Lisbon is quickly establishing itself as a major European foodie capital. With so many contemporary Portuguese popping up it can be difficult to navigate your way to the best food. This food tour takes all the guessing work out and brings you to some really delicious hidden gems!
Whether you’re a foodie or not, you’re in for a real treat when visiting Lisbon. I’m not just talking about their famous Portuguese custard tarts—Pasteis de Belem, but the real hidden gems you might be lucky enough to stumble across. Really, you need a local to help guide you to the places that TripAdvisor doesn’t always tell you about. Taste of Lisboa offers an exceptional food tour that takes foodies and travellers alike through the ‘unbeaten paths’ of Lisbon to show you the authentic food, people, culture, architecture and history of the city.
Here are 6 reasons this food tour should be at the top of your lists of things to do in Lisbon.
1. You’ll skip the over-priced tourist trap restaurants and get straight into some authentic and great tasting Portuguese food.
Although Lisbon has a lot of great places to eat and drink, there are a lot of places that you will want to avoid altogether. These places are always the most visible, in the busiest areas, and have the most seating. Falling into the trap of stopping to eat at these places can sometimes be easy, especially when you’re tired, hungry and just need something to eat.
TripAdvisor is a good tool to help navigate through all the places to eat, but often these places are overbooked and hard to get a table, or their overhyped and the service has fallen.
This is why doing something like a food tour is so useful, especially during first-time visits to a new city. It’s particularly useful when it’s done at the start of your trip, so that you can always go back to revisit the new places you’ve discovered.
Taste of Lisboa is rated as the top food tour in Lisbon for good reason. The routes and restaurants that they plan out for you are superb. The tour takes you through the lesser known back streets and alleyways of the city direct to the great restaurants, with delicious food. No need to worry about blowing your travel budget on poor and over-priced food.
2. Along with the great food, you’ll get a real taste for the people and culture of the city.
Not only are you guaranteed to taste some top-rated authentic Portuguese food, you’re also certain to experience some of the real and genuine culture of the city. The tours take you off of the busy and over-crowded main streets and through the everyday local paths that the real people of Lisbon use on their day-to-day commutes across the city.
Along the way you’ll see the people at Lisbon going about their daily routines and you may even be introduced to some of the historical people of the city. Along with meeting and mingling with the locals you’ll also be introduced to some of the very interesting and enriching history that Lisbon has to offer. Along with a happy stomach you’ll also leave the tour have a much great appreciation for the city, and its people, history and culture.
3. You’ll have a high-quality and knowledgeable local tour guide.
During our tour we were lucky enough to have Rosa as our tour guide. She was absolutely amazing! She was young, passionate, and full of energy. You could tell that she really had a true love for her city. Rosa had a deep understanding of the history of Lisbon and you could tell that she was a real local. Throughout the tour she would provide little snippets of information related to the location you were going though that you would never know about if you were touring the city on your own. It was also lovely to see her interactions with the locals who seemed to love her even more than we did.
If Rosa is an example of the quality of tour guides that you’ll get with Taste of Lisboa tours than you can rest assured that you’re going to get a great tour guide and have a meaningful and worthwhile experience like no other.
4. The tour is great for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
Another huge benefit of the tours offered by Taste of Lisboa is that they are very accommodating. Whether you’re a meat lover or a conscious vegetarian you’re going to have an unbeatable culinary experience. Along with this they are also very accommodating for other dietary restrictions as long as you stipulate these on the booking form.
Although the Portuguese diet is mainly based around meat and fish there are great alternatives for vegetarians like Rachel and I. Before the tour we had such a hard time finding some good authentic vegetarian food and were really disappointed. We were pleasantly surprised about the quality and tastiness of the vegetarian alternatives we were provided with at the 7 local spots we ate at.
That being said, those of you with any kind of dietary restriction should definitely give the tours a go. You won’t be disappointed. Please note: At the time of writing this the tours offered do not offer accommodations for those with vegan diets.
The tour lasts for 3 to 3.5 hours.
5. There’s a variety of tours to choose from.
There are 3 different food tour experiences that you can choose from which include:
1) Tram 28-Campo de Ourique Food & Cultural Walk
This tour plays on the very popular Tram 28 ride and highlights Campo de Ourique, which is the usual ending point of the famous tram journey. The tour focuses on the more modern and contemporary restaurant concepts that Lisbon has to offer. The fact that the area you’ll be exploring was rated as one of the top 6 neighbourhoods in the world to live in by Monocle magazine is reason enough to give this tour a try!
The tour lasts for 3.5 to 4 hours.
2) Downtown-Mouraria Food & Cultural Walk
This is the tour that Rachel and I opted for. It takes you out of the downtown area into the beautifully multicultural birthplace of Fado called Mouraria. The area is filled with great places to eat, beautiful back streets, and a beyond interesting history. It’s also an excellent way to meet some pretty amazing locals of the city. We absolutely loved this one!
3) Food & Cultural Ride on Eco Tuk
This tour takes walking out of the equation and replaces it with the comfort of an environmentally friendly Eco Tuk. On this tour you’ll roll through the downtown area and the Castle Hill neighbourhood.
This one is also a bit shorter than the walking tours and lasts for only 2 hours.
6. You’ll get great value for your money.
The two walking tours cost €70 per person and the Eco Tuk tour costs €45 per person. During your tour you will have 7 different meals which include beverages (some alcoholic) as well. According to LisbonLisboaPortugal.com an evening meal in a tourist restaurant with a glass of wine will run you anywhere from €25 to €30, so already you can see the kind of value you’re getting with the tour.
On top of this, you’re also getting the value of a walking tour and a well versed tour guide, which based on our experience costs anywhere €35 to €45 per person. In addition to this, you’re also getting some really good insider tips that you would be hard pressed to come by anywhere else.
Although the €70 price point may seem expensive to some, when you put it all into perspective and consider the top-quality experience you’re sure to be given it is more than worth it.