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What is a Portuguese Tapas bar?

The truth is Tapas bars are not traditional in Portugal. Instead, we serve Petiscos!


A selection of tapas dishes available for lunch and every tuesday evening at Jorge's Tapas Bar in Norwich
Tapas dishes at Jorge's Tapas Bar in Norwich

What does Petiscos Mean?

Translated the tapa and the petisco means a delicatessen or a snack, a 'small' thing prepared and cooked in a special way that concentrates more or quality than quantity. Petiscos is the Portuguese version of Tapas.

Portuguese Petiscos vs. Spanish Tapas – What’s the difference?

Culinary traditions often transcend border, weaving intricate stories of culturue, history, and regional pride. In the rich tapestry of Iberian gastronomy, two beloved culinary traditions stand out: Portuguese petiscos and Spanish tapas. While these bite-sized delights may seem similar at first glance, delving deeper unveils their unique flavors, ingredients, and cultural significance. Let's embark on a flavorful journey to explore the subtle yet distinct differences between Portuguese petiscos and Spanish tapas.

Origin’s and cultural significance:

Both petiscos and tapas originate from humble beginnings, rooted in the conviviality of sharing small plates among friends and family.


Although most narratives point to Andualusia as the birthplace of this beloved Spanish tradition, various regions across Spain lay individual clain to its inception. A key cud to unravelling this mystery lies in the etymology of the word itself. “Tapa” means ‘lid’ and stems from the verb “tapear,” which means ‘to cover’. Many believe that the practice of tapas arose when tavern owners started covering patrons’ drinks with a slice of bread, ham, or cheese to prevent flies and dust from contaminating beverages.


Some people say the creation of tapas was in the 13th century by king Alfonso X of Castile. While recovering from an illness, the ling could only eat and drink in small amounts. After regaining his health, he made a decree that all drinks should be served with something to eat.

Similarly, in Portugal, petiscos have a long standing tradition deeply embedded in the county’s culinary heritage. The term "petisco" derives from the verb "petiscar," which means to nibble or snack. Historically, petiscos were simple dishes served in taverns and cafes to accompany drinks, providing sustenance and enhancing social gatherings.

So… why Jorge’s Restaurant serve tapas instead of Petiscos?

When we first opened Jorge’s we launched with a Petiscos menu and we tried everything possible to educate people about what Petiscos are and why they’re amazing… at the time it simply didn’t work. People had never heard of “Petiscos” and didn’t relate to the word. We quickly adapted and changed the name from Petiscos to Tapas and were instantly busy!


So yes it’s true, Portugal isn’t typically know for serving Tapas but at Jorge’s we wanted our food concept to be easily understood and that’s why we made the switch from Petiscos to Tapas!!!!


Here, at Jorge’s we have become known for our great selection of Portuguese Tapas dishes, with a variety of meat, seafood and vegetable dishes you have come to love.

So now you know why we serve tapas & not petiscos lets explore the benefits which for us go way beyond just taste!


Beyond the tantalizing flavors and diverse offerings, tapas bar dining offers a plethora of benefits that extend far beyond the confines of the dining table. Let's explore why indulging in tapas isn't just about savouring delicious bites but also about embracing a holistic dining experience.


1.     Culinary Adventure: Tapas dining invites diners on a culinary adventure, allowing them to explore a variety of flavours, textures, and ingredients in a single meal. From savoury classics like our sauteed tiger prawns and octopus to innovative creations featuring our ceviche and Portuguese chouricos & chargrilled pork ribs, tapas menus offer something for every palate. The small plate format encourages experimentation, empowering diners to step outside their culinary comfort zones and discover new favourites with each bite.

2.     Social Connection: At its core, tapas dining is about more than just food—it's about fostering connections and building relationships. The shared nature of tapas encourages communal dining experiences, where friends, family, and even strangers come together to share stories, laughter, and, of course, delicious food. The act of passing plates, pouring drinks, and engaging in lively conversation creates an atmosphere of warmth and conviviality, turning a meal into a memorable social event.

3.     Variety and Flexibility: One of the greatest advantages of tapas dining is its versatility and flexibility. Whether you're dining solo or with a group, tapas menus offer options to suit every occasion and appetite. From casual nibbles over drinks to a full-fledged feast of small plates, diners have the freedom to tailor their dining experience according to their preferences. Additionally, the small portion sizes allow for sampling a wide range of dishes without overindulging, making tapas dining ideal for those with varying tastes and dietary restrictions.

4.     Healthier Choices: In addition to its social and culinary benefits, tapas dining also promotes healthier eating habits. The emphasis on small portions encourages mindful eating, allowing diners to savour each bite and recognize when they're satisfied rather than stuffed. Furthermore, tapas often feature fresh, seasonal ingredients, lean proteins, and heart-healthy fats, making them a nutritious choice for those seeking lighter fare. By offering a balance of flavours and textures, tapas dining encourages moderation without sacrificing taste or enjoyment.

5.     Cultural Immersion: Finally, tapas dining provides an opportunity for cultural immersion, our Portuguese tapas uses local ingredients to showcase Portugal dishes and traditions. By sampling a diverse array of dishes, diners can gain insight into the cultural tapestry, enriching their culinary journey with newfound knowledge and appreciation.


In conclusion, tapas dining offers a multifaceted experience that transcends mere sustenance, embracing the values of exploration, connection, and celebration. Whether you're sharing small plates with loved ones or embarking on a solo culinary adventure, the benefits of tapas dining extend far beyond the confines of the dining table, enriching both body and soul. So, next time you find yourself craving a meal that nourishes both palate and spirit, consider indulging in the art of tapas dining—it's an experience you won't soon forget.

Jorge’s Restaurant serve Tapas dishes every lunchtime!


But wait! That’s not all...


At lunch time it’s not just tapas on the menu you can also enjoy our great selection of steaks, our Iberian Black Pork & Mozambique Tiger Prawns! Check out our lunch specials, currently Piri Piri chicken and "Bife a Portuguesa" - Rump Steak - Portuguese style steak with fried egg, served with fried potatoes


Did you know that every Tuesday Night it’s Tapas Tuesday???? That’s right every Tuesday evening you can enjoy our tapas lunch for dinner, this replaces our usual dinner menu, but don’t worry if Tapas isn’t your thing our steak menu is still available!


We can’t wait to welcome you to Jorge’s Portuguese Tapas Bar in Norwich!

Take care my friends and see you soon!


Jorge x

Photo of dining table at Jorge's Portuguese Tapas Bar in Norwich, Nofolk
Jorge's Portuguese Tapas Bar in Norwich, Nofolk


Wine We have a selection of handpicked fine wines at Jorge’s to suit all tastes and budgets and are very happy to recommend a perfect pairing to your chosen dish. Click here to view our wine list

Allergen Information

If you have an allergy, please notify us when making your reservation and inform a member of staff when ordering your food. Please ask for menu assistance and ingredient information.

Not sure what to order?

Our experienced, food-passionate team will be happy to talk you through our menu and answer any questions you may have.

How to book

Tables can be booked online by clicking here or by calling us on 01603 764 441

You can dine inside or outside in our private courtyard - when the weather permits!

Opening times Jorge's Restaurant




Lunch 12pm with the last sitting at 2.15pm

Dinner 5.30pm to 9pm (Tapas and Steak menu)


Lunch 12pm with the last sitting at 2.15pm

Dinner 5.30pm with the last sitting at 9 pm


Lunch with the last sitting at 2.15pm

Dinner 5.30pm with the last sitting at 9pm


Lunch with the last sitting at 2.15pm

Dinner 5.30pm with the last sitting at 9.30pm


Lunch with the last sitting at 2.15pm

Dinner 5.30pm with the last sitting at 9.30pm







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