Join Culinary Backstreets

Sign up with email

or

Already a member? Log in.

Log in to Culinary Backstreets

Trouble logging in?

Not a member? Sign up!

Book now  US $2,375/adult
  • Image result for atlas obscura logo Book now
    In Partnership 12 people 2019 Dates:  US $3,375/adult
    with Atlas Obscura  June 24 – 30; October 14-20

     

Lisbon is one of the world’s greatest food cities, and on this multi-day trip you’ll experience the very best of it. Visit markets and farms, meet fishermen and bakers, learn to make Portuguese specialties, and eat and drink glorious delicacies, all while getting the chance to explore one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. 

Journey beyond the city’s tiled buildings and narrow streets to discover the long legacy and vibrant present of culinary inventiveness in Lisbon.

On this culinary adventure, together with Atlas Obscura, we’ll learn about the voyages and trade routes that stocked the city’s pantry with spices, and sample the contemporary fare that inflects traditional dishes with Goan influences. We’ll enjoy iconic egg-custard pastries, baked in the shadow of historic convents, and venture far past the city center to get an insider perspective on fresh-from-the-water seafood at the city’s bustling ports. At far-flung farms and vineyards, we’ll get our fill of the region’s famous salt-cured ham and local wines. This six-day journey will be a feast for your eyes and your stomach.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Engage your senses and your hands: On visits to farms and the city’s distinctive restaurants, you’ll get an insider’s view of Lisbon’s distinctive food scene. You’ll also join in yourself, getting the chance to prepare the region’s beloved buttery, egg-custard tarts.

Shop magnificent markets: You’ll eat your way across Lisbon’s traditional market, meeting butchers, bakers, and greengrocers, and sampling the city’s delicacies.

See seafood as locals do: Down at the historic docks, mingle with fishermen and survey the fresh catch before feasting on cod cakes and goose barnacles.

Experience one of the world’s greatest food cities like a local: You’ll get a chance to eat and drink the very best Lisbon has to offer.

Itinerary

Day 1:  Welcome to Lisbon!

As travelers arrive, we’ll gather at our hotel for a welcome drink and begin getting to know our guides.

Afterward, we’ll take to the water: A chartered cruise will ferry us to a delicious al fresco dinner with a panoramic view of the city.

Day 2: A Culinary Crossroads, Explored

We’ll start the day by awakening our senses at a classic pastry shop beside the 18th-century Estrela Basilica. As we munch, we’ll be transported back in time, to the era when Lisbon was at the epicenter of the spice trade.

From there, we’ll journey off the beaten path—and to the present day—in the Campo de Ourique neighborhood, a “city within a city.” Here, we’ll learn about some of Lisbon’s hidden history, such as plots to subvert the Salazar dictatorship that dominated the country in the 20th century.

On our way to one of Lisbon’s finest traditional markets, we’ll also enjoy a belly-warming shot of ginjinha, a local liqueur made from alcohol-soaked sour cherries. Once we arrive, we’ll visit fishmongers, butchers, greengrocers, and bakers. We’ll descend into a bookseller’s secret basement, which stocked contraband literature during the dictatorship.

At lunch time, we’ll nibble our way around the neighborhood. First, we’ll try a few traditional seasonal specialties, and then we’ll move along to a hidden gem that has been upholding a family’s culinary traditions for generations. At a private association with a subversive past, we’ll dig into vindalho—a curry dish with ancestral roots in both Goa and Portugal.

Day 3: A Sense of the Sea

Today, we’ll dive into Lisbon’s port district—where varinas, itinerant fishmongers, once peddled their catch from baskets hoisted on their heads—and learn about the deep affinity the city has for the sea.

We’ll begin with a bite at a neighborhood bakery, followed by a bica, a Portuguese-style espresso, at a wood-fired roastery still preparing coffee the old-fashioned way.

Next, we’ll wind through the neighborhood and its narrow alleys, catching the smell of fish roasting on charcoal grills. Down at the port, we’ll stop into port workers’ favorite grill joint, where—if we’re lucky—we’ll try in-season sardines.

As we continue following the river to the east, we’ll reach Alcântara, a working-class district where local workers nurtured a lively culinary culture that includes some of the city’s best cervejaria, or no-frills seafood, and beer halls, as well as venues for fado, Lisbon’s unique musical tradition. Here, we’ll visit a few local favorites in search of delicious cod cakes, shrimp, local clams, and goose barnacles harvested from Portugal’s rocky coast. In these comfortable neighborhood institutions, we’ll do what Lisbon’s locals have perfected: relax and enjoy the freshest seafood in the world with a cold glass of vinho verde.

You’ll have the evening free to discover Lisbon after dark.

Day 4: Sweet & Sacred Delights

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll travel to the the lavishly tiled Convento das Trinas do Mocambo, a former convent now home to the navy’s Hydrographic Institute. On a private tour, we’ll learn about the building’s intricate decoration and Portugal’s Moorish heritage.

From there, we’ll journey to Lisbon’s last active convent. Hiding behind the whitewashed walls in the city center, it withstood the devastating 1755 earthquake and remains awash in original details. After lunch in a neighborhood eatery, we’ll tour the convent’s art collection and try our hands at making pastel de nata, the locally beloved egg-yolk tart.

After sampling our custard delicacies, we’ll have a few free hours to explore the city before regrouping at the hotel to head to a multi-course Goan feast at Jesus é Goês. where the boisterous chef, Jesus, will describe the relationship between Portuguese and Goan cuisine.

Day 5:The Rural Connection

After a quick breakfast at the hotel, we’ll get an early start and drive out Alentejo region, southeast of the city. At a traditional farm, we’ll learn to bake the region’s signature loaves of bread, and then we’ll head out to the fields to learn about the local olives, cork production, and Iberia’s famous black-hoofed pigs.

We’ll lunch on cozido à portuguesa, a hearty meat stew with delicious regional variations that’s sometimes called the “national dish of Portugal.”

After our meal, we’ll make our way to a small producer of wine and cheese. We’ll enjoy a tour and tasting, accompanied by region’s famous presunto, cured Iberian ham.

In the evening, we’ll return to Lisbon for a much-needed good night’s sleep.

Day 6: Hidden Neighborhood Heritage

This morning, you’ll be free to zip or wander around the city on your own.

After lunch, we’ll meet up at the hotel, where a fleet of tuk tuks—three-wheeled, motorized rickshaws—will be waiting. We’ll ride through the city’s winding streets, stopping into a number local cultural institutions to hear their stories. Over a quick drink, we’ll meet the people keeping these institutions vibrant.

We’ll tuck into a delicious farewell meal at a contemporary Portuguese restaurant, celebrating our final night in Portugal over local wines and fresh takes on classic fare.

Day 7:  Farewell & Departure

Depart for home or extend your stay in Lisbon.

Until the next adventure!