Lisbon

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.

The savory crêpes are generously sized, the hummus is house-made, and the jewelry in the clever wall-mounted cases is for sale.

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.

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.

Senhor Vinho, in Lapa, is owned by well-known fadista Maria da Fe; as such, it is an ideal restaurant for hearing Lisbon's unique fado music. The "Portuguese blues", popular since the 1820's, consists of mournful ballads about loss, painful love, and life's difficulties.

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).

Ibo

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.

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.

The restaurant, situated atop the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz—set above Parque Eduardo VII, offers some of the best views of the city.

Join the art students and furniture designers who gather here for exquisitely fresh sashimi at tables set on an under-lit glass floor.

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.

Tucked away up the stairs from the Travessa Terreiro do Trigo and down the San Miguel alley is the restaurant Santo Antonio de Alfama.

For traditional Portuguese cuisine, this favorite on a wee street off the main drag, serves fresh grilled Portuguese river trout stuffed with bacon.

The restaurant features modern interiors (Saarinen chairs; graphic wallpaper) and whisper-thin carpaccios.

Lisbon’s hippest restaurant—located at the docks and partly owned by actor John Malkovich—serves contemporary twists on Portuguese classics, such as codfish salad with chickpea ice cream. The retro-modern space is well suited to the forward-thinking food.