The moment that we sat down at 10:30am for a giant slice of what is reported to be the world’s best chocolate cake, I knew this was going to be our kind of food tour.
On our very first morning in Portugal, we partnered with Taste of Lisboa to try out their Campo de Ourique Food Tour & Cultural Walk, and let me just say this: we are so glad that we fought through the jetlag produced by our 6:30am arrival from New York to experience the neighborhood of Campo de Ourique through its food.
This is why.
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The Neighborhood of Campo de Ourique
A laid-back, easygoing neighborhood, Campo de Ourique is known as a great family spot in Lisbon: this is the place where you come to relax with your kids, eat in tasty, up-and-coming restaurants, and sample foods from the beautiful market.
Built primarily in the late 19th century, Campo de Ourique has two major claims to fame for Lisbon tourists: 1) the famous tram-28 has its last stop here, and 2) the aforementioned (delicious) chocolate cake.
In recent years, Campo de Ourique has started to make a name for itself as a foodie destination in Lisbon, with new and innovative restaurants opening up and thriving.
We were lucky to be led through the neighborhood by the hilarious and knowledgeable Madalena –she made sure to pepper plenty of cultural facts into the tour in between stuffing our faces, which is how we learned that the cemetery in Campo de Ourique that we met at to begin the tour (the Prazeres Cemetery) is the final resting place of some of Portugal’s most beloved figures, and that the beautiful cathedral that stands near the market was built by authoritarian leader Antonio de Oliveira Salazar as a symbol of Portuguese strength.
Our Favorite Foods on the Campo de Ourique Tour
Seven stops and two very full bellies later, Jeremy and I each had a set of favorite foods from the tour.
Mine were chocolate cake, soft pork sandwiches, and vinho verde (though the phrase literally translates as “green wine”, it means “young wine”–made from young grapes, with a delicious, crisp taste).
I’ll keep most of the restaurants we stopped at to ourselves–don’t want to give away all of Taste of Lisboa’s tour secrets–but I will share this one: that incredible chocolate cake? It can be found at the shop titled “O Melhor Bolo de Chocolate do Mundo”… which translates as, “The Best Chocolate Cake in the World.”
Talk about a name that says it all!
Jeremy’s favorite foods from Campo de Ourique were all–no surprise–seafood.
Portugal is well-known for its love of seafood (with all that coastline, it makes sense), and he loved the mussels, the tinned sardines, and the bacalhau a bras (Portuguese comfort food–cod, onion, and shredded potatoes made into a patty and fried).
Most Unusual Foods We Tried
Unusual is, of course, a relative term–all foods are “normal” somewhere, but a couple of these Portuguese foods caught us by surprise!
First, fish egg sacs–cut into round pieces, these egg sacs look almost like sliced sausages.
We tried them in a traditional Portuguese dish, a cold salad in which the egg sacs are mixed with tomato, bell pepper, onion, olive oil, and cilantro.
In some ways, the dish reminded us of pico de gallo, simply based on the ingredient list and appearance–but the taste was all Portugal.
Second, while we knew we would be eating plenty of seafood in coast-heavy Portugal, we weren’t expecting to eat bones!
Tinned sardines, a staple of Portuguese cuisine, were served with bones in them–granted, the bones were so small and thin we could barely tell we were there, but it was an interesting experience all the same!
The most important advice we can give before coming on the Campo de Ourique food tour and exploring what to eat and drink in Lisbon? Don’t eat breakfast beforehand (okay, maybe coffee–we may or may not have downed a couple of espressos each before the 10:30am start time due to our jetlag), and don’t plan on lunch after!
Like most food tours we have been on around the world, you’ll leave this one completely full, which is a very satisfying experience after filling up on such a wide variety of foods.
We had a blast exploring Campo de Ourique with Madalena and the rest of our easygoing tour group. I can’t think of a better way to start our first day in Portugal, and our Campo de Ourique food tour set the stage well for a fantastic visit to Lisbon.
Many thanks to Taste of Lisboa for hosting us on our food & cultural walk through Campo de Ourique! All opinions are, as always, our own.
16 thoughts on “Discovering What to Eat in Lisbon With Taste of Lisboa”
Okay, we didn’t do a food tour while in Lisbon. Although we did eat more than our share of food while we were there and have to agree these tastes are amazing. We didn’t try the fish egg thing, so something to look forward to when we go back. And the bones in the sardines, that really was something we had to get used to as well.
It definitely was something different! I found the bones to be more of a mental block than anything–physically, I could barely tell they were there.
I LOVE Campo de Orique, and spent many days in that mercado eating everything I could! Bacalhau is a must there, and such a great traditional dish too. I love Lisbon, and the food and wine is the best!
I could definitely spend days eating in the market! That sounds like a fabulous way to spend a few days in Lisbon, lol.
This looks delicious. Since I am such a sweet tooth, I would love to try the world’s best chocolate cake. We will definitely consider this when travelling to Lisbon.
As a dessert lover, you definitely need to try it! I loved how rich it was.
All! The! Yum! I love food tours and really hope I can do one on every trip I take! This one sounds and looks divine! Who doesn’t love chocolate cake but funny enough, sardines are a popular breakfast dish in my part of the world and I actually don’t even notice the bones at all! lol
Yes, food tours are definitely the best! We haven’t been on a bad one yet. 🙂
That looks like that you tried quite a lot here. But i am afraid to see that mostly the food here is non vegetarian which is quite a lot for a vegetarian like me. What are the good options in Veg though ?
The cuisine is very meat-heavy, though there are vegetarian substitutions that can be made. The company we worked with, Taste of Lisboa, adapts menus for vegetarians, but not for vegans–it’s just too many restrictions in a cuisine that involves both lots of meat and lots of dairy!
This looks like a fab tour. I would love to know what the world’s best chocolate cake tastes like. Better yet I go to Lisbon in October and can find out for myself.
It tastes DELICIOUS… and you should definitely go try it. 😀
Food is a big part of ‘why’ I travel. I love immersing myself in the local culture, and have found, through over a decade of lugging my backpack around, that food is one of the best ways to do that. The chocolate cake reminded me somehow of the magnificent, rich, Sacher Torte we had in Austria. I would follow your recommendations to go on a food tour, when I manage to get to Lisbon.
Same! And we’ve found the longer we travel, the more important food gets in our travel choices–both where to go, and what to do while we’re there.
Starting a tour with chocolate cake?! Sounds like my kind of tour! It does sound like you had some interesting dishes too and I’ll look into this tour if I make it to Lisbon.
Ha, right? I was thrilled when our guide announced that at the beginning of the tour lol.