Location on the map of Lisbon & Center (Portugal)

Petiscos’ Portuguese Cooking Classes & the Local Food Market

Are you looking for a unique and exciting foodie experience near Lisbon?

If you’re thinking about eating the amazing Portuguese food and at the same time experience the techniques, the history, and the cultural traditions behind it too, this trip is for you!

A culinary journey: Caldo Verde

Photo: A culinary journey. Caldo Verde.


Although the culinary traditions from Portugal please even the most refined tastes, the truth is that most dishes are quite simple. The secret lies in the fact that most of the traditional Portugal recipes are usually made with local ingredients. This explains the freshness and the high quality of the Portuguese cuisine. Besides, there is no better place to shop for local produce, fish and meat than in local markets!

Food is an essential part of the Portuguese culture

Berlim Balls. Portuguese Doughnuts

Photo: Berlim Balls. Portuguese Doughnuts.

Fish on the grill

Photo: Fish on the grill.

Take a culinary journey near Lisbon

Portuguese cuisine is simple and characterized by a rich variety of regional dishes. Gathering some herbs and produces from the local markets and later pairing them with timeless recipes, makes possible that many cookers can roll up their sleeves and prepare a variety of succulent Mediterranean dishes. Olive oil, garlic, coriander, onions, bay leaf, paprika, rosemary, leek, lamb, pork, codfish, seabass and dogfish are some of the main ingredients.

Portuguese Christmas cake Bolo Rei

Photo: Portuguese Christmas cake Bolo Rei.


There is no single word in English to translate ´petiscos´. You may see them in Portuguese restaurant menus as appetizers, snacks or as finger foods, but petiscos are so much more than that!

Petiscos are so significant in the Portuguese food culture, that it even exists the verb petiscar, which could mean ´to eat petiscos´. In fact, petiscar is going out with friends for food and drinks. It’s similar with hanging out, but here there’s food along the way. Actually, petiscar means having fun and sharing in a pretty tasty way!

At its most basic “petisco” is having a small bite but considering knowledge, tricks, and tips behind its preparation. This is because small bites pack a powerful punch when it comes to “petiscos”.

Cod fritters

Photo: Cod fritters.

Petiscos: what are they?

Petiscos are some small, but shareable plates of traditional dishes that are normally cheaper than main courses and they are influenced by the region. For instance, petiscos in the Algarve region are different than those in Porto or Coimbra. Moreover, along the coast, petiscos are made more from seafood (so you can find steamed shellfish), while in the central and eastern areas of Portugal meals are more determined by the land (so cheeses and meats are common “snacks” around here).

Some petiscos recipes appear on many menus across Portugal

Petiscos are the perfect reason to share some time with your friends, when you are looking for some delicious dishes and for meals and conversations that last for several hours around the table.

Similar to tapas from Spain, the petiscos in Portugal are a great way to try several typical recipes. Most of the time, you can order various petiscos that you can share, while you enjoy a good Portuguese beer or a bottle of wine.

Typical Portuguese food. Francesinha

Photo: Typical Portuguese food. Francesinha.


There are so many options to choose from! The good thing is they come in small portions so you can order three or four without feeling guilty.

Here are some (it’s impossible to describe them all) of the best petiscos that you can find on a menu in Portugal:

  • Pastéis de Bacalhau

  • Ameijôas à Bulhão Pato

  • Presunto

  • Smoked ham, sausages and cheeses

  • Pica-Pau

  • Cenouras à Algarvia

  • Peixinhos da Horta

  • Caldo Verde

  • Moelas/ Moelinhas

  • Salada De Polvo or Salada de Bacalhau

  • Sardinhas Assadas

  • Chouriço Assado

  • Caracóis

  • Alheira

  • Bifanas

  • Ovas De Bacalhau

  • Choco Frito

Bolo do Caco

Photo: Bolo do Caco.


Taking cooking classes are an excellent opportunity to learn about the Portuguese flavours and food. And the best thing is that you will know how to prepare traditional Portuguese dishes.

From garlic butter or grilled limpets, to the emblematic beef on the skewer or the local fish Espada with fried banana, or even to the local fresh tuna with Madeira wine dressing, the amazing world of “petiscos” can be made easy and fun in a cooking experience.

You can take home the recipes, so later on you can replicate the dishes and impress your friends!

Traditional Portuguese Empadão

Photo: Traditional Portuguese Empadão.


Take a tour to Setúbal in Portugal and feel the atmosphere of the Local Market which is one of the most beautiful in the world.

This market is more than 140 years old and it can be the best gastronomic experience that you can have in Portugal. Besides, after this journey you will feel like a local.

Here are some guided steps you should follow:

  • Step 1: Go to the central market of Setúbal and buy what you need.

  • Step 2: Learn to cook some traditional dishes of petiscos during the cooking class.

  • Step 3: Sit down and enjoy your authentic meal, while you indulge in wine pairings, too.

  • Step 4: Find out the story behind each recipe and some of the secrets of traditional Portuguese cooking!

Fish unloader hat at Mercado do Livramento

Photo: Fish unloader hat at Mercado do Livramento. Sanjorgepinho. Adapted under license (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Mercado do Livramento. Setúbal

Photo: Mercado do Livramento. Setúbal. Viet-hoian1. Adapted under license (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Learn the basics of the Portuguese cuisine and beyond, so you can take a few tricks for your home kitchen

Pastéis de Belem. Traditional Portuguese recipe

Photo: Pastéis de Belem. Traditional Portuguese recipe.


Spoil your senses with an exquisite petiscos cooking class on a culinary adventure. This is perfect for foodies wishing to explore the local cuisine and for those who want to enjoy the magic city of Setúbal, away from the most touristy spots. Cook petiscos just like the locals do!

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