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Flavours of Lisboa

Lisboa, an ancient and modern city, combines the flavours and aromas from many different gastronomic traditions. Lisboners are particularly fond of traditional Portuguese cuisine - including many snacks (such as codfish cakes, deep-fried green beans, codfish fritters and green eggs…) that are even tastier when eaten in a local neighbourhood tavern. The Portuguese naturally choose a fine wine to accompany their meal, in tribute to the country’s great winemaking tradition and perfect wines can be found for every dish. 

The city is famous for its local traditions and gastronomy. 

In June, the neighbourhoods of Alfama, Bairro Alto, Bica and Graça exude the smell of grilled sardines, as locals celebrate the festivities of Santo António and other popular saints. Snacks, wine and lively entertainment go hand in hand until the early morning. 

In the Autumn, the aroma of roasted chestnuts wafts through the city streets. Eating them “piping hot” is a true delight. 

Lisboa has countless places where one can enjoy gastronomic delicacies, ranging from luxury restaurants with contemporary or fusion cuisine prepared by famous chefs, to traditional neighbourhood taverns, also including small restaurants where intense aromas and spices transport us to distant worlds. 

Various opinions have been expressed over time in relation to “Lisboa’s gastronomy”.

Although there is no consensus on this matter, Lisbon’s typical dishes are considered to include rich fish soup, green eggs, deep-fried green beans, rich broad beans, cod Brás-style (salted cod scrambled with egg and potatoes), codfish fritters, meia-desfeita (salted cod with chickpeas and hardboiled eggs), Lisboa-style whiting fillets, Bulhão Pato-style hare, Bulhão Pato-style clams, Marrare-style or Café-style steak, fried marinated liver and boiled potaoes, cow feet with chick peas, Convent of Alcântara-style partridge and stwed pivetes. Traditional local desserts include bolo-rei (king’s cake), sweet potato cakes, farturas (fried bread), pastéis de nata or pastéis de Belém (custard tarts) and raivas de Lisboa (Portuguese cinnamon cookies).

Entering a café or sitting down at an esplanade and sampling our delicious pastries, including the famous pastéis de nata or pastéis de Belém (custard tarts) and drinking a bica (expresso coffee) is a veritable act of worship in Lisboa. 

Drinking a ginjinha (morello cherry liqueur) with or without berries, or savouring a pirata in a typical specialist tavern in the Baixa neighbourhood is an indispensable ritual for many locals.