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.

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.

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.

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Order a traditional Portuguese dinner of grilled fish with fresh vegetables.

Hobnob with impeccably turned-out locals over thin-crust pizzas. The space manages to feel intimate despite its warehouse-like dimensions.

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.

A sleek space in the Amaliá Rodrigues garden of Parque and Michelin-starred chef Joachim Koerper’s ambitious Mediterranean menu cemented Eleven’s popularity from the moment it opened.

Don’t head back to Lisbon without stocking up on the local queijada pastry (made with goat cheese).

Head to this new spot for pan-Mediterranean fare, like linguine with local Serpa cheese and roasted walnuts.

A Baiuca is tucked down the cobblestone Rua de Sao Miquel in Alfama. Bottles line the shelves, portraits of singers and vibrant, ceramic fish cover the tiled walls, and strings of light twinkle.

The Terra Restaurante Natural, located in Principe Real, serves an extensive vegetarian/vegan buffet filled with choices including Portuguese and International cuisine.

Since 1837, customers have been lining up outside the pastelaria next to the Heironymite monastery in Belem waiting for their pastel de Belem — a custard tart made with filo dough and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.