This post was originally published on my first travel blog on 22 March 2015.
It was my birthday this week, and to celebrate my boyfriend and I went to eat at a small Portuguese restaurant in Bedford that I’d heard great things about. It’s called Baia de Cascais, named after the coastal town of Cascais, near Lisbon, from where the owners hail. We had a lovely dinner (you can read my review on IndyBrit to find out more) which made me think of the food and drink I enjoyed during my trip to Lisbon a few years ago.
I would like to go vegetarian but the thing that stops me is my love of fish; I eat it several times a week and would be lost without it in my diet! Some of the best fish dishes I’ve enjoyed so far were in Lisbon.
Salted cod is popular; this could be grilled, fried or boiled, and served with various shades of potatoes, fries or rice, depending on the dish. One evening our hostel owners cooked salted cod fish cakes with rice and beans for the guests, which was absolutely delicious; I could have eaten plates of it!
Vinho verde – “green” wine
You’ll find this available in most restaurants. It’s not actually green – the “green” aspect refers to the young age of the grape that’s used to make it. It’s a white wine which is slightly sparkling – not enough to earn it the status of “a sparkling wine”, but it’s a light and refreshing accompaniment to your meal.
You’ll want to buy a bottle of this Portuguese cherry brandy to bring back with you! It’s a must-try whilst you’re in Lisbon. If you’re visiting the Castle of São Jorge, look for the little shop near the entrance where they’ll sell you ginja in a chocolate cup, which of course you eat after you’ve drunk the liqueur – yum!
Pasteis de nata
You’ll find these delicious custard tarts in every bakery and café in Lisbon. They originated in one particular bakery in the Belem area of the city, which usually has a long wait for tables and a significant queue for take-away, but you’ll find good quality tarts elsewhere too.
What do you think…have I missed anything fantastic?