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News / City Life

Natas, football and vinho verde: it’s the best of Portuguese London

Portuguese London with Ana Có
Andy Parsons

Like Britain, Portugal has a history of discovery and colonisation – and the Portuguese-speaking community in London reflects that. As well as Portugal itself, Portuguese speakers come from Angola, Brazil, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, East Timor, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Macau. Equally diverse are the parts we play: you’ll find journalists, activists, politicians and CEOs here, alongside entrepreneurs selling everything from traditional dishes to handmade crafts and design.

When we miss home we head to Stockwell, also known as ‘Little Portugal’. It’s home to an estimated 30,000 of us, making Portuguese the second most commonly spoken language in the borough of Lambeth. I co-founded the Little Portugal Project to tell the inspiring stories of the many Portuguese-speakers living in London – so if you’re one of them, get in touch! Ana Có

Did you know? Fish and chips was invented by sixteenth-century Portuguese Marranos – Jews posing as Christians to escape persecution – who fried their fish in egg and breadcrumbs on Friday then ate it cold on the Sabbath. You’re welcome!

Ana’s favourite Portuguese spots in London

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Owned by Chiltern Firehouse chef Nuno Mendes, Taberna do Mercado in Old Spitalfields Market is a must for traditional dishes with a twist plus Portuguese cheese and vinho verde.

Find some of the best pastéis de nata (custard tarts) in town at A Portuguese Love Affair on Hackney Road. They also have a Columbia Road shop selling traditional goods.

June 10 is Portugal Day. In London, around 40,000 people head to Streatham Common and celebrate with Portuguese food and music every year.

One of my best ever moments in London was when Portugal won the Euros in 2016. I spent it at Grelha D’Ouro on South Lambeth Road where you’ll see plenty of Portuguese locals eating seafood and drinking Super Bock.

See acclaimed fado singer and songwriter Miguel Araújo perform at the Barbican on September 28. This genre of music evokes a feeling of nostalgia and melancholy we know as saudade.

The best of Portuguese London, according to you

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Lisboa Patisserie on Golborne Road and The Portuguese Conspiracy, Hackney.’ Joana M via Facebook

Madeira Deli on the Albert Embankment in Vauxhall is my go-to for Portuguese groceries.’ @ilCapoSoprano via Twitter

Estrela Bar to watch the football and sit outside eating snacks.’ Jessica F via Facebook

Now check out the best of Colombian London.

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