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Vegetarian Food in Portugal to Try

By Dana Perkiss

It's not always easy to travel as a vegetarian, especially when you're somewhere that primarily uses meat in their dishes – like Portugal. Thankfully, there are many restaurants and other establishments that are broadening their food horizons.

If you're travelling to Portugal as a vegetarian, here are some vegetarian Portuguese foods to try on your next holiday!

Pimientos de Padrón

A delicious assortment of grilled green peppers, Pimientos de Padrón is a must-try vegetarian Portuguese dish. It's a popular Spanish Tapa often served with some torricada, or crispy garlic bread topped with olive oil and salt. This dish is sometimes served with fish or cheese, so be sure to ask depending on your dietary restrictions.

Tip: During your holiday in Portugal, you can say “Sou vegetariano” to say you're a vegetarian in Portuguese, or “Não como carne” to say you don’t eat meat.

Orange Soup

If you're looking for a warm dish to soothe your stomach, try some Portuguese Orange Soup! Pureed pumpkin, potato and onion, or carrots are what create the thick orange soup, and then garlic and cooked greens like nabicas (kale), espinafres (spinach), or feijão verde (green beans) are added. All of these combine to make a deliciously vegetarian and vegan Portuguese dish.


Another delicious vegetarian food in Portugal is Acorda, a creamy stew with a similar consistency to risotto. A porridge is formed together by mixing white wine and olive oil, usually accompanied by beans, vegetables and sometimes poached eggs. On the side you can get a classic salada mista, which is just a mixed salad found at most restaurants in Portugal. However, the most delicious part comes on the side – boiled bread that's rich with seasonings like garlic and coriander.

Milho Frito

Made of cornmeal, finely sliced kale or collard greens, water, garlic and oil, Milho Frito is a common vegetarian friendly side dish in Portugal. The bread is cut into cubes and fried to perfection, making it absolutely delicious. The dish pairs well with a side of temocos, or lupini beans.


If your tastebuds are after something sweet, then grab some Portuguese marzipan! Made from almonds, sugar, and water, marzipan is a great vegetarian friendly dessert in Portugal that you must try. Most of the country has these little desserts shaped like little fruits and such, but you'll find them especially sweet in the Algarve region where these desserts are often stuffed with Fios de ovos.

Pastel de Nata

Another popular Portuguese dessert is the pastel de nata, an egg custard treat that's dusted with a thin layer of cinnamon and has a crisp, puff pastry base with a creamy custard filling. There are quite a few places that serve vegetarian and vegan pastel de nata's in Portugal, including deTerra Bairro Alto in Lisbon and Pastelania Batalha in Malveira.

Nuts and Couvert

Like many places around the globe, roasted chestnuts are particularly popular in Portugal in the Autumn and Winter time. There are usually many street vendors around the city plaza's that serve them fresh, so be sure to get your fill when you holiday in Portugal. There's also the year-round delicious dish of couvert, which is a plate of olives, bread, butter, cheese and carrots. The cheese and butter can be taken out if you're vegan, of course.

Which of these vegetarian Portuguese dishes are you excited to try on your Portugal holiday?


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