PETISCOS, best restaurants for portuguese food

PETISCOS, best restaurants for portuguese food

Petiscos are smaller, shareable portions of traditional dishes, and are generally cheaper than main dishes.

The Portuguese language is filled with uniquely expressive and fun words.
One that foodies love is Petisco and petiscar which is the verb, means “to snack,” a term used when heading out with friends for drinks and snacks, lunch, or dinner.

Petiscos are smaller, shareable portions of traditional dishes, and are generally cheaper than main dishes.
You can use your hands a fork or a spoon, bread on the side and a glass of wine or beer to accompany it.
Everything can be a Petisco but there are two things mandatory to fulfill this Portuguese snack: a table and friends.

Petiscos are designed to be ordered all at once and together they comprise a full meal.

They are served in restaurants and tascas (hole in a wall) or homestyle eateries, rather than bars, and are meant to encourage family-style dining.

These smaller portions of what might otherwise be ordered as entrees, give diners the chance to sample the best of Portuguese cuisine in small bites, while still filling up and you’ll see lunch and dinner tables loaded with shareable bites for gatherings.

Meat and seafood feature heavily on Petiscos menus alongside finger foods like olives, cheeses, and cured meats that can be scooped up with fresh bread dipped in olive oil.

They are served throughout the country, but be sure to ask about regional specialties, depending on where you’re dining.

Along the coast side, Petiscos meals are more of a seafood feast while in the central and eastern regions these meals are more influenced by the land, meaning that you’ll taste a variety of cheeses, meats, and some vegetables.

Mind that in Portugal, it is not usual for restaurants to serve free snacks, and even the entrees like bread, cheese, butter, pâté, or olive oil, served before orders have been placed, come with a charge.
If you’re not interested in paying for them, simply say, “Não, obrigado” (or “obrigada“, if you’re a woman) and the waiter takes them away.

Now that you know what Petiscos mean, I’m sure you’re ready for this experience, right?

Here are some of my favorite places for petiscar.

Petiscos portuguese food
Petiscos food

A TRAVESSA DO FADO
After a long walk through Alfama, this is the right spot to indulge yourself with lunch or dinner.
The market cuisine here reigns, which means that the products are all fresh and seasonal, the cook’s imagination runs freely and the suggestions alternate daily noted on a slate board.
Next to Museu do Fado, the relaxed atmosphere of the sheltered terrace or the cozy and eclectic decorated interior are the perfect settings to share the delicious petiscos of traditional Portuguese cuisine that are served here.
In the Summer and being their season, do not miss the opportunity to eat the best and freshest oysters of your life and also to order some grilled octopus.
If, however, the days are colder when you visit this restaurant, the fava beans with chorizo are mandatory or, for the more curious, try the cod cheeks.
There is a lot to choose from and I am sure your meal will be a joyful feast.
If there is room for dessert at the end, order their sweet creamy chocolate cake.

SEM PALAVRAS
The name means “wordless” and that’s kind of what happens after tasting the seafood and petiscos that are served here.
The restaurant is located in the Alvalade Market and therefore, access to the freshest products of the day is guaranteed and is an unbeatable advantage, as the usual lines of people waiting for a table prove. So get there early.
A proper seafood meal in Lisbon usually ends with a Prego – a succulent beef steak sandwich to eat as simple or seasoned with mustard.
So my suggestions for petiscar here start with Bulhão Pato Clams (a clam recipe with olive oil, garlic and coriander sauce) and a Prego to finish it.
All accompanied by an imperial, – which is how you order a draft beer in Lisbon, usually Portuguese brands like Sagres or Super Bock – or white wine.

A PARREIRINHA DO CHILE
This is not a cute and touristy restaurant. This is a traditional and genuine Portuguese “hole in the wall” always full of passersby looking for a quick and cheap meal.
There are no tables here, there are counters and this is the right place to order a Bifana on your way to Mouraria.
Think about a national American sandwich – the Hamburger. Now think about a national Portuguese sandwich – the Bifana.
The Bifana is a slice of tender pork meat sandwich, fried or grilled, served in soft Portuguese bread with a marinade sauce, and no one cooks these pork steaks better than the “king of Bifanas,” as the owner of this small place at Praça do Chile likes to be called.
The marinade sauce is a well-kept secret, but the taste is famous and very popular.
So if you want to know what fast food tastes like in Lisbon, check out this specialty.

DELICIA DE ARROIOS
This one is a friendly, familiar tiny restaurant in a residential neighborhood where residents, families, and friends gather, to enjoy traditional and homemade style Portuguese food.
Nuno, the owner is a true host and upon arrival, he asks you what you want to drink if you need to wait a while for a seat.
Despite serving meals that change every day according to the ingredients that the cook finds available on the daily markets, here they also serve the best sausage and smoked meats boards and the best cheeses boards. Accompanied by a variety of bread, including Portuguese broa (cornbread) and a creamy rich soup, it is enough to be satisfied.
But if you want more, I suggest sharing a dish of fried octopus with coriander Açorda (a kind of bread and garlic porridge). You won’t regret it.
The wine cellar is good and well selected, so let Nuno advise you on what to drink.

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