Have you ever tried Portuguese tapas?

Did you know that Portuguese also have tapas? You probably know Spanish tapas, which are a popular meal all over the world. In Portugal, they are called “petiscos” [peti:ʃku:s] and are a bit smaller meal portions when compared to tapas.

However, it’s also a snack to share. It’s something to eat when you don’t want to eat a lot. You order several “petiscos” and share with your friends alongside a glass of wine or beer.

“Petiscos” is not something modern, they are a part of Portuguese gastronomy for a long time. They can be found in “tascas” – taverns or cafés, or in “petisqueiras”. And “petiscos” can vary from place to place. It can go from something so simple as bread (“pão”) and olives (“azeitonas”) to more elaborate snacks. Personally, we like seafood “petiscos” a lot. So I go through some of them.

Octopus salad

octopus salad

Or “Salada de polvo”, in Portuguese. On the dish you will see chopped octopus mixed with minced onion and parsley, “sinking” in the olive oil.



Or “amêijoas” [ʌmeiɜoʌʃ], in Portuguese, are served cooked in a butter sauce with garlic. A very tasty “petisco”.

Moules marinières


Or “mexilhões” [meʃilhoes], in Portuguese, can be prepared in a number of ways. They can be cooked in a white wine source, sparkled with garlic and various herbs.

Garlic prawns with olive oil


Or “gambas ao alho”, is a warm dish. Basically prawns are cooked in olive oil with a lot of garlic. The sauce from the olive oil and garlic is so good that after the prawns are over, you can finish the sauce with bread dips. Usually, the price of this “petisco” is presented per kilo. But, for a party of 4 people, you can order 300 g., which should be enough, or 200 g. for two. Don’t worry about ordering too little, you can always order more.

There are dozens of “petiscos” in Portugal, some of them more regional than others. We covered the ones we eat and like the most in the North of Portugal.

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