portuguese food vocabulary

How to Talk About Food in Portuguese: 100+ Words for Food and Drinks [Audio Included]

If you’re making a trip to a Portuguese-speaking country anytime soon, you’d better brush up on your Portuguese food vocabulary.

In this post, you will find more than 100 common words for food in Portuguese with audio pronunciation and learn about traditional Portuguese and Brazilian cuisine as well as food culture. 


Meal Words in Portuguese

packing meal for school lunch

1. Café da manhã — breakfast

2. Almoço — lunch

3. Jantar  — dinner

4. Sobremesa  — dessert

5. Lanche — snack

Grãos — Grains

nuts and grains spilling from the jars

6. Pão  — bread

7. Macarrão , massa — pasta

8. Arroz  — rice

9. Aveia — oats

10. Farinha — flour

11. Pipoca — popcorn

Laticínio — Dairy

dairy products

12. Leite — milk

13. Iogurte  — yogurt

14. Manteiga  — butter

15. Queijo  — cheese

16. Leite condensado  — condensed milk

Vegetais — Vegetables


17. Alface  — lettuce

18. Pepino — cucumber

19. Tomate — tomato

20. Cenoura  — carrot

21. Batata — potato

22. Cebola  — onion

23. Brócolis — broccoli

24. Abóbora  — pumpkin

25. Abacate  — avocado

26. Alho  — garlic

27. Salsinha — parsley

28. Ervilha  — peas

29. Feijão — beans

Frutas — Fruits

different fruits on the table

30. Açaí  — acai berry

31. Guaraná  — guarana

32. Caju  — cashew

33. Banana —banana

34. Maracujá  — passionfruit

35. Uvas  — grapes

36. Laranja  — orange

37. Maçã  — apple

38. Abacaxi  — pineapple

39. Mamão — papaya

40. Limão  — lemon

41. Pera  — pear

42. Morango  — strawberry

43. Melão  — melon

44. Tangerina , mexerica  — tangerine

Carnes — Meats

variety of cured meats

45. Frango  — chicken

46. Bife  — beef

47. Carne de porco  — pork

48. Cachorro quente  — hot dog

49. Cordeiro  — lamb

50. Salsicha , linguiça  — sausage

51. Peixe — fish

52. Camarão  — shrimp

53. Presunto  — ham

Sobremesas — Desserts

a big table full of cookies, pastries and cakes

54. Bolo — cake

55. Brigadeiro  — chocolate ball

56. Sorvete  — ice cream

57. Torta de bolacha  — cookie cake

58. Flan, torta doce  — flan

59. Pudim  — rice pudding

60. Chocolate  — chocolate

61. Biscoito  — cookie

Lanches — Snacks

party snacks

62. Kibe  — beef croquette

63. Coxinha  — chicken croquette

64. Pão de queijo  — cheese bread

65. Bolinho de bacalhau  — cod croquette

66. Pastéis de nata  — egg tart

67. Línguas de gato — biscuit

Bebidas — Drinks

Bottle of Soda Poured into Glass of Ice

68. Água  — water

69. Refrigerante — soda

70. Cerveja  — beer

71. Vinho — wine

72. Tereré  — cold mate

73. Mate , chimarrão  — hot mate

Phrases for the Grocery Store

One está o/a _____? — Where can I find the _____?

Quanta é _____? — How much does ______ cost?

Tem _____? — Do you have _____?

Phrases for the Restaurant

Quero _____. — I would like _____?

Tem um menu de sobremesa? — Can I see the dessert menu?

A conta, por favor. — Check, please!

Popular Food in Portuguese


If you end up going to Brazil (or an authentic Brazilian restaurant), there are some foods you don’t want to miss out on.


It’s a classic Brazilian dish in which you cook beans with pork parts, which makes the flavor really come out. Feijoada is eaten with rice and usually a salad.


This dish is exactly what it sounds like, but it’s more amazing than you can imagine.

The chicken is cooked in the rice with onion and garlic, and the final dish can be eaten with vinagrete (chopped tomatoes, onions and bell peppers mixed with olive oil and salt).


This is a tomato-based stew made with fish, onion, garlic and coriander that can include more seafood, such as prawns, swordfish and other boneless fish.


This is basically the Brazilian version of Mexican tamales.

It’s a sweet corn paste boiled and wrapped in corn husks, served with coconut milk or something savory like cheese, sausage or peppers.


This is more of a topping that you eat mixed with your rice and beans, but it’s so extremely delicious.

It’s just toasted cassava flour mixed with spices and sometimes meat.


This isn’t your regular pizza. It’s so much better.

Brazilian pizza doesn’t have the tomato sauce base and comes in a variety of different flavors.

(My favorite is pizza with bacon, heart of palm, corn and requeijão—a spreadable cheese you might not find in your area.)


This is basically a glorified hamburger because it’s larger and comes with more than your run-of-the-mill toppings.

It’s served with delicious sauce, corn, tomatoes, lettuce, peas and an over-easy egg.

Now, let’s talk about the dishes to try in Portugal. 

image of bacalhau


It’s the most famous dish in Portugal, which is dried and salted cod.

Some people claim that there are over 1,000 ways to cook with it, too. They sure do love their bacalhau in Portugal.

This is a must, and luckily it won’t be very hard to find.

Caldo verde

This is a Portuguese soup made with potatoes, collard greens, olive oil and salt. It sounds simple, but you can spice it up with garlic or onion and ham hock.

Polvo a lagareiro

This is a delicious octopus dish served with potatoes and herb-infused olive oil. And it sometimes involves bacalhau, too!

Cozido a Portuguesa

This is another stew made with vegetables, meat and smoked sausages. It’s considered part of Portuguese heritage.

Portuguese Food Culture

If you live someplace that has a considerable number of Brazilians, you might have heard of a Brazilian steakhouse, which in Portuguese is called a churrascaria.

Unlike a regular steakhouse, a churrascaria doesn’t just bring you a lump of meat accompanied by some mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Instead, you’re given a little block that’s red on one side and green on the other. Your server will let you know that green means, “Keep the meat coming,” red means, “Stop” and placed on its side means, “I’m ready for dessert!”

As long as your cube is green side up, you’ll be brought various types of meat on a large skewer. If you want the meat, the server will cut off a piece (or however many you request) and you can eat all you want. There’s also a buffet-style area where you can get salads and other delicious side dishes.

Visiting a churrascaria in Brazil is a must, and you can only really get the full experience if you do it in Portuguese! Just make sure they have the rodízio de carne (rotation of meat).

If your destination is Portugal, especially if you’re traveling during the holidays, you’re sure to get some bacalhau (cured codfish). There are many, many ways to cook with this fish, which the Portuguese love, so you’ll always see multiple bachalhau dishes on the Christmas table.

And for dessert, your host will most likely bring out bolo rei (King’s cake), which is similar to fruitcake. It’s shaped like a bundt cake and made from a soft, white dough, filled with raisins, nuts and candied fruit. On top, it’s covered with more candied fruit and nuts as well as some sugary icing.

And if you like it, you’re in luck, because they keep on serving it until January 6th, on Dia de Reis (Day of Kings).

Now that you know what you have to look forward to in Brazil and Portugal, you understand why it’s important to know the vocabulary.

Without the vocab, all you can do is smile and nod when the waiter speaks to you. With the knowledge and vocabulary in this post, though, you’ll know to ask for the delicious picanhã (filet steak) or anything else your heart (or rather, stomach) desires.


Congratulations! You’re now ready to speak about Portuguese and Brazilian food!

Has this post made you hungry for a traditional dish or two? Then go out and experience some with your newly acquired Portuguese food vocabulary words!

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