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The most typical dishes from Lisbon (and where to eat them)

From petiscos and finger foods, to typical salted cod dishes and hearty meat or seafood stews, not forgetting the indulgent repertoire of sugar and egg yolk loaded Portuguese desserts, the collection of traditional Portuguese food is rather vast for such a small country!

Portuguese cuisine is regional with distinct characteristics depending on the area of Portugal. The local history, the topography and influences of the people who have come and gone all over the country during centuries, have shaped the Portuguese way of cooking and eating.

Today we focus on Lisbon’s culinary heritage, highlighting the dishes which have been developed in the Portuguese capital. Even though you may find any of these all over Portugal today, just like you can eat all sorts of regional recipes in the restaurants across the city as well, these are the most iconic dishes created in Lisbon itself.

Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato

Being so close to the ocean, the cuisine of Lisbon has decidedly been influenced by the Atlantic. As such, fish and seafood are staples of the local diet. The clam dish amêijoas à Bulhão Pato is considered one of Portugal’s best seafood dishes and one we often cook during our group classes at Cooking Lisbon. Many won’t know that, unlike other recipes which end up taking the name of its creator, these saucy clams were named as a tribute to poet and renowned foodie Raimundo António de Bulhão Pato (1828-1912). But let’s be honest: amêijoas à Bulhão Pato have much more potential to make Portuguese folks hungry than awaken our literary sides! The recipe was developed around 1930 at Estrela de Oiro restaurant, which used to have its doors open in Rua da Prata in Lisbon. Even though some restaurants today also add white wine to the preparation of clams Bulhão Pato style, the original recipe is indeed very simple: the clams are cooked with a little garlic infused olive oil, lemon and lots of coriander, which is used during the cooking process itself, as well as a generous garnish for serving. Simple yet very elegant, this tangy Portuguese clams recipe is a must-try when you visit Lisbon!

Where to try ​​in clams Bulhão Pato style Lisbon: