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What is Portuguese Food, Anyway? | Portugal

This post on Portuguese food & restaurants in Cascais is in partnership with Visit Cascais. Some meals were covered in exchange for an honest review, but all opinions are my own.

When it comes to ordering food in Portugal “the best thing on the menu” seems to mean “everything on the menu”. “No more” turns into “something small” that is actually something completely normal sized when it finally makes it to your table. Italian grandmothers have got nothing on Portuguese waiters when it comes to filling your plate, and that’s a fact. But I guess if I’m going to eat too much of anything, let it be the briny oysters and freshly caught sea bass at some quirky little restaurant in Cascais.

I’ve spent a lot of time wondering why Portuguese food has never achieved the notoriety of its Mediterranean neighbors. Tapas bars and Italian restaurants are everywhere, but finding a Portuguese restaurant that serves Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá anywhere outside of Portugal takes serious work. My trip to Portugal was started on a press trip to Cascais, meaning I approached dining a bit differently than I normally would. Rather than street side stalls, I holed up at traditional restaurants in Cascais (and beyond!) for multi-course feasts. I ended up eating a little bit of everything and then some. Want to know more about what Portuguese food really is? Here’s a sneak peek at what the cuisine is all about.

More details on the featured restaurants in Cascais & Sintra at the end of this post!

Feasting in Portuguese

Seafood at O PescadorRestaurants in Cascais - Seafood at O PescadorRestaurants in Cascais - Seafood at O PescadorRestaurants in Cascais - Seafood at O PescadorRestaurants in Cascais - Seafood at O PescadorRestaurants in Cascais - Mussels & GinThings to do in Cascais - Food from Maria PiaRestaurants in Cascais - Interior at Polvo VadioRestaurants in Cascais - Polvo VadioRestaurants in Cascais - Polvo VadioRestaurants in Sintra - Cafe Paris ExteriorRestaurants in Sintra - Plate at Cafe ParisRestaurants in Sintra - PiriquitaPortuguese Food - Portuguese Pasteries

1-9. O Pescador, R. das Flores 10B, 2750-348 Cascais, Portugal // 10. Restaurant Maria Pia, Passeio Dona Maria Pia, 2750-310 Cascais, Portugal // 11-12. Moules & Gin, R. Nova da Alfarrobeira 14, 2750-642 Cascais, Portugal // 13-17. Polvo Vadio, R. Afonso Sanches 47, 2750-079 Cascais, Portugal // 18-20. Restaurante Café Paris, Praça República 32, 2710-542 Sintra, Portugal // 21-22. Casa Piriquita, R. Padarias 1, 2710-533 Sintra, Portugal // 23. Anywhere! 

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What is Portuguese food anyway? If you're traveling to Portugal, here are some restaurants in Cascais, Sintra, & beyond where you can sample the region's favorite food.

If you’ve been, what was your favorite Portuguese food? Any more restaurants in Cascais, Sintra, or beyond that you’d recommend?

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