Food and fado in Coimbra

We’re in Portugal.


Current location: Coimbra.


Current occupation: eating.  (I politely request that anyone who notices the food stuck in my teeth refrain from mentioning it).


This was today’s lunch, from a bar inside a food market.  (I hope you been a good student of this blog and have noted that the best food is always to be found in the food stands inside of markets).


I had a cabbage stew and HOB had red fish and potatoes.  For desert we shared rice pudding and chocolate mousse.  It was all perfect and hearty and the people eating around us chatted, flirted and at one point the waitress did a little waltz with a customer.


For two plates of food, bread, wine, and the deserts: total bill €11.60.


The scenery is romantic and elegant with graceful proportions (and the town ain’t bad either).


I can find a Romanesque church anywhere.


Quick break to wash socks.


Well my internet keeps cutting out but I can’t leave without a word about the splendidly romantic style of music called Coimbra Fado.  You may have heard of the Lisbon style, sung by women.  In Coimbra the young men sing along with a special twelve sting guitar.  When my technical problems clear up, you’ll be hearing more from me about this gorgeous (and UNESCO protected!) cultural practice.


How we got to Coimbra: bus from Batalha.
Where we slept: Hotel Ibis Coimbra Centro. Price: €44 for a double. Recommended: yes.



  1. OMG! I was there last month! A Taco do Gato recommended!


    1. You’ve been everywhere woman! Tacos in Portugal?!?!?! Thanks for the recommendation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So have you!! The restaurant is Portuguese. Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Did you go in the church and if so were you allowed to take photos. Looks an interesting place, we have never been to Portugal, so I hope you have taken a lot more photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes and yes! There are not too many photo restrictions here. Sooner or later I’ll post all my church photos for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Looking forward to them 🙂


  3. If you are in Coimbra you should try the restaurant which serves bone. There’s a queue outside by the time it opens. There was also a bar right next to the main church which had fado every night (and a wonderful pastry). I would really love to go back to Coimbra.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When were you in Coimbra? I loved Coimbra (and the rest of Portugal) but I’m a bit surprised about how touristy it is in some places. People always describe it as if it some undiscovered country but nope, secret’s out.


      1. I was in Coimbra three years ago. I loved whatever part of Portugal I saw, but I never had the feeling that it was “undicovered”.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved Coimbra. We went to the same Fado performance! Do go to the University. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Fado performance could have easily been a tourist trap—instead they present it as a cultural and educational experience and it was perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. We also did a fado performance in Lisbon, with dinner. It was also very good, though it was individual singers with musicians, a couple of men and a couple of women. So dramatic. 🙂


  5. Oh! I love Portugal. However last time I was in Coimbra was eons ago… All I remember is my uncle taking me to “Portugal dos pequenitos”. Something like a miniature park where you can see what different parts of the Portuguese colonies where like. I loved it at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We saw that park from the outside. It was so strange—we could see plaster statues of African people that looked like horrendous stereotypes. Perhaps it is not that bad on the inside. Is your uncle Portuguese?


      1. Oh I’m sure it’s an ode to bad stereotypes but when you are a kid you don’t notice it that much… and yes, my uncle is Portuguese. well, my grandfather on my mom’s side is Portuguese and I was there visiting them.


  6. OMG, it’s sleeting in Vermont. How I wish I were in Portugal!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right!? We just got back to Chicago and I’m like “it’s not going to be 79 degrees every day?”


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