Destinations / June 01, 2017. By Paulo Tavares
If you’re flying to Lisbon for a short break or maybe stopping off on your way back from a trip you’ll be wondering where to eat in Lisbon, we want you to enjoy a nice meal and get to taste our wonderful wines. You’ll be spoilt for choice in the capital. Here are our suggestions for dining out in Lisbon.
Rua Portas de Santo Antaõ 58, 1150 Lisbon
Tel: + 351 21 340 5140
Not far from Rossio Square in the city centre, Casa do Alentejo was created more than 94 years ago to be a meeting place for people from the Alentejo province and promote their culture in the Portuguese capital.
This former Moorish Palace is a serene sanctuary in the centre of Lisbon. The mosaics are incredible. A stunning outdoor courtyard with coloured tiles, palm trees and a fountain. The interior has walls adorned with murals, stained glass windows and high ceilings. The restaurant is on the top floor and serves traditional Alentejo food.
A typical dish from the Alentejo is pork and clams, carna de porco á alentejana or the soup açorda alentejana, bread soup flavoured with coriander, garlic, olive oil and a poached egg. They have an extensive wine list including of course wines from the alentejo region and if you haven’t discovered the wines from the Alentejo yet you are in for a treat.
Some of the waiters speak very little English and the service is a bit slow. Try to arrive early as otherwise you may have to wait to get a table.
Just beside the main building of Casa do Alentejo there is Casa do Alentejo café where you can sample the traditional Alentejo flavours; breads, cheese, cakes and wines from the province.
Mercado da Ribeira, Avenida 24 de Julho, 1200-479 Lisbon
Tel: + 351 21 395 1274
It is one of Lisbon’s most popular attractions a must-see spot for tourists who visit for the first time and are wondering where to eat in Lisbon. It is a food court giving you loads of choice from traditional Portuguese options to burgers, pizza, sushi, seafood, sandwiches and Asian food. It’s a great way to get a sample of some of Lisbon’s best restaurants and bars and from Thursday to Saturday it is open until 2.00am.
The food court is self-service and there are more than 30 great Lisbon restaurants represented. There are 500 seats indoors and another 250 in the terrace area, but even so it can be difficult to get a place to sit. If you are in a group the best thing to do is find a place to sit and then go for food, don’t leave the seats unattended.
To avoid the crowds come for lunch before midday or after 2.00pm and for dinner arrive before 7.00pm or prepare to wait a bit and avoid Sundays if you can. Many of the stalls also offer takeaway.
Rua Nova de Trindade 18, 1200-303 Lisbon
Tel: +351 21 583 0290
You can’t talk about where to eat in Lisbon without mentioning chef José Avillez, one of Portugal’s best chefs. His restaurants are among Lisbon’s best. He has a 2 Michelin starred restaurant Belcanto where you can enjoy Portuguese cuisine with a contemporary flair. At his spacious Bairro do Avillez, you’ll find a restaurant with several different eating areas under one roof. There’s the traditional Taberna in the front where you can try several smaller and (cheaper) dishes instead of one main meal. Páteo is in a spacious courtyard where can enjoy fresh fish and seafood, among other dishes.
Avenida Almirante Reis no. 1-H, 1150-007 Lisbon
Tel: +351 21 885 1024
Portugal is a great place to eat seafood and no doubt you’ll be wondering where to eat in Lisbon. Cervejaria Ramiro is famous for its shellfish, simple and fresh. It is a big restaurant and always very busy. There is something for everyone, for every budget. The atmosphere is informal and the service is fast and efficient. They charge by the kilo except for the clams and prawns in olive oil and garlic butter.
You get a ticket at the entrance and wait for it to show up on a screen in the outside area. You have to pay attention because the numbers are not called consecutively. If you arrive before 7.00 pm you’ll find a table. The menu is on a tablet with multilingual descriptions and pictures of items to choose from.
We shared one very large tiger prawn between two. Dip the bread they serve at the start of the meal in the sauce used to cook the prawn. All dishes are made with the freshest top quality ingredients. There are no side dishes like veg or fries, but plenty of beer.
Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 23, 1150-264 Lisbon
Tel: + 351 21 342 1466
Gambrinus is an up-market reataurant, but it ‘s not pretentious. It is a place to try traditional, very well prepared Portuguese food. The highlights are the seafood dishes, there is a great selection of wines, beers and spirits and the service is top notch. The value quality relation is very good, but don’t eat here if you are on a budget.
Cais do Sodré, Rua Cintura do Porto, Lisbon
Tel: + 351 938 477 912
Portugália specialises in seafood, fish and steak with a special sauce. The wine list and choice of beers are great, the service is nice and quick. We had bacalhau à Brás (cod with egg and fried potatoes). You can sit outside and enjoy the riverview. Afterwards you can go for a lovely stroll along the river.
Rua dos Sapateiros 230, 1100-062 Lisbon
Tel: + 351 21 342 5135
Merendinha do Arco is a small busy restaurant near Rossio square in the centre of Lisbon. They serve traditional Portuguese food and most of the tables are long tables where you sit with other customers. Because of the location is very popular with locals and tourists alike. The portions are generous and the menu is in English and Portuguese. The daily specials are highly recommended.
Rua dos Sapateiros 218, 1100-062 Lisbon
Tel: + 351 21 343 1415
A small restaurant in a great location that can get very busy. They offer mainly Portuguese dishes; Seafood rice, roast octopus and spare ribs. Pay attention to the daily specials. The portions are generous and the house wine is good.
Rua dos Correeiros 222, 1100 Lisbon
Tel: + 351 21 342 4757
A very old restaurant located close to the city centre that never closes. Reasonably priced with friendly, quick service. We tried the grilled sardines and bacalhau à Brás which were delicious.
Codfish and backed potatoes
Rua da Manutencão 40, 1900 Lisbon
Tel: 351 21 868 2235
Located in the industrial port near the Tile Museum Museu Nacional do Azulejo this restaurant is a bit further than the other restaurants from the city centre. You can taste authentic Portuguese dishes. It is famous for the codfish. Not as cheap as the other restaurants but the service is friendly and quick.
Avenida Duque de Ávila 17, 1000 Lisbon
Tel: +351 21 354 6733
A popular local restaurant near Saldanha metro station. They serve popular Portuguese fish and meat dishes. The portions are generous. The price is very reasonable and the staff are friendly.
I hope I have inspired your dining experience in Lisbon, if you do try any of these restaurants or if there are others you’d like to tell us about, please share your thoughts in the comments below.
For more suggestions of places to eat in Lisbon read The Hidden Gems of Lisbon’s Campo de Ourique