The moment that we sat down at 10:30 AM for a giant slice of what is reported to be the world’s best chocolate cake, I knew this our Campo de Ourique food tour was going to be a blast..
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 6:30 AM arrival from New York to experience the neighborhood of Campo de Ourique through its food.
Years later, we still have very fond memories of this tour–which obviously left quite an impression, because we ended up moving to Lisbon for a year later on down the line!
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We lived just a short walk away from Campo de Ourique, in Estrela, and ended up knowing the neighborhood quite well–and our first impressions of not just the area, but the city, could all be traced back to our Taste of Lisboa food tour.
(And one of the first things we ate after moving to Lisbon? That famous chocolate cake!).
Here’s our review of Taste of Lisboa’s Campo de Ourique food and market tour, preserved with all our initial impressions of Portugal’s capital city–but with a few updates to reflect our much deeper knowledge of Lisbon these days, too.
Table of Contents
- The Neighborhood of Campo de Ourique
- Our Favorite Foods on the Campo de Ourique Tour
- Most Unusual Foods We Tried in Campo de Ourique
- Is this Campo de Ourique food tour right for you?
- More Things to Do in Campo de Ourique (And Nearby!)
- Our Advice for Taking a Taste of Lisboa Food Tour
- Read More About Visiting Lisbon
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 and modern Campo de Ourique market.
(Fair warning to any potential ex-pats though: while Campo de Ourique is truly a wonderful neighborhood and a popular place to live for good reason, we know more than one ex-pat who left the neighborhood due to plane noise–Campo de Ourique is right under the flight path for Lisbon’s airport!).
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 first learned that the Prazeres Cemetery in Campo de Ourique, where we met to begin the tour, is the final resting place of some of Portugal’s most beloved figures.
We also learned 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, bifanas (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 à brás (a classic Portuguese comfort food–cod, onion, and shredded potatoes made into a patty and fried).
Most Unusual Foods We Tried in Campo de Ourique
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!
Is this Campo de Ourique food tour right for you?
We absolutely loved our food tour in Campo de Ourique, and greatly enjoyed that it caused us to step off the beaten path of more touristy neighborhoods like Alfama, Baixa, and Bairro Alto on our first trip to Lisbon.
And in our case, the additional perspective on the city came in handy when we were looking for an apartment to lease in Lisbon!
Do note, though, in addition to literally stepping off the beaten path, this Campo de Ourique food tour tends to focus on more elevated, updated takes on Portuguese cuisine, rather than absolute classics.
I adore bifanas, for example, and we have eaten dozens of them at this point–but never again came across one quite as fancy as the one we tried on this tour!
If you’re looking for a more classic introduction to what to eat in Lisbon, we also loved this food and wine tour in Baixa.
The Baixa tour is also much more centrally located, which can come in handy if you only have a short time to visit Lisbon.
More Things to Do in Campo de Ourique (And Nearby!)
Hoping to stretch your legs a bit after enjoying your Campo de Ourique tour?
Consider sticking around the neighborhood a bit!
The Prazeres Cemetery is a beautiful, peaceful, and free place for a walk.
Head all the way to the back for beautiful views of the Tagus River and Lisbon’s iconic bridge, the Ponte 25 Abril!
Casa Fernando Pessoa, a museum dedicated to one of Portugal’s most beloved poets, is also nearby.
If you want to ride the famous Tram 28 during your trip to Lisbon, this is also a great chance to do so: while never deserted, there are far fewer crowds here at the end of the line than there are closer to Alfama.
Prefer to walk out of the neighborhood?
Consider strolling downhill to Estrela, our old stomping grounds, and a beautiful Lisbon neighborhood to explore.
You’ll be able to visit the Jardim da Estrela (one of our favorite parks in the world), the Estrela Basilica, and Lisbon’s English Cemetery all in quick succession.
If you’re up for even more walking (we’re talking 40+ minutes at this point), you can even keep going all the way to neighborhoods like Bica, Príncipe Real, and Chiado on foot, which, while only fun on a beautiful day, is a wonderful way to experience a very different side of Lisbon than you would by sticking with Alfama or taking the metro between neighborhoods!
Looking to stay off the beaten path?
If so, our guide to Lisbon’s best hidden gems has lots of ideas for you!
Our Advice for Taking a Taste of Lisboa Food Tour
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 10:30 AM 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 first 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.
Read More About Visiting Lisbon
Planning a trip to Lisbon soon and want to keep reading?
You can browse our many Portugal blog posts here, or check out these guides:
- 33+ Important Tips for Visiting Lisbon for the First Time
- How to Take the Perfect Lisbon to Sintra Day Trip (+ Tips for Visiting!)
- Inside Livraria Bertrand, Lisbon: The Oldest Bookstore in the World
- 15 Best Things to Do in Belém, Lisbon (+ Itinerary)
- 4 Days in Lisbon Was the Perfect Introduction to Portugal