While food is one of the common components of any vacation package, every country has its own eating rituals. Portugal, and particularly its capital city of Lisbon is not an exception. Here are a few tips to consider before order your dish and start the delicious meal.
- First of all, there are very few places where you should definitely go. Other than those exclusive restaurants, every decent-looking eating place in Lisbon is fantastic. There are numerous cafes on the streets, some of them offer open-air tables, other provide nice Fado music inside. The service and the food are great everywhere. It’s the same cuisine, the same style of preparing the meals, and so on. So, this is why you should start basing your choice on the overall atmosphere of the place. If it looks happy and cheerful, go for it. Despite that, I don’t think you’ll ever find a gloomy group of Portuguese people.
- Calculate the amount you can intake. The Portuguese like to serve full plates. Dishes are usually very big. A single portion can feed two average European people. If you’re on honeymoon, make it a habit to order one for two. This can be a big deal for budget-travelers, who want to save money on anything they can. If you don’t care about the money, then go for the whole dish. It’s better to be full at the end than leave the table with a secret craving inside.
- Portuguese food is very heavy. No proved-and-tested diet can stand against that. Forget about staying slim for a while. Instead, you can have your share of physical exercise by walking from one attraction to another. Sightseeing can be even more efficient than any kind of super-diet.
- Tipping is expected. In fact, some cafes do include the tip in the bill, others don’t and rely on your generosity. It’s actually a great psychological trick. By placing the decision on your shoulders (instead if imposing it on you) they may have more gain, because your self will most probably want to show off a little. The average tipping percentage is 12. You’re more than welcome to tip more, it all depends on the service you got.
- Some items on the menu, like beer, come with additional side dishes. The waiter will bring them to your table without asking for a special permission. However, you should always check if the additional dishes are included in the price or not. No matter how delicious everything is, financial surprises are never a source of joy.
These were the most common things you should look out for. Of course, the universal eating rules are still kept. It’s just that some spicy Portuguese flavors are added to it now.
Get yourself an excellent green wine and enjoy the city of sailors.