Portuguese cuisine has become increasingly popular in recent years – no doubt due to the rise of Lisbon and Porto as weekend destinations for both foodies and culture vultures alike. Luckily for us, London offers some of the best spots outside of the country in which to sample some authentic Portuguese grub, so there’s no need to hop on a plane to get your foodie fix.
Tantalise your tastebuds with a visit to some of the best Portuguese restaurants in London listed below:
1. Bar Duoro, London Bridge and The City
A popular spot situated in Southwark’s Flat Iron Square, the azulejos-tiled Bar Duoro first opened its doors in 2017. It has since become so beloved among Londoners that a sister venue has just opened across the Thames. The focus here is on small plates – from tasty salt cod hash to mouthwatering onglet steak with slow-cooked egg yolk. A comprehensive wine list is 100% Portuguese and is designed to celebrate traditional wine-making techniques – try a bottle of the famous Vinho Verde or a refreshing glass of white port, ice and tonic – one of Portugal’s signature cocktails. They’ve also got a fantastic outdoor terrace so you can wine and dine in the sunshine when the weather plays ball.
35B, Arch, 85B Southwark Bridge Rd, London SE1 0NQ or Unit 3, 1 Finsbury Ave, London EC2M 2PF. Nearest stations are London Bridge and Liverpool Street.
2. Grelha D’Ouro, Stockwell
Long-established and a firm favourite among locals and visitors alike, Stockwell’s cosy Grelha D’Ouro is all about the big portions, affordable prices and friendly atmosphere. The menu here is extensive and offers up both traditional, home-cooked fare and more unique dishes such as pig’s ear, chicken gizzards and natas do céu, which quite literally translates to ‘cream from heaven’. Don’t miss trying the cataplana – a delicious pork and seafood stew originating from the Algarve that is Portugal’s answer to the paella. For a livelier dining experience, come during the weekend when live music plays late into the night.
151-153 S Lambeth Rd, London SW8 1XN. Nearest station is Stockwell.
3. Santa Nata, Covent Garden
While this may not exactly be a restaurant per se, we couldn’t compile a list of the best of Portuguese food spots without mentioning Covent Garden’s Santa Nata. Famous for their custard tarts – or pastéis de nata – this is the place to come if you’re in central and looking for a sweet, tasty treat. Owned and run by a family of second-generation bakers, the staff here really know their stuff and you can while away the hours watching them delicately rolling, shaping and filling the tarts with all that sugary goodness. Our top tip – wash down your tart with coffee, port or Ginjinha – a liqueur made from an infusion of brandy and sour cherries.
17 Russell St, London WC2B 5HP. Nearest station is Covent Garden.
4. O Tino, Camden Town
This family-run establishment is one of Camden Town’s favourite haunts, with friendly staff, a relaxed atmosphere and classic, home-cooked Portuguese food. Bacalhau – or dried and salted cod – features prominently on the menu in a variety of different styles, and the Portuguese-style white clams in a white wine, garlic and olive oil sauce are to die for. Other dishes include piri piri chicken with chips and salad, grilled sea bass and king prawns sautéed in a white wine sauce. Vegetarians are also catered for, and a variety of excellent Portuguese wines served here are a real steal by London standards – only one bottle on the menu tops £20. A takeaway service is also on tap so you can try all this authentic Portuguese goodness without even stepping out of your front door. Win win.
1 Plender St, London NW1 0JS. Nearest station is Mornington Crescent.
5. A Toca Restaurant, Nine Elms
Open since way back in 2002, Nine Elms’ A Toca Restaurant is well-established on the London Portuguese restaurant scene. The signature dish here is ‘petiscos‘, Portugal’s answer to tapas, and clams, mussels, octopus salad and pork with pickles and olives are all on the menu. Other options include caldo verde – a traditional soup made with potatoes, chourico sausage and thinly-sliced kale – as well as pork’s ear with a garlic and onion sauce. There’s space to hold events if you’re looking to bring along all of your mates, and the restaurant also doubles as a café which serves coffee and tempting treats from 7am.
341 Wandsworth Rd, London SW8 2JH. Nearest station is Nine Elms.
6. Casa do Frango, London Bridge and Shoreditch
Specialising in Algarvian-style piri piri chicken, affectionately known as ‘Frango‘, this cool spot offers a millennial spin on the traditional Portuguese churrascaria grill house. The star attraction here is the chicken, which is grilled over wood-charcoal and sourced from a local family butcher. But there’s more to the menu than just chicken. Delicious sharing plates include fire-roasted tender stem broccoli, salt cod fritters and a white bean stew with grilled hispi cabbage, crispy kale and cheese from the Azores. If you’re in the London Bridge branch, make your way to The Green Room post-dinner. Hidden behind a secret door, this speakeasy-style bar serves up an epic range of cocktails which are perfect for a night cap.
32 Southwark St, London SE1 1TU or 2 King John Ct, London EC2A 3EZ. Nearest stations are London Bridge and Shoreditch High Street.
7. Napura, Nunhead
A strong contender for this list of the best Portuguese restaurants in London, Napura is a family-owned spot just a stone’s throw away from Nunhead station. The menu here is inspired by the owner’s mother who grew up deep within the Portuguese countryside. The focus here is on meat and fish, with options including a hearty jardineira – beef stew with potatoes, rice and mixed vegetables – and bacalhau com natas – oven-roasted cod and cubed roasted potatoes with double cream and cheese. Portions are generous and there’s a cutesy little courtyard out the back where you can sip on a glass of wine or an ice-cold Sagres beer.
30 Nunhead Green, London SE15 3QF. Nearest station is Nunhead.
8. Estrelas, Oval
Another South London gem, Estrelas is a lively and laid-back spot specialising in hearty authentic fare and seafood tapas. Run by a lovely Portuguese family, the emphasis here is on creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for you to tuck into some mouthwatering dishes and sample some of Portugal’s famous wines. Monkfish, octopus and seafood stews are the speciality here, alongside Portuguese paellas and lobster spaghetti. Grilled sardines are also a favourite, as is the carno de porco a Portuguesa – a dish consisting of fried pork, chorizo and juicy peppers. The bar is a great spot in which to watch the footie with a Superbock in hand, and there’s also terraced seating so you can watch the world go by as you wine and dine.
113 S Lambeth Rd, London SW8 1UZ. Nearest station is Oval.
9. Volta do Mar, Covent Garden
Tucked away down a narrow side street off Covent Garden and housed in a beautiful double-fronted Georgian townhouse, Volta do Mar is a delightful spot earning its status as one of the best Portuguese restaurants in London. With its name roughly translating as ‘return from the sea’, the emphasis here is on seafood, and much of the menu here is designed to honour Portugal’s seafaring history. Along with Portuguese staples, dishes here are designed to connect with Brazil, the Cape Verde islands, Angola, Mozambique, Goa, Macau and Japan – all destinations on Portugal’s former trade route. Don’t miss the chance to try the Farófias of Grandmother Maria Emíli – a mouth-watering castella cake served with dripping blackberry liqueur and ice cream.
13, 15 Tavistock St, London WC2E 7PS. Nearest station is Covent Garden.
10. Casa Madeira, Vauxhall
South London arguably has the lion’s share of the best Portuguese restaurants in London, and Vauxhall’s Casa Madeira is certainly no exception. Dishes here combine a fusion of more established dishes – such as fried salted cod and Madeira-style beef roasted on a skewer – with quirkier fare like lobster linguine served with a Bloody Mary sauce. Monkfish stew with rice and king prawns is a must if you’re sharing between two people, and pizza, pastas and burgers are also on the menu if you fancy something more simple. There’s also a café next door if you’re wanting to get your hands on some of those sumptuous pastéis de nata.
46b Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TL. Nearest station is Vauxhall.