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Cafe De Sao Bento In Lisbon – Lisbon’s Clubbiest Steakhouse

See what it’s like to eat at Cafe de Sao Bento, a clubby steak bar located near the Assembleia da República, Portugal’s Parliament. With its simple menu and quirky atmosphere, it’s our favorite steakhouse in Lisbon.

Cafe de Sao Bento - First Floor Dining Room

If you’re looking for a typical Lisbon restaurant featuring an outdoor terrace with a beautiful view, enclosed and clubby Café de São Bento isn’t that restaurant. But this Lisbon steakhouse, filled with good food and excellent old-school service, is a worthy destination that provides a quirky window into Portuguese culture.

Unless you know the address for Café de São Bento, it’s easy to walk past the classic restaurant that’s practically across the street from the Assembleia da República, Portugal’s Parliament.

Those who enter the intimate restaurant will discover a space decorated with wood trimmed walls, plaid banquettes, red carpet and brass fixtures that resemble a hoity-toity private club open since 1924. More about the restaurant’s real age later…

Food At Cafe De Sao Bento

Bife de Cafe de Sao Bento at Sao Bento in Lisbon
We recommend ordering the Bifé de Café de São Bento at Café de São Bento. We also recommend requesting Cavalo à Ovo (Egg on Horseback) when you order your steak.

Steak is the main event at Café de São Bento. Upon request, the juicy bife is topped with a bright orange fried egg called ovo a cavalo (i.e. on horseback). The steak is also smothered with a generous amount of signature tan cream sauce that’s reminiscent of au poivre without the poivre.

Rumor has it that Café de São Bento’s creamy sauce derives its tan complexion from the addition of a small amount of coffee. The sauce serves as an excellent dipping medium for the large bowl of crispy fries that accompany the melt-in-your-mouth steak.

Prego Sandwich at Cafe de Sao Bento in Lisbon
The Prego sandwich at Café de São Bento is one of our favorite sandwiches in Lisbon.

We get that not everybody loves to eat steak smothered in sauce. If you fit into this category, you may want to order Cafe de São Bento’s Prego, a sandwich with a tender, thick slice of mid-rare cooked beef inside two slices of toasted bread. However, be aware that the classic sandwich is only available during lunch.

The relatively affordable menu has options for vegetarians as well as pleasant surprises for both wine drinkers and dessert eaters. We’re particularly partial to the restaurant’s Tarte Tatin which is served with ice cream.

Fun Fact About Cafe De Sao Bento

Tarte Tatin at Cafe Sao Bento in Lisbon
Skipping dessert isn’t an option at Café de São Bento.

The most interesting feature of Cafe de São Bento? It’s age.

Though the restaurant appears to be 100 years old, it actually opened in 1982. Also interesting, it’s not the only Lisbon restaurant that serves Portuguese steak in this type of space. Yes, there are copycat steakhouses, like Café do Paço, in Lisbon but none quite live up to the original.

The original Café de São Bento is located Rua de São Bento 212, 1200-821 Lisboa, Portugal. The restaurant has a second location at Lisbon’s Time Out Market.

Café De São Bento FAQs

What’s the best way to secure a reservation at Café de São Bento?

Making an online reservation is the easiest option and can be done via the restaurant’s website.

How much does a meal at Café de São Bento cost?

Café de São Bento’s signature steaks currently range from 24.50€ to 28.50€ depending on cut and size. Starters range from 11€ to 14.50€ while desserts cost 7€ to 11€. As always, prices are subject to change.

Is tipping necessary at Café de São Bento?

No. Tipping is optional in Portugal.

What’s the dress code at Café de São Bento?

Café de São doesn’t have a dress code. We recommend smart but comfortable attire.

What’s the best way to get to Café de São Bento?

Café de São Bento is a 10 minute walk (down a steep hill) from the Rato metro station. Other options include walking, buses (including buses that leave from the Rato metro station if you don’t feel like traversing the hill), taxis and car services.

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About The Authors

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 their website 2foodtrippers. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.

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We self-funded our multiple meals at Café de São Bento.

Original Publication Date: April 8, 2023