Portugal’s cuisine is excellent. The country is known for delicious seafood. Snacks can be purchased at small stores, taverns, or casual restaurants. Baked red snapper, grilled swordfish or shrimp, and sweet bread codfish cakes are tasty and filling. Other favorites include chick nuts and clam fritters. Caldo Verde is a popular soup made with kale and potatoes. Beverages include black coffee and tea, orange juice, and mineral water.
A typical meal in rural, more rustic areas consists of grilled fish or meat, casseroles and stews are also popular choices. Rice, potatoes and salads are included. For more daring dining, try crispy suckling pig, barbecued sardines, and slow-cooked wild boar. Often the best basic meals can be found in the small villages and towns.
Fancier meals available at upscale resort restaurants and river ports will have contemporary versions of traditional Portuguese cuisine. International dishes are also on the menus. If absolutely necessary, fast food chains can be found in most shopping malls. Locally grown ingredients and simple preparation contribute to the flavor and enjoyment of these meals. There may not be a large selection of desserts, however.
The wines of Portugal are receiving some very positive attention, some of the best ports come from the Douro region. Monte Velho reds and Esporao Reservo whites are special products of the Herdade de Esporao vineyards. Tours of the Vila Nova Gaia wine lodges include tastings.