Lisbon Food Tour
Lisbon Awakens: A Culinary Crossroads, Reborn
Quick Bite: On this cultural feast, we’ll taste some of the most diverse bites of Lisbon’s gastronomy and meet the people behind them.
The oldest city in Western Europe, once the hub of a trading empire that connected Macau in the east to Rio de Janeiro in the west, Lisbon today feels staunchly Old World European, a sleepy town of nostalgic storefronts and scenic churches.
But that’s only its façade. Take a closer look and you’ll discover a city that still maintains deep-rooted links around the world – just consider the local obsession with African piri piri sauce – and that is a vital and cutting-edge place, with packed restaurants and bar-lined streets. On this cultural tour off of the beaten track, with about a dozen different stops, we will explore the hilly backstreets of this enchanting city in a delicious attempt to unravel the complex identity of Lisbon and its inhabitants, the Lisboetas.
On this cultural feast, we’ll taste some of the most diverse bites of Lisbon’s gastronomy and meet the people behind them.
We’ll start by traveling back in time for a taste of the “Age of Exploration,” a golden period when Lisbon became the center of a global empire, awash in power and holding the keys to the spice trade. We’ll search for a taste of those distant roots in the simple offerings of a classic pastry shop beside the 18th-century Estrela Basilica.
From there we’ll make our way up to the out-of-the-way Campo de Ourique neighborhood, where our story leaps to contemporary times in this well-preserved “village” in the city. We’ll have a belly-warming shot a shot of ginjinha, a smooth, sour-cherry liqueur that is a traditional local eye-opener, on our way to one of Lisbon’s finest traditional markets. There we will explore the old artisans – fishmongers, butchers, greengrocers, bakers – working alongside more modern, boutique offerings recently added to the market.
We will then visit one of the neighborhood’s favorite lunch spots, where we will start our lunch with a variety of traditional seasonal specialties, for example, legume salads, octopus and chickpeas with that Portuguese staple, bacalhau, salt cod. We’ll then head to a hidden-gem neighborhood restaurant upholding their family’s culinary traditions for generations. We’ll visit a private club with a very unique story and that serves a mean vindalho (a meat dish that’s the Portuguese ancestor of Goan vindaloo). Along the way there will also be a tasting of signature Portuguese cheeses and wines. We’ll sample savory pastries at a historic bakery, a spot as beautiful as the pastries are delicious. Finally, no day in Lisbon would be complete without a pastel de nata, the famous local custard tart, with a stop at a tiny neighborhood shop that serves one of the city’s best.
By hearing their stories, we’ll locate that sweet spot where past and present, near and far, meet and become deliciously entwined.
Fee includes everything consumed on the walk. Some special features:
|Residential neighborhood||Market visit (not Sundays, Mondays)|
|Children welcome||Fairly Easy terrain / Stroller-Friendly|
|Gluten-free options available||Samples alcohol|
|Cannot accommodate a vegan diet||Vegetarians will have to skip 2 stops|
How are you dealing with COVID-19 risk on your walks?
We have reinforced our commitment to safety with new guidelines to assure maximum safety of our guests on our walks in terms of social distancing and hygiene while maintaining the quality of the experience. For more details on our precautions, read here. We are proud to have received the tourism stamp of clean & safe for our safety precautions.
Our routes have been altered during this period of time to ensure the safety of our guests, guides and community. Our cancellation policy is extremely flexible to deal with changes in travel plans.
What are the current travel restrictions or requirements in Portugal?
You can read the full travel regulations by location for Portugal here. Currently there are no quarantine requirements in Portugal Continental unless symptoms are shown or there is known contact with an infected person. Our cancellation policy is extremely flexible to deal with changes in travel plans. Please contact us for specific questions on travel restrictions.
What is included in the fee? In addition to your Culinary Backstreets guide, all food consumed on the walk – almost a dozen different edible specialties – are included in the price. A limited selection of alcohol is served on the walks and is included in the price.
Why is the Culinary Backstreets tour more expensive than some other walking tours? Our approach is different than most tour companies. Each of our culinary walks is the outcome of considerable research. We work with academics in the field and our own team of experienced professionals – both guides and local journalists. Our ongoing publishing of articles, from restaurant reviews to features about the intersection of food and culture, constantly feeds new material into the culinary walks, so they evolve and constantly improve. Though costly, we believe that this is how to create the quality experiences we strive for. We practice honest tourism and would never accept a free lunch or any sort of commission. On the contrary, we are proud to know that the money spent during the culinary walk goes to support businesses that we believe in, helping to preserve the social and cultural fabric of the cities we love so dearly.
How does the payment process work? Once you have made a reservation, we require the full fee to be paid in order to complete the online booking. Your card will not be charged until the booking is accepted. Our online booking system uses Stripe to process secure payments.
What is your cancellation policy? 100% will be refunded if given 1 week notice prior to walk and 50% will be refunded if given 72 hours notice or more.
Are your walks public or private? How many people are on them? Our walks are 2-7 people and are open to the public. If you would like to do a private walk, we may be able to arrange one for an additional fee. Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Can I get a discount if I join more than one walk? Yes, we offer a 10% discount to those who join more than one walk. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join multiple walks.
Are your walks suitable for people with food allergies? This can vary based on a number of factors, including the food item in question. Please email us at email@example.com to discuss your situation before booking. Participants with bell pepper allergy can join this walk.
Are your walks suitable for vegetarians and pescatarians? We can accommodate pescaterians and vegetarians on this walk, however, many of the Portuguese classics contain meat or seafood and they will have to skip the main dishes at 2 stops. Please note all dietary restrictions during booking so that your guide can prepare accordingly.
Are your walks suitable for a gluten-free diet? This walk can be altered for gluten-free diets. Please note all dietary restrictions during booking so that your guide can prepare accordingly.
How physically demanding are the walks? The walk covers a few kilometers of fairly flat terrain, broken up into almost a dozen stops over almost 6 hours. Please note that Lisbon does have many hills and the streets and sidewalks of Lisbon can be cobblestone, therefore, we do recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes.
Can children join the walks? Of course! We offer a 50% discount to children ages 12 and under, and we do not charge for children under the ages 6 and under.
Isn’t the market closed on Sundays, Mondays, or evenings? The market will be open on Sunday and Monday, but not the fresh produce sections; only the restaurant/food stalls. We still visit the market but you won’t see any fish or vegetable sellers but some stalls will have fruit, nuts, tinned fish. The market is open in the evenings, but the produce side of the market is closed. The evening Lisbon Awakens walk is in a different order of stops, and there are some small differences in stops as well. They are the largely same experiences, just in a different time of day.
Can you pick me up from my hotel? How will I return, once the tour is over? Our tour prices don’t include transportation. If you book a tour, you’re responsible for arriving to the pre-arranged meeting spot on your own. Once the tour is over, we will help you get an authorized, safe taxi to your hotel, or provide directions on public transportation, if you’re interested in that.
How much food will I get to try? This is really up to you. We generally make between 9 and 12 eating stops on our walk and try to include some breaks from eating along the way. The price includes as much food as you’re open to trying. We offer a suggested portion size at each stop and you can take our recommendation if you’d like. Our walks often involve street food and sharing food.