Orange cake or torte
  • Fabulous ice cream concoctions
  • Fig cake
  • Chocolate mouse
  • Bolacha Maria, dessert made with cookies and cream
  • Pastel de Nata
  • Bolo de Arroz, one serving rice cake
  • Queques,  
Why go home when you can stay here and eat like this!