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My favorite Lisbon Restaurants

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Here is a list of my favorite restaurants in Lisbon; it does not include the ones that are in every guide book, such as Pap Açorda. Though they’re very good, you don’t need me to recommend them, since others have done a much better job of describing them and writing them up. And here are two preliminary comments about eating in Portugal in general.

First, the “couvert.” In most restaurants, a few (and sometimes quite a number) little dishes of nibbles will be brought to you as soon as you sit down. Those are not on the house, they will be on your bill. There is nothing wrong with declining them if you don’t want the extra charges, but they are frequently “house specialty” kinds of things. So what we frequently do is take a plate or two and then forego the first course.

And second, a few words about ordering fish. I think Americans (at least those from the US) are frequently put off at the thought of ordering a whole fish, but it is by far the best way to eat delicious fish in Portugal. If you have trouble getting the skin and scales off, the waiter will always do it for you (that was my experience anyway, before I became at least moderately adept at doing this). The bigger the fish, the easier it is to deal with. Waiters will help you with choosing the right fish for you and the number of people, but if my memory's right here, we have found that a kilo is good/generous for two people, and had a 1.8 kilo red snapper that left three of us totally satisfied. Pricing is by the kilo, and you should always feel free to ask the waiter the weight of the fish he brings for you to look at.

So, enough preaching, now here’s the list of my favorites:




Traditional Portuguese
(moderate price)
These are restaurants whose main dishes are grilled fish and meat, fresh and simple.

O Mercado – Rua Leao de Oliveira, Alcantara (tel. 21 364 91 13). This is in an old market, and it sits directly under one of the huge pylons of the 25th of April bridge. We had some memorable fresh fish dinners here.


Casa dos Passarinhos, Rua Silva Carvalho 195 (tel. 21 388 2346). Old neighborhood favorite, lively and good quality/price ratio. It's in Campo d'Ourique, which is one of my favorite residential urban neighborhoods in Lisbon.

Adega das Gravatas, http://www.adegadasgravatas.com/ Travessa do Pregoeiro, 15, tel. 21 714 36 22 . Now you may think it’s gimmicky to eat in a room where a thousand cast-off ties are hanging from the rafters (you can bring in one of your own to contribute), but the food is really good. Favorites include the whole red snapper (called emperador in Portugal), the shrimp açorda (a shrimp bread pudding type thing), and the grilled meat plate (they bring you raw meat with a hot stone for you to cook it on). This is a happy place, lots of groups go here to celebrate birthdays, etc, a great atmosphere. Another added bonus is that it is on the periphery of a little old neighborhood, which used to be a separate city, called Carnide. This neighborhood has a fair number of grilled meat type restaurants that do a brisk business. There are also some outdoor cafes on one of the streets – but for the cars, when you sit there you could swear you were in the year 1910 rather than 2010.

Cais da Ribeira (behind the dock at Cais do Sodre) – nice setting on the river, good grilled fish. a little pricey for what you get, but nice atmosphere.

Lautasco – in the Alfama near Fado museum (Casa do Fado) – very nice outside setting in a bico (dead end off a lane) – touristy, but not too expensive and a very nice location


Stop do Bairro, Ryua Tenente Ferreira Durao, 55A, Tel: 21 388 88 56, website: http://www.hed-web.com/stop/. This restaurant is on a small street in Campo de Ourique, one of my favorite neighborhoods in Lisbon. Small family place, paper tablecloths, crowded and noisy. Actually, there are several nice restaurants in the neighborhood, it's about a four block by four block grid area, easy to spot on the map. The neighborhood Campo de Ourique is right at the end of the 28 tram, which leaves from Praca Martim Moniz, so you can combine a must-do ride on that tram with a dinner at the end. If you take the 28 to get here, make sure you get on one that says Prazeres rather than Estrela, because Prazeres takes you another ½ km or so into the neighborhood.

Regional Portuguese
O Galito, Rua da Fonte, 18-D (Carnide) (tel. 21 711 10 88). Typical Alentejano food, which includes a fair amount of pork (pork with clams is one favorite).

Tasquinha d’Adelaide, Rua do Patrocinio 70/74, Campo D’Ourique (tel 213 962 239). Food from the northeastern mountains (Tras Os Montes). Excellent lamb, duck rice – not a place for light summer dining!


Portuguese, a bit “upscale”
Restaurante 33, R. Alexandre Herculano, 33-A (tel. 21 354 60 79). One of the nicest outside terraces for eating in Lisbon, it’s a private garden a flight of stairs down from the street, very good food. (This is probably in most of the guidebooks, but it’s so nice, especially in the summer, that I included it. Location right near Marques de Pombal is good for many visitors). I once had some very overcooked fish here, and made the decision to tell the waiter and they fell all over me to make things right. I hate doing this but when you pay 26E for an entree, I guess it's within the realm of reasonable.

Charcutaria Francesa, Rua Manuel Bernardes 5a/b (tel. 911033392). Probably my favorite “new find” this year. Right next to the beautiful Praca das Flores, which has a couple of very pleasant outdoor cafes for meals and/or drinks. The Charcutaria is small and cozy, outstanding food – I’d say it’s kind of a “nouveau portuguese” place.
Tasca da Esquina, Rua Domingos Sequeira 41C (tel. 210 993 939). The Tram #28 (make sure you’re on one that says Prazeres) stops right outside. Recently opened by the chef of the (now closed) Terreiro do Paco, this has become extremely popular within a month of opening. Great atmosphere, lovely place, good, reasonably priced food. I was shocked to leave the restaurant at 10:30 p.m. and find a long line – that may be common in Spain, but it’s extremely rare in Portugal. If you reserve a table, make sure to ask to be seated in the dining room (all glassed in and very pleasant) rather than at one of the tables in the bar area. It’s loud and noisy and chaotic in there, which is fine for having a drink and some tapas, but not so fine if you’re turning this into dinner.

I don't know if you enjoy splurging on expensive restaurants, but if you do, Eleven is one place to try – up on a hill overlooking the parque Eduardo VII. Run by a Spanish chef who has a two star Michelin restaurant in Alicante. Phone 21- 386 22 11 . Reservations are essential, it’s very "in." We gravitate more towards less style/sophistication/money but everyone says this restaurant is really really good.

International
Aya, Rua Campolide, 351 (Twin Towers is the unfortunate name of the building). Probably the best sushi place in Lisbon.

Tamarind, Rua da Gloria, 43-45 (tel 213 466 080). Our favorite Indian place in town.Off Avenida Liberdade. Walking from Restauradores to Marques de Pombal, turn left at the Vision Lab and proceed up hill. Favorites: Green fish curry, shrimp malay, lamb tika, tandoori chicken, lentil soup with mint and lime.

Hokkaido, Rua Saraiva de Carvalho 184/A (tel. 213 968 127). Cheap sushi, pretty good, very lively.

Pizzarias/Italian
Lucca, Travessa Henrique Cardoso, 19B (tel. 21 797 26 87). Good quality, very popular, neighborhood place. Calzones are great, too.

Casanova, Cais da Pedra a Bica do Sapato, Sta. Apolonia (te. 351 21 887 7532). Right on the river across from the train station. Probably edges out Lucca for good pizza IMO. And it has nice outdoor tables right on the river.

Il Gattopardo, in Hotel Dom Pedro, near the Amoreiras shopping mall. Food is very good. It has a very nice outdoor terrace, which looks out over the Amoeiras district and its fanciful, modern office buildings. Good lasagna, good risotto. Not too expensive either, if you just have pasta, even though the hotel is the latest and most fashionable 5 star in Lisbon. Only off-putting thing is the sterile glamour of the five star crowd (but we were really tired of Portuguese fare and wanted something different). Sorry, that may sound very judgmental, but this is a glitzy place.

Old Standbys
Adega Sao Roque, Rua da Misericordia, 120 (tel. 213 432 167). Still the best seafood cataplana (a seafood stew with a scrumptious broth) we’ve found in Lisbon. Very lively place right in the midst of all the action in the Bairro Alto. The only drawback is that there are no chairs, just stools, so if sitting for long periods without a chair back is hard for you, you could call and try to reserve a table against the wall so you can lean back on it.

Restaurante Da Adraga, Praia da Adraga (Almocageme) (tel. 21 928 00 28). Fresh fish served in a little restaurant right on the beach. This is a small beach, and the restaurant is the only building on the beach. Beautiful beach, great food. (Located in between Sintra and Cascais on the western coast, so a bit out of the way, but it’s a good place to go after a Sintra trip or in conjunction with a drive to Cabo da Roca). During the two years I’ve lived in Lisbon, I have brought at least 8 groups of visitors there and have never gotten anything but raves – the setting is incredible, as is the food.

Erva de Cheiro, Rua Tomas da Fonseca n. 26A (21 726 21 21). Neighborhood restaurant in a new, pretty charmless part of town, but food is very good, worth a trip. Not far from the Marriott hotel.


Beer Halls
Cervejaria Trindade, located in Bairro Alto right on the Rua Trindade. This is on most tourists’ itineraries, and it is a beautifully tiled beer hall with reasonably priced food. We usually go for a beer right before we go for a seafood cataplana to the Adega Sao Roque, about a block away. Beer snobs, beware, Lisbon is no place for you. Even in a “cervejaria” (beer hall), your choices will be SuperBok or Sagres (two huge breweries). The choice will be on tap or in a bottle.

Cervejaria Ramiro
Avenida Almerante Reis 1 G-H Phone: 21-885-10 24
Bustling, casual, non-touristy seafood restaurant. Reservations required. Most of the seafood is on display on the bar or in tanks near the entrance.
 
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Rui33

New Member
I love a traditional portuguese food restaurant in Lisbon downtown named restaurante nilo. This portuguese restaurant with terrace has affordable delicious portuguese cuisine. I recommended the codfish "bacalhau à minhota" or the "bifinhos au piri-piri". And to drink the portuguese wine "Borba" from Alentejo (a south region of Portugal). http://www.restaurantenilolisboa.webs.com
 
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CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
A little off-topic, but still in Portugal - I have a funny story.
I am Portuguese.
And I LOVE bacalau!

So a few years back, I went to the Azores to visit family, then to Lisboa, Sintra, then took a two week vacation at Nazare.

While in Portugal I always eat as many versions of bacalau as possible.
In Sintra, we were in a bar, and hungry.
Seeing a menu, we ordered... bacalau!
It was a totally different version I had never eaten, with rice instead of potatoes.

We were busy talking about the next stage of our trip, so we really didn't pay much attention.
Soon, the guy brought out this steaming dish of bacalau and rice with this interesting topping.

OMG!
It was SO GOOD!
As I was eating, I looked around and thought it was strange... I didn't see anything resembling a kitchen.
But.. the food was wonderful and I ate it. I think I paid around 10 euros for dinner.

Later, while in Nazare, we rented a flat with a kitchen, so we could cook for ourselves.
I went to the market to shop for food, and while I was browsing the frozen section,
I had to laugh out loud,
because there on the shelf was the exact same dinner I had ordered at the bar.
And I mean EXACT, right down to the topping.
It was even the same shape.
The guy had slid it out of the package onto a plate, microwaved it, and voila!

It was about €2.

We bought it, took it home and had it for dinner, and it really was the same dish.
I don't know why I thought this was so funny, except we had visions of a little grandma back in the kitchen cooking up that great meal,
not some hairy dude sticking it in a microwave.
 
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amsimoes

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I am out.
Friends have my email.
I have to walk, to walk off all the calories I ingest when I'm in Lisbon. :)
My original post is from 2009, I will have to do some updating. I see that a couple have closed, so I will have to delete them and then next spring add a few more.


Hi Laurie

All Carnide restaurants are good. I go frequently to the Adega das Gravatas (I reside nearby) and whenever I can go there to eat a barbecue (fish or meat).

The Galito Restaurant has changed location, is now in the back of my house in Rua Adelaide Cabete.

I never eat in Rua dos Correeiros restaurants, are just for tourists (expensive and the food is not particularly good).

Always I recommend the restaurant Ze da Mouraria (codfish to Friday and saturday), in Rua João do Outeiro (only lunch).

http://www.thelisbonconnection.com/...h-neighborhood-amalia-rodrigues-fado-history/
Laurie in the ninth photograph you can see Rita's back, on a day when a group of colleagues went to lunch, in front of the man in red sweater (Norberto).

I also recommend Zé dos Cornos (the Horns) (mostly grilled meat).

Merendinha do Arco restaurant is good the owner is my friend, but is beginning to be frequented by tourists, which will surely spoil the quality, but I also recommend.


AMSimoes
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, AM, many thanks for these updates and additional recommendations. Do you really mean that all restaurants in Carnide are as good as As Gravatas? I have never had anything but delicious fish or meat there, I just LOVE that place!

And btw, for pilgrims spending some time in Lisbon, the Carnide area is a little untouched old neighborhood, narrow streets, small homes, left in tact while the streets around it got bigger and apt. buildings went up. Sitting outside in one of the cafes on a warm night is very nice. Only problem is that it's a little hard to get to by metro. Kind of out of the way, but well worth the detour.
 

KinkyOne

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I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hey folks, you're not helpful a bit here. I mean - it's hard for me to put together enough money for whatever Camino and when I decide which one to take then you begin throwing this "mouth-drooling" suggestions. You're all VERY VERY BAAAD :D
 
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amsimoes

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I am out.
Friends have my email.
Hi, AM, many thanks for these updates and additional recommendations. Do you really mean that all restaurants in Carnide are as good as As Gravatas? I have never had anything but delicious fish or meat there, I just LOVE that place!

And btw, for pilgrims spending some time in Lisbon, the Carnide area is a little untouched old neighborhood, narrow streets, small homes, left in tact while the streets around it got bigger and apt. buildings went up. Sitting outside in one of the cafes on a warm night is very nice. Only problem is that it's a little hard to get to by metro. Kind of out of the way, but well worth the detour.


Hi Laurie

The next website you can see a classification of Carnide best restaurants (there are many more), and the medium price for two people.
https://www.zomato.com/pt/grande-lisboa/melhores-restaurantes-carnide

Localization, restaurants and metro (Carnide metro Station), near Colombo shopping:
https://www.google.pt/maps/@38.7589949,-9.1890245,18z?hl=pt-PT
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Laurie

The next website you can see a classification of Carnide best restaurants (there are many more), and the medium price for two people.
https://www.zomato.com/pt/grande-lisboa/melhores-restaurantes-carnide

Localization, restaurants and metro (Carnide metro Station), near Colombo shopping:
https://www.google.pt/maps/@38.7589949,-9.1890245,18z?hl=pt-PT

This is a terrific website. It's in Portuguese, but rankings are easy to see and a dictionary can help with the basics. And in case there is any doubt about how much Portuguese people like to go out to eat good food, this website shows an astonishing 44 restaurants in the little neighborhood of Carnide, which can't be much bigger than 10 square blocks!
 

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