What can I say about Portuguese food? Lots of seafood, custard pastries, and custard pastries. Okay, I’m a little obsessed with the pastel de nata, the egg tarts pictured above that are famous in Portugal. They’re similar to Chinese egg custard tarts, but have more flavor, crispier shells, and there’s cinnamon sprinkled on top. They’re delicious, but you can’t really eat more than 2 in one sitting (except my friend Julia who apparently ate 6 because they were so good!)
You can find nata anywhere in the city, but the most famous place is the Pastéis de Belém, about a 20-minute taxi ride from downtown Lisbon. (By the way, everything is much cheaper in Portugal; a 20-minute Uber ride costs ~5EUR.) Anyway, head to this pastry shop at opening to avoid lines of 100’s of people, or take a local tip from our friends, who say to sit down inside the restaurant (it’s quite big) and order from the menu. It’s the same price with a shorter wait. The recipe here hasn’t changed since 1837, where it was originally created by monks at the Mosterio dos Jeronimos next door.
Okay, next up on my list is the Time Out Market Lisbon. Think of a fancy-yet-affordable food court, with swing dancing included. It’s lively, colorful, and full of a delicious selection of local restaurants. I opted for a mango smoothie and pulled pork sandwich. Yum.
For seafood, everyone will tell you to try Cervejaria Ramiro’s. Everything’s extremely fresh; if you order lobster, the waiter will show you it alive at your table before it’s cooked. The red langoustines pictured in the center were recommended by the locals sitting next to us and were extremely juicy. We also tried… barnacles… they look very unappetizing but didn’t taste too horrible. I only ate one because it freaked me out too much.
Did you know Lisbon has amazing pizza? I wouldn’t have guessed it either. Casanova blew us away with their fresh ingredients, delicious olive oil, and crispy thin pizzas. Line up for lunch 10 minutes before opening time to be part of the first seating- it gets reallyyyy crowded!