scorecardresearch Skip to main content

For Day of Portugal, here’s a menu from coffee to cod to cocktails

Young people in costume from Rancho Folclorico of the Portuguese Social Club of Pawtucket marched behind their float and the US and Portuguese flags during PVDFest in Providence last year.Glen Osmundson for The Boston Globe

PVDFest is moving from the second weekend of June to September this year. Which means one thing: Day of Portugal will take center stage in downtown Providence yet again.

For much of the last decade, the Day of Portugal festivities have been like an Iberian peninsula on the continental-scale PVDFest. No more! Força, and things of that nature.

A listing of events is available online, but highlights include the festival in the BankNewport City Center on Saturday (which is the actual Day of Portugal) and Sunday, and the parade on Sunday.

For the local Portuguese, Portuguese-speaking, and Portuguese-American community, it’s a chance to ease your saudade, or your sense of longing and nostalgia.


And also eat really good food! Yes, Portuguese is a sentimental culture, but it’s a hungry one, too. So to celebrate Day of Portugal – the full name is Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas – Rhode Map has compiled this guide on how to eat like a Portuguese Rhode Islander all day. (For more food, make sure you sign up for Alexa Gagosz’s food newsletter.) De nada.


Cafe Zara is a European cafe with Portuguese influences in East Providence. You can get the galão, which is a good coffee and a good opportunity to pronounce all the nasal vowels you’ll be using today.


Time for a pastel de nata (a custard tart) at Silver Star in Fox Point. Then you’ll want a second. A third for the road, just in case.

Post-breakfast snack

After all those pastéis de nata, what’s better than a few more pastéis de nata? Go back to East Providence for a slightly cakier version at Taunton Avenue Bakery. The Portuguese language actually doesn’t have a phrase for “I’ve had enough pastéis de nata.” OK, that might not be true, but I don’t know how to say it.



Campino’s is a cozy restaurant tucked away on Warren Avenue in EP. No day of eating Portuguese is complete without salted cod, and Campino’s menu has one of the best preparations: bacalhau à brás.

Post-coffee snack

You’re probably already full, but there’s always room for a tin of sardines. Friends Market in Providence has them the way Avô liked them: cheaper than at the grocery store. Crack that bad boy in India Point Park and eat it with a fork. Just watch out for the seagulls.


I have three recommendations for dinner: O Dinis, O Dinis, and O Dinis. Go on Monday fado night and you’re really in luck at this EP mainstay.

Post-dinner drinks

A day of eating Portuguese is almost at an end. It’s time for a nightcap. And that means the return of the pastel de nata – but in cocktail form at Aguardente back in Providence. Raise that glass and say it with me: A nossa!

This story first appeared in Rhode Map, our free newsletter about Rhode Island that also contains information about local events, links to interesting stories, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail Monday through Friday, you can sign up here.

Brian Amaral can be reached at Follow him @bamaral44.