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10 best food experiences

Renowned for its seafood, hearty country cooking and many regional specialties, Portugal offers plenty of temptation for the food-minded traveler.

Here are 10 of our favorite food experiences.



One of the great culinary wonders of Portugal, the cinnamon-dusted pastel de nata (custard tart), with its flaky crust and creamy center, lurks irresistibly behind pastry counters across the country.

The best are served piping hot in Belém, and draw foodies from all across the globe. Of course, when it comes to dessert, Portugal is more than a one-hit wonder.

There’s a dazzling array of regional sweets – from the jewel-like Algarve marzipan to Sintra’s heavenly almond-and-egg travesseiros to Serpa’s cheesecake-like queijadas.



Always a seafaring culture, the Portuguese know a thing or two about cooking fish.

Taste the riches of Portugal’s coast in dishes such as caldeirada de peixe (fish stew layered with tomatoes, potatoes and rice) or açorda de camarãoes (a stew of shrimp, garlic and coriander).

Or try xerém (corn mash made with cockles) or cataplana (shellfish stewed with wine, garlic and tomatoes in a traditional domed copper pan).


Port cellar tours

While you can taste tawnies, rubies and late-bottled vintages at bars all over the city of Porto, you’ll get far more out of a cellar tour and tasting.

Slip over to the other side of the river to Vila Nova de Gaia’s lodges to visit cellars steeped in history back to the 17th-century British merchants who developed a taste for sweet fortified wine.