Within the last few years the opening of new contemporary and avant-garde restaurants along with the work of famous chefs have changed the image and the scene of Lisbon, which became a real gourmet capital popular among foodies, journalists, and food bloggers.
Luckily family-run tascas, which represent a real institution in Lisbon, didn’t disappear, just like the many historical pastry shops and the elegant cafes in the Baixa district. New restaurants have expanded their culinary offers for tourists who now can choose among different options that satisfy all types of palates and pockets.
Although restaurant prices have increased within the last few years due to the boom of tourism, Lisbon is still one of the cheapest capitals of Europe and it is not hard to spend less than 10 euro to find a good meal. A funny and informal alternative to restaurants and tascas are the several markets crowded with many visitors and local people.
Once in Lisbon you will find several places where to eat, however we would like to recommend different areas and restaurants.
If you are looking for a traditional dinner we recommend Alfama, the most traditional district of Lisbon. Choose among the many tascas, restaurants, and family-run taverns offering also the dish of the day: bacalhau and excellent fish dishes, as well as grilled meat, tapas, and salads.
Tascas are usually pretty small and very simple, but still delicious thanks to their genuine atmosphere that will bring you back to the past. They offer a very good quality-price ratio.
Another good reason to dine in a tasca is to listen to some fado music; restaurants concerts are usually for free.
It won’t be hard to find a restaurant or a coffee bar in the Baixa district. It is a very touristic area at any time of the day, while Lisbon residents prefer to come here during the day to grab a coffee or a light lunch.
Many restaurants in the Baixa area offer well priced fixed menus; we can’t describe them as the best restaurants of Lisbon, but they represent a good solution to keep an eye on your budget during your holiday. It is also very nice to have lunch or dinner outside while looking at people walking by.
If you are looking for something less touristic, leave the main street behind and try to find some hidden alleys. Here it is possible to find some real gems and traditional restaurants.
Barrio Alto is famous for its nightlife and its several bars; however, people don’t come here only to grab a drink before going clubbing: having dinner at Barrio Alto is a good idea to discover new traditional taverns.
Fancy and trendy places offer international menus, creative Portuguese cuisine, and vegetarian dishes. They are very popular and characterized by very stylish interiors.
If you are looking for something romantic and traditional maybe it is better to choose another area. However, Barrio Alto is a good option for the gay community, as here there are several gay-friendly restaurants.
Alfama, Baixa and Barrio Alto are three recommended areas where to eat, but you will easily find many interesting restaurants in other areas of Lisbon, too.
The Ribeira market is the ideal place for those who want to live a real local experience in Lisbon, taste local delicacies and merge with the locals who come here to eat with friends at affordable prices.
It opened its doors in 1882 and since then it is a fish, meat, fruit and vegetables market located inside a beautiful building with a Moorish dome in Avenida 24 de Julio, near the station of Cais do Sodre. In 2014 a modern food court was added to the market, featuring more than thirty stalls selling regional specialities. The food court can seat about 750 people.
It is a real gourmet paradise where it is possible to find all kinds of delicacies; taste the different types of bacalau, challenge your palate with some spicy piri piri, and try different types of petiscos, that is to say the Portuguese tapas. In this food hall it is allowed to purchase food at any stall and then use the common, central tables. You won’t have to argue about where to eat with your friends or partner; choose whatever you want and share the same table!
Lisbon has a great food scene. Whether you choose to eat fish or meat, in both cases you will be amazed by the exquisite quality of the Portuguese cuisine.
Agreat place to taste some good Portuguese cuisine in a cozy and easy environment. Among the specialties offered by the restaurant, there is codfish cooked in porto wine and cognac.
An old historical palace, perfect to try cod-fish based dishes!
A traditional restaurant to appreciate some authentic Portuguese dishes; codfish, seafood risotto, pork meat, and some great Portuguese wines.
You can’t leave Lisbon without listening to the fado. This is one of the most popular fado restaurants where the famous singer Amália Rodrigues debuted for the first time. Traditional atmosphere, great Portuguese cuisine, and melancholic music.
This very old beer shop in the heart of the Chiado district, located inside a former convent from 1834, is a real masterpiece of tastes and aesthetics. It is decorated by azulejos and it offers beer-based specialties, such as the bife picado à trindade (beef in beer).
Born in 1782 as Casa das Neves, today it represents one of the oldest restaurants of Lisbon where the famous writer Fernando Pessoa used to come, trading food for original writings.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article
There are numerous traditional Portuguese dishes that are simple and very tasty, and you can try them at one of the many tascas of Lisbon, small taverns scattered all over the city. Bacalhau, dry codfish, sardinhas assadas, grilled sardines, caldo verde, a potatoes and cabbage soup.
Snails are also very popular, along with fried buns and the Pastéis de Belém.
Portugal is famous also for its wines; if you are spending your holiday in Lisbon don’t forget to drink a good glass of Porto!
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