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Let me go ahead and skip to the end of this post, make Taste of Lisboa your very first stop in Portugal.
I had never in life been on a food tour, but it was mentioned in a travel group that I’m a part of. Because I planned to already meet up with an attendee, I thought a food tour sounded like a great place to link up. And who doesn’t love food?
After landing in Portugal I headed straight to my airbnb to set my bags down and shower. An hour or two later I was out the door and headed to meet up for the Taste of Lisboa food tour. We met up with the most awesome guide ever, Rosa, and headed to our first location at a deli for meats, bread, and wine. While the first stop was amazing and definitely in my top three, my favorite part had to be getting the history lessons.
I’ll be honest, I had to clue what to expect during a food tour aside from stuffing my face with good food. Getting to learn the history of neighborhoods and structures, and why the Portuguese eat what they eat was an added bonus. My favorite phrase of the evening had to have been “that’s so interesting” because everything was SO INTERESTING. I’m still trying to figure out the Portuguese’s obsession with cod fish.
Stops two through seven were just as great as the first. I don’t know what I enjoyed more, the ginjinha shots at a teeny, hole in the wall bar, or the finely prepared canned mackerel at a restaurant I wouldn’t have glanced twice at had I passed it on my own. I watched the owner plate this food like it was a delicacy and it tasted as if it could be served at some of the finest restaurants.
Places that I would’ve walked right by had it not been for Rosa leading us in for tasty treats was a theme of the evening. I am so grateful for this tour because it was definitely a highlight of my trip and gave me the experience I’m always searching for. I don’t travel to eat at chain restaurants I can find here in America. I want to eat the best and dine with the locals. I also want to support businesses owned by those native to the area. It was the perfect first stop for me because not only did I learn what was actually traditional food, I had a list of places I could go to and enjoy some more good grub. I even ended up visiting a place that Rosa recommended to make sure I got yet another authentic Portuguese meal. I couldn’t have had a better time or more memorable experience that involved food and great people.