Portugal in London: Enjoying Portuguese Treats in Little Lisbon (Stockwell)

Next up in our World in London challenge, we’ve called on Portuguese blogger Catherine Lencastre Cabral, author of the gorgeous London Lisbonite blog, to tell us about her best places for enjoying a piece of Portugal in London.

Portugal is a nation cheerfully and completely obsessed with food.

Lost your job? Eat your own body weight in the lovely creamy custard tarts we call pasteis de nata (the best in London can be found in the Lisboa Patisserie on Golborne Road).

Had your heart broken? Go to your mother’s house and you’ll have litres of homemade soup poured down your throat.

Enjoying a rare sunny day in London? The Portuguese will celebrate with you by shoving half a cow on your plate and beaming at you over the pile.

Generosity and hospitality are two of the most highly-prized Portuguese characteristics. This can be slightly overwhelming for the first-time visitor, who might be somewhat taken aback by the size of the portions and the vehemence with which they’ll be encouraged to clear their plate. Food also serves as a useful marker for time. Ask a Portuguese person what time they’d like to meet you somewhere and they’ll pin the time to the nearest meal.

Over the last decade, Stockwell has come to be known as the “Little Lisbon” of London. Portuguese flags line the streets and every other bar has a Super Bock sign in the window. The best place to try traditional Portuguese food is O Moinho on the Wandsworth Road.

Start with a Chouriço Assado, which is a spicy sausage that’s brought to your table on a flameproof dish and set on fire.

If that hasn’t satisfied your appetite for dramatic food, follow it with an Espetada a Madeirense. An enormous hanging metal spit will be placed next to you so that you can pull off the meat bit by bit. Alternatively, cook your own meat, from raw, on a piping hot stone by ordering the Naco na Pedra.

After that, I heartily recommend that you try the camel drool (Baba de Camelo), an extremely sweet creamy pudding made with condensed milk.

Then, make like a true Portuguese and finish the meal with an espresso and perhaps a couple of crackers spread with the sharp and gooey Queijo de Serra from the mountains. Portuguese perfection.

Do you have a favourite place for buying Portuguese food in London? Let us know in the comments below…

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  1. Jenny says:

    I love pasteis de nata – you can get some very nice ones in Borough Market too. I’d like to try the Queijo de Serra – looks calorific but delicious!

    • Jenny: It is indeed calorific but it is the best food in the world. It oozes like you wouldn’t believe! It’s supposed to be put on the table to be shared with a group but personally I like to eat it with a spoon…

      • Jenny says:

        Stop – it’s too much right before lunch time! I’m going to have to pay a visit to O Moinho very soon…

  2. Susana says:

    Quando for para Londres já sei onde matar saudadess ;)

    Thank you, VisitLondon & Catherine :

  3. nic says:

    i used to work by golborne road in a terrible building, so often the tasty tarts from lisboa were what kept us going.

  4. jose adams says:

    I have just returned from Lisbon – fabulous place. I did indeed eat my own body weight in lovely creamy custard tarts, and now I can do the same in London. Happy days.

  5. boo says:

    I used to live two mins away from Lisboa and managed to eat at least two of the little custard tarts every day. Lovely milky coffee too. Fond memories.

  6. Chris James says:

    I must admit that looks very tasty, but can anybody suggest / recommend a place in London that serves a decent freshly baked Croissant?. During my last visit my tastebuds were insulted with the usual glut of luke warm, just been thawed out frozen croissants of the mass produced variety.

  7. Luis says:

    I wouldn’t call it “Little Lisbon”, that is a very very capital kind of view of things, as usual….

    Me and all the Portuguese I know call it Little Portugal. In fact, if you wanted to call it something I think that “Little Madeira” would even be more appropriate than Little Lisbon.

    Either way, I really loved your post, it describes very well how we are. As for the best restaurant, that is always subjective. I prefer A Toca but Moinho is really nice as well.

    • Guida Pereira says:

      Olá Luis Pode indicar-me onde se pode comprar chouriço de carne de boa qualidade e preço barato em Londres? Obrigada

  8. Paula Luzes says:

    I’ll have to try the pasteis de nata in Lisboa Patisserie the next time I go to London with my daughters. They just love them… with cinamon

  9. Jenny says:

    From now until September 2011 you can enjoy Portuguese cuisine at The Gun in Docklands on their outdoor terrace, A Grehla

  10. Sue says:

    Does anyone know if I can buy Amarguinha Amendoa Amarga in London? Would really like to purchase some for a present. Many thanks.

  11. Joana says:

    There’s a place called ‘Cantinho de Portugal’, on Stockwell road, roughly mid-way between Stockwell station and Brixton station… it’s well worth it. They have água do Luso, cerveja Sagres, real coffee and pretty much every Portuguese treat you can think of. Definitely worth a visit.

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