After living in the Portuguese capital for four years and eating at hundreds of Lisbon restaurants, we’re sharing our favorites which range from cheap eats to fine dining. In other words, these are our picks for the best restaurants in Lisbon.
Living in Lisbon for four years has been a ride filled with more bumps and curves than a journey on the city’s infamous 28 tram.
The Lisbon food scene was different when we moved to Portugal’s capital city back in January of 2019. Back then, it was typical to order a three course lunch, including a huge plate of Cosido a la Portuguesa, soup, dessert and a carafe of wine, for under 10 euros.
For better and worse, those days are pretty much over. Prices are up due to the current economy’s inflationary pressures. Three course lunches remain a great bargain for under 15€ while savvy diners can still find lunch steals for under 10€. And on a positive note, the number of quality dining spots has grown faster than the city itself.
Discover the Lisbon food favorites not to miss during your visit.
Lately, each walk through restaurant-dense neighborhoods like Chiado and Principe Real reveals an undiscovered spot around every corner. While these new eateries excite us, we’ve learned to appreciate the simple pleasures of the Lisbon dining scene which celebrates both ageless Portuguese classics and impeccable sushi.
Some Lisbon restaurants are cheap. Some are cool and trendy. Others are family friendly or suitable for special occasions. But the best places to eat in Lisbon focus on one thing – great food.
Make advance reservations if you’re looking to eat at one of the hottest Lisbon restaurants. Otherwise, you’ll likely experience dining disappointment.
Where to Eat in Lisbon | The Best Restaurants in Lisbon
It’s no secret. Not all Lisbon restaurants are great. In fact, some are flat-out awful. Since we’ve lived here for a while, our goal is to point you in the right direction whether you’re visiting or just moved to the city. So, cutting to the chase…
These are our picks for the best restaurants in Lisbon, Portugal:
1. Cervejaria Ramiro – Iconic Lisbon Seafood Restaurant
We’ve eaten at a lot of seafood restaurants all over Lisbon. Ramiro is our favorite despite the constant flow of tourists who consistently flock to the Intendente marisqueira six nights of the week like clockwork.
This is the restaurant where we’ve taken many of our guests including both of our mothers. Nobody has been disappointed yet. Sometimes, though, we just go ourselves and order a plate or two of Gambas Aguillo. Yes – it’s possible to dine at Ramiro without eating the entire Atlantic Ocean.
Read our Cervejaria Ramiro restaurant review.
We dare you to find better Gambas Aguillo. The cooks just do it better at Ramiro. In fact, Ramiro’s garlic shrimp is so good that, if you’re on a budget, you could satisfy yourself with an order of shrimp, some clams and the restaurant’s butter-slathered Bolo de Caco, a style of bread more typically served in Madeira.
If you want to spend a little more, Ramiro’s big clawed sapateira (crabs) are a party for the table. Those who really want to blow it out can order lobster, percebes (goose barnacles) and spanilha (small conches). Ramiro’s enormous tiger shrimp are big, beautiful and unforgettable while their pricey carabineiro (red prawns) are unique to the Iberian peninsula. On the right day, if you’re lucky, lingueirão (razor clams) may be on the menu too.
Be aware that you’ll likely encounter a wait for your table but that’s part of the Ramiro experience. Grab a couple aluminum bottles of cheap beer in the waiting area and expect to chill for 30 to 90 minutes. It’s worth the wait to eat some of the best seafood in Lisbon.
Cervejaria Ramiro is located at Avenida Almirante Reis 1 H, 1150-007 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Seafood Restaurants in Lisbon
A Cevicheria, Cervejaria Liberdade, Cervejaria Pinóquio, Marisqueira Nunes and Sea Me
2. Belcanto – Lisbon’s Most Lauded Michelin Starred Restaurant
We still don’t understand why Belcanto hasn’t won a third Michelin star. Are the Portuguese inspectors that picky? Or is it some special technical reason like not enough bathrooms? We’re really not sure since Belcanto is the finest restaurant we’ve yet eaten at in Lisbon and one of the best we’ve encountered in the world.
Read our Belcanto restaurant review.
What we do know is that Jose Avillez’s Chiado dining temple offers Portugal’s best products prepared with imagination and precision. From blue lobster to carabineiro (giant red prawns), it’s all on the menu as well as incredible fresh fish and creative versions of traditional dishes like Cosido a la Portuguesa.
We also know that reservations are an absolute must for those with the means, time and interest required when dining at this and other Michelin starred restaurants in Lisbon.
Belcanto is located at Rua Serpa Pinto 10A, 1200-026 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Michelin Starred Restaurants in Lisbon
100 Maneiras, Alma, Cura, Eleven, Encanto, Eneko, Epur, Feitoria, Fifty Seconds, Kabuki, Kanazawa and Loco
3. Ponto Final – Traditional Portugal Food and Breathtaking Views
“The view is great but how’s the food?”
We’ve heard that query from many smart travelers. Our answer is very good. Is it cheffy? No. But if you want to enjoy a great view while eating homestyle Portuguese dishes like Arroz Tamboril (monkfish rice), then this is the place to go.
Read our Ponto Final restaurant review.
You’ll need to take a ferry to the other side of the Tejo if you want to eat at Ponto Final. To us, that’s part of the restaurant’s dining experience as well an extra motivation to make advance reservations.
Ponto Final is located at Rua do Ginjal 72, 2800-285 Almada, Portugal.
More Lisbon Restaurants with a View
Atira-te ao Rio, Bahr, Lumi Rooftop and Pharmácia Felicidade
4. Tapisco – Modern Lisbon Snack Food
Henrique Sá Pessoa’s Tapisco is unique.
While you can order Bacalhau à Brás at tascas all over town, Tapisco’s yolky cylinder of codfish and potatoes feels more worthy of a special occasion than a casual meal. Lisbon restaurants that serve traditional Portuguese dishes with precision should be as common as azulejos but, alas, they are not.
Pessoa, who also helms the two Michelin starred restaurant Alma, isn’t afraid to serve dishes that slightly speak of Portugal’s neighbor to the east. Case in point – Tapisco’s menu features le Bomba de Lisboa – a twist on Barcelona’s famous croquettes but stuffed with alheira, a Portuguese farce, instead of the expected ground meat and potato filling. However, in a nod to Spain, Tapisco’s croquettes are topped with aioli and bravas sauce.
Add excellent renditions of Portuguese Açorda and Spanish Paella Negra to your order and you have the makings of a great meal.
Tapisco is located at Rua Dom Pedro V 81, 1250-096 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Modern Portuguese Restaurants
Can the Can, Faz Frio, O Frade, Tasca da Esquina and Zunzum Gastrobar
5. Solar Dos Presuntos – Elevated Portuguese Restaurant in Lisbon
Solar do Presuntos is the opposite of trendy with its brightly lit dining rooms and walls covered with photos of Portuguese dignitaries. And, yet, the centrally located restaurant remains super popular with Portuguese locals. Like us, they love both the restaurant’s old school vibe and its elevated Portuguese dishes.
The plates at Solar do Presuntos (which loosely translates to House of Hams) are simple – no foams, gels or spherifications are to be found here. However, who needs gastronomy when you can order blue lobsters and eat like a Portuguese government minister?
We recommend starting your meal at Solar dos Presuntos with Polvo à Galega (Galician Octopus), slices of octopus that are pricey at just under 20 euros but also tender and flavorful. We also like the restaurant’s medallions of Porco Preto – thin, juicy Portuguese black pork steak.
Those without budget restrictions can and should splurge on marisqueira classics like sapateira (crab), spiny lobster, lagosta nacional (spiny lobster), lavagante vivo (live blue lobsters), grilled tiger prawns and oysters. Solar dos Presuntos sells them all by the kilo.
Solar dos Presuntos is located at Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 150, 1150-269 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Elevated Portuguese Restaurants in Lisbon
A Taberna da Rua das Flores, Gambrinus, Ritalinos, Taberna Albricoque and Taberna Sal Grosso
6. A Merendinha do Arco Bandeira – Traditional Lisbon Tasca
Eating at a tasca during your visit to Lisbon is a must. The city is full of these type of working class restaurants where simple food is served for low prices. Walk along many Lisbon street blocks and you’ll find at least one tasca and sometimes two or three. This is even true in centrally-located, tourist-dominated neighborhoods like Baixa which is where you’ll find A Merendinha do Arco Bandeira.
Despite its Baixa location, A Merendinha do Arco Bandeira, which hides in plain sight, doesn’t feel touristic. It has a compact dining room with a dozen or so tables topped with checkered tablecloths, a bar filled with Portuguese pastries and a wall decorated with Luso memorabilia. The kitchen buzzes with action upstairs behind a glass window and a dumb waiter transports finished dishes down to the dining room.
We refer to A Merendinha do Arco Bandeira endearingly and simply as The Arch. Our go-to dishes include Pataniscas da Bacalhau (cod fish cakes), Porco Alentejana (slow-cooked chunks of pork served over migas), Arroz de Polvo (octopus rice) and grilled fresh fish like robalo (sea bass), carapaus (mackerel) and linguado (sole.) We typically make game-day ordering decisions based on what’s fresh and available.
As is usually the case at traditional Lisbon tascas, The Arch’s servers look like they’ve been working at the eatery for decades and a carafe of wine is cheaper than a bottle of Coca-Cola.
A Merendinha do Arco Bandeira is located at Rua dos Sapateiros 230, 1100-581 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Centrally Located Lisbon Tascas
A Provinciana, Das Flores, Zé da Mouraria and Zé dos Cornos
7. As Bifanas do Afonso – Lisbon Street Food Icon
Don’t be surprised if you see a long queue at As Bifanas do Afonso. Hordes of people line up every day (except Sunday when they’re closed) to order a bifana, Lisbon’s signature stewed pork sandwich, or two.
The excitement of eating an Afonso bifana begins when you glance through the shop’s window at the top of the hill on Rua da Madalena and see a bubbling cauldron filled with pork. It’s a must – if a bifana stand doesn’t have a bubbling pot, then you probably should go elsewhere.
The queue leads to a small window where orders are placed. Expect to stand while you quickly eat your bifana since the nearby tables are for an adjacent restaurant.
We typically add Portuguese yellow mustard and/or spicy Piri Piri sauce to our bifanas and eat them on Afonso’s small outside ledge. We like to pair each with an Imperial (a small glass of Portuguese beer) and recommend that you do the same.
As Bifanas do Afonso is located at Rua da Madalena 146, 1100-340 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Lisbon Cheap Eats
Fábrica Imperial, Mercado Oriental Martim Moniz, Neighbourhood, Panda Cantina, Parreirinha do Chile, Restaurante Primavera and Time Out Market
8. Café de São Bento – Clubby Portuguese Steakhouse
Lisbon has more that its fair share of steakhouses. Perhaps this situation is due to the city’s large Brazilian population or maybe Portuguese people just like eating grilled hunks of meat.
Either way, our favorite Lisbon steakhouse is Café de São Bento, a uniquely Portuguese spot right near the Palácio de São Bento where Portugal’s parliament assembles.
Read our Café de São Bento restaurant review.
A meal at Café de São Bento is one of the city’s quirkier dining experiences.
The legendary ‘cafe’ has no outdoor seating and guests have to ring a bell to enter. Its clubby decor looks like it’s been around for at least a century even though the restaurant opened in 1982.
The steaks are excellent here. And, for those who order wisely, they’re served on horseback with fried eggs on top.
Café de São Bento is located Rua de São Bento 212, 1200-821 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Steak Restaurants in Lisbon
Atalho Real, Café do Paço, Carvoaria Jacto, IIIMPAR and Sala de Corte
9. Tasca Baldracca – Trendy Lisbon Restaurant
Lately, ultra-casual, modern dining rooms have been sprouting in the Lisbon food scene like weeds. These restaurants offer a chef-driven twist on local cuisine and often serve natural wine to boot. Our favorite is Tasca Baldracca, a Mouraria spot notable both for street art decor and its trio of young restaurateurs with a shared passion for food.
That food-focused trio serves shareable dishes that might include Xerém de Pato (duck with grits), a spin on the classic Arroz de Pato, or Bochechas de Vitela (veal cheek) with roasted chestnuts. It all depends on the season. They even pump up the typical Portuguese couvert with excellent sourdough bread and spreadable goat cheese.
Read our Tasca Baldracca restaurant review.
Beyond food, Tasca Baldracca serves unique wines sourced from Portuguese producers. Check the restaurant’s Instagram account for details about hours and reservations. Good news – it’s now open for lunch in addition to dinner.
Tasca Baldracca is located at Rua das Farinhas 1, 1100-177 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Trendy Restaurants in Lisbon
BouBou’s, Estrella da Bica, O Velho Eurico, Senhor Uva, Taberna do Calhau and Tricky’s
10. Omakase Ri – Transformative Japanese Restaurant
Humble Omakase Ri in Alcantara only seats eight people in a space decorated with twisting neon lights and funky, fish-inspired street art. You may walk past the Japanese curtained door on Rua Alcântara if your’e not careful. However, considering the extraordinary prices at omakase sushi counters from New York to Tokyo, you don’t want to miss this Lisbon sushi experience. While it’s expensive by Portugal standards, Omakase Ri is an international bargain.
To be clear, Chef Will Vargas, a Brazilian born chef, uses premium ingredients starting with impeccable, slightly tan (due to the special Japanese vinegar he uses), totally toothsome rice sourced from Japan. That special rice supports many of the flavorful pieces of fish that Vargas places on the counter from silky yellowtail to popping salmon eggs to multiple cuts of exquisite tuna.
Vargas, who gained much of his sushi training at restaurants like Michelin-starred Midori and Ikegai (permanently closed) specializes in Edomae sushi. This process, which traces its roots to 19th century Tokyo, involves aging fish, sometimes in soy sauce and sometimes in special vinegars, to create distinct flavors.
Omakase Ri is located at Rua Alcântara 13 A, 1300-023 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Global Cuisine in Lisbon
Ajitama (Ramen), Acarajé da Carol (Brazilian), Cantinho do Aziz (Mozambican), Coyo Taco (Tacos), Flor da Laranja (Moroccan), MBH (Burgers), Lupita (Pizza), Oven (Indian), Nadi (Georgian), Ruvida (Italian) and Yallah Lisboa (Middle Eastern)
11. Adega das Gravitas – Off the Beaten Track Lisbon Restaurant
Adega das Gravatas means tie cellar in Portuguese. Look up and neckties are impossible to miss at this off the beaten track restaurant in Carnide. There must be over a thousand ties, in all styles and colors, hanging from the rafters. Special ties are framed and there are even ties in the bathrooms. We later learned that many of the ties are autographed. But why?
It all goes back to the restaurant’s tasca origins. Apparently, the ties were presented to the restaurant by students in lieu of payment. Instead of taking the proverbial clothes off the students’ backs, they took the ties off their necks.
Adega das Gravitas is a short walk from the Carnide metro station.
Beyond the restaurant’s cavalcade of neckwear, the traditional food at Adega das Gravatas is fun too.
Servers tend to recommend large steaks like t-bone or picanha (which are worthy, especially the monstrous t-bone) but we recommend the Naco de Novilho na Pedra – a monster sized hunk of meat served on a hot cooking stone. It’s great for a group. Not only will you have to slice it yourself, but you can also cook the steak, once it’s sliced, over the stone to your personal preference. It arrives very red in the center.
Adega das Gravatas also serves what could be one of the best and most picturesque versions of Polvo Galega (Galician octopus) in Lisbon. The generously sized, whole octopus is cooked perfectly, and arrives beautifully seared in the center of a plate over potatoes with sides of cut string beans and cooked cabbage. If you look around the dining room, the popular Polvo makes an appearance at practically every table. The same goes for its roster of Portuguese desserts which includes an outstanding version of Bolo de Bolacha.
Adega das Gravitas is located at Travessa Pregoeiro 15, 1600-588 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Lisbon Restaurants Off the Beaten Path
Mestrias Nova Tasca, Petisco Saloio, Tasquinha do Lagarto and Último Porto
12. Prado – Modern Farm-to-Table Lisbon Restaurant
Prado’s name, which translates to meadow, belies the restaurant’s location in a former fish cannery. Trellised plants in the rear add a lush verdancy to the space while massive windows allow the sun to wash the dining room with natural light during the day.
However, night time is a great time to experience António Galapito’s take on Portuguese cuisine. This is when couples, as well as groups of friends, convene at the restaurant and order plates that are both creative and shareable.
Read our Prado restaurant review.
Some of Prado’s plates live up to the restaurant’s name. They’re comprised of farm-to-table ingredients like acorn-fed pork, oyster mushrooms and seasonal fruits. Others feature fruits de mer like cockles, squid, razor claims, octopus and lobster.
Beyond savory food, Prado serves organic wine and desserts that practically demand to be tasted. We dare you to skip mushroom ice cream if it’s on the menu. If you’re as culinarily curious as us, doing so is practically impossible.
Prado is located at Travessa Pedras Negras 2, 1100-404 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Modern Restaurants in Lisbon
Boi Cavalo, Fogo, Invicta Madragoa, JNcQUOI, Plano and Sr. Lisboa
13. Cervejaria Trindade – Historic Lisbon Restaurant
Trindade looks like it’s been around forever. The restaurant’s walls are covered with gorgeous azulejos (tiles) and the tables are filled with a mix of locals and tourists. This is an old place with a long history of renewal and yet it’s only been open since 2022.
Originally a convent in the 13th century, Trindade’s building was rebuilt multiple times due to fires as well as the devastating 1755 earthquake. It transitioned from a convent to a brewery called Cervejaria Trindade in 1836 which is how it remained for more than a century.
We visited the brewery during our 2007 honeymoon and wondered why it was no longer open after we moved to Lisbon twelve years later. We later discovered the answer…
Now simply called Trindade and owned by Sagres, one of Portugal’s mega-brewers, Trindade has a new life that transcends beer. While Trindade still brews beer, food now plays an equally important role.
Alexandre Silva, the chef behind Fogo and Loco, has designed a menu that features both meat and seafood as well as wine and desserts. Standout dishes during our visits include Presunto Porco Preto (Iberian ham from acorn-fed black pork), seafood soup and a ‘convento’ seafood platter topped with sapateira (crab), large shrimp and percebes (goose barnacles).
But, to us, Trindade’s historic building was and still is the star of the show. Its Sala dos Azulejos (Painted Tiles Hall) and Sala Maria Keil (Maria Keil Room) are gorgeous spaces that practically demand a visit. And, while you can certainly drink beer during your visit, you shouldn’t hesitate to order food and even wine too.
Cervejaria Trindade is located at Rua Nova da Trindade 20 C, 1200-303 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Historic Restaurants in Lisbon
A Brasileira, Cafe Martinho Da Arcada, Café Nicola, Confeitaria Nacional and Pastelaria Versailles
14. Essencial – Date Night Lisbon Restaurant
Every time we start to lose faith in the Lisbon dining scene, we discover a restaurant like Essencial that rejuvenates our enthusiasm.
Located in the touristic Bairro Alto neighborhood and helmed by classically trained Chef André Lança Cordeiro, Essencial isn’t big or fancy. It doesn’t have a Michelin star and its food skews more French than Portuguese. Somehow, though, this upscale bistro offers a range of meticulously prepared dishes that are true of place.
Essencial didn’t immediately hit our radar when it opened in 2019. Back then, the restaurant produced à la carte dishes in an open kitchen for a relatively small number of tables. Fast forward to the present and the restaurant is in the same space but exclusively serves multi-course menus.
We started our three-course menu with Pate en Croute as good as any we’ve had in France and a gorgeous plating of generously sized morel mushrooms served with a simple soft cooked egg. We continued with a roulade of partridge, served with more morels and ramps, and exquisite simple roast pork plated with sauce and cubes of potato pave.
Our friends ordered well. They enjoyed Arroz Tamboril (monkfish rice) for two – a modern rendition of the traditional Portuguese dish with rice cooked until the the top was caramelized and topped with tender white slices of monkfish. It was our pleasure to help them with the dish.
We’d be remiss not to mention desserts which included two standouts – a unique Paris-Brest made with carmelized pistachio and yuzu and a salted caramel Mille-feuille. They completed a meal that was worth a trip through the noisy commotion of Bairro Alto.
Essencial is located at Rua da Rosa 176, 1200-390 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Date Night Restaurants in Lisbon
Mini Bar, Ofício Tasco Atípico and Plano Restaurante
15. Pastéis de Belém – Original Pastel de Nata Bakery
While this restaurant guide is focused on savory food, we’d be remiss if we didn’t share our favorite Pastel de Nata bakery. After all, we’ve yet to meet a traveler who doesn’t want to eat at least one Portuguese egg tart during their visit. And by one, we mean one per day.
Let’s cut to the chase and confirm that our favorite Pastel de Nata shop is the world-famous Pastéis de Belém. Not only were Portugal’s most iconic pastries allegedly invented by monks at this pasteleria located next to the Jerónimos Monastery, but they also taste just a little bit better here.
We don’t come to this conclusion easily. We ate our very first Pasteis de Nata in 2007 and have since proceeded to eat many more now that we live in Portugal. Now we take pleasure in riding the tram to Belém, watching the baking process through a glass window and biting into the crispy shelled, creamy pastries.
We’d be lying if we said that we enjoy waiting in Pastéis de Belém’s inevitable queue. However, these sweet gems are worth their weight (pun intended) in gold. Plus the wait (pun not intended) never seems to take that long.
Pastéis de Belém is located at Rua de Belém 84 92, 1300-085 Lisboa, Portugal.
More Pasteis de Nata in Lisbon
Read our guide to discover the best Pastel de Nata shops in Lisbon.
Lisbon Restaurant FAQs
Lisbon’s top foods include Alheira, Azeitão and Serpa Cheeses, Bacalhau, Bifana Sandwiches, Caldo Verde Soup, Caracois (tiny snails), Chouriço, Pasteis de Nata, Piri Piri Chicken, Presunto (cured ham), Polvo (octopus), Seafood of all types and fresh Sardinhas (sardines) during the summer months.
Lisbon restaurants range from cheap eats to fine dining. Prices skew a bit lower compared to restaurants in most European capital cities.
No. Tipping is optional in Portugal.
Anthony Bourdain visited 100 Maneiras, A Ginjinha, A Tasca do Chico, Alma, Cantinho do Avillez, Cervejaria Ramiro, O Trevo and Sol E Pesca while filming the eighth season of No Reservations.
Phil Rosenthal visited Alma, Belcanto, Cervejaria Ramiro, Ginjinha Sem Rival, Jesus é Goês, Manteigaria, Nannarella, Pasteis de Belem, Ponto Final, Time Out Lisbon and Wurst while filming the first season of Somebody Feed Phil. He also visited Piriquita in Sintra.
Tourists typically eat dinner between 7pm and 9pm in Lisbon but locals tend to start at 8pm or later.
While most tascas serve food on metal platters that can be passed around the table, the concept of shareable plates is prevalent at the wave of trendy restaurants sprouting throughout Lisbon.
Yes – reservations are necessary at restaurants in Lisbon. However, you should be able to walk into most (but not all) tascas without reservations though you may need to wait for a table.
Lisbon currently has 13 Michelin-starred restaurants including two two-star restaurants (Alma and Belcanto) and 11 one star restaurants (100 Maneiras, Cura, Eleven, Encanto, Eneko, Epur, Feitoria, Fifty Seconds, Kabuki, Kanazawa and Loco).
Beyond the Best Lisbon Restaurants
Eating is one of many things to do in Lisbon. Consider the following activities and tours between your meals:
Hungry for More in Lisbon?
Eating in Portugal is fun! Check out our picks for Lisbon’s best brunch spots, pizzerias, pastel de nata bakeries, specialty coffee cafes and ice cream shops. Then check our our restaurant reviews of Belcanto, Café de São Bento, Cervejaria Ramiro, Petisco Saloio, Ponto Final, Prado, Tasca Baldracca, Ze dos Cornos and Zunzum Gastrobar. If you’re limited in time, consider sampling a range of Lisbon food favorites at the Time Out Market.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: April 9, 2023