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Vegetarian Portugal

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Portuguese cuisine is tough on strict vegetarians and you’ll be eating a lot of omelettes, chips, salads and pizzas. Nearly everywhere does a basic vegetable soup, though beware of the caldo verde – a kale, onion and potato broth – which usually comes with chouriço in. Portuguese fruit is a particular joy, especially in the Algarve, Estremadura and Beira Baixa, and any market should turn up some excellent local produce. You may even find officially certified biológicoorganic – produce, though it has yet to make much of an impact on mainstream food-buying habits.

In Lisbon, Porto and some parts of the Algarve, there is a reasonable selection of vegetarian restaurants, even macrobiotic ones, together with Chinese, Italian and Indian establishments where you should be able to eat well. Also, most towns have health-food shops (or supermarkets with health-food sections) where you can find cereal bars, gluten-free biscuits, dried fruit and the like.

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