Portugal Travel Tips

Great things to see and do in Portugal


How to buy meat in Portuguese butcher shops

The word for butcher in Portugal is “talho“. Don’t be confused by the Brazilian word, which is açougueiro. A butcher is o talho, which could mean a person who is a butcher or a butcher shop. You should be able to spot a butcher’s shop by the meat and the sign above the door, but if you see a directional sign pointing towards a “talho”, now you know what it points to.

The names of meat cuts in Portugal are very different from the cuts in the UK. For example, “lombo” sounds like it might be lamb, but it is a piece of loin. Bife is pronounced “beef”, but it is not cow meat, it means steak. You can order a bife de atúm (tuna steak), for instance, or a bife de porco (pork steak) - although the norm would be to order lombo de porco.

Animals and meat types in Portugal

Portuguese to English translations

  • O bezerro - calf
  • A carne de bezerro - calf meat (veal - see a vitela)
  • A carne de porco - pig meat (pork)
  • A carne de vaca - beef from a cow
  • O boi - ox
  • A cabra - goat
  • O carneiro - ram (sheep)
  • O coelho; a coelha - male rabbit (buck); female rabbit (doe)
  • O cordeiro - lamb
  • A galinha - chicken (hen)
  • A galinha d’angola - guinea fowl
  • O galo - cock
  • O ganso; a gansa - goose (male and young); goose (female)
  • O leitão - piglet
  • A ovelha - sheep (ewe)
  • O pato; a pata; o patinho - duck (male); duck (female); Duckling.
  • O pavão - peacock
  • O perú; a perúa - turkey cock; turkey hen
  • O porco - pig
  • O touro - bull
  • A vaca - cow
  • A vitela - veal

English to Portuguese translations

  • Beef - a carne de vaca (female)
  • Bull - o touro
  • Calf - o bezzero
  • Chicken (female) - a galinha; frango
  • Cock - o galo
  • Cow - a vaca
  • Duck; duckling - o pato (male); a pata (female); o patinho
  • Goat - a cabra
  • Goose - o ganso (male); a gansa (female); o ganso (young - gosling)
  • Guinea fowl - a galinha d’angola
  • Peacock - o pavão
  • Pig; piglet - o porcoleitão
  • Pigeon - o pombo (male); a pomba (female)
  • Pork meat - a carne do porco
  • Rabbit - o coelho (male); a coelha (female)
  • Rabbit meat - o carne de coelho
  • Ox - o boi
  • Sheep (ewe) - a ovelha (female - ewe); o carneiro (male - ram); o cordeiro (lamb)
  • Turkey - o perú (male); a perúa (female)
  • Veal - a vitela (o carne de bezerro)

Ordering meat dishes in Portugal

Portuguese to English

  • Bem passado - well done (cooking length)
  • Bifanas - thin pork steaks
  • Bife de vaca - beef steak
  • Bife de vazia - sirloin steak
  • Bitoque - minute steak
  • Borrego - lamb
  • Costeletas - rib cutlets
  • Costeletas de porco - pork chops
  • Costeletas de carneiro - lamb chops
  • Estufado - stewed (adjective)
  • Febras - pork steak
  • Fiambre - ham
  • Frango - the common way to order cooked chicken, especially grilled (Try um frango piri piri e um doce de batatas fritas - One piri piri chicken with a portion of french fries)
  • Grelhado - grilled
  • O lombo de porco - pork loin
  • Mal passado; muito mal passado - rare; very rare (cooking length)
  • Médio - medium (cooking length)
  • Picar - minced meat

English to Portuguese

  • Beef steak - bife de vaca
  • Boiled, stewed or baked - cozido (estufado can also be stewed, as an adjective)
  • Gammon steak
  • Grilled - grelhado
  • Ham - fiambre
  • Lamb chops - costeletas de cordeiro
  • Medium steak (cooking length) - médio
  • Minced meat - picar
  • Minute steak - bitoque
  • Pork loin - o lombo de porco
  • Pork chops - costeletas de porco
  • Pork steak - febras
  • Thin pork steaks - bifanas
  • Rare; very rare (cooking length) - mal passado; muito mal passado
  • Rib cutlets - costeletas
  • Roasted - assado
  • Sirloin steak - bife de vazia
  • Well-done (cooking length) - bem passado
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  1. Miemie

    Olá Steve,

    Muito obrigada pela sua ajuda. Gosto isso muito!

  2. Rowena

    Many thanks of this information, adds to my vocab and helps me at the local market/ Talho

  3. A

    Don’t mean to criticise, but talho is in fact a butchery and not the butcher person.
    *um frango piri piri e uma dose de batatas fritas*

  4. Brian Smith

    What is their equivalent name for “rump” steak?

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