Portuguese Seafood Dishes

Portugal is a country renowned for its rich seafood cuisine, with a long coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, it is no surprise that seafood is an important part of the Portuguese diet. From fresh fish to grilled octopus, Portuguese seafood dishes are a delicious and flavorful part of the country’s cuisine. Here, we have compiled a list of some of the most famous Portuguese seafood dishes that you simply have to try when visiting the country.

Famous Portuguese Seafood Dishes you Have-to Try

Bacalhau à Brás

Bacalhau à brás

Bacalhau à Brás is a dish made with salt cod, sliced potatoes, scrambled eggs, and black olives. The dish is typically seasoned with parsley, garlic, and onion, making it a delicious and flavorful meal. This dish is one of the most popular seafood dishes in Portugal and is often served as a main course during special occasions such as Christmas and Easter.

Sardinhas assadas


Sardinhas assadas, or grilled sardines, are a staple in Portugal and are typically grilled over an open flame, giving the fish a delicious smoky flavor. Sardines are an affordable and readily available fish in Portugal, making them a popular choice among locals. Sardinhas assadas are often served with potatoes, bread, and a glass of white wine, making them the perfect meal for a summer day.

Arroz de marisco

Arroz de marisco

Arroz de marisco is a delicious seafood risotto that is made with a variety of seafood such as clams, prawns, and squid. The dish is seasoned with garlic, onions, and paprika, making it a flavorful and spicy dish. This dish is popular in coastal regions of Portugal and is often served as a main course during special occasions.

Açorda de marisco

Açorda de marisco is a dish made with bread, garlic, and seafood, similar to a stew. The dish is made by soaking the bread in a mixture of seafood broth and olive oil, creating a rich and flavorful broth. Açorda de marisco is often served as a main course in Portugal and is a popular choice among locals.


Polvo à Lagareiro

Polvo à Lagareiro is a dish made with octopus that is slow-cooked in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, and paprika. The octopus is then grilled to perfection, giving it a crispy and smoky flavor. This dish is popular in coastal regions of Portugal and is often served as a main course, accompanied by roasted potatoes.

Caldeirada de Peixe

Caldeirada de Peixe

Caldeirada de Peixe is a fish stew that is made with a variety of seafood such as cod, monkfish, and prawns. The dish is seasoned with garlic, onion, and paprika, making it a spicy and flavorful stew. Caldeirada de Peixe is a popular dish in Portugal, especially in coastal regions, and is often served as a main course.

Carabineiro à Algarvia

Carabineiro à Algarvia is a dish made with a type of prawn that is unique to the Algarve region of Portugal. The prawns are grilled to perfection, giving them a delicious smoky flavor. Carabineiro à Algarvia is a popular dish in the Algarve region and is often served as a main course, accompanied by roasted potatoes.

Food Tours in Portugal

portugal food tours

Experiencing food tours in Portugal is a delightful journey through a culinary wonderland. These tours offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich and diverse flavors of Portuguese cuisine while exploring the country’s charming streets and markets. From savoring iconic dishes like bacalhau and pastéis de nata to indulging in regional specialties like Alentejo’s açorda or Porto’s francesinha, food tours provide a sensory adventure that celebrates Portugal’s gastronomic heritage.

  • Foodie Lisbon Walking Tour: Get a true sense of various local markets with fresh fish booths, and maybe you’ll hear the famed scream of the fish merchants seeking prospective customers!
  • Albufeira Food Tour: On this guided trip, you will have the opportunity to explore and get to know places that even the locals are unaware of! Travel across the central Algarve area in a small group, learning about the region’s history and eating its traditional food, culminating with a lunch with local wines.
  • Porto Food Tour: Discover Porto’s best food on this delicious tour – from traditional Portuguese dishes to sweet treats and everything in between! Porto food tour!
  • Braga Food Tour: There is no better way to get to know a city or its people than to take a culinary walking tour. Spend a day learning about Braga’s lesser-known cuisine traditions and local institutions by joining this meal tour.

Pairing Portuguese Seafood with Wine

Portuguese seafood is renowned for its diverse flavors and rich culinary heritage. To truly savor these delectable dishes, it’s essential to know how to pair them with the perfect Portuguese wine. Let’s explore a guide to pairing seafood dishes with Portuguese wines and discover the wine regions and specialties that complement these flavors. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast, a wine connoisseur, or simply a lover of good food, a food tour in Portugal is an unforgettable experience that allows you to taste the heart and soul of this vibrant Mediterranean nation.

Guide to Pairing Seafood Dishes with Portuguese Wines

Pairing seafood with the right wine can elevate your dining experience to new heights. Portuguese wines offer a fantastic range of options that beautifully complement the flavors of Portuguese seafood. Here’s a brief guide:

  1. White Wines: White wines are often the preferred choice when it comes to pairing with Portuguese seafood. Varieties like Vinho Verde, Alvarinho, and Arinto offer crisp acidity and citrusy notes that harmonize wonderfully with the freshness of seafood.
  2. Rosé Wines: For those who enjoy a hint of fruitiness in their wine, a good Portuguese rosé can be an excellent choice. It provides a balanced palate that complements both light and slightly spicy seafood dishes.
  3. Red Wines: While white and rosé wines are traditional, some seafood dishes with richer flavors can also pair well with light red wines. Consider a young, fruity red like a Vinho Verde red or a Bairrada.
  4. Sparkling Wines: Sparkling wines, including Portuguese varieties like Espumante and sparkling Vinho Verde, add a touch of elegance to any seafood feast. Their effervescence cuts through the richness of certain dishes.
  5. Fortified Wines: For richer and heavily seasoned seafood dishes, you might want to explore fortified wines like Madeira. These wines offer complexity and a touch of sweetness that can complement the flavors.

Wine Regions in Portugal and Their Specialties

Portugal boasts several wine regions, each with its own unique characteristics and specialties. When enjoying Portuguese seafood, it’s worthwhile to explore the wines produced in these regions:

  1. Vinho Verde: Known for its crisp and refreshing white wines, Vinho Verde is an excellent choice to pair with lighter seafood dishes. It hails from the northwestern part of Portugal.
  2. Douro: The Douro Valley is famous for its red wines, particularly Port wine. These can be a unique choice to pair with seafood, especially if you opt for red wine with richer dishes.
  3. Alentejo: This region offers a diverse range of wines, including both reds and whites. Alentejo wines are known for their full-bodied flavors, making them a suitable match for heartier seafood options.
  4. Lisbon Region: The wines from the Lisbon region, such as Colares, are versatile and can complement a wide array of seafood dishes. They often strike a balance between acidity and fruitiness.
  5. Madeira: If you’re dining on Madeira Island or enjoying seafood dishes with Madeira wine sauce, don’t miss the opportunity to pair it with the local fortified Madeira wines.

Where to Experience Authentic Portuguese Seafood

Now that you know how to pair Portuguese seafood with the perfect wine let’s explore where you can enjoy these delectable dishes in Portugal:

Recommendations for Restaurants and Regions in Portugal

  1. Lisbon: The capital city offers a plethora of seafood restaurants. Visit Cervejaria Ramiro for an authentic seafood feast, or head to the historic Alfama district for traditional Portuguese seafood dishes.
  2. Porto: Along the Douro River, you’ll find restaurants like O Gaveto, renowned for its fresh seafood and riverfront views.
  3. Algarve: The southern coast is a seafood lover’s paradise. Try the bustling fish markets in Olhão or dine at family-owned seafood restaurants in Lagos.

Tips for Dining Etiquette and Local Seafood Festivals

  1. Dining Etiquette: When enjoying Portuguese seafood, it’s customary to engage in leisurely meals. Don’t rush; savor each bite. It’s also common to use your hands for certain dishes, so embrace the local customs.
  2. Local Seafood Festivals: Plan your visit during local seafood festivals, such as the Festa do Marisco in Olhão or the Festival Nacional de Gastronomia in Santarém. These events celebrate Portugal’s seafood culture, offering a chance to taste various dishes.

In conclusion, pairing Portuguese seafood with the right wine enhances the dining experience. Explore the diverse wine regions and specialties of Portugal while enjoying authentic seafood dishes at recommended restaurants and during local seafood festivals. By following these tips, you’ll create memorable culinary experiences centered around the delectable world of Portuguese seafood.

In conclusion

Portuguese seafood dishes are a must-try for anyone visiting the country. From Bacalhau à Brás to Carabineiro à Algarvia, the variety of flavors and cooking styles make Portuguese seafood cuisine a delicious and unique experience. Whether you prefer grilled sardines or spicy fish stews, there is a seafood dish for every taste in Portugal. So, next time you visit the country, make sure to try one of these famous Portuguese seafood dishes and enjoy the flavors of the Atlantic Ocean.