Portuguese tarts, tiled murals, Fado music in the streets, festivals celebrating espetada and vinho – did we mention that we’re in Sydney?
Affectionately referred to as Little Portugal, Petersham is bustling with authentic Portuguese restaurants, cafés, bars and bakeries, all serving traditional recipes passed down through generations. And the crowds are eating it up. In fact, Portuguese food has become such a celebrated commodity in this part of Sydney (and rightly so – it’s delicious!) there’s even a dedicated Portuguese food and wine fair every held March by the locals.
There’s nothing like being a tourist in your own city, so if you can’t travel to Portugal, Portugal has come to you in the guise of Petersham’s Canterbury Road and Audley Street. Vamos!
If you thought Nando’s was Portuguese for chicken, sorry to tell you but you’ve been grossly misinformed. Frango’s is Portuguese for chicken, both literally and figuratively. From their famous butterflied charcoal chooks, to their sticky marinades and Portuguese chicken burgers, these guys don’t mess around when it comes to chicken. Other game changers on the menu include hand-cut potato chips, garlicky piri piri sauce, pork belly, and pan-seared octopus. If you’re dining in, order a Sagras beer to kick-start your culinary experience.
98 New Canterbury Road, Petersham
The Lisbon suburb, after which this darling patisserie is named, is famous for one thing; custard tarts. They’re known as pasteis de nata in their native tongue, but to Sydneysiders, they’re lip-smackingly good, flaky-pastry-gooey-custard tarts – and we can’t get enough of them. Served piping hot from the oven and with a dusting of cinnamon, one bite of Sweet Belem’s Portuguese tarts and you’ll be begging for more. Traditional cornbread, Portuguese lamingtons, crème caramel, and poached meringue also feature on the menu.
35B New Canterbury Road, Petersham
Another contender for best Portuguese chicken in Sydney, Silvas takes authentic charcoal chicken to another level, as well as grilled sardines, buttery pipis, garlic prawns and other seafood dishes they’re famous for. So famous in fact, you can expect to see a line out the door for takeaway orders and a waitlist to dine in. The locals aren’t complaining though and always come prepared for the heartiest of feasts, with monster servings and often a side of chips and rice – when in Rome! (Or Lisbon for that matter).
1/82-86 New Canterbury Road, Petersham
If you’re looking for a home-cooked meal from the heart, book a table at Costa Do Sol. Family owned and run by Braga and Lisbon natives, Joao and Maria, Costa Do Sol serves up modern twists on traditional Portuguese dishes to well-fed locals and visitors looking for a true taste of Portugal. Seafood paella, salt dried codfish, and chargrilled quail are regular crowd pleasers, as is the Portuguese steak skewer. Served with ham, egg and potato scallops, one bite and you’ll never want to eat an ordinary steak again.
102 New Canterbury Road, Petersham
The restaurant that ignited Petersham’s love affair with Portuguese fare, Gloria’s Café has been a staple on Petersham’s foodie map since it opened nearly 30 years ago. Gloria Belinha is the heart, soul and original pastry chef behind Gloria’s mouth-watering menu that includes hearty Portuguese classics such as feijoada, red bean stew, salt dried codfish, and Porco Alentejana, diced pork with clams. And of course, you need to wash it all down with a glass or two of sangria.
82 Audley Street, Petersham