- Culinary walks
- Our Story
|2-7 people||Intendente ->||~5-6 hours||2:30pm|
Quick Bite: On this afternoon walk through some of Lisbon’s most historic and scenic backstreets, we’ll explore the old and the new, ever delicious, in the kitchens of Graça and Mouraria.
In Lisbon’s historic neighborhoods of Mouraria and Graça, where scenic little streets spread out, web-like, in the shadows of St. George Castle, the smell of change (and, of course, garlic) is in the air. Though a long neglected corner of the city, these days many old buildings are rapidly being renewed here, new communities are sinking roots and new restaurants are opening, challenging the stodgy and rough identity that the area is famous for. After all, this is where fado – Lisbon’s trademark musical style – was born in seedy 19th century taverns. Here is one of the bastions of the annual St. Anthony celebrations, where sardines are grilled on street corners. Here also is an incredibly diverse population of old locals, new immigrants and Portuguese bohemians living as neighbors. Here can be found the flavors so integral to the city’s traditions – right alongside delicious evidence that this place is in a state of transition.
On this culinary tour, we will be exploring, bite by bite, the fascinating transformation in these two neighborhoods and the food that reflects it.
On this culinary tour, we will be exploring, bite by bite, the fascinating transformation in these two neighborhoods and the food that reflects it. From new wave seafood spots to old-school taverns stubbornly holding on to their classic recipes, we’ll go in search of this enticing district’s taste of both tradition and change. We’ll begin by snacking on petiscos al fresca in the neighborhood’s living room, Intendente Square, before visiting the city’s oldest coffee roaster, a third-generation family business, for a freshly roasted cup of coffee, followed by a quick shot of ginjinha, cherry liquor, in a most unusual spot. There will be charcoal-grilled piri piri chicken and a chance to taste signature, house-made hot sauces, whose recipes traveled to Lisbon from Angola and Mozambique after the 1974 revolution. We’ll get a taste of fresh clams, when in season, and the famous prego, steak sandwich, at a workingman’s tavern before having exquisite sardines in a contemporary new-comer to the neighborhood. We’ll stop by a community-run kiosk for a bite of something sweet and finish our odyssey at an old neighborhood association located in a rundown palace where we will have a sip of chilled muscatel while enjoying something that thankfully remains the same – the timeless view of the sun setting behind the castle on the hill.
Fee includes everything consumed on the walk. Some special features:
|Features fantastic views||Can accommodate pescatarians and non-fish eaters|
|Children welcome, but not strollers||Seafood featured but can be substituted|
|Gluten-free options available but not everywhere||Samples alcohol|
|Be prepared to climb some hills
||This route is NOT suitable for vegetarians|
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 Backstreet 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 protected] 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 [email protected] 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 protected] to discuss your situation before booking.
Are your walks suitable for vegetarians and pescatarians? We can accommodate pescatarians on this walk, however, many of the Portuguese classics contain meat or seafood and is not appropriate for vegetarians. 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, but they may skip a few bites. 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 hilly 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 cobbelstone, 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.
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 7 and 10 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.
Culinary Backstreets […] will take you into an authentic, hidden Lisbon in which generations of families have been salting cod or preparing chicken piri-piri over charcoal pits. Read more
We’ve joined Célia, from Culinary Backstreets on the Lisbon Awakens: A Culinary Crossroads Reborn tour. Pointing to our map, she tells us that Lisbon became a global village, and indeed through all this trade it was at one point the richest city in Europe. Read more
“Exploring Lisbon’s blooming foodie scene with Celia should be on every visitor’s list.” Annie Fitzsimmons, Intelligent Travel, National Geographic
“Portuguese feast: humor filled Eat Portugal tour leads visitors to Lisbon’s greatest tastes” 101 Reasons To Travel Now, National Geographic
“Taste of Lisbon: classic dishes and culinary surprises on a foodie tour” Isabel Choat, The Guardian
“A good value, informative and tasty” Rick Steves, Portugal Guidebook
‘Culinary Backstreets’ guide ushered us away from the long lines of tourists at famous pastel de nata shop Pastéis de Belém, and we ended up with an even-tastier custard tart in the centre of town Read more
As well as being a well-established foodie, Celia knows the city intimately so who better to lead the way to Lisbon’s gastronomic highlights? Over the course of six hours, she took us to some of the city’s oldest grocery stores, backstreet tascas, fancy restaurants and trendy food halls. Read more
Culinary Backstreets serves up food tours that focus on the traditional over the trendy and the people behind each bite. Read more
Teresa took us on a journey that challenged my beliefs about eating in Europe. Yes, we ate in traditional hole in the wall places. Yes, we got to eat food I would never have tried myself (barnacle anyone?). But more importantly, we enjoyed local food, in traditional places in a part of Lisbon that can only be described as the tourist’s Lisbon. Read more
She took us round the kind of back street spots you might read about if you researched hard enough, but probably still wouldn’t have the tenacity or conviction to head to on your own. Read more
I never would’ve been able to try this much without the tour. … Perhaps the best part of the tour is the fact that each place we visited was deliberately selected to support local businesses and take you off the beaten path. … Each step of the way we were taught about the history of the recipes, the history of importing the ingredients and it was all intertwined with the history of Lisbon. Read more