What are the Most Popular Portuguese Appetizers You Must Try?

It’s no secret that the Portuguese are known for their delicious cuisine. From codfish to caldo verde, they have some fantastic dishes that will make your taste buds tingle.

But when it comes to appetizers, a few items stand out above the rest as the most famous Portuguese appetizers. So, what are the most popular Portuguese appetizers? Here is a list of our top seven picks you must try!

7 Best Portuguese Appetizers

What are the most popular Portuguese appetizers? There are various answers to this question. We’ve sorted out the seven selections of appetizers from Portugal. Check them out!

Octopus Salad

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Octopus salad, or Salada de Polvo, is a traditional Portuguese dish of fresh octopus, carrot, bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions. These ingredients are then topped off with olive oil and lime juice.

Some people choose to add garlic or bay leaves for extra flavor. Also, Portuguese people often eat this with white wine.



Petiscos is a type of traditional tapas-style snack originating from Portugal. These small and savory dishes often include smoked meats, cheeses, green or black olives, eggs, bread, and seafood.

This great food is perfect for savoring with beer or a glass of wine while chatting with your friends.

Pastéis de Nata

Pastéis de Nata
Pastéis de Nata

Pastéis de Nata, or Portuguese custard tarts, is a traditional creamy treat made with an all-butter pastry dough and a velvety egg custard filling.

The flavor of the pastry comes from cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, while the custard is made with eggs and a mixture of cream, milk, and sugar. The combination creates a rich, decadent tart that is both sweet and savory.

Bolinhos de Bacalhau

Bolinhos de Bacalhau

Bolinhos de Bacalhau is a traditional Portuguese appetizer made from salted cod, potatoes, parsley, and eggs. It has a crispy golden-brown coating of flour and breadcrumbs, giving it an irresistible crunch.

The bacalhau-potato mixture inside provides a unique flavor that makes this dish memorable. Savor it alone or combine it with tartare sauce, mayonnaise, or garlic butter to add tastiness.

Grilled Sardines

Grilled Sardines

Grilled Sardines are a delicious and versatile dish popular in Portugal and other parts of the Mediterranean. They can be cooked over an open flame, charcoal grill, or even on a campfire.

The sardines have a slightly smoky flavor from the charring of their skins and pair wonderfully with olive oil drizzle, paprika sprinkle, or lemon juice drops.

Codfish Fritters

Codfish Fritters

Codfish Fritters, or Bacalaitos, are savory, small fritters with an easy recipe. It features shredded codfish as the main ingredient, which is pan-fried in a generous amount of olive oil until golden brown. The fish is then combined with onions, red pepper, cilantro, and garlic for added flavor.

Pastéis de Bacalhau

Pastéis de Bacalhau
Pastéis de Bacalhau

Portuguese Pastéis de Bacalhau are traditional salt cod fritters from Portugal. They are made with a creamy white bacalhau, onion, mashed potatoes, and parsley filling, studded with pieces of shredded cod and surrounded by a crispy golden pastry.

These deep-fried fritters are typically served as an appetizer or side dish and are often accompanied by a savory tomato sauce or tartar sauce for dipping.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the national dish of Portugal?

The national dish of Portugal is Bacalhau or dried and salted codfish. The fish is commonly soaked in water or milk before cooking.

What is Portugal’s cultural food?

Portugal’s cultural food can be found in various traditional Portuguese dishes and ingredients. Some of the most popular dishes include caldo verde (a cabbage soup), cozido à portuguesa (a stew of various meats, vegetables, and potatoes), and feijoada (beans with bacon, pork, and chorizo sausage),

What food is unique to Portugal?

Portugal is known for its unique and delicious foods, including pastel de nata (custard tartlets), bacalhau (salted cod), sardinhas assadas (grilled sardines), caldo verde (kale soup), and so much more.


Overall, Portuguese appetizers are some of the best dishes before savoring popular Portuguese food. From savory delights, like pastel de nata, to flavorful treats like Pastéis de Bacalhau, all provide unique and delicious experiences from Portugal.

With extensive snacks and bites, Portuguese appetizers are highly recommended for anyone looking to experience traditional Portuguese hospitality. So if you’re a fan of Portuguese cuisine or just curious about the flavors Portugal offers, consider trying out one of these breathtaking culinary creations that will leave you wanting more!

Andrea Abbondanza

Andrea Abbondanza, born in Milan (Italy) and now a proud Australian citizen, is a passionate food lover and the dynamic CEO of Seoforestaurants.com. With his rich culinary background and deep understanding of online marketing strategies, Andrea helps restaurants and cafes around the world elevate their online presence. His journey from Italy to Australia has infused his work with a unique blend of European flair and Aussie charm, making him a go-to resource for cafes and restaurants looking to elevate their digital presence and grow their businesses.

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Andrea Abbondanza is a passionate food lover and the CEO of Seo for Restaurants. With his rich culinary background and deep understanding of online marketing strategies, Andrea helps restaurants and cafes worldwide elevate their online presence and increase

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