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Culinary Backstreets: Lisbon Eats Essentials – Lisbon, Portugal

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Blessed with some of the world’s best fish and seafood off the coast and the bounty of rich farmland inland, the Portuguese are spoilt for choice of great culinary resources. The cuisine of Lisbon, which draws from a diverse range of influences hinting at Portugal’s glorious trading past, is always based on the simple principal of supreme ingredients and a simple preparation that allows those ingredients to shine. On this half-day tour, we set out to find some of the best examples of local cuisine that Lisbon has to offer.

Our walk will begin at Lisbon’s greatest market, the Mercado da Ribeira, with a crash course in the building blocks of Portuguese cuisine. Visiting some of the market’s old-time fishmongers, produce sellers and butchers, we will explore the roots of Portuguese cuisine and then, in the market’s bustling central hall, sample some of the “fruits” of these ingredients, tasting rustic cheeses, top quality cured ham made from acorn-fed black hoofed pigs unique to the Iberian Peninsula, artisanal breads and local olive oils.

We’ll then set out to visit some of the time-honored establishments in the neighborhoods around the market. We’ll go for traditional savory pastries on the rooftop canteen of a nunnery. We’ll stop into an old, family-run grocery to try some top shelf tinned sardines – unlike any canned seafood you may have had before, this is superb – accompanied by a glass of vinho verde, the unique effervescent white wine from Northern Portugal.

At our next stop, the reincarnation of an old neighborhood institution that Lisboetas – as Lisbon’s residents are known – have been flocking to for generations, we’ll try the restaurant’s locally renowned cod fritters along with other meaty house specialties, paired with the distinct red wine from Alentejo. From there we will end the day on a sweet note, stopping in a local pastelaria for traditional pastries, before finishing with a few sips of ginjinha, a sour cherry liqueur beloved by locals and whose sweet flavor is yet another essential element that defines Lisbon’s culinary identity.

In addition to your Culinary Backstreets guide, all food consumed on the walk – more than half a dozen different edible specialties – are included in the price.  A limited selection of alcohol is served on the walks and is included in the price.

  • Price: $95 US/person; $110 US/person on weekends. Fee includes everything consumed on the walk
  • Group Size: 2-7
  • Start/End: 10:30am-2:00pm; 5:00pm-8:30pm Sundays
  • Duration: about 3.5 hours

More Info & Reservations

Culinary Backstreets offers additional tours in Lisbon, as well as tours in many other cities around the world.

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Eat Drink Walk Lisbon: Petiscos (Portugese Tapas) Tour – Lisbon, Portugal

One of this company’s tours was reviewed by FoodTourFinder
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Tinned fish, wine and ginjinha, suckling pig and other “petiscos”

We will take you to taste some of the traditional specialities of the country. A journey through some Portuguese flavours.

Tinned Portuguese fish, internationally recognized for its quality, has inspired local chefs to create new recipes. On this tour, you will try what are considered great “petiscos” in a place whose owner is also the author of an award-winning cookbook. Sardines, mackerel or mussels, here you’ll find a range of different flavours.

Then you can sample traditional ginjinha (sour cherry brandy) and visit the old city market.

And to get an idea of the versatility of the wines of Portugal, we’ll visit a cellar for some wine tastings, namely Port or Moscatel.

Then we will take you to taste the liqueurs, jams and cheeses of the Azores islands.

And we will finish in a typical lisboan “tasca” to taste the traditional Bairrada suckling pig sandwich and another delicious savoury “petisco”, accompanied by draught beer (an imperial) or a glass of vinho verde, or as most locals do there with a lovely lemonade. And then a custard tart in one of the best bakeries in the city.

Price: 50 euros

Every day except Mondays, Sundays and holidays.

Departure: 11:30

Length: Three to four hours.

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Eat Drink Walk Lisbon: GinjinhaTour – Lisbon, Portugal

One of this company’s tours was reviewed by FoodTourFinder
See our review here!

In this tour we get to know one of the most traditional drinks of Lisbon, ginjinha, a liqueur made with aguardente and sour cherries.

Over the course of about three hours, we walk through some of the more famous areas of the city, including Rossio, Terreiro do Paço and Restauradores.

It is thought that ginjinha was introduced to Portugal by a Galician friar and continues to be a tradition in our country. It is especially popular in Lisbon and Óbidos.

We will visit the oldest and most iconic taverns, and also a place where ginjinha is served in edible chocolate cups, a new trend that started with the Chocolate Festival in Óbidos. We’ll have time also for a pastel de nata (custard tart).

In all locations you will taste a shot, com elas ou sem elas (literally with or without them, the cherries, that is).

And for “soaking up” this strong liqueur, we enjoy some true and traditional Portuguese delicacies, including suckling pig, in a old “tasca”, now renovated.

Hours: Monday to Saturday, around three hours.

Price: 45 €

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