Do Minho to the Azores: Discover some of the best flavours of Portuguese Christmas

Embark on a real gastronomic itinerary and discover the Christmas dishes of each region of Portugal.

Christmas is coming to the table of the Portuguese, among cod, kid or kids, depending on the region you visit, there are many delicacies that will make you forget the diet and make the most of the holiday season.


In the most northerly region of the country, cod with all, a very Portuguese dish, and octopus cooked, accompanied by slices of fried or toasted bread, are part of the dish menu. At Christmas lunch, the cod is again part of the menu of the minhotos, this time in the form of old clothes, along with the stuffed turkey and the roasted kid. For dessert, the locals do not dispense the french toast with sugar syrup or sweet egg, dreams, noodles and nuts. Besides gastronomy, Viana do Castelo and Braga are invaded by workshops, Christmas parades, theatres, circuses, cinema and exhibitions for a special Christmas.



In Beira Litoral and Interior the gastronomic traditions for the main dish are similar. As for desserts, the coast and the interior have different tastes. On the coast, the table is composed of tigeladas, carolo popes – a kind of sweet rice – and the knee children, which are stretched over the knee, previously lined with a linen cloth. Inside, you can not miss the dreams, the king cake, the french toast, the dried fruit and the soft eggs of Aveiro. If Beira is your Christmas destination, take a stroll through the illuminated streets of Aveiro, Coimbra or Castelo Branco, make the last purchases in the handicraft fairs and admire the great Christmas trees and cribs that decorate some points of these cities.




The Alentejans choose to delight in the fish in the soup and the meat at Christmas lunch. After a good baked cod, a roast rooster or pork with clams, they like to sweeten their mouths with children, grain azevias, coscorões, soaked, similar to cream milk and rotten cake, a cake of honey and olive oil, typical of the Alentejo. Already at the end of the meal there are two types of Alentejanos: those who listen to the songs of Alentejo and admire the Christmas lights of coffee in hand and those who do in the company of a tasty hot chocolate.


In the Algarve, the desserts pass through the children, the almond tart, the empanadilla, with sweet potato filling, french toast and cream milk. Cod, although it is already beginning to be consumed, is not yet mandatory presence in the conssoada and at the Christmas lunch of the Algarve, unlike roast rooster and stuffed turkey. As far as Christmas activities are concerned, Loulé, Faro, Portimão and many other cities in the south of the country will offer entertainment to visitors, such as ice rinks, fairs and markets, plays, Santa Claus parade, Janeiras, and a lot more.


Towards the archipelagos, in Madeira the joy is similar, but the menu is different. The cod is replaced by the chicken soup and the meat of vinha-d’alhos, typical dish of the region, elaborated with pork and fried bread. In desserts, the king cake is changed to the honey cake, made about two weeks before the conssoada to be well to Madeiran taste. Activities are not lacking to spend an unforgettable Christmas in the pearl of the Atlantic. The illuminations and songs of Christmas in Funchal fill the streets, the churches open their doors to celebrate the traditional religious masses and even races are organized to satisfy all the Christmas wishes. Already on December 31, all eyes must be set in the sky to contemplate one of the most famous and colorful firework display of Portugal.


Street entertainments, chants, children’s performances and concerts are some of the Christmas activities that you will have the opportunity to attend at Praça do Município, Rua dos Mercadores and other places in Ponta Delgada. On the morning of the consuelo, visit the Mercado da Graça and get inspired to enjoy the delicacies that are part of the Azorean Christmas supper, such as the chicken in the oven, roasted meat, Faial octopus, walnut cake and the sweet rice. To accompany, you can not fail to taste the numerous artisan liquors of wine, milk and fruits of the region that the locals prepare in their own homes to the satisfaction of all.

Whatever your gastronomic preferences at Christmas, the truth is that Portuguese cuisine is queen at this time.

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