We’ve had some of our best food travel experiences on a culinary tour. During one of our first trips to Lisbon, Portugal, years ago, we booked a Lisbon food tour to help learn more about the history and culture of the city through its food. It is one of the reasons why we fell in love with the city. In this Lisbon blog post, we will share recommended tours, but also offer our advice on how to choose the best Lisbon food tour for you and your needs.
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What Are The Options For A Lisbon City Tour Focused On Food And Wine
There are loads of options on how to experience a city through food and drink. Lisbon is one of the best destinations for food travelers because there are so many options available. There is no such thing as a typical Lisbon half day tour because there are so many different types of tours. This can be great for travelers, but also can be hard to make a choice with so many options! Decision paralysis can ensue.
Here are just some ways to see Lisbon in a day, or to explore one of the nearby cities or regions focusing on food and drink. There are Lisbon food walking tours, tuk-tuk tours, sailing tours, and day trips to the wine country. There are also cooking classes, which involve less walking but are just as interesting for people who travel for food. That’s why we wrote this guide. To help you pick the best Lisbon food tour for you.
What You Will Learn In This Blog Post
There are a lot of factors that go into picking a food tour. This is one of the reasons why we wrote this post. By the end of this post, we hope to have explained enough about food tours that they become a regular experience when you travel. Like they are for us.
Why Book a Food Tour
Here are just some of the benefits of booking a food tour. You will receive personalized tips from guides that are passionate about food. These tips can also include what to eat in Lisbon or how to eat like a local during the rest of your stay. The guide is normally a local, or someone who has lived in the destination for quite some time.
You can also discover places you wouldn’t find on your own. This is particularly true in cities with a big street food culture, which can be intimidating for culinary travelers.
If you are short on time, it’s a great way to learn about the food if a destination in a short amount of time. It’s the perfect option for people in a city for a layover or an overnight stay. It’s not only a way to taste the food, but to walk the city.
Booking a culinary tour is also a great way to meet other food travelers. We met some really interesting people through food tours. We’ve met people on food tours who ultimately subscribed to our blog, so you never know!
What To Consider When Booking A Lisbon Food Tour
If you’ve never booked a food tour before, check out our guide on How To Book A Food Tour, which talks about this in a lot more detail. As for Lisbon, there are a few specific concerns. First, any Lisbon city tour will involve walking. In Lisbon that means hills. There is almost no way to avoid walking up a hill during a tour. If you have issues with mobility, perhaps consider a tour that involves less walking. Or, try a cooking class.
Another concern is for travelers who have dietary restrictions or concerns. Portugal is a country that loves pork. Most food tours in Lisbon will be happy to make accommodations but it’s important after you receive confirmation of your tour that you contact the guide to let them know restrictions as far in advance as possible.
Last, the weather can be unpredictable in Lisbon. Even the best Lisbon tours are rain or shine. It’s important to be prepared with an umbrella or a rain jacket. Also, be prepared with slip-resistant shoes. Lisbon has beautifully tiled streets and sidewalks, but they can be super slippery in the rain. Be prepared.
How To Find The Best Lisbon Food Tour For You
So, what is the best Lisbon food tour? It’s impossible to say there is an absolute number one tour for every traveler. Every traveler is different. You need to consider what your budget is, how much time you have, and whether you want to focus on food or wine one both. If you’ve never booked a food tour before, perhaps a simple walking tour is sufficient. But, if you’ve been on a lot of food walking tours, maybe you want something a little different or unique. Or, if you’ve visited a city before, maybe this tour is a way to dive a little deeper.
Let me share an example. We lived in Girona, Catalonia, Spain for three years. We were asked to take a Barcelona food tour and I was hesitant. After all, we only lived a 38-minute train ride north. We lived in Catalonia, so a basic food tour focused on typical Catalan dishes wouldn’t cut it for us. On our way to the tour, I wondered whether the tour would include patatas bravas and Sangria. But, the tour we took was amazing and unique from other typical tapas tours we’ve taken. The tour took us on a tour of Spanish regional cuisine without us leaving Barcelona.
This is a long way of saying that even if you’ve traveled to Lisbon before, or taken a similar tour, there is always a unique and new way of experiencing the food in a destination.
Recommended Lisbon Food And Wine Tours
We recommend using Viator Lisbon to book any of these Lisbon food tours. We like Viator for a few reasons. One, we’ve used them for tours around the world without any problems. Second, you will receive immediate confirmation of your booking. Last, Viator is a reputable company that is actually owned by TripAdvisor, so if there are any issues with your booking, there is a big company standing behind the booking.
There are a few Lisbon tours that involve food and wine, but might not necessarily be called a food tour. They are unique experiences or must-do Lisbon activities. One of these activities is a Fado dinner tour. Fado is a very traditional Portuguese music performance. To be honest, we’ve never gone to see Fado in Lisbon, only because music is really not our thing. But this Fado Tour in Lisbon includes a musical performance, dinner, and hotel pick-up.
Another interesting way to explore the city is by Segway. Again, people rave about Segway tours, but we’ve never done one. I don’t trust my sense of balance. But, this Segway Tour of Lisbon includes food tastings along the way. Again, not a traditional food tour, but a great way to see the city while eating traditional Portuguese foods.
Booking A Small Group Lisbon Food Tour
A small group walking tour of Lisbon that focuses on food and drink is a great way to explore the city. This group food tour in Lisbon is about three hours long. The tour includes cheese, pastries, Port wine, and other Portuguese specialties. This is also a great tour to book if you only have one day in Lisbon. This tour is a good value as well.
Why Book This Small Group Tour:
- The group is limited to no more than 15 travelers, which is a nice size.
- The food tour guide will provide tips on how to eat the best food in Lisbon during the rest of your visit
- The guide will also share information on Portuguese food culture and history
Things To Consider Before Booking This Culinary Tour:
- There is no hotel pickup or drop-off so it is necessary to meet the group at a set place in the city center
- There is a good amount of drinking with this tour, so it is a good value, but might not be the best tour option for someone who doesn’t drink
Booking A Private Lisbon Culinary Tour And Port Wine Tasting
One of the best Lisbon food tours is one that is private just for you. We’ve done loads of group food tours, and they are great. But, sometimes, we have an experience with just the two of us and our food tour guide and we learn so much more. Part of this is because we are food professionals, so we get a chance to ask all of the questions we can think of. But, sometimes it’s nice to not talk with strangers. Does that make us awful people?
This four-hour private Lisbon food tour has two main parts. First, a walking tour to learn about the history of the city as told through Portuguese food. Then, the tour includes a full tasting of five port wines along with Portuguese Pata Negra cured ham. It’s a great way to not only learn about the city, but to learn more about Port wine, a wine we knew little about before traveling to Lisbon and Porto.
Why Book This Private Culinary Tour In Lisbon:
- A private tour means no strangers in your group. The guide is personalized for you. You can ask as many questions as you want.
- The tasting portion of this Lisbon tour includes both Port wine and petiscos, Portuguese small plates similar to Spanish tapas. The tour guide is not skimpy on the wine pours either. They are full-sized glasses.
- The Lisbon walking tour explores some of the most characteristic Lisbon neighborhoods.
What To Consider Before Booking:
- This private tour is priced for a minimum of two people.
- There is no hotel pick-up or drop-off. The company will confirm the meeting point to start the tour.
Book A Lisbon Tour Along The Tram 28 Line
Many travelers know the famous yellow Tram 28 line that runs through Lisbon. What they don’t know is the neighborhood at the end of the line. This Lisbon food tour visits local Lisbon markets, cafes, and restaurants to sample some of the most typical Portuguese food. It also includes some more contemporary cuisine as well.
Why Book This Lisbon Tour Along The Tram 28 Line:
- The Lisbon tour focuses on a local neighborhood not generally visited by travelers
- This is a small group tour, with no more than 12 people
- The tour includes food and wine tastings that include both late-morning snacks and lunch over a four-hour tour
Things To Consider Before Booking:
- The tour does not include hotel pickup or drop-off. You are expected to meet the tour about 10 minutes before it starts.
- This is a food tour of a local Lisbon neighborhood, outside of the city center. Please ensure you leave time to get to the starting point. If you have questions about how to get there, ask the tour company beforehand.
- The tour is not wheelchair accessible, but they can adjust tastings for dietary restrictions but let them know as early as possible. Although the tastings are flexible, they cannot adjust for vegan diets.
Booking A Cooking Class In Lisbon
A cooking class is a perfect alternative to a food tour. It’s a great idea for travelers who are visiting a destination for a second or third time because it is a way to dive deeper into the food culture. Plus, you can learn a new skill to take home with you.
This is a four-hour Lisbon cooking class where travelers learn to cook a handful of traditional Portuguese dishes. In addition to learning about Portuguese cuisine, the chef will teach basic kitchen techniques as well. In addition to a wine and olive oil tasting, at the end of the cooking class, students will dine on the three-course meal they prepared. It’s a great social experience for food lovers and a good night out in Lisbon.
Why Book This Food Tour:
- Wine, soft drinks, and coffee are included
- After the class, the cooking school will email a PDF of the Portuguese recipes
- It’s an evening class that starts at 6:30 pm, so it is a good alternative to booking dinner in Lisbon
- Children are allowed to join with a parent, but let the school know ahead of time
- The cooking school allows refunds up to 24 hours before the booking date
Things To Consider Before Booking:
- Portuguese food is very focused on pork and seafood so the menu is not workable for vegetarian travelers
- The cooking school does not offer hotel pick up or drop off. The school is located just north of the center of Lisbon. It is close to the Anjos metro stop. Or, take a taxi from the center of town for only a few Euros
- The Portuguese cooking class is offered in English
Book A Lisbon To Sintra Day Tour With Wine Tasting
Sintra is a historic town about 45 minutes west of Lisbon. It makes for a perfect Lisbon day trip. This is really a perfect day for history and architecture lovers but also includes learning about Portuguese wine as well. This Lisbon to Sintra tour is a private tour, for a minimum of two people. The private guide will drive you out to Sintra to see most of the important Sintra attractions, including the Palace of Queluz, Sintra National Palace, and a Moorish Castle with views over Portugal. All of this history along with Portuguese wine tasting.
Why Book This History And Wine Tasting Tour:
- This Portuguese wine tasting and history tour includes the wine tasting, a private driver, hotel pickup and drop off, and transport in an air-conditioned minivan.
- The tour also includes the admission fee to enter the parks and palaces visited along the way.
Things To Consider Before Booking:
- This is a tour that is more focused on history than food but is a great way to see a truly unique Portuguese town.
- Although the driver acts as a guide and is knowledgeable, this tour does not include a guide inside the monuments
- Other than the wine tasting, other food and drinks are not included
- If this is a last-minute booking (within 24 hours) then they cannot guarantee hotel pick-up, but the tour operator will contact you to arrange the details.
FAQs – Eating In Lisbon Portugal
Lisbon is a food lovers city. On every street corner, you are guaranteed to find amazing food. Most of the food tour companies will explore the Barrio Alto and Alfama neighborhood. Both neighborhood offer an authentic taste of this amazing food city.
Grab your pen and paper because the list is long. The most famous food in Lisbon includes the bifana sandwich, Pastel de Nata, and Bacalhau (cod fish). Not to be left out is the famous and spicy piri piri chicken.
Compared to other European cities like Paris, London, and Dublin, Lisbon is a fairly inexpensive city for food. Many restaurants offer 3 course meals for between 10-15 Euros. If you are able to find more local places for eat and drink, you’ll avoid being over charged.