Table of Contents
- Lisbon Food Guide
- Top Lisbon Restaurants
- Hip Lisbon Restaurants
- Portuguese Food in Lisbon
- Global Cuisine in Lisbon
- Lisbon Desserts
- Lisbon Bars and Coffee Shops
- Things To Do in Lisbon
- Research Lisbon Hotels
- Hungry for More?
- Pin It for Later
- About the Authors
- Learn European Portuguese
Wondering where to eat in Lisbon Portugal? We wondered too until we became Lisbon locals and started exploring the city one meal at a time. Check out this Lisbon Food Guide with our picks for the best Lisbon restaurants.
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.
We knew there would be a time to publish a Lisbon dining guide… and that time is now.
Writing about the best restaurants in Lisbon was a challenge. Don’t get us wrong. We have no problem finding places to eat in Lisbon from cheap eats to fine dining.
Lisbon has thousands upon thousands of restaurants. Many of these restaurants are good, but the challenge is to find the truly special restaurants worth recommending to food travelers who flock to Lisbon each month.
Our ambitious goal is to discover the best places to eat in Lisbon at all price points. The pressure has been real as we’ve ascended Lisbon’s many steep hills in a never-ending quest that’s been both fun and exhausting.
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.
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.
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’ll update 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.
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:
Dining at Belcanto provides a series of mouth-wowing moments where you’ll wonder how they did that. Even bread service impressed us with seaweed flavored butter that transported us straight to the Atlantic Ocean.
Belcanto is the epitome of luxury dining – easily one of the best meals we’ve eaten in the last few years. Not only has the lauded Lisboa restaurant earned two Michelin stars, but Belcanto also occupies the 42nd spot on the coveted World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
In other words, Belcanto isn’t just one of the best restaurants in Portugal. The restaurant fulfills expectations as one of the best dining experiences in the world.
Celebrity chef José Avillez helms Belcanto as part of his Portugal restaurant empire, but he’s more than a name on the masthead. Avillez was working in the kitchen when we dined at Belcanto, orchestrating a meal to remember.
Most diners opt for the full Belcanto experience and order one of two available tasting menus – a six-course classics menu priced at €165 and a nine-course evolutions menu priced at €185, each available with an optional wine pairing. Note, prices are subject to change. The restaurant also offers a la carte choices for those not willing to put themselves in the restaurant’s hands.
As for us, we ordered the evolutions menu. Course after course, this epic experience took us on a journey where each dish was a revelation in both taste and texture. Our meal began with a range of amuse-bouches like suckling pig offals ingeniously shaped like cherries and gazpacho with almond foam so delicious that we wanted to lick the glass.
The carabineiro (giant red shrimp), deshelled and served with spherified clams and topped with shrimp head sauce, was a meal highlight. The restaurant exclusively sources its prawns from the Algarve and serves them in season only. As Daryl spontaneously exclaimed, “this is the best shrimp ever.”
The restaurant’s modern take on the peasant pork offal and cabbage stew cozido a la Portuguese was another standout with ingredients like locally sourced pork, cabbage and cubed lardo melting together in a synthesis of meatiness. And we can’t forget ridiculously fresh seabass flavored with a hint of smokiness and topped with a rich avocado puree.
We could go on, but part of the fun of dining at Belcanto is an element of surprise that we don’t want to ruin.
Belcanto is probably the most expensive restaurant in Lisbon and a culinary splurge that not all can afford. However, food travelers who book ahead and have the resources will not want to miss out on this experience.
Let’s face it – dining in Lisbon is typically cheap. It’s entirely possible for a couple to eat for less than €50 a day. We recommend that you use the money you save while eating at local tascas to pay for an extraordinary meal at Belcanto. It’s that memorable and amazing.
Disclosure: We booked our reservation at Belcanto with the full intention of paying for our meal; however, the restaurant graciously hosted us during our lunch with no express expectation of coverage. We appreciate their generosity and have shared our genuine opinions of the meal.
Bel Canto is located at Rua Serpa Pinto 10A, 1200-026 Lisboa, Portugal.
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.
Local is located at Rua de O Século 204, 1200-435 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.
Alma is located at Rua Anchieta 15, 1200-224 Lisboa, Portugal.
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.
Prado is located at Tv. Pedras Negras 2, 1100-404 Lisboa, Portugal.
Queimado is a relatively new, pocket-sized restaurant that’s a vibrant addition to the Lisbon dining scene both for 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, communal, Scandinavian-inspired dining room. They then ramp up the flavors with a liberal application of peppers and XO sauce.
Queimado’s menu featured nine shareable dishes, all priced under €10, at the time of our most recent visit. We shared four dishes and each was excellent. Daryl’s favorite was a heaping bowl of plump mussels seasoned with spicy XO sauce while Mindi preferred fermented plumb-glazed quail served over puffed wild rice.
We have high hopes for Queimado and its worthy mission to make Bairro Alto great again with friendly staff and vibrant plates of food. We’re excited to return and see what the chefs have up their culinary sleeves.
Queimado is located at Rua Luz Soriano 44, 1200-247 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.
Yakuza is located at Rua da Escola Politécnica 231, 1250-096 Lisbon, 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.
Reading the wall quickly reveals various snacks and bigger plates. Vegans and vegetarians will find options like hummus and salad. As for us, we focused on seafood.
Our group of four shared plates loaded with the likes of tuna poke, shrimp and mussels. We started slow and added extra plates as the meal progressed. A couple bottles of white wine completed the equation.
Damas doesn’t take reservations on the weekend, so arriving early was an easy choice for us. Though Damas has a reputation as a hipster hangout, we felt comfortable joining friends for an early dinner of tapas-style seafood in a relaxed, yet modern space.
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 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.
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.
Cervejaria Ramiro is located at Avenida Alm. Reis 1, 1150-038 Lisboa, Portugal.
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.
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?
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.
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 authentically 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tasca do Mercado is located at Arroios Market, Rua Ângela Pinto, 1900-048 Lisbon, Portugal.
For the uninitiated, 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.
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. But these are only part of Lisbon’s 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 authentic 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.
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.
Chong Qing is located at Rua António Pereira Carrilho, 18A, Arroios, Lisboa, 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.
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.
Flor da Laranja is located at Rua da Rosa 206, 1200-348 Lisboa, Portugal.
Refeitório Senhor Abel
Refeitório Senhor Abel caught our eye as we were walking to a nearby Marvila cafe for coffee. Located in the former Abel Pereira da Fonseca wine storeroom, the pizzeria’s grand space is nothing short of eye-catching. In light of our ongoing love affair with the Italian food staple, our return a few hours later was inevitable.
Bright and cheerful, the pizzeria serves pies by pizzaiolo Roberto Mezzapelle, a Sicilian chef who sources authentic ingredients for his Lisbon restaurant. We shared two – a classic Neapolitan Margherita pie with bufala and a spicy pie topped with spianata, nduja and ricotta. Both were excellent with crisp crusts and wonderful flavors, justifying multiple return visits in the future.
Refeitório Senhor Abel is located at Praça David Leandro da Silva 5, 1950-242 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 authentic 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.
Coyo Taco is located at Rua Dom Pedro V nº 65, 1250-093 Lisboa, Portugal.
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.
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 desserts galore.
Popular desserts include Portuguese 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
Pasteis de nata are legendary throughout Portugal but reign supreme in Lisbon, the city where they originated. Legend has it that 18th-century monks invented the popular egg tart at the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos using leftover egg yolks after starching religious frocks with egg whites.
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.
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 few reaching great status.
Check out our picks for the best places to eat ice cream in Lisbon. In our Lisbon ice cream guide, we rank the top Lisbon gelaterias and include a bonus pick in nearby Sintra.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 and Toca da Raposa provide more intimate drinking experiences.
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:
- Explore the city’s best attractions for 24, 48 or 72 hours with a Lisbon Card.
- Avoid hills by taking a Hop On Hop Off Tram Tour.
- Tour the old town in style on a Private Electric Tuk Tuk.
- Eat and drink your way around the city during at 4-Hour Walking Tour with Food and Drink Tastings.
- Get your art on during a 3-Hour Street Art Tour.
- Be a boss and Skip the Line at the Pena Palace.
- Take a Day Trip to Sintra and Cascais.
- End your day with Fado and Dinner in Alfama.
Research Lisbon Hotels
Pin It for Later
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.
You’ll get periodic email updates as well as our FREE guide to eating like a local when you travel. We won’t send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Learn European Portuguese
Are you thinking about visiting or moving to Portugal?
We strongly suggest that you start learning European Portuguese now. Not only is it a challenging language to learn, but most apps teach Brazilian Portuguese.
We were thrilled to discover Practice Portuguese, an inexpensive system that makes learning European Portuguese fun.
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.