A Food Lover's Guide to Portuguese Cuisine

June 17th 2024 in Guide
A Food Lover's Guide to Portuguese Cuisine

Portugal is a country known for its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and, of course, its incredible cuisine. If you're a food lover, Portugal offers a feast for the senses. From the famous Pastéis de Nata to the beloved Bacalhau, Portuguese food is diverse and delicious. Whether you're planning a trip or just curious about what Portugal has to offer, this guide will take you through some of the must-try dishes. And don't forget, to explore these culinary delights at your own pace, consider renting a car in Portugal.

Pastéis de Nata

No visit to Portugal is complete without trying Pastéis de Nata. These little custard tarts have a crispy, flaky pastry shell filled with a creamy, sweet custard.

Originating from Lisbon, they are best enjoyed with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a hot cup of coffee. You can find Pastéis de Nata in almost every bakery in Portugal, but the best ones are said to come from Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon. So, rent a car and head to the capital for a taste of the original.


Bacalhau, or salted cod, is a staple in Portuguese cuisine. It's said that there are over 365 ways to prepare Bacalhau, one for each day of the year. One of the most popular dishes is Bacalhau à Brás, which is made with shredded cod, onions, and thinly chopped fried potatoes, all bound together with scrambled eggs.

Another favourite is Bacalhau com Natas, a creamy, baked dish with potatoes and onions. To truly appreciate Bacalhau, rent a car and visit the coastal towns where the freshest seafood is served.

Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde is a traditional Portuguese soup that’s perfect for warming up on a chilly day. Made with kale, potatoes, onions, and garlic, this soup is simple yet incredibly flavourful.

Chouriço (a type of Portuguese sausage) is often added for extra taste. This soup is a must-try when you're exploring the Portuguese countryside. With a rented car, you can easily travel to the rural areas where this hearty soup is a local favourite.

Piri-Piri Chicken

For those who love a bit of spice, Piri-Piri Chicken is a must-try. This dish features chicken marinated in a spicy sauce made from piri-piri peppers, garlic, and other spices.

The chicken is then grilled to perfection, resulting in a smoky, spicy, and incredibly tasty meal. To find the best Piri-Piri Chicken, head to the Algarve region, where you can also enjoy the stunning beaches. Renting a car will give you the freedom to explore this beautiful area at your own pace.

Pastel de Bacalhau

Pastel de Bacalhau, or codfish cakes, are a popular snack in Portugal. These are made from a mixture of mashed potatoes, salted cod, eggs, parsley, and onions, which are then deep-fried to golden perfection. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

You can find Pastel de Bacalhau at street food stalls and local markets. For a true taste of this snack, rent a car and visit different towns and cities to sample their unique variations.

Exploring Portuguese Cuisine

Portugal's cuisine is a true reflection of its culture and history. Each dish tells a story, and trying these foods is like taking a journey through the country’s past and present. To fully enjoy your culinary adventure, renting a car in Portugal is highly recommended. It allows you the freedom to visit various regions and try local specialities that you might not find in the big cities.

Rent a Car in Portugal for a Culinary Road Trip

If you're planning a trip to Portugal, renting a car is the best way to experience the country's diverse cuisine. With a rented car, you can explore at your own pace, discover hidden gems, and enjoy the beautiful landscapes along the way. Don't miss out on the chance to savour Portugal's delicious food from Pastéis de Nata to Bacalhau.


Portuguese cuisine offers something for every food lover. From the sweet and creamy Pastéis de Nata to the hearty Bacalhau, there are countless dishes to discover. To make the most of your culinary journey, consider renting a car in Portugal. This will give you the freedom to explore and taste the best that this wonderful country has to offer. Happy eating and safe travels!