Where to eat in Lisbon
Where to eat in Lisbon? Lisbon is becoming increasingly popular these days. I first went there five years ago with my parents and it was with much delight that I decided to go back with my boyfriend. I was looking forward to showing him how beautiful, welcoming and surprisingly underrated Lisbon is. We had a great time, sunny weather – perhaps slightly too hot – and we were lucky not to be disappointed by any of our meals.
The range of food and drink is very wide, with many restaurants serving local dishes, using locally sourced ingredients. That means a lot of fresh fish, especially bacalao(codfish), but also sardinhas (sardines), pulpo (octopus) and lulas (calamari).
Here’s a list of places that I recommend. Click on the name of the restaurant and it'll take you to Google Maps.
My favourite restaurant! They grill fish and meat of different kinds. I tried calamari which came with potatoes, olive oil and lemon. It was so tasty…words don’t do it justice! My boyfriend had cod. In addition to the quality of the food, the service was kind and friendly; the owner so proud of his food and the restaurant! We finished with my beloved mousse au chocolat and everything, including a small bottle of wine, came to just €30.
A young, trendy restaurant with a menu that combines tradition with a bit of innovation. You can get a good bottle of wine for €10, which is a bonus point. We had the goat cheese in filo pasty, the marinated prawns and a codfish dish served in a kind of pea soup, we finished with a pannacotta.
We went for dinner on our first night in the narrow streets of Bairro Alto. We tried the octopus and the pimientos verdes with two glasses of wine, bread and olives. I loved the modern design of this restaurant and the kind waiters who explained the difference between the wines on offer.
You can’t go to Lisbon and not try the traditional Pastel de Nata, a sweet delicious tart you’ll find all over the city, thousands are baked everyday but this place is where it was first created by the monks of the Jeronimos Monastery (which you must visit). Hence why you’ll find crowds of people from all over the word queuing here for a box of these delicious tarts. Skip the queue and go inside, there are hundreds of tables. You can have a coffee and try all the pasteis de nata you want for a very reasonable price.
I went here five years earlier and it has now become a very popular place. It is recommended by Lonely Planet, which is obviously a great way for places like this to gain exposure. They make cheap kebabs and vegetarian pittas, in front of you and with the ingredients you want. Warning: you’ll get your hands dirty!
A very popular place, located close to Cais do Sodre. It’s an indoor market with lots of food stands where you order your food, pay and they give you a little gadget that vibrates when your food is ready. You then have to find a place to sit among the long crowded tables in the middle of the market. Try to go in the off-peak hours (e.g. after 10) and try one of the counters that belongs to four famous Portuguese chefs where you can try a Michelin-starred meal for less than €20.
A traditional restaurant offering traditional dishes. We tried the Cataplana, a fish soup for two with prawns, tomatoes, clams. We had half a bottle of wine, bread, olives and a ‘crema catalana’ for around €40.
If you are on the hunt for a Portuguese wine tasting experience, look no further. The owner speaks English well and will do his best to find a wine that you like. He lets you taste three different options before you decide which one you want to have a glass of. You can also suggest the price you’re willing to pay – we said we didn’t want to spend more than €6 per glass. Along with the wine we also enjoyed some tasters of three Portuguese olive oils with bread, salt, olives and homemade preserves.
That’s it! I hope you found this helpful. If you’re planning your next getaway I hope you’ll give this city a chance. You won’t be disappointed!