There’s been an explosion of great restaurants popping up across central Lisbon in recent years. It’s nice being spoilt for choice when you’re exploring Lisbon on our Seven Night City Break, but it can be tricky picking a place to eat. Our favourites tend to change each time we visit, but here’s our current top ten…
#01 – For a late breakfast or lunch, my go to place is the Nicolau Lisboa Café on Rua Nicolau; for eggs benedict, avocado on sourdough toast, or mascarpone and honey pancakes:
There are actually three Nicolau cafes across the city: the original Nicolau Lisboa, Amelia Lisboa (on Rua Ferreira Borges) and Basilio Lisboa (on Rua dos Bacalhoeiros) and all three menus are on their homepage at www.ilovenicolau.com.
#02– Just around the corner from Nicolau is Casa do Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau (on the crossroads of Rua de Sao Nicolau and Rua Augusta) – home to one of Lisbon’s most famous savoury dishes: Pasteis de Bacalhau. They’re delicious cod and potato fritters; the perfect snack when you’re on the move:
#03 – Lisbon’s oldest district Alfama has the city’s highest concentration of Fado restaurants. If you’re looking for an authentic Fado experience with a traditional Portuguese menu, head to Casa de Linhares (on Beco dos Armazens do Linho):
#04 – If you’re a sea-foodie, you might enjoy dinner at Cervejaria Ramiro (on the Avenida Almirante Reis). It’s a well-known, well-loved restaurant amongst residents of Lisbon, serving traditional Portuguese dishes based around fresh, seasonal ingredients: Clams, Crawfish and Gamba a la Aguilho. They’re also famous for their ‘unusual’ desert: Prego da Casa which is a steak sandwich. The ground floor can be busy but it’s great to watch the chefs working in their open kitchen – if you’d prefer a quieter table, upstairs is best:
#05 – One of the city’s most celebrated chefs in recent times has been Jose Avillez. He has several restaurants in the city – one of our favourites is Bairro do Avillez (on Rua Nova da Trindade) with it’s laid-back atmosphere, Bulhao Pato clams and coal-roasted blue lobster. If you’re looking for something a little different, book a table at the Beco Gourmet Cabaret. Inspired by the cabaret clubs of the 1920s, dinner and a show are intertwined – the menu isn’t revealed in advance and the whole experience lasts around two and half hours:
#06 – Heading down to the banks of the River Tagus, the city’s old Mercado da Ribeira river market has been revamped and repurposed as the Time Out Food Court. Many of Lisbon’s best chefs are conveniently crammed-together under one roof – there’s always a lively atmosphere and they’re open until 2am at weekends:
#07– From the Mercardo, it’s a short walk along Rua de Sao Paulo to another of Jose Alvillez’s projects at Cantina Peruana. It’s a joint venture with fellow chef Diego Munoz – a canteen and bar with a Peruvian menu: Munoz has long been a champion of South American cuisine:
#08– Lisbon has more than its fair-share of rooftop bars (maybe fifteen at our last count ?), but not quite so many rooftop restaurants. The Lumi Rooftop Bar (on the top floor of the ApartHotel Lumiares) is an ideal escape from the midday sun for a cold cocktail, or for dinner on the terrace, looking out over Lisbon’s magnificent nightscape:
#09 – Heading into the Principe Real district of Lisbon, you’d be forgiven for missing Tapisco – an unassuming little building squished between an optician and a sports shop. Tapsico specialises in Portuguese Petiscos and Spanish Tapas. There’s an important distinction to make between the two: whereas Tapas are distinct dishes in their own right, Petiscos are usually smaller, taster-versions of existing larger dishes. Tapisco’s creator is Henirque Sa Pessoa – owner of the Michelin-starred restaurant Alma in the Chiado district. Tapsico is a much-more informal affair:
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