There’s a reason why Lisbon is so hot right now: Portugal’s sunshine-filled capital city has flown under the radar for far too long. On a continent saturated with big-name cities vying for tourist dollars, Lisbon has bided its time, emerging from a dire economic recession with construction cranes aplenty and newfound cool cred in the worlds of art, retail, hotels, nightlife, and restaurants. But it hasn’t gone all hipster on us, either: This is a city that knows its past, where steep cobbled paths wind down to grand wide-open spaces, where the melancholic notes of traditional fado music waft out onto youth-filled streets, where historic castles overlook age-old red roofs and never-ending water views—and where typical Portuguese food and wine remains deeply ingrained in the culture.

Bacalhau, the beloved salt cod of centuries past, said to be prepared 365 different ways here, is still everywhere; sausages and seafood and local cheese run rampant; delicious meaty little sandwiches and the simplest of soups will have you wondering, What is the secret here? How is this so good? We can’t purport to know, but you’re in luck, because this kind of homey, real-deal Portuguese food abounds in Lisbon. Click below to read what local foods to eat in Lisbon, and where to find it.

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