Gastronomy in Lisbon

For such a small country, Portugal has a surprisingly large variety of gastronomic delights. Regions like Alentejo, the North of the country, the South and the Centre boast quite marked differences in their typical dishes.

Having been a predominately seafaring nation, it is not usual to find a large amount of fresh tasty fish dishes and all sorts of shellfish.
In Lisbon, a city of mixed cultures, tastes and spices, you will find everything from international, to regional and prize-winning cuisines.
But the charm of Lisbon's cuisine lives in its traditions. Grilled sardine is the queen during the summer and on the Popular Saints celebrations... You just can't avoid smelling it in the small quarters of Alfama, Bairro Alto and many other locals around Lisbon in June, when the Popular Saints celebrations crowd into the streets of the city, bringing along tiny coloured flags, balloons, and popular marches.

Restaurants and "tascas" (small taverns) offer an exquisite variety of snacks and appetizers, like boiled snails or deep fried green beans.
Also famous for its wines, Portuguese choose national wine as the ubiquitous table beverage.
Although Portugal's waters abound with fresh fish, the dried, salted codfish known as 'bacalhau', often imported, is considered the national dish. In some countries, at Christmas time, people eat turkey. The Portuguese eat boiled bacalhau, with olive oil, potatoes, cabbage and sometimes chick-peas.

The Lisboetas are tireless drinkers of coffee served in small cups, locally known as bica, available all day long and in all types of cafés.

Looking for sweets?... Make sure you don't miss the world famous "Pastéis de Belém" custard tarts in the beautiful Belém area. Just grab a half-a-dozen box, with cinnamon and sugar powder, and give yourself a sweet moment while you stroll along the many monuments this area has to offer.

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