Gothamist provides a nice overview of how to enjoy Portuguese food and culture in the Ironbound. I’ve been to all of their recommendations—while none of them are off the beaten trail, they’re all a great introductory walking tour of the neighborhood.
If you don’t have the time or money to cross the Atlantic to visit Portugal, then you can just traverse over another body of water (the Hudson) and find some great authentic food in New Jersey. If you take the PATH or NJ Transit into Newark—just a 30 minute ride when the trains operate as scheduled—you can explore Portuguese food and get a genuine sense of the culture.
Chef David Santos is one person who’d like to see Portuguese food get the credit it deserves. Most recently of the now-closed favorite Louro and currently heading up a series of pop-ups, the New Jersey-born chef grew up in the town of Perth Amboy, where many Portuguese immigrants have settled. He spent his youth surrounded by Portuguese food, from baking bread at home to butchering rabbits and pigs. He seemed the perfect companion to give us a tour of Newark’s historic Ironbound neighborhood, home to many Portuguese residents since the 1960’s.
Most of the Portuguese restaurants and shops are clustered around Ferry Street, which is an easy, direct walk from Newark-Penn Station.