There’s nothing more amusing to the Portuguese than bombarding us foreign tourists with an overabundance of different names to describe similar items and the names of Portugal’s eateries are no exception. However with a mere basic understanding of each term used can help you match the dining experience to your tastes, appetite and budget. MADABOUTLISBON.COM is here to guide you through.
The Portuguese love their caffeine hits and establishments who simply call themselves “Cafés” could quite simply be in business to provide a local with a quick Bica (short expresso type of coffee) and a pastry. Quite often there is a table service as generally people usually don’t hang around after they had their fix.
A Casa de Chá specialises in tea and will usually have a wide selection of herbal and non-herbal teas. In remote non-touristy areas when your request for a “Chá com Leite” - tea with milk may be received with much confusion as the concept of adding milk in tea to them is alien. But worth a try if only for the entertainment factor. The window display of a typical Pastelaria is one of the many wonders in a traditional Lisbon street and inside is a treasure trove of confectionary delights. The Portuguese certainly have a sweet tooth and trying their cakes and pastries is a must in any trip to Lisbon, including the world famous Pasteis de Nata. Look out for a notice saying ‘fabrico próprio’ or made in house. A Pastelaria (a bakery) is also the best place to have breakfast or brunch. Enjoy an array of sandwiches and toastas from locally baked bread. Also, look out for small chicken pies called “Empada de Galinha” which are particularly tasty any time of the day. A Padaria is a bakery with a more savoury focus and is more likely to bake its own bread.