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Food & Drinks

Bom apetite! Easy and tasty, that's Portuguese food. Like in other countries of South Europe, Portuguese people attach a major importance to their meals.

In the following page, we’ll talk a bit about the Portuguese kitchen, the attitudes of cooking and having dinner and all these things you’ve to get used to during your stay in Portugal.

First of all, the “timetable” of the portuguese kitchen:

Pequeno almoço:
Pequeno almoco: Normally the breakfast is just to get a something to eat. Cornflakes, some piece of bread, something sweet and a coffee. You take it at home or in a small café.
Beside the fast-food restaurants you won’t find any
restaurant which is open before 12 a.m. The Portuguese
start their almoco most the time with bread, butter and   olives or cheese. Soup amongs to the portugese kitchen.  
– before the Portuguese eat their meal they enjoy one
of the hundred soups.
Finally they eat some pastries and drink a coffee.
( 12.00 ~ 14.00 o’clock)
The dinner is the coronation of the meals of a day. The Portuguese like to have dinner with the family or a lot of friends. It can take easily more than three hours to have  dinner in Portugal. The meal is opulent, oily and normally
with a lot of meat.
( 19.00 ~ 22.00 o’clock)


Café is more than important in Portugal. Café is to show
where you belong to. The café where you’re going every
day is something like your living room. A Café in Portugal costs between ( 0,50 – 0,65 Euro ). If you drink the café directly at the balconie you’ve to pay less if you’re sitting.

With this dicitonary you won’t get lost in the jungle of  food:

Pequeno almoço [Breakfast]:

Café – espresso (0,50 – 0,65 Euro)

Sandes fiambre – a bap with butter and ham          (1,20 – 1,40 Euro)
Sandes queijo – a bap with butter and cheese (1,20 – 1,40 Euro)
Sandes mista – a bap with butter, cheese and ham ( 1,40 – 1,60 Euro)
Tosta mista – mixed hot toast with butter, cheese and ham (1,60 – 1,80 Eur)
Tosta queijo – hot toast with butter and cheese (1,40 – 1,60 Euro)

Almoço [Lunch]:

Caldo verde – National dish of Portugal. Soup of potatoes with green cabbage (Availability depends to the Season; 1,10 – 1,30 Euro )
Sopa de legumes – vegetable soup ( 1,20 – 1,50 Euro)
Sopa de pedra – “Stonesoup” with red beans, bacon, meat, potatoes and garlic (1,40 – 1,70 Euro)
Sopa de peixe – fish soup (1,30 – 1,50 Euro)
Bifana – bap with pork inside ( 1,70 – 2,20 Euro)
Bitoque – french fries, rice, egg and pork ( 5,00 – 6,00 Euro)

Jantar [Dinner]:

Peixe – Fish:
Atum – tuna
Bacalhau – codfish
Carapaus – stickleback
Peixa espada – swordfish
Sardinhas – sardine
Sardinhas fritas – fried sardine
Sardinhas assadas – grilled sardine
Sardinhas em panados – crumb sardine

Carne – Meat:
Bife – cutlet of pig or beef
Chourico – sausage with pepper
Carne de porco – pork
Carne de vaca – beef
Arroz de pato – rice with duck
Galinha – fowl
Frango – Chicken

Most restaurants in Portugal have also a “take-away” service. It means that you can order "Bitoque", fish or other stuff for take-away. They will give you a small box with rice, french fries and the meat/fish you ordered.

Special Notes:

The Portuguese like their Bacalhau – the codfish caught in Norway. There is a portuguese saying that there exist 365 ways of cooking Bacalhau. One for each day.
The Portuguese are used to eat for a long time. To have dinner is not just a question of getting food – it’s to meet friends, family and talk about everything.

Sweets in the "Café":

Portuguese SweetsThe portuguese like the sweets in a café. For low-budget you can get varios sweet and also salty things as a dessert. There exist a lot of desserts with different names. The names are also depending to the region and how it’s called in the café. So it can easily happen that even a Portuguese doesn’t know what’s the name of a dessert. The prices of the desserts are normally 0,80 Euro each. If you’ve bigger one you’ve to pay a bit more. This guide can just give you some advice. Try and taste all the sweets from the café. Most of them are really good.Drink

Beber – To Drink:

Salute! Wine and Beer belong in the same way to the Portuguese as the meat in the meals. Besides this there exists a tradition of “coffee-drinks” and cold/fresh drinks from the café.

Café: Café – espresso (hot, small coffee: 0,50 – 0,65 Euro )
Galao – espresso in a glass of hot milk ( 0,70 – 0,90 Euro )
Cariocca de limao – hot water with a piece of lemon ( 0,50 – 0,60 Euro)
Chá preto/limao – tea black/lemon ( 0,75 – 0,95 Euro)
Alcohol: Vinho tinto – red wine (prices depend a lot to the quality/place)
Vinho branco – white wine
Vinho da mesa – table wine (popular for lunch/dinner, most in big boxes)
Uma imperial – small 0,2 l glass of draught beer ( 0,80 – 1,00 Euro)
Uma cerveja –  0,3 l beer / in a bottle or for take-away in a glass (1,20 – 1,30)
Uma caneca -  0,5 l beer / always in a glass for take-away (1,50 – 1,70 Euro)

For sure this guide can’t point out all drinks you can get in a café or in bars. But with these drinks you can survive in the jungle of drinks in Portugal. All drinks you can get in a café like café, Galão or the sweets are cheaper than to make it yourself. It’s also a question of participating in the portuguese life to spend some time per day in a café.


With wine and beer it’s a bit different. You have (very) good and cheap wines at the supermarket – you won’t get in any bar. You can taste and try just by yourself to find out what you prefer. This choice you don’t have with the beer. In Portugal will find two types of beer-brands: Sagres and Superbock. You can get it everywhere at any time.


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