Lisbon is a vibrant city with an infectious charm and small town feel. With its cobblestone sidewalks, azulejo-tiled buildings, old-fashioned trolleys puttering down steep inclines, time becomes irrelevant. Rather than focus upon your digital device, your attention becomes transfixed on exploring small winding backstreets that eventually lead to the famed Castle of São Jorge overlooking the Tagus River, the fortified lighthouse of Torre de Belém or the exotic square of Luís de Camões in the Chiado district. Gaze longingly into a cafe window filled with fresh fish, meat and a delicious array of pastries, while inhaling intoxicating aromas of coffee, warm fresh-baked bread, roasting chouriço and garlic.
Here at Catavino, we’re mad about gastronomy. Just as the kitchen is the heart of a home, food is the core of a culture, and there’s no better way to truly understand a region than by its cuisine. Lisbon abounds with quaint cafes run by grandmothers donned in lace aprons, chic lounges and charming traditional restaurants who have specialized in one individual dish for a century. A visit to some of the best markets in Lisbon, such as the Mercado de Benfica, Mercado de Alvalade, Mercado de Arroios and Mercado 31 de Janeiro where you can slowly peruse quality produce. Or, take it one step further and opt for a guided tour of the markets followed by a cooking class. Then again, if you’re more of a restauranteer, choose a customized gastronomic tour where you can discover homemade cuisine such as bacalhau (salt cod); cozido à portuguesa, a thick stew of vegetables with various kinds of meat; freshly grilled sardines or hundreds of different local cheeses. You could even join a cooking class where you learn how to prepare some of these dishes yourself.
If you’re an avid wine lover, you won’t lack in options. Lisbon is boasting of quality wine bars featuring wines by the glass from across the country. Eager for a glass of white port? Maybe a powerhouse red from the Alentejo? Or possibly you’re more of a sweet wine fan from Setubal? Whatever your preference, Lisbon aims to please, and we have several wine tours that will introduce you to the history and culture of Portuguese wine! If time permits, you can also head straight into the vineyards of Alentejo or Estremadura and enjoy a stunning day basking among freshly budding vines, or heaving branches filled with ripe fruit, depending on the season. Here you can experience anything from natural to fortified wines, and from sparkling to still. If there is one thing Portuguese wine can boast of, it’s variety. No matter what you’re preferred wine grape or style, there’s a winery for you.
Below find our current list of recommended food and wine experiences to be enjoyed in and around Lisbon.
Lisbon Food & Wine Tours
Lisbon Culinary Experience
Get the inside story on Lisboa’s food scene during this four hour tour in the company of an English-speaking local guide. You’ll start your hands-on exploration with a strong Portuguese-style pequeno almoço of coffee and a delicious pastry, before visiting a local bakery to discuss native pão (bread) with the people who make it. You’ll then walk to one of Portugal’s best food markets, where you’ll learn about the fundamental ingredients of Portuguese cuisine – and some of the traditional dishes in which they’re used. Finally you’ll get to test out Lisbon’s public transport system as you ride the bus to the hip neighborhood of Campo de Ourique, where you’ll eat a hearty lunch at an authentic tasca (tavern-style restaurant).
Lisbon Day Trip: Sesimbra / Azeitão
Combine the city, sea and countryside into one perfect day package for a wine and seafood lover. The Portuguese say the best time to eat marisco- shellfish is “in the months with an ‘r’ (September – April)”, so come enjoy Portugal in the off-season and take advantage of some delicious seasonal cuisine and regional wines.
More gastronomic activities, including cookery lessons and day trips to nearby wineries and vineyards coming very soon! And if you’re looking for something tailor-made for you then just drop us a line, and we’ll put together a private experience to suit your interests. In the meantime see what’s cooking in Porto and other great regions of Portugal!