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Oct 26, 2008 02:25 AM

Coastal Eats in Portugal

Going to Portugal Christmas week. Flying to Lisbon, renting a car and travelling south along the coast. What are the best food towns, where shall we eat and where can we eat on Christmas day???

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  1. Great trip, Portugal is a great and country. I wonder why you are going south though?! The truly beautiful parts of Portugal are to the north of Lisbon.

    2 Replies
    1. re: zeta

      I thought it would b too cold in N. Portugal in December. Should we change our route?

      1. re: zeta

        I don't quite agree with the idea of travelling North... Probably because I live in the South! Setubal, for the freshest fish and the wines, Palmela (superb Pousada) , then Sout-East to Estremoz and Evora in the Alentejo, and again the wines. Or down the West coast to Sagres and the Algarve in Lagos (less touristy),a nd much warmer than Figueira de Foz and teh Douro valley (freezing in Winter...).
        If you decide to go that way, i will beef-up the post with suggestions.
        Xmas day here is the 25th, Xmas being celebrated on the night of the 24th. Most smallrestaurants close that night, but try to go to a midnight mass (missa do gallo). The 25th is business as usual for restaurants. Look up http://whychristmas.com/cultures/port... for a short introto Xmas in Portugal. The typical dish is actually cod with colliflower in our part of the world... and the sweets are made of marzipan and shaped like fruits or flowers.

      2. I second the recommendation to travel north from Lisbon. I just returned from a week in Portugal and we spent a few days in Lisbon. We then traveled north to Figieura da Foz (beachside community) where we spent the day/night. We then rented a car and went to Coimbra, a hilly town w/ a historical university. Then we headed to Mealhada and had the best Leitao assado (roasted suckling pig) ever! If you love the pig, Mealhada is a must and known the world over for it's leitao assado. The resto to visit is Pedro dos Leiteos (the nyt did a piece on this resto several years ago). After that, we cruised on up to Porto where we explored an amazing outdoor food market complete with fresh seafood, live chickens, pidgeons and roosters, rabbits and presunto and blood sausages. We visited Sandeman Cellars but it was much more fun to explore the bridge and riverfront area.

        If you go to visit my blog, www.mamaliciouseats.wordpress.com, I have 2 posts about my trip to Portugal and all the glorious food I ate. I am getting ready to post my last post, about the leitao assado. But their is a lot of information, links to restaurants, etc., that you may find helpful.

        Enjoy your trip and whatever you do, eat a pastel de nata every day while you are there - they are heavenly!

        1. Wherever we decide to go in Portugal...and still thinking South of Lisbon do we have to make reservations for lodging or do you think we can be adventurous and spontaneous and just wing it. Time is getting short for elaborate planning anyway.

          1 Reply
          1. re: shaebones

            we went to the algarve region for two weeks last april,wasnt totally cold,but not totally summer either.we were in the city of albuferia .more on the south side ,think medditeranian side,and local seafood was simply amazing.get away from the touristy areas and you love it,we put tons of k's on the car,check out the beach bar outside of sagres for basic but great seafood.grilled fish was the thing to eat,you pick the fish,they grill it,perfect.great wines,pastry,port,beers,the people are super friendly too,do it.i would"wing it"if i were you,were going back,and thats what were doing.that time of year ,dont think theres to much crowds.