After you sit down, you’ll usually receive entradas (appetizers, starters) to snack on. If you’d rather not, just say: Pode levar as entradas (You can take the appetizers) or Não vamos querer entradas (We're not going to want appetizers).
To order água (water), specify whether you want it com gás (sparkling) or sem gás (still), fresca (cold) or natural (room-temperature), and how many copos (glasses) you’d like.
If you’re not sure what you want to eat, you can say Ainda estamos a decidir (We're still deciding). Most restaurants have pratos do dia (dishes of the day, daily specials), or you could ask: Que pratos recomenda? (What dishes do you recommend?)
Bacalhau (codfish) is a popular choice and there are hundreds of different ways to prepare it! You should also try caldo verde, a green soup made with kale, potatoes, and slices of chouriço (spicy Portuguese sausage).
After you decide (Já podemos pedir! — We can order now!), the simplest way to order is to say Queria… (I’d like…) followed by the name of the dish.
Mealtime is rather sacred for the Portuguese, so it’s best to have patience and enjoy your meal slowly. When it's time to pay, ask for A conta, por favor (The bill/check, please).
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