What you should & shoud not do in Portuguese restaurants

Good to know


Pets not allowed

Inside restaurants and many cafes and bars. It is although usually ok to bring them to the terrasses.

How much tip should you give?

Portuguese do not give juicy tips. Please hold it with the locals and give something between 10%- 20%, but not too much more!

Starters served without asking!

It’s good manners in Portugal to put starters on the table in a restaurant as soon as you sit down. Portuguese would even find it a bit odd if not rude if this does not happen! Know that you don’t have to eat the starters: if they stay untouched you won’t pay for them. You can also politely send them back, that’s no problem!

Lunch hour and daily plates

Portuguese take their time frames seriously when it comes to eating (and especially then;)! Lunch hour is from 12:00 to 14:30. On weekdays you will be able to choose between two or more daily plates in most places. They are usually much cheaper and come as a whole menu including a drink, coffee and a dessert if you wish (usually there is a price offered with and without dessert). One of our favorite places for lunch is O Pescador, in Ribamar!

For all the fish-lovers

Monday is no fish day! Since Sunday is the day of the lord, the fishermen don’t go out in their boats, but rest at home with their families. Hence it’s a good sign if a restaurant doesn’t offer fish on Monday: it means that they probably have fresh fish every day!


No fish in a sea food restaurant?

A seafood restaurant in Portugal does not necessarily offer grilled fish. Portuguese usually eat grilled fish at a place specialized in BBQing fish. In seafood restaurants on the other hand, you will find a big variety of shellfish and such and probably some of the delicious Portuguese fish stews like Cataplana and Feijoada.