Lisbon Portuguese Gourmet Food Tour

One of the main things that I wanted to do in Lisbon was to taste the food in Portugal and to find out more about the place, so I went looking for a tour online that would provide me with a guided exploration of Portuguese Gourmet Food, Wine and the place itself. I found a Food, Wine and a Walking Tour with a company called Inside Lisbon Tours online for a reasonable price of about USD55.

Lisbon, Lisbon Portugal,

We met our guide, Pedro, at the base of the statue of Pedro IV in Praça D. Pedro IV. Our tour group of about 8 was from all over the world.

Lisboa – Rossio

On the way to first stop we passed the Lisboa – Rossio train station. Great looking building.

Café Beira Gare

Our first stop was Café Beira Gare a local favourite and, even though it is in the middle one of the biggest tourist areas in Lisbon, had good quality Portuguese food at decent prices (apparently). Locals visit the place on the way to and from the Lisboa – Rossio train station that is next door.

Lisbon,  Lisbon Portugal,

We started the Portuguese Gourmet Food part of the tour with Cod Fish and Vino Verde Green Wine. The Vino Verde Green Wine was very dry, a little spritzy with a slightly sour short to medium finish. The wine is from the Porto region of Portugal, and was a better with the cod, which I liked more than wine. The cod was served like a fritter, ie deep fried in a very light batter, and was quite tasty.
Oz’s Wine Rating 2.5 out 5

 

To get to our next stop we wander through the streets of Lisbon stopping on the way to check out a few of the sights.

Elevador de Santa Justa

One of the sights was the Elevador de Santa Justa which was built in 1902 to connect the Carmo Square with the streets below. It is now a major tourist attraction. I did not get a chance to go up to the top on this trip, too many tourists, next time.

Lisbon Trams

Lisbon is also famous for its trams, they are similar to the trams from my home town Adelaide.

Oz’s Useless Trivia

  • The first tram tracks were laid in 1873
  • They were drawn by horse
  • In 1901 the conversion of the Lisbon trams to electric started, took about 1 year. Wonder how many years it would take to do the same today
  • By 1959 there were 27 tram lines in total, 3 of which were circular lines that had tracks that ran both clockwise and anti-clockwise
  • From 1959 the development of a metro train line and expansion of the bus network halted the further development of the tram network
  • There are now only 5 lines that are in operation
  • A Lisbon Tram was also featured in one of my favourite Australian movies “Malcolm“. A good laugh
 
Pedro took us through the streets to a pair of lifts that are open to the public and let you get up to near São Jorge Castle for free without having to either walk up the hills or to take one of the trams, which are apparently always crowed. A nice tourist hack.
Lisbon, Lisbon Portugal,
The view from the top of the second lift is not bad.
Lisbon, Lisbon Portugal,

Espumantaria Do Petisco Lisbon

Our second stop was Espumantaria do Petisco a restaurant just below São Jorge Castle. I liked the place as soon as saw the place, something about the look. If I had more time it would definitely be a place that I would like to return to for a meal, something for my next trip.
Lisbon, Lisbon Portugal,

The fare for this spot was a small tasting plate of:

  • Sardines with tempura beans. Yum!
  • Wasabi sauce – went well with the sardines
  • Toast with cod. Very tasty
Lisbon, Lisbon Portugal,
The Portuguese beverage we tasted was a non-vintage Dacasa Sparkling White from the Qunita Do Ferro wine region, which is only available from the restaurant. Light bright green straw in colour with a bead of small persistent bubbles. The pleasant aroma was a combination of biscuit and lime. On the palate it was a little sour but also refreshing, the finish was medium in length with a slight sweet after taste. Oz’s Wine Rating 3 out of 5
After our second stop we started down the hill by foot, wandering through the lane ways and tight twisty streets through a very artistic district. The walls of one of the lane ways has been used by an expat Brit photographer (forgot her name) as a gallery for some of her work showcasing the photos of the locals.

Manteigaria Silva Lisbon

Our third stop on our Portuguese Gourmet Food Tour was Manteigaria Silva Lisbon. The food we tasted this time was called Romeo and Juliet which is a the Cheese of St George with a slab of marmalade made from quince on top, very nice. Appropriately paired with a Dow’s Fine Tawny Port which was crimson red in appearance, dark plum and fruit cake aromas, a smooth medium-long finish.
Oz’s Wine Rating 3.5 out 5
Lisbon, Lisbon Portugal,
Wish we had a store like this in Singapore!

A Ginjinha

Our next stop was A Ginjinha which is a 5th generation family business where you can buy their Ginja by the cup, flask or bottle. I liked the Ginja from A Ginjinha more than the others I tried over my few days in Lisbon. The others were either too sweet or too sour. I liked the place, a simple bar with a roller door, lot’s of people just stand around in the small square out the front of the bar and enjoy a cup or two (probably more).
Oz’s Wine Rating 3.5 out of 5

More of Oz’s Useless Trivia

  • Ginja is a sweet cherry liqeur
  • Ginja is a fortified wine that is infused with Ginja Cherries combined with sugar. The cherries are left in the bottle, giving you something to snack on whilst you get a bit tipsy, this does have a decent kick
  • It originated in Lisbon
  • A Ginjinha Bar is the traditional home of Ginja in Lisbon
  • Ginja is a “grand parent” cure for a number of illnesses, I can see how it would help by numbing the symptoms of a number of illnesses
  • Ginja is the shortened name for Ginjinha
  • A Ginjinha is also known as Ginjinha Espinheira bar

Restaurante Chaminés do Palácio – Kantina

Our 5th and final stop on our Portuguese Gourmet Food tour was the Restaurante Chaminés do Palácio – Kantina a short walk from A Ginjinha. This restaurant is housed within the Palácio da Independência, which is where the final planning to overthrow the Spanish and take back their independence. The build looks ok, but, IMHO, I think that the Portuguese Government need to invest a bit more to ensure it stays that way.
Lisbon, Lisbon Portugal,
We got to try an interesting a tasting selection of:
  • Scrambled eggs with ferdina sausage (it is a pork sausage of some type)
  • Chorizo
  • Pinto beans with tuna.
  • Carrot
Pared with this was a 2015 Encostas DO Douro Vino Tinto which is a blend of Touriga-National, Tinta Roriz and Touriga-Franca. The colour was deep crimson red with a mix of cherry, white pepper and spice aromas. The palate was slightly acidic with evolving firm tannins and a medium finish. IMHO this was a bit too young and would improve with a couple more years of maturity to soften the edges a bit. I still enjoyed it, but that could have been the Ginja we had a before that 🙂
Oz’s Wine Rating 3 out of 5

Portuguese Gourmet Food Tour

A walking tour around Lisbon that focuses on Portuguese Food is a great idea. The Lisbon Small Group Gourmet Portuguese Food Tour and Wine tour by Inside Lisbon Tours is one I would recommend. Pedro is a good tour guide, providing us with about the right amount of information in good English and had everything arranged so that we did not need to wait when we arrived at any of the locations.

Lisbon, Lisbon Portugal,

 

My favourites on the tour were the second, Espumantaria do Petisco, and third, Manteigaria Silva Lisbon, stops, followed closely by the fourth stop, A Ginjinha.

Next Up

Next up a Ervideira Winery in the Alentejo wine region

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