Restaurants in Lisbon
While most restaurants in Lisbon still serve traditional fare, a number of eateries have opened in recent years to cater to the capital’s international foodie clientele. Some of the best restaurants in Lisbon for the discerning food connoisseur include Alcantara Café, Kais and Restaurante Eleven.
When looking for an authentic Portuguese restaurant in Lisbon be sure to check for a handwritten description on a board as opposed to plastic menus with pictures of the dishes – which usually indicate a tourist trap. Most traditional restaurants charge for a small amount for bread, olives and cured meats or couvert placed on the table at the beginning of the meal. Ask the waiters to remove them if you do not wish to be charged.
Looking to rub shoulders with Lisbon’s hippest residents? Choose a restaurant in the Bica, Chiado and Santos neighborhoods. The Bairro Alto and Rua Nova do Carvalho are also good areas for great Lisbon restaurants.
A place to see-and-be-seen, the Alcantara Cafe, in the neighborhood of the same name, is housed in a 600-year-old timber warehouse that was formerly a printing factory.
This 2009-opened restaurant is the brainchild of Spanish chef Sergi Arola, and the menu highlights posh tapas (sea bass with Kaffir lime sabayon; black pork with São Jorge cheese).
In the mostly commercial Uptown district of Lisbon is Luca, a contemporary, whitewashed dining space that uses Portuguese ingredients like black pork cheeks and prawns in traditional Italian pastas and risottos.
Join the art students and furniture designers who gather here for exquisitely fresh sashimi at tables set on an under-lit glass floor.
For traditional Portuguese cuisine, this favorite on a wee street off the main drag, serves fresh grilled Portuguese river trout stuffed with bacon.
Locals converge on this Belgian-influenced restaurant in a former 17th-century convent for lambic, abbey, and Trappist ales, and for the bull-steak frites. An outpost of this Portuguese standby opened next door to the Fado Museum, but the 34-year-old original remains a favorite.
Hobnob with impeccably turned-out locals over thin-crust pizzas. The space manages to feel intimate despite its warehouse-like dimensions.
Don’t head back to Lisbon without stocking up on the local queijada pastry (made with goat cheese).
The Terra Restaurante Natural, located in Principe Real, serves an extensive vegetarian/vegan buffet filled with choices including Portuguese and International cuisine.
Chef Alexandre Silva polishes up rustic Portuguese classics; a fresh risotto layered with crayfish ceviche is a standout.
Its name refers to a traditional cilantro-rich bread-and-shellfish stew, just one example of the Portuguese soul food this minimalist restaurant serves. It’s also one of the best places to get an eyeful of the city’s fashion-world elite.
This restaurant on the water with views across the Tagus River, makes a nod to Mozambique—a former Portuguese colony—with piri-piri prawns and smoky Zambezi curries.
Os Ferreiras, in the city's center, is a fado mainstay, owned by singers Antonio and Maria Helena Ferreira (fado is a genre of Portuguese music). A rotating roster of fadistas, including Artur Batalha and Julia Lopes, perform every Friday and Saturday night after 10 p.m.
The restaurant features modern interiors (Saarinen chairs; graphic wallpaper) and whisper-thin carpaccios.
Housed in a brick, 19th-century cable car depot overlooking the Tagus River, the Kais restaurant has retained much of its warehouse style, with high ceilings, ironwork, and modern wooden tables, chairs, and curved black-top bars.