This blog post was originally posted on November 7, 2018 and was updated on October 21, 2020.
Lisbon street food doesn’t typically come on wheels from trendy food trucks, but rather in long-standing establishments and revamped indoor markets.
When we think of street food, we think of street carts, food trucks, and hot dogs in buns. But here in Portugal, it’s all about the cafés and pastelarias (pastry shops).
Choosing what to eat can be intimidating at first, but fear not—we’re here to tell you all about the Lisbon street food scene and where locals go to get it.
1. Pão com chouriço (bread with chouriço sausage)
Pão com chouriço is one of the most delicious snacks made in Lisbon. Portuguese bread is already delicious on its own, but when you stuff it with bits of chouriço sausage, it gets even better!
You can find this tasty bite at pretty much every café in Lisbon, but the best ones are cooked in a traditional terracotta oven and served warm.
Where to get it: Merendeira is Lisbon’s signature establishment for pão com chouriço. Open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. early the next morning, this cozy no-frills spot is where locals go for a late-night snack.
2. Prego (beef sandwich)
Prego can mean two things in Portuguese: a nail, or a local beef dish. Hopefully you can guess which one we’re talking about here in the context of Lisbon street food.
Most places in Lisbon let you choose if you want prego no pão (on bread) or prego no prato (on a plate). The first one can come with mustard or hot sauce, and the other with a side of fries, rice or salad. Both are equally delicious, but if you want an authentic Lisbon street food experience, go for the sandwich.
Where to get it: Rui dos Pregos serves one of the best pregos in town. The bread version doesn’t come with any toppings, but that’s okay since you can apply your own and be as generous as you want! For something different, Prego da Peixaria serves different prego variations made with chicken and even Wagyu meat.
3. Bifana (pork sandwich)
A bifana is a traditional Portuguese sandwich made with pork fillets. The best bifanas come with big chunks of garlic on top, but you can also get them without it if you’re not a garlic fan.
Locals usually pair a bifana with a cold imperial, or a small beer. This sandwich is so famous that even Portuguese McDonald’s has its own McBifana!
Where to get it: Skip McDonald’s and try the bifanas at Café Beira Gare (Praça Dom João da Câmara, 4), the Anthony Bourdain-approved O Trevo (Praça Luís de Camões, 48) or at As Bifanas do Afonso (Rua da Madalena, 146). For a vegan bifana, head to Ao 26 Vegan Project.
4. Salgados (pastéis de bacalhau, rissóis, and croquetes)
You can find salgados (savory treats) in all the Portuguese cafés and at family get-togethers. There are plenty of delicious options to choose from, but here at Devour Lisbon, we love the pastéis de bacalhau (codfish cakes), the rissóis de camarão (shrimp turnovers) and the croquetes (croquettes).
Moms make the best salgados. Unfortunately, we can’t all have a Portuguese mom, so you’ll have to trust our tips.
Where to get it: Every café in Lisbon serves salgados, including the popular local chain Padaria Portuguesa.
For pastéis de bacalhau, we recommend the Olhó Bacalhau inside the Time Out Market. Note that you’ll probably also hear about the famous Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau as well, but it’s a bit pricey there!
Last but not least, for rissóis, the famous bifana café O Trevo is a good option.
5. Portuguese pastries
We love our sweets here in Portugal, so we obviously had to include them on this list. We’ve already shared our favorite places to eat pastéis de nata, the delicious Portuguese custard tarts, in another blog. But there’s a whole range of pastries worth trying in Lisbon—just visit the nearest pastelaria and feast your eyes on the counter!
Where to get them: Just like salgados, you can order pastries from any local café. If you’re looking for a unique experience, though, try the Pastelaria Versailles, which is heaven for pastry lovers.
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Street food trucks in Lisbon
Sometimes you just want to grab something on the go from a food truck without stopping inside a restaurant or café. While not traditionally Portuguese, trendy food trucks are starting to pop up more and more around Lisbon.
- Mister Tapas (Belém): This spot serves tapas with a Portuguese twist.
- Berlineta (Oriente & others): Here, you’ll find incredible bolas de berlim, a doughnut-like pastry stuffed with an egg-based custard cream.
- Madame Gaufre (Estrela): Set in front of Jardim da Estrela, Madame Gaufre serves the best Belgian gaufres in Lisbon.
- Maria Limão (Senhora do Monte Viewpoint): Maria Limão offers delicious crepes and lemonades. They have a proper café in Graça now, but it all started as a food truck at one of Lisbon’s most exclusive viewpoints. If the weather allows, you can still find them there.
- Weeel (Cais do Sodré): On your way to Cascais? You can get a frozen yogurt from this cute little spot before you hop on the train.
- HotDog Cascais (Cascais): If you want to grab a hot dog by the sea, this is the perfect place to go. It’s not the best hot dog in Lisbon, but it’s tasty, cheap, and comes with an unbeatable view.
- Hamburgueria da Parada (Campo de Ourique): This last one isn’t exactly a food truck, but rather an outdoor kiosk, which is famous for its burgers.
Joana is a Portuguese travel writer based in Lisbon. On her blog City Odes, she writes about the hidden gems of Portugal, fun road trips and train rides worth taking. When she’s not typing away on her laptop, you can find her drinking an IPA on one of Lisbon’s latest craft beer bars.