The United Kingdom truly has a plethora of brilliant Portuguese restaurants, and London is the epicentre of them all. With a heritage of Mediterranean, Arab and Moorish influences, Portuguese cuisine is steeped in tradition, using only the finest quality, fresh ingredients to make flavoursome meals that are loved all over the world. Seafood plays a huge role in Portuguese cooking, with an emphasis on stews, steaks, chicken and fish as well. While you may think that you’re not familiar with Portuguese cooking, you’ll probably be surprised to discover that you recognise lots of the dishes below (or, alternatively, that you want to try them out immediately!). One thing is certain when it comes to this cuisine, however – the portions are extremely generous, and you can experience them in the flesh at London’s Portuguese restaurants.
Piri-piri chilli chicken probably conjures up images of meals at Nando’s, but this Portuguese-African dish has actually been around for eons. Piri-piri chicken, is in fact a spicy dish with roots in both Africa and Portugal, the dish was created in Angola and Mozambique when Portuguese settlers arrived with chilli peppers (called piri-piri in Swahili). Not only reserved for chicken dishes, it is common to come across piri-piri fish and seafood in Portuguese restaurants in London, and across the globe. Piri-piri dishes usually involve the meat or fish being marinated in a mix of lemon juice, spices, garlic, paprika, ginger, chilli, coriander, parsley and more, for up to 8 hours, before being thrown on the charcoal grill. So, if you’re considering heading out for a meal in London, and fancy a Portuguese feed, restaurants in London will certainly have enough piri-piri dishes to blow your mind (and your tastebuds!).
If you’re one of those people who often considers ordering two starters instead of getting a starter and a dessert when eating out, you will love the savoury delights that Portuguese restaurants in London have to offer. With everything from chorizo sandwiches to empanadas, and from mini burger bites to raw fish dishes, Portuguese cuisine is a delight for lovers of savoury grub. Some of the more inventive Portuguese dishes include peixinhos da horta (tempura green beans) which are fresh green beans coated in batter and shallow fried creating crispy yet soft morsels that are extremely moreish. Another favourite of ours are codfish and chorizo fritters, a street food staple available across Portugal, that has gotten a British twist in London’s Portuguese restaurants, with the creative chefs serving them with mature cheddar or stilton inside the fritters. Deep-fried, cheesy goodness doesn’t get much better than this!
You’ve probably tried (or at the very least heard of) pastéis de nata, the Portuguese custard tarts made from egg yolks, sugar, pastry and cinnamon. Super popular across the continent and further afield, the Portuguese have a bit of an obsession with egg-based desserts. Rumour has it that in medieval times, nuns used egg whites to stiffen their habits, and thus always had an excess of egg yolks to use up. Whether this is true or not, one thing is for sure – most of the names of Portuguese desserts relate to religious life; take barriga de freira (nun's belly), papos de anjo (angel's chests), and toucinho do céu (bacon from heaven), for example! Portuguese restaurants in London have extensive ranges of these baked, custard-filled goods just waiting to satisfy your sugar cravings. Other very popular pastries found in most Portuguese restaurants and bakeries in London are the bola de berlim (a filled donut-style dessert), the pão-de-ló (sponge cake with layers of icing), the bolo de arroz (iced rice cupcakes), and the tentúgal pastries (cigar-shaped pastries filled with sweet eggy custard). You’re truly in for a treat with Portuguese desserts!
London is a pretty huge place, spanning across the city and 32 boroughs and there’s no shortage of brasseries, cafes, restaurants and bars to feed the masses. Celebrated for its multicultural population, London is a city that is as diverse as they come and its wide range of different restaurants confirm that. If you’re trying to find a great Portuguese restaurant in London you’ll find spectacular Portuguese cuisine in locations all across the city. Whether you’re looking for 100 day-aged barrosa ox at Taberna do Mercado in Spitalfields, salted cod at Bar Douro on Union Street or authentic grilled sardines at Madeira on Stockwell Road, you’ll be sure to find the exact Portuguese restaurant in London that you’re looking for! Leave the hard work to Quandoo and let us find you fantastic Portuguese restaurants in London. All you need to do is refine your search by filtering by price range, location and cuisine. As an added bonus you can take a look at reviews written by other diners before discovering your new favourite dining spot in the city. So what are you waiting for? Reserve a table at the perfect Portuguese restaurant in London today!