Discover what it’s like to eat at Zunzum Gastrobar, Chef Marlene Vieira’s buzzy bistro on the Lisbon waterfront.
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 initial dinner at Vieira’s ‘gastrobar’, we overheard the table next to us saying that they too had passed the restaurant “about 70 times” without knowing what it was.
Now that we’ve made the connection and have given Zunzum a shot, we can confirm that Vieira’s gastrobar 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 in various Portuguese cities. She’s adept at building flavors while keeping Portuguese concepts fresh. Zunzum is a great spot to experience her culinary art.
Check out Marlene, the female chef’s more gastronomic restaurant located directly behind Zunzum Gastrobar.
Food At Zunzum Gastrobar
During our initial dinner, Vieira’s swordfish ceviche featured a mingling of tender fish with a touch of passion fruit acidity. Another standout was her comforting yet sleek version of Arroz de Bivalves – a shell-free mollusk-fest filled with chewy clams, tender razor clams and plump mussels – that was a cut above typical Portuguese octopus, shrimp or duck rice stews.
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 Milho, a fried corn dish typically eaten in Madeira. 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.
Zunzum Gastrobar is located at Avenida Infante D. Henrique Doca, Rua Jardim do Tabaco do, 1100-651 Lisboa, Portugal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Making an online reservation is the easiest option and can be done via the restaurant’s website for groups up to eight people. You need to email the restaurant at email@example.com for larger reservations.
Zunzum Gastrobar currently offers a six-course tasting menu for 49€. Plates range from 6€ to 32€. As always, prices are subject to change at any time.
No. Tipping is optional in Portugal.
Zunzum Gastrobar doesn’t have a dress code. We recommend smart casual attire. We also recommend bringing a light jacket to dinner if you plan to sit outside during the shoulder season.
Zunzum Gastrobar is a flat four minute walk from the Santa Apolónia metro station. Other Lisbon transit options include walking, buses, trams, taxis and car services.
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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. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.
Original Publication Date: April 10, 2023