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INTERNATIONAL FOOD IN LISBON FROM PORTUGUESE FORMER COLONIES

comida internacional lisboa

These days, different communities originally from Portuguese former colonies and currently living in Lisbon open their own restaurants and serve traditional dishes that soon become comforting must-have delicacies we can’t live without anymore!

At Taste of Lisboa, we believe that food is a strong cultural expression of great identity, passed down from one generation to the next.

A global and multicultural identity in Portugal has been funded by the history of the Portuguese presence overseas throughout several centuries. 

These days, different communities originally from Portuguese former colonies and currently living in Lisbon open their own restaurants and serve traditional dishes that soon become comforting must-have delicacies we can’t live without anymore!

We will take you today on a round the world journey on intense spices, culinary techniques and flavors that travelled through continents, and were influenced by the Portuguese presence. While in Lisbon, you will discover where to find all these delicious and culturally rich international cuisines, that also speak Portuguese.

AFRICA
It is easy to find good African food in Lisbon, especially the typical dishes of African countries whose official language is Portuguese.

cachupa

From Cape Verde, an archipelago of ten volcanic islands, in the central region of the Atlantic Ocean comes one of the most coveted African dishes by Lisboners, the Cachupa.

Each island gives its special touch to this recipe, but the base of the rich Cachupa, made of various types of meat, or the poor Cachupa, made with fish, always has stewed beans and corn, served with cooked vegetables, cassava, sweet potatoes, and green bananas.

Its preparation can be an authentic ritual, which usually starts the day before, and is an extremely comforting meal.

To enjoy it the authentic way, we recommend you the Cachupa that is served every day in the Associação Caboverdeana, on the top floor of a building close to Marquês de Pombal roundabout.

moamba

Another African dish much appreciated here in Lisbon is the traditional Moamba from Angola.

This chicken stew cooked with palm oil, gindungo spice, peanuts, onions, garlic and served with okra and funge, a white puree of cornflour or cassava, can be enjoyed the most authentic way at the Casa de Angola – Espaço Gastronómico e Cultural.

Dishes of strong Indian inspiration arrive from Mozambique, due to the significant population originally from Goa who lived in this African country.

crab curry

Goa, Damão, and Diu, a region along the west coast of India, which was once part of the Portuguese Empire in India, gained their independence in 1961, after five centuries under the influence of Portuguese culture.

Many Goans left for Mozambique, the closest Portuguese territory at the time, and settled there with their traditions and gastronomy.

samosas

A faithful testimony of this relationship’s history is the Cantinho do Aziz restaurant, in Mouraria, one of the tasting stops of our Lisbon Roots, Food & Cultural Walk.

In this very picturesque corner, opened 40 years ago by an Indo-Portuguese immigrant from Mozambique, an excellent caril de caranguejo (crab curry) is served, as well as samosas resulting from the fusion of these two continents, which are considered the best samosas in Portugal.

Where to eat Cachupa in Lisbon (from Cape Verde):

Associação Caboverdean

Duque de Palmela 2 – Neighborhood: Marquês de Pombal

 

Where to eat Moamba in Lisbon (from Angola):

Casa de Angola

Travessa da Fábrica das Sedas 7 – Neighborhood: Rato

 

Where to eat crab curry in Lisbon (from Mozambique):

Cantinho do Aziz

Rua de S. Lourenço 5 – Neighborhood: Mouraria

 

INDIA

Speaking of Indo-Portuguese food, the presence of Indian food in Lisbon is very relevant through the most sought after and most spicy dishes from Goa region, precisely.

sarapatel

Sarapatel, a dish from Alentejo, brought to India at the time of the Portuguese expansion saw its recipe adapted and refined by the Goan traditions, with meat, head, liver, heart, kidneys, and pork blood, seasoned with chilies, cloves, saffron, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, garlic, and tamarind.
Jesus é Goês is one of the best restaurant in town to taste this fantastic goan dish.

vindaloo

Another recipe from Portugal that has become very famous in the Indian version is pork Vindaloo.

This very spicy curry is the evolution of a Portuguese marinade made from garlic, red wine, and laurel called “vinha d’alhos” (garlic wine), and the Indian word vindaloo results exactly from the contraction of this Portuguese term.

In Goa, the wine was replaced by palm vinegar, and chilies and many spices were added to this recipe.

bebinca

To end a good and intense Goan meal, the Portuguese often ask for dessert, the famous Bebinca, a type of pudding prepared with many egg yolks, sugar, cardamom, coconut milk, flour, and butter, served in seven layers cooked in the oven.

Where to eat Sarapatel in Lisbon (from Goa):

Jesus é Goês

Rua São José 23 – Neighborhood: Baixa 

 

Where to eat Vindaloo in Lisbon (from India / Goa):

Cantinho da Paz

Rua da Paz 4 – Neighborhood: São Bento 


CHINA

Further east, in China, the Portuguese settled in Macau and that’s where the dim-sum served in Lisbon, comes from.

dim sum

This endless range of small dough cakes, steamed or fried, and served in bamboo baskets are the specialty of the Macau Dim Sum restaurant, close to Amoreiras, where they serve 55 suggestions of these Cantonese delicacies.

Where to eat dim sum in Lisbon (from Macau):

Macau Dim Sum

Rua Dom João V 31B – Neighborhood: Amoreiras 

BRAZIL
The food of the largest immigrant community residing in Portugal quickly settled at the table of many Portuguese.

picanha

Picanha, a type of beef cut indispensable in a Brazilian barbecue, is easily found in many menus of Portuguese restaurants, often served the Brazilian way, with white rice and black beans.

Another traditional dish from Brazil that has adapted very well here in Portugal, becoming even a typical weekend lunch, is Feijoada à Brasileira.

feijoada brasieira
In Lisbon, several restaurants serve a buffet of meats, sausages, black beans, sliced ​​cabbage, farofa (toasted cassava flour), slices of orange and fried bananas.

To fill your plate as often as you like and enjoy this feast, don’t miss Dona Beija‘s feijoadas at the weekend, accompanied by caipirinhas, a typical Brazilian drink based on cachaça (distilled spirit from fermented sugarcane juice) and fruit, and also live music.

moqueca

Another Brazilian dish, much appreciated by Lisboners and traditional from the state of Bahia is Moqueca.
With fish or seafood, this recipe includes palm oil, coconut milk, tomatoes, peppers, and many cilantro. 

It is served in a clay pot and the Comida de Santo restaurant in Príncipe Real is the ideal place to taste it.

Where to eat Picanha in Lisbon (from Brasil):

Fogo de Chão

Avenida Elias Garcia 13 – Neighborhood: Campo Pequeno 


Where to eat  Feijoada à Brasileira  in Lisbon:

Dona Beija

Av. Duque de Loulé 22b – Neighborhood: Picoas

 

Where to eat Moqueca in Lisbon:

Comida de Santo

Calçada Eng. Miguel Pais 39 – Neighborhood: Princípe Real 


If you are planning a visit to Lisbon and like to travel through food, keep these tips that Taste of Lisboa has prepared for you and join one of our food and cultural experiences to discover the real flavors that only locals know.

 

If you’d like history and culture to be added to your Lisbon culinary experience, please feel free to contact us. We’ll be glad to set a customized Lisbon food tour exclusively for you and your party.  You may also join one of our daily food & cultural walks.

Attention: our passion is to share Lisbon and that is why we always try to give you the most updated information. But times are unstable, so we suggest you always check before leaving home.