Lisbon Food and Wine Tours

Taste the best of Portugal in its historic seaside capital

Spread across a string of seven hillsides that overlook the Rio Tejo, Lisbon offers unexpected delights, gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and charming museums are all part of the flamboyant cityscape, but the real pleasures of discovery lie in wandering the narrow lanes of Lisbon’s lovely backstreets.

As yellow trams pass their way through curvy streets and Lisboêtas stroll through the old quarters, village-life in old Alfama is exchanged over fresh bread and wine at tiny patio restaurants as fadistas perform in the background. This is a blend of what Lisbon life looks like, add in the love for food and you have a must see destination. The Lisbon experience encompasses so much, from enjoying a fresh pastry and bica (espresso) on a little plaza to window-shopping in upscale and trendy Chiado. It’s mingling with Lisboêtas at a neighborhood festival or watching the sunset from Castelo San Jorge or wandering in the hilltop district of Barrio Alto, where tons of restaurants and bars line up in the narrow streets, with jazz, reggae and fado filling the air that make Lisbon a magical place. 

Now let’s talk food. While classics like bacalhau (salted cod) and pastéis de nata (custard tarts) never go out of fashion, the Portuguese capital has definitely raised the culinary bar. Recently, creative, open-minded chefs looking towards Brazil, France, India and the Mediterranean for inspiration have blended interesting masterpieces. Restaurants are popping up in the most unlikely places, from convents to museums and gourmet pioneers such as José Avillez, Vitor Sobral, and Henrique Sá Pessoa have put Lisboa back on the gastronomic map with creative, seasonally inspired cuisine. With the Atlantic on the doorway, fish is big on most menus and tastes terrific served with a glass of Alentejo

Lisbon presents stepped alleys lined with pastel-color houses decked with laundry; scattered, miradouros (vantage points) afford spectacular river or city views. In the grand 18th-century, calçada à Portuguesa (black-and-white mosaic cobblestone) sidewalks border wide boulevards. Elétricos (trams) sound through the streets, and blue-and-white azulejos (painted ceramic tiles) adorn churches, restaurants and fountains. 

Today, the empire is striking back, with Brazilians and people from the former Portuguese colonies in Africa enriching the city’s ethnic mix and spicing up the culinary creations. When in Portugal make sure you visit Mercado da Ribeira – Lisbon's biggest fresh food market – selling regional specialties, including Azeitão sheep's cheese, plates of ham from the Alentejo, and custard tarts from award-winning cafe Aloma. Tins of sardines in beautiful retro packaging at the Conserveira de Lisboa, wines from Garrafeira Nacional or chocolates from Arcádia are great to try and also make unique gifts.

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