We’re eating our way through Lisbon one restaurant at a time. If you’re wondering where to eat in Lisbon, read on to discover our picks for the best Lisbon restaurants and bars.
Living in Portugal has given us a unique opportunity to eat at the best restaurants all over Portugal but especially in Lisbon where we’re residents. Our favorite Lisbon restaurants include cheap eats stands selling bifana sandwiches all the way to Michelin starred restaurants.
Knowing where to eat poses a challenge since Portugal’s capital city has thousands upon thousands of restaurants. Though many of these restaurants are good, our goal is to find the truly special restaurants worth recommending to food travelers who flock to Lisbon each month.
Needless to say, we’re up for the challenge. You could say that we were born for it.
Our ambitious goal involves discovering the best places to eat in Lisbon at all price points and eating at all of them. The pressure has been real as we ascend Lisbon’s many steep hills in a never-ending quest that’s been both fun and exhausting.
Check back often for new Lisbon content. Not only will we continue to update this guide, but we also plan to publish articles and mini-guides about the best eats in Lisbon, one of the top Portugal food cities.
Table of Contents
- Our History in Lisbon
- Lisbon Food Scene
- Lisbon Food Guide
- Top Lisbon Restaurants
- Additional Upscale Restaurants
- Hip Lisbon Restaurants
- Portuguese Food in Lisbon
- Global Cuisine in Lisbon
- Lisbon Desserts
- Lisbon Bars and Coffee Shops
- Things To Do in Lisbon
- Planning Checklist
- Hungry for More Food in Portugal?
- Pin It for Later
- About the Authors
- Learn European Portuguese
Our History in Lisbon
We first visited Lisbon during our honeymoon in 2007. Though we loved the city enough to eventually make it our home base, we didn’t have an easy time finding restaurants more than a decade ago. But now that we live in Lisbon, time is on our side.
Since moving to Lisbon in 2019, we’ve lived in three vibrant neighborhoods. We currently live in Baixa, a location that’s both centrally located and near numerous transportation hubs. Not only do we love our apartment, but we also dine out. A lot.
Though we love to shop at local markets and cook at home, we eat the best food in Lisbon all over the city. Sometimes we dine in upscale neighborhoods like Chiado and Príncipe Real, but we also break bread or scoop rice in local neighborhoods like Arroios and Graça.
Don’t hesitate to eat in different Lisbon neighborhoods. The metro and Uber are cost-effective options that can quickly transport you to neighborhoods where a majority of locals live, work and eat.
Lisbon Food Scene
We’d be remiss not to mention Lisbon’s lean years when its citizens survived the Inquisition, a major earthquake and totalitarian rule. As is the case around the world when resources are strained, these tough times resulted in creative cookery that evolved into a modern-day Portuguese food set that includes fresh seafood, tasty pork and thousands of uses of eggs.
The city is littered with tascas (taverns) serving petiscos (snacks) at all hours of the day and night. In fact, we have several tascas in our neighborhood that we frequent when we crave Portuguese food. But these humble eateries are just one part of the local food scene. For us, one of the biggest surprises about food in Lisbon has been its global diversity.
Much of the city’s food culture can be traced to the past when Portugal played a role in global exploration and imperialism. Portuguese explorers brought back exotic spices like pepper and cinnamon from their travels and introduced new vegetables and grains to the local cuisine.
Fast forward to the present and people from former colonies like Brazil and Cape Verde now live, cook and eat in Lisbon. Then there are ex-pats who have moved to Lisbon for quality of life reasons. Who knows? Maybe even Americans like us can help shape the Lisbon culinary scene in the future.
Adventurous eaters can find all kinds of food in Lisbon. If we crave a certain cuisine, we can usually find it by crossing the city by metro or Uber.
If you look for numbing Sichuan food from China, ramen from Japan or curries from Nepal – it’s all here. We can even find solid Mexican food, albeit at a premium price compared to North America.
Don’t worry if you’d rather drink than eat. Our Lisbon guide has tips on Lisbon bars in addition to restaurants and cafes.
Lisbon Food Guide
We have you covered whether you’re in Lisbon for a day or two during a whirlwind Europe adventure or if you’re a digital nomad in town for an extended visit. This city has food to satisfy a variety of palettes and budgets.
Our Lisbon restaurant guide is a living document that we’re updating as we continue to eat our way around the city. We’ve included Lisbon restaurants where locals eat as well as Lisbon restaurants worthy of a special occasion meal.
Check online restaurant schedules to avoid potential disappointment. Many Lisbon restaurants close on random days, often Sunday, and during the entire month of August.
Read on to find out where to eat in Lisbon.
Top Lisbon Restaurants
Empire-building chefs have made their mark on Lisbon, elevating the city’s dining options for both locals and food travelers looking to eat more than bacalhau (salt cod) or a bifana during every meal. These chefs take advantage of the best products from all of Portugal along with locally sourced farm products.
The proof is in the pudding or, in this case, the egg tart. Lisbon has five Michelin-starred restaurants including two establishments with two stars. Considering the city’s size, this is an impressive feat that illustrates the city’s thriving high-end dining scene.
We get that many visitors will want to eat one or two special meals in Lisbon, perhaps to celebrate a special occasion or experience unique destination dining. We do the same when we visit a new city.
With this in mind, we recommend that you make a reservation at one or more of the following top restaurants in Lisbon Portugal:
If you have the budget for one splurge meal in Lisbon, that meal should be at Michelin two star Belcanto. Helmed by restaurant mogul Chef José Avillez, Lisbon’s most famous restaurant has earned the 42nd spot on the respected World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Avoid disappointment by making your Belcanto reservation as far in advance as possible.
After moving to a bigger space in 2019, Belcanto now has a dining room as epic as its nine-course evolutions tasting menu. Featuring the top chef’s signaturre dishes, this menu flows like an opera but without a tragic ending.
Read our full Belcanto review.
Bel Canto is located at Rua Serpa Pinto 10A, 1200-026 Lisboa, Portugal.
We were excited to dine at Chef Henrique Sá Pessoa’s Alma. After hearing good things about Lisbon’s second two-star restaurant from respected friends and colleagues, we booked a lunch reservation with plenty of advance notice.
Upon our arrival, the restaurant staff automatically gave us menus translated into English, Spanish, French, German and Chinese. The translated menus included two five-course tasting menus priced at €110 and €120 (prices subject to change) as well as individual dishes available on an a la carte basis.
Our meal followed the Michelin playbook starting with fun snacks like tapioca crackers with dollops of oyster mayo and jars filled with cockles ‘swimming’ in a salty brine. It ended with a cigar box filled with flavorful petit fours served over coffee beans.
Ironically, our meal highlight wasn’t a main course. Glazed carrots plated with goat cheese and dried fruit bulghur exemplified a synthesis of the kind of international sweet yet spicy flavors Lisbon does well. Another standout was bread service featuring fermented sourdough and smoked butter.
We wanted to love the meal but were surprised to leave Alma with a somewhat hollow feeling despite sharing five plates that ranged from very good to excellent. In retrospect, the missing link was related to service.
We were disappointed that the sommelier recommended the most expensive glass of wine on the menu, double the cost of other wine options on the Alma menu. Shame on us for not confirming the price before he poured us wine from the bottom of the bottle. Also disappointing, our Alentejo pork was practically impossible to cut with the provided butter knife and not much easier when the server correctly brought us a sharper steak knife.
That being said, we still recommend Alma to food travelers wanting to experience one of the top Lisbon restaurants during their visit. Alma provides good value for a two-star Michelin experience in Europe.
Additional Upscale Restaurants
Belcanto and Alma aren’t the only Lisbon restaurants with Michelin stars. Consider dining at the additional Michelin star Lisbon restaurants if you have the budget and desire:
Hip Lisbon Restaurants
Let’s face it, as much as we adore traditional Portuguese tasca food, we don’t want to eat it all the time. Sometimes we prefer elevated cuisine, ideally prepared with local, seasonal products, served in a sophisticated yet casual space.
However, as more young people move into the city, Lisbon’s casual and hip restaurant scene, like the city’s new coffee scene, appears ready to hit a growth spurt. It can’t happen soon enough for us. There’s nothing we love more than a Friday night out in a casual space enjoying food that’s as fresh as a restaurant’s surroundings.
The following restaurants are our favorites when we want to spend this type of night out together or with friends:
Prado, which means meadow in Portuguese, hit our radar soon after we moved to Lisbon. Open since 2017 and located at the foot of Alfama, the restaurant has a buzzy vibe and chic decor. With its vaulted, modern space and open kitchen, Prado’s dining room buzzes at night and glows with sunlight during lunch.
Expect to share small farm to table plates when you dine at Prado. Chef António Galapito has crafted an eclectic menu filled with products sourced throughout Portugal. But this is not typical tasca food.
Galapito has reworked and rethought classics like Portuguese octopus – daring to top the cooked cephalopod with a thin layer of fatty sliced pigs head. In all honesty, the dish looks like something out of an interstellar horror movie. However, the extra layer of fat somehow works here, enriching and propelling every bite of the already tender octo to a level of luxury.
Prado offers a diverse wine menu filled with local bottles from all over Portugal with an extra focus on wines produced near Lisbon. The restaurant also serves non-alcoholic beverages including hot coffee drinks crafted with beans from local Fábrica Coffee Roasters.
Check out Prado’s market and wine bar, Prado Mercearia, for a casual lunch, aperitivo or coffee break. Prado Mercearia also offers special dinners cooked by guest chefs from across Europe. Check the website for details.
Prado is located at Tv. Pedras Negras 2, 1100-404 Lisboa, Portugal.
Taberna da Rua das Flores
Taberna da Rua das Flores is NOT a tasca. We repeat. Taberna da Rua das Flores is NOT a tasca.
Some may disagree but, to us, a Portuguese “tasca” is best defined as a cheap, everyday restaurant serving homestyle dishes in a simple, unadorned space. Petisco Saloio is a tasca. Ze dos Cornos is a tasca. A Merendinha do Arco Bandeira and Electricos do Chile? Yes, both tascas.
That being said, we classify Taberna da Rua das Flores as more of a casual Portuguese bistro. And, in a city with a dearth of mid-priced, casual yet romantic dining rooms, this Chiado classic serves some of the best chef driven food we’ve eaten in Lisbon.
While there’s a distant chance that you might see scallops on the menu at a Lisbon tasca, you certainly won’t enjoy them topped with umami rich miso butter, which is how we ate ours at Taberna da Rua das Flores.
The cooked scallops, served whole, as is common in Europe, were a fitting start to a meal that included a sharable hunk of seared tuna. Thankfully, the kitchen at Taberna da Rua das Flores didn’t cook the gorgeous, ruby tuna tasca style until it resembled shoe leather. Instead, the tuna’s center was gloriously rare as it should be.
Everything we ate at Taberna da Rua das Flores surprised and delighted us. Judging by dishes like crispy pork belly served over artichoke purée and a wonderful sweet ending of toffee-topped bread pudding, the bistro’s kitchen has mad skills.
Arrive at Taberna da Rua das Flores early. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations.
Taberna da Rua das Flores is located at Rua das Flores 103, 1200-194 Lisbon.
Although we had enjoyed Chef Marlene Vieira’s food at Time Out Market, we didn’t make the connection that Zunzum, that place we had walked by a million times next to the cruise ship terminal, was her restaurant. And we’re not the only ones. During our dinner at Vieira’s ‘gastrobar’, we overheard the table next to us saying that they passed the restaurant “about 70 times” without knowing what it was.
Now that we’ve made the connection and gave Zunzum a shot, we can confirm that Vieira’s food is worth checking out. Plus, despite its generic building, the bistro’s outdoor seating area, hidden behind a hedgerow, buzzes with energy and harmonizes wonderfully with the park next door.
Zunzum translates to buzz.
Vieira, a chef with Northern Portuguese roots, has worked in New York kitchens as well as all over Portugal. She’s adept at building flavors while keeping Portuguese concepts fresh. Zunzum is a great spot to experience her culinary art.
During our dinner, Vieira’s swordfish ceviche mingled tender fish with a touch of passion fruit acidity. Another standout was her comforting yet sleek version of Arroz Bivalves – a shell-less mollusk-fest filled with chewy clams, tender razor clams and plump mussels – that was a cut above typical Portuguese rice stews featuring octopus, shrimp or duck.
Not all the dishes of our six course tasting menu landed splendidly. The black pork “presa” was served a little tepid but was redeemed by an excellent side of fried, herbed polenta. Also, service wasn’t without the usual post pandemic quirks.
However, an inspired bread service featuring super airy brioche with smokey chouriço pate and divine passionfruit meringue tarts provided excellent compensation for those guffaws. And then some.
Make a pit stop during a walk along the Tejo and order take-away desserts at Zunzum’s indoor pastry counter.
Zunzum Gastrobar is located at Avenida Infante D. Henrique Doca, R. Jardim do Tabaco do, 1100-651 Lisboa
Originally a pocket-sized restaurant in Bairro Alto, Queimado is a vibrant restaurant in the Lisbon dining scene due to both its sleek design and quirky menu. Originally from London, Chef Shay Ola opened Queimado in Lisbon after stints in Paris and Berlin.
Living up to a name that translates to burnt, the chefs at Queimado fire up much of their food on a charcoal grill in a tiny kitchen adjacent to the restaurant’s minimalist dining room. They then ramp up the flavors with a liberal application of peppers and XO sauce.
Queimado’s menu features shareable dishes, all priced under €20, at the time of our most recent visit. Highlight dishes included grilled okra topped with romesco sauce and pluma (i.e. Iberian pork loin) served over a flavorful roasted potato mash.
While we enjoyed Queimado’s original communal Bairro Alto location, we’re selfishly happy that the restaurant has relocated to Baixa near our apartment. We’re excited to return and see what the chefs have up their culinary sleeves.
Eating local has become a trendy catchphrase along with slow travel and fast-casual. However, Portuguese people have been eating locally for centuries. Though nothing new in Lisbon, the local dining concept has inspired the restaurant called Local.
We first encountered Local’s welcoming space while gingerly traipsing down one of Lisbon’s steep streets in Príncipe Real. After a fun moment of food conversation with Local’s culinary team, we placed the restaurant on our dining shortlist.
Local, open since 2017, lives up to its name with a mission of preparing high-end cuisine with fresh, local ingredients. The Lisbon restaurant serves a seasonal multi-course tasting menu in a super intimate space that only seats 10 people. With two seatings, 20 people maximum dine at Local each night.
Local focuses on creative cuisine. Our special occasion dinner featured modern Portuguese dishes like salt-cured prawns atop squid ink infused couscous and slow-cooked black pork from Alentejo. Baba au rum with Madeira and baked apple purée added a sweet note to our local Local experience.
Staying in theme, Local’s wine menu features an interesting selection of Portuguese wine. We splurged on a nice bottle and some bubbly to go with the prix fixe meal priced at €50 each at the time of our dinner in Lisbon. Pricey by Portuguese standards but reasonable for Europe, our dinner was an absolute delight.
Expect to share your table with friends and strangers. It’s all part of the Local experience.
Local is located at Rua de O Século 204, 1200-435 Lisboa, Portugal.
With a menu handwritten on the wall, Damas is a great spot to meet friends in Graça for an early dinner. Later in the evening, the restaurant morphs into a concert venue. For those who enjoy live music, it’s a great alternative to Lisbon fado restaurants.
Reading the wall quickly reveals various snacks and bigger plates. Vegans and vegetarians will find options like hummus and salad. As for us, we typically eat seafood at Damas.
Expect to share plates, tapas style, loaded with the likes of tuna poke, shrimp and mussels. You can start slow and add extra plates as the meal progresses. A bottle of wine completes the equation.
Damas doesn’t take reservations on the weekend, so arriving early is a smart choice. Though Damas has a reputation as a hipster hangout, we feel comfortable joining friends here for an early dinner of tapas-style seafood in a relaxed, yet modern space.
Take an Uber or tram unless you’re up for a hike. The walk to Graça is particularly hilly. Better yet, take the 28 tram.
Damas is located at Rua da Voz do Operário 60, Lisboa, Portugal.
Portuguese Food in Lisbon
Lisbon is a great city to experience Portuguese food for the first or fortieth time.
Portugal’s capital city has thousands of restaurants serving classic dishes like bacalhau (salt cod), porco (pork), arroz de pato (duck rice) and camarão (shrimp). If you’re wondering what to eat in Lisbon, we suggest starting with these dishes.
That’s the easy part. The hard part is knowing where to eat Portuguese in Lisbon. As in any city, some Lisbon restaurants are better than others. The worst ones cater to tourists and serve mediocre food at high prices.
Our best suggestion, if you really want to eat the best Portuguese food at the best prices, is to use the metro and explore Lisbon away from the center of town in neighborhoods like Arroios and Alvalade. Take a chance and eat off the map a little. If it looks good, it probably is.
Assuming you want to eat well in Lisbon, start at the following spots:
Open since 1956, Cervejaria Ramiro is a local institution that’s been popular for decades with locals seeking the best seafood in Lisbon. Thanks to attention by the likes of Phil Rosenthal and the late Anthony Bourdain, food travelers have joined this Lisbon seafood party as well.
True confession – we avoided dining at Cervejaria Ramiro for months. We walked by the restaurant dozens of times, often noting the crowd patiently waiting for an hour or more to eat food served at hundreds of similar restaurants, some located in the very same neighborhood.
We eventually made the time to eat at Ramiro. After arriving early, ahead of the crowds, we were not disappointed.
Our first meal at Cervejaria Ramiro was a revelation. We shared Gambas Aguillo (garlic shrimp), Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato (clams in garlic broth) and Carabineiros (scarlet prawns) for the seafood portion of our meal, washing it all down with Sagres beer. For dessert, we shared a Prego (beef sandwich).
As we sat at a long table in the downstairs dining room surrounded by fellow diners, we were struck by the quality of each dish. Ironically, our first dish of garlic shrimp was easily our favorite to the point that we immediately promised each other that we’d return and order it again. It only took us a week to fulfill this promise.
But it wasn’t just the garlic shrimp that exceeded our expectations. A heaping serving of clams came swimming in broth and bursting with garlic flavor. We dipped our buttered bread into the liquid elixir, lapping it up like candy.
Make our Garlic Shrimp recipe at home.
A bit of a splurge, the scarlet prawns (pictured at the top of the article) were the meal’s show stoppers. After our server proficiently sliced them at our table, we dug in with utensils before sucking the last bits of juice from the colorful crustaceans.
It was a no-brainer to share a Prego, the traditional meal ender at Cervejaria Ramiro, for dessert. The concept seemed odd to us until our first bites of easily one of the city’s best sandwiches. Bright yellow mustard added an extra kick to garlicky beef nestled between crunchy slices of Pão (bread).
Our first meal cost us €64, with almost half of the cost attributed to the scarlet prawns. Our second visit was half the cost since we knew how to order like pros from the Ramiro menu – two garlic shrimp plates, two beers and a prego for dessert.
Cervejaria Ramiro is popular for good reason. The restaurant serves superior seafood at relatively reasonable prices. Though you could easily blow a wad here, you don’t have to order a lot of dishes to have a great meal. In many ways, less is actually more considering the generous amounts of butter and oil that the restaurant uses.
Avoid inevitable crowds by dining early at Cervejaria Ramiro. If luck is on your side, you shouldn’t have much of a wait if you arrive before 6 pm. Also – be aware that the restaurant closes for the entire month of August. (Check the website for exact dates of closure.)
Cervejaria Ramiro is located at Avenida Alm. Reis 1, 1150-038 Lisboa, Portugal.
Many of our readers have probably seen Phil Rosenthal, star of the Netflix show “Somebody Feed Phil”, enjoy lunch on a railless concrete boat landing where a he appeared to be inches from plunging into the Rio Tejo. If you’re wondering where he ate that lunch, the answer is Ponto Final. And if you’re wondering if Ponto Final is a hidden gem, the answer is obviously no.
We didn’t rush to eat at Ponto Final. But, despite our initial skepticism, we have to admit that Ponto Final lives up to its hype. We’ve since returned and recommend it to visiting friends.
Take the Cacilhas ferry from Cais Sodre to Almada. It’s a short walk from the Almada ferry station to Ponto Final in Cais do Gingal. Your reward will be legendary views of the Cristo Rei statue, the 25 de Abril bridge and lovely Lisbon itself.
You might think that Ponto Final is all about the views. We thought so too. But, as we learned, the food is great too.
Its signature dish, Arroz Tamboril (Monkfish Rice), is fantastic – a creamy tomato fish stew with a rusticity that matches the epic, unadulterated view of the the sprawling city skyline. But non seafood items like the slow cooked, melt in your mouth, veal cheek are equally great.
You can eat at Ponto Final, which means end point or last stop, at midday, with the sun blazing on your table. However, we recommend reserving a table closer to sunset, when the cool breezes arrive from the Atlantic and the sun retreats, coloring the sky from blue to pink
For sunset reservations you’ll want to call at least a few weeks in advance or longer. Surprisingly affordable considering its million euro view, Ponto Final is a one of a kind Lisbon Experience that you don’t want to miss.
There are two Ponto Finals. Make sure to check the map to make sure you call the correct restaurant. You’ll know that you got the right Ponto Final if the person on the other line speaks English.
Ponto Final is located at Rua do Ginjal 72, 2800-285 Almada, Portugal.
Café de São Bento
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 restaurant,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 walk inside the intimate restaurant find 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…
Steak is the main event at Café de São Bento. Upon request, the restaurant tops its juicy bife with a bright orange fried egg called ovo a cavalo (i.e. on horseback). But the kitchen doesn’t stop there. Chefs also smother the steak with a generous amount of its 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. However, there’s no doubt that leftover sauce repurposes excellently as a dipping medium for the large bowl of crispy fries that accompany the melt-in-your-mouth ‘Bife’.
We get that not everybody loves to eat steak smothered in sauce. If you fit into this category, you’ll want to order Cafe de São Bento’s Prego, a sandwich that stuffs tender slices of mid-rare cooked beef inside two slices of toasted bread. The affordable menu has options for vegetarians as well as pleasant surprises for both wine drinkers and dessert eaters.
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. Equally 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 this original.
Order the Tarte Tatin for dessert. You’re welcome.
Located in Campo Pequeno near the city’s bullring (yes, Lisbon has a bullring and apparently the bull lives), Petisco Saloio is a typical neighborhood snack bar that serves food worthy of a special trip. Since the location is central, it’s easy to access by metro or Uber from most Lisbon hotels and neighborhoods.
Owners Carlos Pinheiro and Diogo Meneses not only cook the food, but they also provide menu guidance and serve their dishes. The resulting vibe is casual and comfortable, with an atmosphere reminiscent of eating with friends at their home. The tasca has just four tables inside with more located on the sidewalk.
We first dined at Petisco Saloio with friends visiting from New York soon after the restaurant was featured in the New York Times. Though this tasca was more casual than the other restaurants they visited, they trusted us to order a selection of dishes. Starting with a bag filled with bread and littles snacks, we ordered a selection of dishes and enjoyed them all.
Our return visit proved equally enjoyable. Based on both meals, we recommend the Queijo Gratinado (baked cheese) and Chouriço Assado (grilled chorizo) as starters. Considering the quality of the food and reasonable prices, you can choose a selection of additional dishes without much risk of disappointment.
Check out Lisbon’s nearby, architecturally unique bullring, Campo Pequeno. Built in the 1890s, the Madrid inspired building was remodeled in 2006 with an underground movie theatre and shopping complex.
Petisco Saloio is located at Avenida Barbosa Du Bocage 38, 1000-072 Lisbon Portugal.
Proving that cheap food in Lisbon doesn’t have to be fast food, Fábrica Imperial serves traditional Portuguese food for reasonable prices. Closed on weekends, the cozy restaurant serves lunch every weekday and dinner on Friday nights. Not only is the food tasty, but the friendly service is on point.
Daytime visitors at Fábrica Imperial choose between two or three courses. We typically go crazy and order three courses (soup, main dish and dessert) plus wine. At under €20 for two people, can you blame us?
Although you can typically walk in for lunch, be sure to make an advance dinner reservation. Since Fábrica Imperial only serves dinner on Fridays, the restaurant gets booked up.
Fábrica Imperial is located at Rua Marquês de Fronteira 113A, 1070-292 Lisboa, Portugal.
Located just a few blocks from Parreirinha do Chile in the Arroios neighborhood, Restaurante Primavera serves a reasonably priced menu filled with traditional Portuguese food favorites. However, locals know to order the restaurant’s signature dish – frango assado (piri-piri chicken).
Cooks prepare grill chicken at the front of Restaurante Primavera, serving it to customers who dine in the restaurant as well as to a non-stop queue of people ordering takeaway. Plan to spend about €20 for dinner for two in the restaurant or half that to take away a whole chicken with rice.
You can choose between chicken spatchcocked over charcoal or rotisserie chicken cooked on a spit over charcoal. We prefer the spatchcocked option.
Restaurante Primavera is located at Rua Morais Soares 101, 1170-293 Lisbon, Portugal.
Zé dos Cornos
Located at the bottom of Alfama, Zé dos Cornos feels local despite its prime location near both Castelo and Mouraria. The tasca’s space is compact with communal seating at long tables with basic, rustic tasca decor. But the space’s simplicity doesn’t matter one iota – eating at Zé dos Cornos is all about the food and experience.
Zé dos Cornos serves a selection of Portuguese food favorites to crowds who arrive early for lunch to avoid waiting for a table. The wait, which isn’t exceedingly long, is worth it.
Although Zé dos Cornos serves a range of Portuguese food favorites including bacalhau and pork sercretos, plates with spare ribs and fried potatoes fly out of the kitchen and for good reason – the tasty ribs are generously sized and tender. We also like egg-topped alheira, grilled non-pork sausage with a history that dates back to the 16th century when Jews invented the farci during the days of the Inquisition.
Zé dos Cornos attracts a mostly local crowd but welcomed us warmly both before and after we moved to Lisbon. Expect efficient service, solid food and fair prices.
Save room for dessert. You can walk up the hill to nearby Pasteleria Santo Antonio for an excellent pastel de nata after your lunch.
Zé dos Cornos is located at Beco dos Surradores 5, 1100-591 Lisboa, Portugal.
Although open for over a century, Faz Frio has a modern vibe thanks to a major renovation and recent infusion of young talent. The compact Príncipe Real restaurant is aesthetically pleasing with blue and white tiles and a sleek marble bar. Two private rooms are available for families or groups of six.
Starters include light bites like pastel de bacalhau (cod fritters) and alheira croquettes as well as shareable meat and cheese platters. The menu’s main dishes offer multiple bacalhau options as well as dishes geared to both carnivores and vegetarians.
Don’t skip reasonably priced couvert options like homemade bread and queijo amanteigado (buttery cheese).
Faz Frio is located at Rua Dom Pedro V 96, 1250-092 Lisbon, Portugal.
We’re not sure why travelers stick euros into textured walls when they dine at Invicta Madragoa. We’re more certain, however, as to why they fill the tiny restaurant to capacity every night. This highly-rated restaurant is a gem that serves great food at reasonable prices.
Invicta Madrigoa’s menu is filled with seafood options though fish haters will find alternatives like steak and francesinha sandwiches. We love bringing visiting friends to this charming restaurant since everybody always leaves happy.
As for us, we’re never sad to share a pot of super affordable octopus stew for two (ridiculously affordable at €21 during our most recent visit) when we eat here.
Take a walk around quiet Madragoa before or after your dinner. Hiding in plain sight, just a short walk from Cais do Sodré, it’s one of the city’s most romantic neighborhoods.
Invicta Madragoa is located at 140, Rua da Esperança Madragoa, 1200-659 Lisboa, Portugal.
Can the Can
Eating canned fish is far from a new concept in Lisbon. The Portuguese people have been preserving fish for centuries. Though it was originally a survival technique, canned fish has become trendy with Lisbon shops now selling decorated tins throughout the city.
Open since 2012 on Terreiro do Paço, Can the Can takes the canning concept to the next level by serving the preserved protein as cuisine. Curious about the concept, we stopped by for mid-afternoon snacks and drinks during a day of touring the city.
Though we enjoyed the experience, we haven’t felt a need to return for a second meal. However, we recommend Can the Can for food travelers looking to fully explore the full range of food that defines Lisbon cuisine.
Buy a tin or two as edible souvenirs.
Can the Can is located at Praça do Comércio 82,83, 1100-148 Lisboa, Portugal.
Tasca do Mercado
Located at the Mercado de Arroios, Tasca do Mercado is an airy tasca with big windows and fun menu. We originally discovered the modern Lisbon eatery while shopping for produce and later returned to share petiscos (snacks).
Menu highlights include a trio of croquettes filled with meat, alheira and cuttlefish as well as tangy tuna ceviche and tomato rice. For those not into sharing, Tasca do Mercado’s menu has more than a dozen dishes featuring fish, meat and veggies. Beyond food, the tasca serves Portuguese wine that transcends typical house varietals.
One of the best sandwiches in the world, bifanas are savory sandwiches loaded with sauteed, white wine marinated pork. You can find the iconic Lisbon cheap eats sandwich all over Lisbon.
Our favorite spot to eat bifanas in Lisbon is:
Parreirinha do Chile
The day that we discovered Parreirinha do Chile in our neighborhood was a good one. Just a five-minute walk from our Lisbon apartment, at the foot of the eternally under construction Arroios metro station, the tiny restaurant serves some of the city’s best bifanas to a constant stream of customers hungry for cheap, tasty Lisbon street food.
This version at Parreirinha do Chile is better than a typical Lisbon bifana stuffed with a slab of meat. Here, you can observe stewing pork bubbling in a pan through the location’s window and you can smell the garlicky aroma a block away.
Savvy locals skip overhyped O Trevo and instead go to barebones joints like Parreirinha do Chile for the chance to eat amazing sandwiches currently priced at just €2 each. If they’re really hungry, they can add a bowl of soup and a beer and still spend under €5. As for us, we typically order one bifana each.
Order two bifanas like a pro at Parreirinha do Chile by saying “Dois Bifanas” (pronounced dooish beefaanash). Even though the owners don’t speak English, you’ll receive exactly what you need and what you want.
Parreirinha do Chile is located at Praça do Chile 14A, 1000-098 Lisboa, Portugal.
Global Cuisine in Lisbon
Lovers of global food will not go hungry in Lisbon.
As we expected, the city has a multitude of Brazilian and Nepalese restaurants serving dishes popular in Portugal’s former colonies. And, as is the case around the world, Lisbon has a number of quality pizzerias. But these are only part of the international food scene.
A variety of international restaurants are opening to cater to the wave of people moving to the city. Some serve Asian and African specialties while others cook up dishes more commonly eaten in European and North American countries.
After eating around the world in Lisbon, these are our favorite spots:
Located in Picoas near Marquês de Pombal, Ajitama is the best restaurant in Lisbon to experience the global phenomenon known as ramen. Crowds flock to Aitama, making advance reservations necessary for those who want to slurp down bowls of Japanese soup while in Portugal.
Ramen options include Shoyu, Shio, Veggie, Miso and Hakata Tonkotsu, with prices currently ranging from €12 to €14.50 per bowl. We’ve eaten at Ajitama three times and love the ramen starting with the imported noodles and ending with the hot broth. We’d probably eat at Ajitama weekly if it weren’t relatively expensive for Lisbon. It’s that good.
You can make an online reservation via Ajitama’s website.
Ajitama is located at Avenida Duque de Loulé 36, 1050-091 Lisboa, Portugal.
Although Chong Qing has a menu filled with Chinese food favorites, hot pot is the main event at this Arriois restaurant. Groups of Chinese and Portuguese friends fill the spacious restaurant so they can cook tasty food at their tables and scarf it down with chopsticks.
For a set price of €14.95 (subject to change and exclusive of drinks), diners have unlimited access to a smorgasbord of meats, seafood, tofu, vegetables and noodles. Refrigerator cases offer enough options to satisfy both carnivores and vegans, with an entire section dedicated to condiments and sauces.
Be sure to specify that you want to do hot pot so the staff can set up a cauldron of garlic and/or pepper broth. We opt for both, alternating between the mild garlic side and the hellishly hot pepper side. Then start filling plates with as many mushrooms and rice noodles as you can handle.
Head across the street to Lazy Bar for another local Chinese experience. This oddly-named spot is our go-to for takeaway Chinese comfort food and is always filled with young Chinese diners.
Chong Qing is located at Rua António Pereira Carrilho, 18A, Arroios, Lisboa, Portugal.
Entering Yakuza lends an element of surprise – guests must ring a bell on an unmarked door after climbing a flight of stairs. However, all is revealed upon entering the Japanese mafia-inspired Lisbon restaurant that opened in 2011.
Yakuza literally translates to Japanese gangster or racketeer. It’s similar to naming an Italian restaurant Mafia. We assume there’s something cool about the title that escapes today’s cultural radar.
Split into different sections, Yakuza has ample tables, many offering a garden view. However, the best seats in the restaurant are arguably located at an expansive sushi bar where diners get a front-row view of chefs slicing fish and assembling unique sushi creations.
Sushi is the main event at Yakuza and the primary reason most walk upstairs to dine at the Lisbon restaurant. We were no exception and ordered a Yakuza sushi combination to share. Priced at €85 at the time of our visit, the dish was a stunner, arriving on a plume of dramatic dry ice.
As the plume faded, the dish’s true bounty was revealed – thick slabs of fresh, top-grade sashimi including tuna, yellowtail and salmon. We reveled in each buttery piece that practically melted in our mouths.
Yakuza, part of Olivier da Costa’s restaurant empire, features more than just sushi. Fans of cooked food can order tempura and a variety of meats and vegetables cooked robata-style. Interestingly, one of the restaurant’s signature dishes is taco sakana, a fish taco served with guacamole.
Beyond food, Yakuza offers an inspired cocktail menu and a DJ spinning tunes. Clearly, Japanese gangsters eat and live well.
If you miss Yakuza in Lisbon, you can eat at other Yakuza locations in Cascais and the Algarve.
Yakuza is located has relocated to Hotel Avani, Rua Júlio César Machado 7, 1250-135 Lisbon, Portugal.
One of the best Indian restaurants in Lisbon, Lumbini is a great spot in Madragoa to enjoy Nepalese momos (meat-filled dumplings), Indian dishes and Portuguese wine. Though the small neighborhood restaurant is typically quiet, it often fills in the evening with savvy diners looking for inexpensive food filled with big flavors.
Each meal at Lumbini starts with crispy papadum and chutneys. We typically add an order of garlic nan before choosing from dishes like saag paneer and lamb pokhara. Most dishes at Lumbini are served with a mountain of basmati rice.
Let the server know if you want your food cooked spicy or mild.
Lumbini is located at Rua da Esperança 42, 1200-658 Lisboa, Portugal.
Flor da Laranja
Flor da Laranja features cuisine from Portugal’s former conquerer, Morroco, but without a 1,000 kilometer journey. Unlike the Moors who decorated Lisbon with azulejo tiles Lisbon centuries ago, Rabea Esserghini is making her mark with homestyle couscous and tagines.
The female chef cooks a range of North African specialties in a tiny Bairro Alto kitchen and serves them in the restaurant’s cozy dining room. Dining options include starters like dolma (stuffed grape leaves) and main dishes like lamb tagine with prunes and chicken with preserved lemon. Add wine and dessert to complete your culinary immersion.
Plan to spend a leisurely evening at Flor da Laranja. The restaurant’s small staff provides excellent but relaxed service.
Flor da Laranja is located at Rua da Rosa 206, 1200-348 Lisboa, Portugal.
Based on recommendations from trusted sources, we checked out Lisbon’s Coyo Taco and were pleasantly surprised by the taqueria’s menu and genuine Mexican flavors. Coyo’s owners originated the restaurant’s concept in Miami before opening their Lisbon outpost in Príncipe Real in 2018.
Coyo Taco’s menu features a range of Mexican food favorites including tacos, burritos and quesadillas, all constructed with house-made corn tortillas. We especially like the restaurant’s guacamole and esquites, two dishes popular on the streets of Mexico City. And we always add a healthy splash of Valentina hot sauce for an extra dose of Mexican flavor.
As a bonus, Coyo Taco has several options for Vegetarians. On the downside, prices skew high for Lisbon. In other words, eating good Mexican food on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean comes at a premium.
Eating American-style hamburgers is a bit of a novelty in Lisbon. When we get the craving for a juicy burger, we scratch that itch at Ground Burger.
Ground Burger has been slinging burgers near the Gulbenkian Museum since 2015. Chefs grill the burgers in an open kitchen, making each version with 150 grams of black Angus beef and freshly baked buns. The joint has a second location in the trendy Time Out Market.
Diners choose from ten burgers including ground turkey and veggie options at Ground Burger. We personally like their cheeseburger smothered with cheddar as well as the signature ground burger that adds lettuce and special sauce to the mix. To wash it all down, we typically order beer from the restaurant’s extensive craft beer menu.
Forget your diet and splurge on a doughnut for dessert. The brioche-based beauties come in flavors like key lime pie, tiramisu and Nutella.
Ground Burger is located at Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar 148 A R/C, 1050-021 Lisboa, Portugal as well as at the Time Out Market.
Lisbon is a city with no lack of sweet treats. Bakeries called pastelarias fill the blocks, fueling locals and tourists with endless cups of coffee and Portuguese desserts galore.
Popular desserts include traditional pastries like queijadas, travesseiros and ovos moles. However, a visit to Lisbon doesn’t truly commence until the first pastel de nata is eaten.
Pasteis de Nata
Three centuries later, pasteis de nata are Lisbon’s most popular dessert. Bakers around the city create enough tasty tarts to satisfy sweet teeth one ‘nata’ at a time.
Read our Lisbon Pastel de Nata guide.
Ice cream lovers will not be disappointed when visiting Lisbon. The city has a slew of gelaterias scooping cones to crowds all year long, with queues longest during warm summer months. Most gelaterias are good with a handful achieving great status.
Discover the best places to eat ice cream in Lisbon and nearby Sintra.
Don’t stress about eating too much ice cream in Lisbon. You’ll burn plenty of calories walking up the city’s many hills.
Lisbon Bars and Coffee Shops
If you take a Lisbon food tour, you’ll likely drink ginjinha, a Portuguese sour cherry liqueur made with sour sugar and cinnamon, out of little chocolate cups. But what about the rest of your trip?
We suggest you drink the following beverages in Lisbon:
Lisbon Coffee Shops
Coffee flows from dawn to dusk at pastelarias and brunch spots throughout the city. However, fans of third wave coffee won’t be disappointed by the Lisbon coffee scene. Yes, you won’t have to skip your daily cappuccino or flat white as you tour the city of seven hills.
Read our Lisbon cafe guide with the city’s best specialty coffee shops.
Lisbon Wine Bars
Portuguese wine flows through the city at tascas, restaurants, wine bars and even grocery stores where the selection transcends young Vinho Verde and fortified Port. And the best part? Prices are typically ultra-reasonable compared to drinking in other European capital cities.
We recommend starting your Lisbon wine exploration at dedicated wine bars like Black Sheep, Prado Mercearia and Senhor Uva where you can taste a range of Vinho Tinto (red wine) and Vinho Branco (white wine) varietals.
Be sure to sample wines from different regions like the Douro Valley and Alentejo in your quest to discover your favorite Portuguese sip. Then take your Lisbon wine journey to the next level with a Porto Tonico cocktail made with white port and tonic.
Buy a couple bottles of natural Portuguese wine from Real Portuguese Wine as drinkable souvenirs of your time in Lisbon.
Black Sheep is located at Praça das Flores 62, 1200-192 Lisboa, Portugal.
Prado Mercearia is located at R. Pedras Negras 35, 1100-404 Lisbon, Portugal.
Senhor Uva is located at Rua de Santo Amaro 66A, 1200-804 Lisbon, Portugal.
Craft Beer in Lisbon
As much as an imperial (small draught beer) from Sagres or Super Bock can hit the spot on a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than drinking a pint of locally brewed craft beer. In Lisbon, beer drinkers will find a number of quality breweries and bars where they can whet their whistles.
Cerveteca Lisboa is probably the most convenient place to drink craft beer in Lisbon. Not only is the craft beer bar centrally located in Príncipe Real, but it also serves an eclectic selection of local and international brews both on tap and in bottles. Regulars hang out at Cerveteca for its quality beer and chill vibe.
If you want to drink craft beer at the source, you can easily visit top Lisbon breweries in different neighborhoods. As you eat your way around Lisbon, strategize stops at A.M.O in Arroios, Musa in Marvila and Quimera in Alcântara.
A.M.O. Brewery is located at Rua Bernardim Ribeiro 53, 1150-069 Lisboa, Portugal.
Cerveteca Lisboa is located at Praça das Flores 63, 1200-192 Lisboa, Portugal.
Fábrica Musa is located at Rua do Açúcar 83, 1950-006 Lisboa, Portugal.
Quimera Brewpub is located at Rua Prior do Crato 6, 1350-261 Lisboa, Portugal.
Travelers who crave a proper drink won’t be disappointed in Lisbon. The city has a burgeoning cocktail scene with a plethora of cool clubs and luxe lounges. These Lisbon bars kick into gear once the sun goes down each night.
Cocktail connoisseurs can drink at a different bar every night of the week without getting bored. Some bars like Lost In offer rooftop views while classic establishments like Café Klandestino, Onda Cocktail Room and Toca da Raposa provide more intimate drinking experiences.
Stop by Café Klandestino after eating at Cervejaria Ramiro. It’s just a block away.
Café Klandestino is located at Rua do Benformoso n256, 1100-087 Lisboa, Portugal.
Lost In is located at Rua Dom Pedro V Nº56-D, 1250-094 Lisbon, Portugal.
Onda Cocktail Room is located at Rua Damasceno Monteiro 45, 1170-253 Lisboa, Portugal.
Toca da Raposa is located at Rua da Condessa 45, 1200-302 Lisbon, Portugal.
Things To Do in Lisbon
Eating and drinking are just two things to do in Lisbon. Consider the following activities and tours between your meals:
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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.
Some businesses may revise their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Others may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check websites for updated information and make advance reservations where possible.