Noshing at the Mercado de Campo de Ourique in Lisbon

IMG_7198It seems only proper to start this post about Portugal, Portuguese food and a Portuguese Mercado with a picture of Sardines.  Small, medium or large? Of course it was a tie between Sardines and the even more ubiquitous (if that is possible) Bacalhau, but the Sardines are more photogenic 😉

The day before I left Portugal I realized I had yet to go to a market.  I had tried to go in Porto, looked at the map saw that there was one just close to our hotel and headed off only to find it was no longer a market just a market building.

In Lisbon I had more luck.

Mercadao de Campo de Ourique is a small local market in a quiet part of town.   The thing that I loved most about it was how the market was as much about shopping for food as it was eating it.  In the center of the budding was a large sitting area surrounded by venders selling everything from seafood to steak to pasta and pastries.IMG_7225 It looks like the building has recently been renovated, with new awnings, new interior and fancy new signage. IMG_7169  IMG_7183Traditional seafood, grilled to order meats, sushi, gelato, a large choice of  beers both international and local plus so much more are on offer.  And if the crowd on this Saturday was any indiction, this is one popular market. IMG_7184These guys only sold products made from black pigs raised on a local farm.  They had a flame going in a small clay grill when I walked by, charring up some very delicious sausage which they insisted I try (oh go ahead twist my arm). IMG_7213 IMG_7178 IMG_7176Meat, meat anymore meat.  Duck, Cow, Pig and Chicken.   Below cooked to order meat which comes with a salad and then was top with thick cut fries or batata frita.IMG_7177 The pasta was very tempting…IMG_7174In the end I opted for another Portuguese classic: Grilled chicken and french friesIMG_7166 IMG_7167You can have either a half or whole chicken, sold by weight 9.90 Euro a Kilo (about $10.62 a kilo about $5 USD a pound).  They cut it up they for you then offer to drench it in a fresh garlic and lemon sauce or a spicy hot oil.  I opted for both! IMG_7223IMG_7210 This array of prepared food looked pretty tasty as well.  Then there were pretty savory pastries….IMG_7209Seafood, lots of it… IMG_7181     And for a sweet ending you could choose between traditional pastries or gelato, I had a scoop of super dark chocolate and a scoop of coffee.  IMG_7175Of course in addition to all the prepared food there were market stalls selling produce, cold cuts, fruit and fish.  The fish section was separate from the rest of the market and was also the only part of the market that looked like it had not been renovated.IMG_7197 IMG_7194 IMG_7201My favorite fish vendor sold all of her wares in cans.IMG_7185Mostly sardines of every imaginable form and variation.  Just the fabulous packaging alone my mouth water. In addition to a million version of Sardines, you could also get Mackerel and Tuna.IMG_7186My favorite thing about the market had to be the public scale that was located in the hallway on the way to the exit.IMG_7222

IMG_7221Mr Google wasn’t very helpful in giving me an explanation for why there is a public scale. My first thought was that it’s there so people could double-check their goods to make sure they hadn’t been over charged.

No trip to the market would be complete without a visit to the cheese counter.  I have to admit that before I visited Portugal I don’t think I could have named you one Portuguese cheese and now well I’m not sure I could still pronounce any of them but I certainly will be seeking them out next time I am good cheese shop as the ones I had were all delicious.IMG_7191Having just got home yesterday I already want to go back.  In doing the research for this post I discovered there is a fish market and a handful of farmers market that I didn’t make it to this visit.  Next time I guess maybe I should rent a flat and stay for a month!

With the strong dollar and Portugal still recovering from the collapse, it has to be the best value of ant place in Europe to visit now.  Add in an incredible amount of superb local produce, meats, a world-famous abundance of seafood, and a sophisticated restaurant culture.

The Portuguese people couldn’t be nicer and either we got very lucky or most of them speak English  (mostly very well).  We had no trouble getting around.  It was actually easier than being in Spain or France or Italy.

Next up eating out in Lisbon.  Stay tuned. IMG_7215IMG_7190


About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
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7 Responses to Noshing at the Mercado de Campo de Ourique in Lisbon

  1. thiaguss says:

    Really nice! I’m Portuguese, but I never had been in campo de ourique! I’m from Gaia, but in another Portuguese city Espinho, near by Gaia, every Monday, there is a big market, right on the street, traditional market, it is the biggest “feira”, I don’t now how to translate in English, of Europe! And by the way, it’s bacalhau, not bacalao!
    P.s. Sorry my English, I don’t wright very well xD

  2. Frank Canino says:

    For the first time ever, I wish I were back in Portugal.

    See you some day in NYC



  3. Thank you for your post! And yes, you are right about the public scale!
    Parceria das Conservas (your favorite fish vendor in Campo de Ourique Marquet)

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