Living in Lisbon for over a year, I realize that there are two main themes in the city’s gastronomical scene - the dominance of homey mom-and-pop restaurants at nearly every corner, and that the Portuguese love bacalhau (salted and dried cod fish). Many of the family owned restaurants offer really delicious comida (food) at rather inexpensive prices (around 5-10 euros). This, however, isn’t a guide to those types of typical restaurants, but the ones that make Lisbon a culinary destination – contemporary, internationally-minded restaurants that have opened in the last few years. We’re talking honors such as Michelin Stars!
Inspired by the Time Out Lisboa Restaurant Guide, my boyfriend and I decided to try them all. Below is a list of our favorites from the outstanding guide and some more that have become our favorites in the past year.
Largo Restaurant in Lisboa
This is definitely one of my favorites! Largo has a great ambiance, a modern and sophisticated design, great service and absolutely delicious food. The décor is elegant and spacious with a high brick ceiling, built in aquariums, and separate smoking and non-smoking sections. The cuisine is contemporary Portuguese with specialties such as the “Stock Pigeon”, the " Bisaro Suckling Pig”, and the “Scarlet Shrimp and Foie Gras”. They offer a range of tasting menus, which I recommend. And one of my all time favorites is “The Venison”, which is tenderloin smothered in shiitake mushroom and foie gras sauce with pine nuts risotto. Mmmm
Address: Rua Serpa Pinto, 10 (Baixa neighborhood)
Tel: 213 477 225
Hours: Mon – Fri 12:30pm – 00:30am; Sat 18:00pm – 00:30am; Closed on Sundays
Quinta dos Frades
Quinta dos Frades is a formal low-lit and romantic restaurant offering delicious international cuisine. It’s located in a residential area and may be hard to find from the metro so it’s worth getting a taxi to get there. Try the foie gras appetizer and the spicy “Stake Diabolo" or “Bocatto di Cardinale” for your entrée. Those two made me want to return to Quinta dos Frades for more.
Address: Rua Luís de Freitas Branco, 5
Tel.: 217 598 980
Hours: Mon – Fri 12:30pm – 3:30pm, 7:30pm – 11:30pm; Sat 8:00pm – 1:00am; Closed on Saturdays for lunch and closed on Sundays and holidays.
Bocca's young chef Alexandre works mainly with Portuguese seasonal products and has created a stylish culinary must! He knows how to create great sophisticated flavors such as the starter which includes foie gras on a mango tarte tatin and Ginja de Obidos (a Portuguese liquor) reduction and cocoa caviar. Entrees include dishes such as a twist on the usual cod fish, along with a poached egg and potato foam. For dessert, I recommend the Horta Doce (“sweet garden” in English) which includes carrot pudding, celery ice cream, caramelized pumpkin, crystallized tomato and chocolate. It's one of the most memorable desserts I've ever tired. It's a garden of exceptional flavors!
Address: Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 87-D
Tel.: 213 808 383
Metro: Marques de Pombal
Hours: Tue-Fri 12:30pm – 2:30pm, 7:30pm – 11:00pm; Sat 1:00pm – 3:00pm, 7:30-11:00pm; Closed on Sundays and Mondays
This is a trendy foodie restaurant and should be on your restaurant list. The décor is a form of Andy Warhol style pop art that takes you back to the 60’s. The attentive and friendly waiter who speaks perfect English will bring out loads of little appetizer dishes for you to try to place them on the placemats made of old vinyl records. Great tasting menu.
Address: Largo de Santos, 9C (Santos neighborhood)
Tel: 213 963 419
Metro: Cais do Sodré
Hours: Tue – Wed 12:30pm – 3pm, 7:30pm – 11pm; Thu – Fri 12:30pm – 3pm, 7:30pm – 11:30pm; Sat 6:30pm – 11:30pm; Closed on Sundays and Mondays
Who knew that Chinese food in Portugal can be so good? It is in this formal Chinese restaurant located in the Casino Estoril. The menu is very extensive with over 100 dishes. I recommend starting with the dim sum menu (Chinese dumplings) that will not disappoint.
Address: Praca Jose Teodoro dos Santos (Estoril – outside of Lisbon)
Tel.: 214 667 270
Metro: Cais do Sodré and transfer to the train heading to Cascais. Get out at the Estoril station
Hours: Wed-Sun 12:00pm-3:00pm, 7:00pm-11:00pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Pizzeria Casanova in Lisbon
Located right on the docks along the Tagus River, Casanova is definitely the best pizzeria in Lisbon and a must when in town. No reservations are accepted so be prepared to wait on line for at least half an hour but it’s definitely worth it! Also don’t be surprised to be seated on the same table with strangers, it’s all part of the lively atmosphere and adds to the experience. Thin crust pizza with fresh ingredients and a large selection of toppings such as truffle mushrooms, spicy sausage, and pesto. The pizza dough isn’t exclusively for the main dish but for dessert with toppings such as honey and mascarpone cheese – not to miss! It’s absolutely delicious and you might just come back here at least once more. Outdoor seating is also available.
Address: Avenida Infante D. Henrique - Cais da Pedra a Bica do Sapato, Armazem B, loja 7
Tel.: 218 877 532
Metro: Santa Apolónia
Hours: 12:30pm to 1:30am; Closed Mondays
Café do Rio
If you’re in the mood for a burger when in Lisbon, look no further than this gourmet hamburger spot. The menu has a selection of all types of burgers that are split into three categories – traditional, spicy and the house specialties, which even include a veggie burger. I personally love the Hamburger Diablo which is topped with spicy Padrón peppers.
Address: Rua da Alfândega, 114
Tel.: 218 868 050
Metro: Estacao Terreiro do Paco or Baixa-Chiado
Hours: Mon: 12-3pm; Tue-Sat 12-3pm, 7-11pm; Closed on Sundays
Lisbon’s oldest restaurant which opened back in 1784, it is one of the city’s most expensive and luxurious restaurants. Come here for traditional Portuguese cuisine in grandeur style.
Address: Rua da Misericórdia, 37 (Baixa neighborhood)
Tel.: 213 421 112
Hours: Tue – Sat 12:00pm - 11:00pm; Closed on Sundays and Mondays
Solar dos Presuntos
Like the many homey mom-and-pop restaurants all around Lisbon, this one is extremely popular for its traditional fare and homey feel. The restaurant is known for its dishes originating from the Northern part of Portugal and its collection of vinho verde (young "green" wine) from that region.
Address: Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, 150 (Baixa neighborhood)
Tel.: 213 424 253
Hours: Mon – Sat 12:00 (noon) – 11:00pm; Closed on Sundays and holidays
Comments about places to eat in Lisbon Portugal
Liz Westwood from UK on April 02, 2018:
We've been to Lisbon and the surrounding area twice. Both were memorable holidays. This gives a good insight into dining there.
Janisa from Earth on March 29, 2018:
Bocca's desserts and dishes are tempting! Really want to see what celery ice cream tastes like! Living in Lisboa must be really nice, love the city
mikebarbaro on December 02, 2016:
I would love to visit Lisbon! It's on my bucket list. This list reminds me of a similar list posted online I saw about Pittsburgh restaurants at http://downtownpittsburghrestaurants.com
Ann Handley on June 18, 2013:
I am looking for restaurant supplies. I own a restaurant business 2 months ago. Can anybody suggestion me online store in Colorado area. I Googled some sites today morning. I found this one http://www.chefneeds.com/
Sam Graham from Australia on October 07, 2012:
Bacalhau - that brings back some memories. I had some lovely food in Lisbon, but when we travelled up to the north I was less impressed. It was quite a while ago so maybe things have changed.
My husband and son ordered a plate of pigs ears, they came piled up high with a Portuguese flag impaled on top of the pigs ear mountain.
Jkoska on September 20, 2012:
We found this article to be extremely helpful! Based off of your advice, we decided to eat at Largo for dinner tonight. The meal was fabulous and service was excellent! We highly recommend it to anyone visiting Lisboa!
Anna (author) from New York, NY on March 22, 2012:
Thanks you, Jojokaya!
jojokaya from USA on March 22, 2012:
Great hub, very informative
Anna (author) from New York, NY on January 19, 2012:
Hey Cardozo7, yeah my boyfriend and I were only fortunate enough to find out about some of them from the Time Out Lisboa guide and tried them because of their awesome reviews.
Cardozo7 from Portugal on January 19, 2012:
I'm from Lisbon and did know about all of this restaurants. Shame on me!
susan on January 11, 2012:
Great article ... and potentially useful as we are in Lisbon currently. We tried the Pizzeria Casanova on our trip here last year and thought it was fabulous.
Thanks for this!
Anna (author) from New York, NY on December 21, 2011:
Thanks so much, ripplemaker and natures47friends! I hope the guide will help tourists in choosing restaurants in this charming city :) Thanks for reading and your votes!
natures47friend from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand. on December 21, 2011:
Great informative hub on Portugal!...you and your boyfriend were very busy eating at a lot of places!....lol
Great research....congrats on your nomination!
up, awesome and interesting.
Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on December 21, 2011:
This is helpful esp. for tourists. Great idea and congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. Be sure to read and vote, the link https://pattyinglishms.hubpages.com/hubnuggets6/hu...
Anna (author) from New York, NY on December 18, 2011:
Thank you, cardelean! I hope you do come to Portugal one day, it's a great tourist destination... and a foodie one as well :)
cardelean from Michigan on December 17, 2011:
Great guide. I have never been to Portugal but if I make it there one day, I'll have to check out these restaurants. Congrats on your nomination and welcome to Hubpages.
Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on November 30, 2011:
I have not been to Portugal but I enjoyed reading this article. Some of the sweets I enjoy today were originally Portuguese recipes, brought to India when they colonized Indian city of Goa, and from India they came to Nepal.
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