eating nut free in portugal, restaurant overlooking douro river in Portugal.

How To Eat Nut Free in Portugal At Every Meal | Navigating a Nut Allergy in Portuguese

Are you planning a trip to Portugal with nut allergies? While navigating a nut allergy in Portuguese can be stressful, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the beautiful sights and tastes of the country. As a source of delicious wine and stunning cork, there is so much to explore, from Lisbon to Porto and everywhere in between. With the right pre-trip research, planning, and considerations, you can successfully enjoy your nut free Portuguese adventure. Read on for your complete meal guide for eating nut free in Portugal at every meal, whether you’re allergic to tree nuts or peanuts. 

If you’re looking for more information on traveling to Portugal with food allergies, check out our Portugal food allergy blog post.


Traveling Nut Free in Portugal 

Traveling with a nut allergy in Portugal can be stressful for those navigating peanut allergies, tree nut allergies, or both. With so many nuts to consider, communication and cross-contamination is a main concern. However, by having a strong understanding of the local Portuguese cuisine, where nuts are most likely to be present, and how to effectively communicate your allergies and needs in Portuguese, you can feel more confident and prepare accordingly. I’ve worked with several families to help them plan nut free trips and find delicious meals and options that are free of nuts, and I’d love to help you do the same!


When planning your itinerary, be sure to do your pre-trip research and reach out to restaurants that you plan to visit to ensure they understand your nut allergies and are able to accommodate them. 


Communicate your nut allergy in Portuguese clearly by learning the Portuguese words for all of your specific nut allergies, including all tree nuts and peanuts. 


Here are a few important phrases to learn when communicating a nut allergy in Portuguese:


  • Nut allergy: Alergia a nozes
  • Peanuts: Amendoins
  • Tree nuts: Frutos secos 

Again, be sure to learn the Portuguese words for all of your tree nut allergens, such as almonds, walnuts, etc. 

Additionally, make sure all of your nut allergies, whether peanuts or tree nuts, are listed on your Portuguese food allergy chef card. Carry this with you at all times and be specific when talking with chefs and restaurant staff to ensure your allergies are communicated clearly and understood. 


Peanut Free Portugal Tips

Peanuts are not super common in Portuguese cooking, but that does not mean they are non-existent. They can be found in some desserts and pastry items, so always be sure to double-check for their use and cross-contamination. Sometimes they are switched out with tree nuts, in sauces, or used for decoration. While they are mainly limited, if they are used for even one dish, it means they are in the kitchen and something to be concerned about for cross contamination.

Portugal is one of the largest producers of olive oil in the world, so that is their most commonly used oil for cooking, which is great if you have a peanut allergy. However, be sure to double-check that peanut oil is not being used in restaurants. 


Tree Nut Free Portugal Tips

Tree nuts are more common in Portuguese dishes, especially almonds and other nuts in bakery items and sauces. The Algarve region is well-known for its almond trees, making almonds a key tree nut to look out for. Pine nuts can also sometimes be used in rice dishes. 

There are still limited nut kitchens that can be found, so be sure to look for these when doing your restaurant research. In larger cities, you’ll find a variety of restaurants available that have more options and can more likely accommodate your needs.

Overall, meat or fish grilled in a safe pan will be a great option for those eating nut free in Portugal. Just keep in mind, nuts may still be in the kitchen, but with the right protocols for cross-contamination, it can still be an option to consider. Of course always go over current protocols once at the restaurant along with your food allergy chef card.

How to Eat Nut Free in Portugal At Every Meal

With a better understanding of eating peanut free in Portugal and/or tree nut free in Portugal, let’s take a look at some great nut free meal options for any time of day!


At breakfast, be cautious of any type of bread, pastry, or pre-packaged item. Be sure to double-check it for cross-contamination or any “may contain” warnings for peanuts or tree nuts. 

If you rent an apartment or another accommodation with a kitchen, making breakfast yourself can save you time before you head out for the day and save you the stress of navigating breakfast with your allergies. 

If you do stay at a hotel, be sure to confirm whether breakfast is buffet-style or a la carte. Confirm if it is more of an American, Portuguese, or British-style breakfast, depending on the hotel brand. 

A la carte breakfasts tend to be the best option for those with nut allergies, as you can select specific items to be prepared just for you, such as fruit, eggs, etc. Confirm kitchen protocols before you book and then again before your arrival. 



For lunch, grilled meat and fish, meat or fish stews, and rice dishes are popular. These are often safe options for those navigating nut allergies, but again, be sure to double-check on the use of nuts, nut oils, and cross-contamination. Pine nuts can sneak into rice dishes, so be aware of that. Bifanas and Francesinha are delicious sandwiches that are iconic in Portuguese cooking. 

Bifanas are made with pork, bread, and a variety of toppings like egg, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and bacon. Most marinades are nut free, but double-check to ensure peanut oil or other nut ingredients aren’t added in, as every restaurant makes their own unique type of marinade. If the bread is made in house or they can show you the packaging for cross-contamination, that is the best option.

Francesinha is made with bread, ham, sausage, and steak, and covered with melted cheese and egg on top. Double-check to ensure the bread and dipping sauce does not contain nut ingredients and cross-contamination is not a risk. The same recommendation applies here as above regarding the bread used in this dish. 

paella for nut free lunch option in portugal


Nut free and peanut free dinner options in Portugal are similar to lunch. Be very cautious of anything fried, due to cross-contamination or the presence of peanut or nut oil. Again, grilled meat and fish options, meat and fish stews, and most rice dishes are good options. Many places may have the ability to make a simple grilled chicken, steak, or fish, vegetables, and potatoes. 

Bacalhau is a delicious dish that can be found and enjoyed at dinner. It combines codfish and other ingredients, such as egg scramble, potatoes, onions, garlic, onions, and parsley. If the codfish is fried, just ensure peanut or tree nut oil is not being used. 

Another iconic dish is Arroz de Pato, which contains shredded duck, chourico, onions, wine, and rice. There are also seafood versions available. This is a delicious dish that can be enjoyed by those with nut allergies so long that peanut or nut oils and cross-contamination is not a risk in the kitchen with proper protocols. 



For dessert, the famous Portuguese tart, Pastel de Nata, is commonly found. It is made with flour, butter, eggs, cinnamon, and sugar. It can often be found nut free when it is the only item made there, but it’s always best to confirm where these tarts are made and if any other pastries that may contain peanuts or tree nuts are made on the same equipment or in the same kitchen, making cross-contamination a risk. 

pastel de nata desert nut free in portugal

While Portugal is not a completely nut free region and almonds are commonly used, it is absolutely possible to eat peanut free and tree nut free in Portugal. 

Be sure to do thorough research, communicate your nut allergy in Portuguese clearly, carry your food allergy chef card with all of your specific allergies and nut allergies listed, and never be afraid to ask questions (and double-check to ensure your confidence and the understanding of chefs and restaurant staff). 

If you’d like more personalized advice and assistance planning your nut free trip to Portugal, I’d love to help you! 

Visit my contact page to book a consultation with me and inquire about my full-service travel planning, where I’ll help you plan an enjoyable trip from start to finish according to your food allergies and needs. 

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