Food and drink, Lisbon

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  • a2lopes's Profile Photo

    Local beers

    by a2lopes Written Mar 6, 2009

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    two beers or not two beers
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    Portuguese beers are not as famous as the ones from northern and central European countries (Belgium, Czech, German, Ireland, etc.). Nevertheless, pale lager beers are quite popular mostly among young people (the elders prefer the wine).

    The 2 most spread and well known trade marks are Superbock and Sagres.
    Superbock ( is the most popular beer in Portugal and also well known in other countries of the world. It is brewed by the Unicer brewery (, which is located in Leça do Balio in the north of Portugal.
    Sagres ( is brewed by the Central de Cervejas brewery (CentralCer, in Vialonga. Since 2007 it’s owned by a consortium between Scottish & Newcastle, Carlsberg, and Heineken (which means that they also produce Carlsberg and Heineken here in Portugal).

    Both companies have quite different labels from lager to pils, dunkel, stout or alcohol free, and some fancy labels (with lemon, etc.)
    I personally enjoy very much some dark ones, especially the old recipes Abadia Rubi and Abadia Gold (from Superbock, and Bohemia (from Sagres,
    Cintra ( brewed in Aveiras close to Santarém, and Coral ( brewed in Madeira are other companies with less market, and in my opinion, the beers they trade are not so good... but of course it is a matter of taste.

    Generally speaking in Portugal you can get a 33cl beer for 0.7€ on the supermarket, 1.2€ in most of common restaurants, 2-2.5€ at bars and upper class restaurants, 5€ in more fancy places. A nice website to compare the prices over the world

    Unicer and CentralCer welcome visits to their factories. In that case email them directly and you can visit the factory and enjoy their products at the bar at the end.

    Note: most of these pages are in Portuguese and according to the law these companies have a question to let you in their pages -"Are you over 18?" (or 16). In that case answer "SIM" on their webpage

    A blog related to Portuguese and Spanish beers


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    Drink Sagres.

    by Dizzyhead Updated Jan 16, 2009

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    The Portuguese people drink their Sagres, a beer produced in Portugal. Very good and you have many different tastes of it. Enjoy it as the Portuguese people do in a bar and watch a football game at tv at the same time. Here they discuss everything about life, from football to politics and so. You find the similiar life in other latin countries too. Dont be afraid, enjoy the people in the talk.

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    by akikonomu Written May 15, 2008

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    Try the local cherry brandy sworn by locals to have magnificent health benefit. Pretty high alcoholic content so one small cup's a good start. Anything more than that and I doubt the health benefits would exist.

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    Sangria Bianca

    by EviP Written May 3, 2008

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    garaffa de sangria bianca

    I was familiar with this wine, sangria, but only with the rossa (red) version. I was suprised to find out that they make it white, too! Served with slices of orange and lemon, brown sugar and cinammon. Don't forget to stir it!

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  • Dizzyhead's Profile Photo

    Relax with a coffee.

    by Dizzyhead Updated Apr 29, 2008

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    The Portuguese people and the inhabitants of Lisbon like to drink coffee and there are so many places to have your coffee. It is a custom to drink in a bar or a café and talk to the people. They drink lots of coffee here.

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    Bacalhau à brás

    by novsco61 Updated Feb 28, 2008

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    When we had VT meeting in Cascais I wanted to try typical Portuguese food. Teresa (tere1) recomended Bacalhau à brás and she was right - the dish was fantastic,only the portion was too big..))))

    Bacalhau à brás is codfish with eggs and potatoes.
    Here is the recipe:

    Bacalhau à Brás

    3-4 servings

    250-300g of bacalhau (dried codfish)
    500g of potatoes, julienned into matchstick-like pieces
    2 onions, finely chopped
    large quantities of canola or corn oil for frying

    2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    6 eggs, slightly beaten
    1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    0.5dl chopped parsley
    black olives

    Soak the codfish for 24 h, changing the water 3-5 times to get rid of excess salt. When the fish has softened, check for bones and cut into pieces with kitchen scissors.

    Peel and cut the potatoes into long, thick matchsticks. Rinse several times until the water remains clear; drain in a colander. Heat the oil in a large skillet, fry the potatoes till golden. (I use oils more suitable for heavy-duty frying and less expensive than high-grade olive oil for this purpose and enhance the taste of the dish by using good oil later in the process). Transfer the potatoes on a plate lined with kitchen towels to absorb excess fat. Next, fry the chopped onions in the oil until lightly browned. Put aside, and stir-fry the cod in the remaining oil.

    Heat a little olive oil in a thick-bottomed kettle. Infuse the quartered garlic clove until golden, then remove. Add half of the potatoes and all of onions and bacalhau. Lightly beat 6 eggs in a bowl, season with freshly ground black pepper, then add this mixture into the kettle. Stir gently over a low heat, not unlike scrambling eggs: when the eggs are firm, take away from heat; add the chopped parsley. Just before serving, add the remaining fried potatoes to maintain their fried crispness. Decorate with black olives if desired and serve immediately with good crusty Portuguese bread and wine.

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    Have a Ginginha at a ginharia

    by woodstockties Written Jan 10, 2008

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    Beware not getting addicted to A Ginginha, a licor made of morellos.
    In a lot of special bars you can order little glasses of this liqeuer with or without the fruit in it.
    These bars are so small, that there is only room for a counter.
    Most of these bars can be found around Rossio and in Rua Portas de São Antão.
    Luckely my girlfriend gave me a bottle of this delicious as a birthdaypresent. Yummie.

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    Have a drink at Solar do Vinho do Porto

    by woodstockties Updated Jan 8, 2008

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    Pure enjoyment
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    I've never seen a wine list with so much different portwines. In a stylish ambiance you can enjoy a perfect glass of port, in a variety from cheap till very expensive.
    I enjoyed a glass of Vintage port for 6 euros.
    You can also buy bottles for home here.

    Adress: Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara 45

    Open mo-sa from 11.00 till 24.00

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    Watch out tapas served looks like on the house!!

    by Birsen Written Oct 3, 2007

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    Table tip

    When you have the table in the restaurant the staff brings tapas (starter dishes) before you order and they do not say anything. Usually like cheese, ham, chorizo (portugese peperoni) or olives kind of things. If you eat them you will pay for it, don't forget they are not a gift. (see the picture). So eat if you are willing to pay otherwise don't touch it :P

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    Portuguese Custard Tarts - Pasteis de Nata

    by a2lopes Written Aug 28, 2007

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    Portuguese Custard Tarts
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    These are the famous Custard Tarts as you can find almost everywhere in Portugal.
    Of course there are small variations among the different "pastelarias" (pastry houses) throughout the country. The most well known are the Pasteis de Belém, but like everything else ...when they start to be famous... sometimes the quality fades... unfortunately this was the case (although they are still quite good). I prefer the ones from small pastry houses out, unfortunately "off the touristy trail" ("Espiga Sol" in Telheiras, a neighborhood in Lisbon, for instance).

    Pastry to line the containers:
    • 500 g flour
    • 300 g water
    • 10 g salt
    • 400 g margarine (for pastries)

    Work the flour with water and salt, make a ball, cut it in the shape of a cross until its middle, pull the 4 sides outwards (forming a 4 point star), place the margarine in the centre and grab the points upwards (mix the margarine); with a pastry roller extend the mixture till up to 40×15 cm, fold 1×3 (simple fold) wait 10 minutes and fold again, fold 1×4 (book fold) wait 10 minutes. Extend the mixture until it gets a thickness of + or - 4 mm, sprinkle with water in all its extension. Roll it like a tort and with a diameter of + or - 4 cm, cut it in round slices 1 cm thick and place them in the containers (8 cm diameter but you can use other shapes). Wait 10 minutes.
    Wet your thumb with water, press the centre of the round slice and push the mixture
    to the top of the container.

    Custard cream:
    • 0,5 l skim milk
    • 70 g flour (no raising powder)
    • 5 g corn flour or cornstarch (aka Maizena)
    • 0,5 L sugar syrup 32º Baumé
    • 5 egg yolks
    • 1 egg
    • Vanilla (a bit)
    To prepare the sugar syrup: 1 kg sugar, 0,5 L boiling water = 32º bumé.
    Dissolve the flour and the corn flour in part of the milk, approx. 1 dL, boile the remaining of the milk, pour it over the four and mix energetically so that it does not crumble.
    Add the sugar syrup bit by bit, always stirring. Add the yolks and the egg.
    Cook at approx. 180º C (350º F) for about 8 minutes, not more.


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    by barryg23 Written Oct 29, 2006

    Bacalhau (salted, dried cod) is one of the most popular dishes in Portugal. There are hundreds of variations on how to serve and there's a good chance you'll have a choice of at least one type of Bacalhau dish in any Lisbon restaurant. When you see it in the supermarket or the markets it doesn't look like the most appealing meal but the dish we tried, Bacalhau con Nates, was delicious.

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    The snacks are not free!

    by evilprebil Written Oct 8, 2006

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    An oddity is that at every restaurant you will be presented with some appetizers, usually just bread, but alsocheese, olives, meat etc. It's fine if you choose to eat them, but don't expect them to be free, becasue they are not. No matter what establishment you go to, these will be charged to you based on what you eat. The easiest way to avoid any charge (sometimes listed on the bill as 'couvert' or cover charge) is to send them back as soon as they arrive. Though sometimes you may decide you want to eat them (as I did once with some cheese) and the price is usually pretty low.

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  • local diet

    by arasnosliw Updated Aug 29, 2006

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    typical meat/fries/salad

    Portugal, the land of great wine, seafood, olives, and cheese. Fantastic food if you ask me. I'm not Portuguese, so I shouldn't take any offense when I hear foreigners complaining how bad the local food is, but I DO! Why? Because most of them are probably not eating the right things, they are picky, or they don't like seafood.

    You will probably encounter steak and potatoes on every menu. Go to any restaurant, and almost the entire menu is served with french fries. This isn't limited to tourist restaurants; this is omnipresent. Portuguese love meat. Whenever I would go out to eat with my Portuguese friends, they'd take me to a local restaurant and then order a burger, or they'd take me to a steak house and eat a humongous slab of cow. Great if you are into meat that much, but I certainly am not.

    Anyway, my point is that many visitors may feel that this is representative of local cuisine, but it is not. Try some bacalhau, fresh grilled sardines, queijo fresco, olives, snails, anything with duck, swordfish, any soups, pastries, etc. etc. etc. I am sure there are many more things I can think of that I am not listing now....

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    Sopa de Couve

    by b1bob Updated Jul 30, 2006

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    sopa de couve

    For those of y'all in Roxboro, it's kale (or collard green) soup. On the two occasions (1990 and 1993) I visited José and his family in the suburb of Alhos Vedros, his mama thought I was was too skinny. Her mission was to fatten me up. I wonder if she would like me the way I am now. Among many things she fed me was sopa de couve. Growing up eating collard greens, this wasn't too foreign a concept. The only difference is, if we made collard green soup, we would probably season it with fatback instead of cutting chorizo into it. This is what I call real Portuguese comfort food. Here's the recipe:

    1 large yellow onion, peeled and minced fine
    1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
    4 tablespoons olive oil
    6 large potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
    2 quarts cold water
    6 oz chorizo, pepperoni, or other dry, garlicky sausage (folks, make it authentic: you can get chorizo at most Wal-Marts), sliced thin
    2 1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1 lb. kale (or collards, turnip greens) washed, trimmed of coarse stems and
    veins, then sliced in a chiffonade

    Saute the onion and garlic in 3 tbs of oil in a large, heavy saucepan 2 to 3 minutes over moderate heat until they begin to colour and turn glassy; do not brown or they will turn bitter. Add the potatoes and saute, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes, until they begin to color also. Add the water, cover, and boil gently over moderate heat 20 to 25 minutes until the potatoes are mushy. Meanwhile, fry the sausage in a medium heavy skillet over low heat 10-12 minutes until most of the fat has cooked out; drain well and reserve.

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    Ginjinha - a Local Drink to Try!

    by mazzap Updated Mar 17, 2006

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    A drink we just had to try! Made from cherries and served in a tiny plastic cup with 'drunken' cherries in the bottom! It is served from a bottle using a wooden stopper to contain all but a few of the cherries from falling into the cup. Well we liked it - but I don't think you would want too much of it - it's quite sweet! It was just a few cents per cup!

    We tried it in a quaint little shop called 'Ginjinha Sem Rival' near Rossio. It was nearly midnight & the shop was packed with youngsters crowding round the small bar. One man was serving the drink but it was all very friendly pushing & shoving going on! Most people took theirs outside to drink.

    Available to purchase by the bottle too!

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