Eating Through Portugal, Part 1
My food story
I was lucky enough to go on a quick 3.5 day trip to Portugal with two wonderful women this week. The three of us had a fantastic time and packed in a lot for such a short trip!
It’s August, it’s hot and Lisbon, Portugal is known as the city of seven hills for a reason — there is a lot of up and down in that city!
Lisbon is incredibly beautiful. It was my first time visiting Portugal and I had an amazing experience and intend to go back for longer someday soon.
We arrived at Lisbon Portela Airport at 6 am on a Monday. None of us slept much on the flight, but we weren’t about the waste one of our precious few days in Portugal sleeping!
Even though we only had a few days, we managed to pack in a ton of sight seeing and my favorite thing — eating!
On the first day, as every day that followed, we started with coffee and pasteis — a flaky-crusted cup filled with creamy egg custard and caramelized on top. We got these at Paco Real in the neighborhood of Alfama in Lisbon.
Pasteis are basically Portugal’s national food and you can find them almost everywhere. In every coffee shop and bakery, and many restaurants also serve them. We found a great little shop near our airbnb to get them every morning, and then also visited Pasteis de Belem in the neighborhood of Belem, where they have been making one of Lisbon’s oldest pasteis recipes since the 1800s.
Monday, we wandered up and down the hills of Lisbon looking at shops, architecture, and hiking our way up to Castelo de Jorge, a Moorish castle which we could see from the balcony of our airbnb apartment.
I don’t have pictures of lunch because I was too busy eating, but lunch was at a tiny seafood place with a line out the door. After waiting, we had a lunch of codfish cakes, salted cod, and grilled squid. The food was decent, but the desserts were great. I had a “biscuit cake” which was insanely thin layers of chocolate cake and wafers, topped with graham cracker dust.
Dinner that day was at a nice sit down restaurant in the Lisbon neighborhood of Chiado, called Kitchen Chiado. Their drinks were gorgeous AND delicious!
At Kitchen Chiado, we had our first of many cheese and meat plates. A slate of five different cheeses, Iberian ham, chorizo, and proscuitto, plus crispy crostini bread and two different jams — a sweet apple butter and a fruit jam.
We would soon find that charcuterie style cheese and meat plates are a staple in Portuguese cuisine!
Night one ended with a trip to Sorbettino for gelato. We’re in Portugal, how could we not have gelato?
As we were 5 hours ahead of our normal Eastern time and had landed just that morning at 6 am, after gelato, we were ready for bed!
Stay tuned for days 2 and 3. I have always wanted to be a travel blogger!
Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Check out my story and freelancing guide, “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” with tons of practical info packed into a short book! I am also putting together a writing course called “How to Write a Book in 3 Months.” Join that mailing list or go to the site if you’re interested in learning more!