Portugal and Food (& Vegan Options)

Hi, @stephencanthony! Out of curiosity, I did a Google search and turned up the following:
https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=gluten-free+restaurants+in+porto&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

Seems like a bunch of listings of restaurants in Porto that are “gluten-free” friendly. Not sure if this helps…That’s a much tougher restriction than veganism, for sure! Good luck! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hello - for us, we’ve usually stayed on a bed and breakfast basis in an apart-hotel or in an apartment when we’ve travelled on holiday with the family so we’ve had access to a kitchen and then I’ve always taken lots of gluten free bits with me as a back up especially for breakfast and snacks. For main meals I have usually checked in with the restaurants ahead or cooked as we’ve often chosen to eat in due to allergies. I’ve usually found the supermarkets good and have always managed to locate a good health food store too. However, I’ve not had to deal with vegan and gluten free and have not done this in Porto - only Lisboa and Lagos.

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Just came across these articles on vegan & vegetarian food in Porto and Lisboa. Also I recently tried “peixinhos da horta” for the first time – I had assumed they were some sort of fish when I saw them on the menu, but they are actually battered and fried green beans. Very tasty!

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These are amazing! (Of course, the batter and deep fried and dip probably cancels out any nutritional value of the beans :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:)


Image Source

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@Molly and @joelrendall, they are the Portuguese version of Japanese tempura! :nerd_face:
And, in case someone wants to try making a healthier, non-battered version at home (using vegan cheese, of course!), here is how:
https://sol.sapo.pt/artigo/666727/receita-a-riqueza-dos-peixinhos-da-horta

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Chá das Cinco
I’ve just observed that the famous Lawrence’s Hotel in Sintra serves Chá das Cinco (Tea at five).
I don’t associate Portuguese eating habits with what the Brits would call having high tea.
Tell me more about Chá das Cinco, what the Portuguese would usually serve (Lawrence’s offering looks more like savouries instead of the sweet cakes usually associated with the Brits’ high tea)
Ch%C3%A1%20das%20Cinco%20Lawrence's

It seems like something the hotel is doing to cater to its guests, more than as a mark of Portuguese tradition. We don’t really have a tea time, just a general afternoon snack time (lanche, in Portuguese) where having tea is not necessarily a priority, especially in hot weather :slight_smile:

And the wines of Portugal are excellent. I buy ALL my wine from Portugal. It is delivered by TNT to the UK in a matter of days and I save money even after the delivery charge of €14 a case of twelve.

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Manteigaria > Pastéis de Belém I’d argue that the ones from Manteigaria are the best I’ve ever had - An opinion at Reddit/Portugal
Given that you prefer to buy from Pastéis de Belém, are they that much better when considering you’d have to wait a long time to be served in Belém unless of course you go verrrry early?

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Oops! Made a mistake it relates to a Pastel de Nata comparison

Took a pastel de nata baking course and made those
916 votes and 63 comments so far on Reddit

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I don’t know how they taste, but they look convincing, congratulations!

:slightly_smiling_face: For those who are living in Lisbon, please visit this and eat several for me! :smiley:https://viagens.sapo.pt/saborear/noticias-saborear/artigos/pastel-de-nata-vegan-vai-poder-experimentar-gratis-em-lisboa

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Very nice! :slightly_smiling_face: Vegan options are continuing to become more available in Portugal, according to this recent article! Good to see!

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Ah, this is tomorrow!

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Portugal and vegetarianism have an interesting connection in this bit of Portuguese history, from an article in Expresso today! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Just returned from a seven-day visit to Lisbon! Vegan food options have increased since the last time we visited 10 years ago! They are more available, but I would not yet say they are plentiful–and vegan sobremesas are especially scarce–although we did find a “passable” vegan pastel de nata at Zarzuela! It was still difficult to find coffee places that have alternative milks, such as almond or soy. The only sure place for this was Starbuck’s! But, it seems to me that progress is being made! :nerd_face:

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Hey David, I think Fábrica Coffee Roasters in Lisbon has soy and almond milk (and really good coffee)! Though I think their food items are mostly non-vegan.

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Hi David. I am vegan and have been living in Portugal for nearly 7 years. There is far, far more vegan food available now than there was when I arrived, both in restaurants and supermarkets.

Of course, it depends where you live - I live in central Portugal and don’t have a huge range of restaurants available, but I know I can eat a vegan meal in a couple of local restaurants. Lisbon and Porto are completely different, there are many vegan restaurants and vegan options in other restaurants. We had a weekend in Porto a couple of months ago and couldn’t believe the choice.

There are lots of things available in supermarkets too, especially in the larger ones. There might not be quite the choice you are used to, but you certainly won’t starve. And, in my experience, people in cafes/restaurants are very happy to make you something as long as you are able to explain what it is you need.

Finally, yes - the law requiring all public institutions to provide a 100% vegetarian (ie vegan) meal is in place. It applies to schools, hospitals, prisons etc, not privately owned places like restaurants.

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Welcome to the Forum, @thehappybeans! That’s a great name! :slightly_smiling_face: And thank you for this extremely informative post from a real live vegan in Portugal! I am happy to hear that vegan options have increased over the years–this is great news. As we both know, it takes time and energy to discover/uncover all the vegan options where one lives, even here in the US. But, over time, we vegans develop our awareness to a pretty keen degree–so there’s no danger of “starving!” Thanks so much for the verification about the law requiring some vegan options in all public institutions.

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Speaking for my wife, the tough one for her is Paleo/Keto… Having said that, she loves 'dem peixes. Breem, sardines, polvo,…

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