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Top 10 Portuguese Dishes to Try Your First Month in Portugal

You have just landed in Portugal. Now what? Get on your feet, stroll the beautiful cobblestone streets of the country and scour the best Portuguese dishes to try! For sure this will be one of your reasons why you should live in Portugal.

With the Meditteranean influence and an abundance of coastal areas, the Portuguese are fond of serving seafood. They also love to cook and serve healthy options. But you can still expect meals with meat in it. 

Here are the top 10 must-eat Portuguese dishes for your first month in Portugal!


Photo of Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá by

Codfish is one of the most famous ingredients for seafood cuisine here in Portugal. When a codfish is dried and salted, that will give you the national dish of the country: Bacalhau. If you want to reinvent this dish into something more delightful, a cut cod added with boiled eggs, potatoes, olives, and onion can give you a casserole version of Bacalhau.

Polvo a Lagareiro

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We meant it when we said Portugal loves their seafood. Polvo a Lagareiro‘s main ingredient is an octopus. The dish requires the whole octopus to be soaked in garlic and olive oil, boiled, and roasted in an oven. Once cooked, serve it by cutting it into pieces partnered with baked potatoes and coriander.

Sardinhas assadas

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One of the comfort foods in Portugal is a fresh platter of baked or roasted sardines. Sprinkled by granular sea salt, Sardinhas assadas is grilled with an open fire and served whole. This dish is also the star of every summer festival.

Arroz de tamboril

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In addition to Portugal’s line of seafood dishes, the tamboril is made up of monkfish mixed with garlic, rice, laurel, pepper, tomato, and is served as a stew. Oftentimes, you’ll see this dish in coastal areas of Portugal.


Photo of Bifanas em pão de caril by

Parking those Portuguese seafood platters, the next dish is the country’s national sandwich. Juicy pork marinated with white wine, garlic, and some spices like paprika served in crusty white bread is what the Portuguese called bifanas.

Francesinha Sandwich

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Speaking of which (pun intended), if you happen to be in Porto, you must try their best-selling Francesinha sandwich. Just a little history, it is said that this was introduced by a French man and is a counterpart of the French toast bread. Drizzled with melted cheese and topped with an egg, Francesinha (translated as little French girl) sandwich consists of ham, sausages, steak, and bread. A hearty meal for a hungry traveler! 

Chicken Piri-Piri

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Best served with french fries, tomato, lettuce, and onion salad, this chicken dish coated in a minute version of chili peppers called piri-piri will give you the flavor you’ve thought you’d never tasted.

Pastel de Nata

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It’s never too early for dessert, and Portugal boasts one delectable sweet called pastel de nata. You’ll know this if you see an egg custard tart dessert served to you. Despite its simplicity, pastel de nata serves as a national symbol. 

Peixinhos da horta

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From seafood, meat, and desserts, Peixinhos da horta is one of Portugal’s vegetarian dishes. The result of preparing this dish may resemble a tiny but colorful fish, however, the dish is all-veggies. The recipe consists of green beans but can be substituted with squash with peppers.


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Another meat-less dish in Portugal is dumpling-like migas. Traditionally served with pork, you can still have an option to go with a vegetarian version of this dish. Migas is prepared using broa (a type of bread) and if plan to consume it when it’s leftover already, it is best cooked with black-eyed peas, kale, garlic, and olive oil. 

Now you’re ready for your Portuguese adventure!

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