Portugal has been on the “hot” list for a few years now, and we completely understand why. From idyllic beaches, castles, and rice fields, to excellent restaurants, Portugal has something for everyone. But because Portugal is so popular right now, I focused on smaller, more local dining spots when planning the culinary portion of my road trip. I asked Ana, Andiago’s AI-powered concierge insider, for the best hidden gems in Portugal, and these were my favorites:
Lisbon / Cascais
Nothing says “bom dia!” like a “pasteis de nata” with coffee. These delicious Portuguese puff pastries are filled with egg custard and served with a dusting of powdered sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. I tried them all, and the ones from Manteigaria were my favorite.
I indulged in traditional Portuguese restaurants like Ramiro and Alfama 63, and discovered newer places like Bla Bla Glu Glu and Oficio, where their famous “cheese tart” still has me dreaming.
The biggest surprise was in Cascais, just 30 minutes away from Lisbon. I had one of the best omakase experiences of my life at Kappo and two days later tried Izakaya, Kappo’s “rebel” sister restaurant. Both are led by Chef Tiago Penão, a local talent who is successfully reinventing Japanese cuisine.
The cocktail culture in Lisbon was also a wonderful surprise. Toca da Raposa and Imprensa were my favorites and reminded me of my favorite speakeasy bars in New York City.
In all honesty, I was very surprised by Comporta. I expected a sleepy beach town but instead discovered a culinary hot spot. Although the town of Comporta is growing, with newer properties offering fantastic dining options, I was still drawn to the original local spots like Sal and Jacaré da Comporta. They had a familiar feel, and the dishes were comforting.
If you are looking for a more formal dining experience after your beach day, Sem Porta and Mar D’Arrozal have elevated “farm to table” concepts that still embody the Comporta vibe.
In Porto, the food is as amazing as the views. Enjoy a light lunch at Honest Greens and walk around some of Portugal’s oldest jewelry stores, followed by dinner at Flow, a trendy yet fuss-free restaurant with amazing seafood. End your night with a cocktail at the Yeatman Hotel for the best view of the city. Simply postcard perfect.
Written by Chris Gentilini, CEO Andiago
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