To drink & eat
Portugal has a wonderful food culture based on fresh fish, local meat, olive oil and some of the best wine in the world.
For a Scandinavian like me, going out to eat is very cheap, where instead of paying €8 for a glass of wine and €14 for an entrée you can get a great meal with drinks for around €20.
Portugal has two main wine districts – Douro in the north and Alentejo in the south. I never used to like red wine but after living in Lisbon for six months I fell in love with Alentejo's red wines.
If you want to eat local food in Lisbon, there are a lot of places called tascas – they are simple, cheap restaurants that serve typical Portuguese food. A rule of thumb when it comes to these places: the brighter the flourecent light is, the better the food is. Most places with cosy lighting are tourist traps.
People have asked me about Fado places and to be honest we never experienced it, the music doesn’t appeal to me and they are often more expensive than other local restaurants.
Bring cash, not all restaurants take cards.
Most entrées that they put on the tables are NOT complementary, so don’t eat them unless you want to pay for it (usually €1–4 each).
Tipping not always expected but go for 5–10%.
Portuguese people go out to eat late, around 9–10 pm, which is why most local restaurants are empty at 8 pm.
Meat = CarneFish = PeixeChicken = FrangoPotato = BatataVegetables = LegumesDrink = BebidaWater = ÁguaBeer = Cerveja Wine (red, white) = Vinho (tinto, branco)
This café is a bit tricky to find but it’s well worth it. At the top of the Alfama hill there’s a theatre called Teatro da Garagem. The café is located below it and it has one of the best views in Lisbon.
InformationRua da Costa do Castelo 75Website
This place doesn’t need a long introduction, I can just say this – best ice cream in Lisbon. Do NOT miss it.
Flavours to try: chocolate, pineapple, coconut, cinnamon, pistachio and menthe.
Information Praça São Paulo 1 Facebook
Where Baixa and Alfama meet, there’s a small but cosy café called Fábrica. The interior is very special, a whole wall of retro things to look at – cans, pictures, and other old objects.
InformationRua da Madalena 121Website
Damas is a lovely bar in the up and coming neighbourhood Graça. Perfect for a glass of wine with friends, far away from the popular tourist bar area Bairro Alto.
If you want to grab a bite, the restaurant has vegetarian and vegan options.
Information Rua da Voz do Operário 60 Facebook
Park is a rooftop bar located at the top of a car park. It has a beautiful view of the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge and the bell towers of the Santa Catarina church.
Information Calçada do Combro 58 Facebook
You don’t have to go all the way to Bélem for a great Pastel de Nata. Manteigaria is one of few places that only bake them, and it’s very popular which means there’s a big chance you can get one while it’s still hot. Don’t forget to add the cinnamon!
Information Rua do Loreto 2 Facebook
This is a great place to work or just have a coffee. The Portuguese people basically only drink espresso, which means that they’re not great at making coffee with milk. So, if you’re a “black coffee with milk” snob like most Scandinavians, CCL is the place to go.
Information Rua Nova da Piedade 10 Website
Noobai is located at the Adamastor viewpoint. It has one of the best views in Lisbon, overlooking the River and the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge. The food is also good, we tried the Warm Mushroom salad and the Goat Cheese toast.
Information Miradouro de Santa Catarina (Adamastor) Facebook
Our favourite restaurant in Lisbon by far is A Cevicheria. It’s a small place in Príncipe Real, where you can enjoy amazing ceviche made by fresh fish and with plenty of lime.
Read more about this restaurant here.
Information Rua Dom Pedro V 129 Facebook
Notes You can’t make reservations, they have a queue system and it’ll go faster if you go during lunch.
If you’re walking around Alfama and happen to be close to the Sé Cathedral around lunch time you can stop by Ao Pé da Sé, which literally means “at the foot of Sé”.
It serves sandwiches, salads, carpaccios and piadinas. We also had a glass of wine and their cheese plate after lunch.
Information Cruzes da Sé 31 Facebook
Another favourite is the cosy family restaurant Gato Pardo. The great service and cosy interior makes it feel like you’re stepping into someone’s living room.
They have a couple of “today’s specials” to choose from, but I recommend you try one of the pasta dishes. They also make the best Sangria in Lisbon!
Information Rua de São Vicente 10 Facebook
Notes Since it’s small and usually very popular, book a table in advance.
Wonderful restaurant where all the courses, including the desserts are based on mushrooms.
We had a few different Petiscos to start with, the smoked duck and the mushroom ice cream for dessert.
Information Campo de Santa Clara 7 Website
You can tell that the Time Out Market is built for tourists by the look and feel, but it’s still a good place to visit if you’re not sure of what to eat or drink.
You can find anything from fresh fish, burgers, desserts, cheese and wine and it houses five of the top chefs of Lisbon (Alexandre Silva is recommended).
Information Avenida 24 de Julho 49 Website
NotesIt’s usually very busy so seating can be a problem during peek hours.
When I think of brunch, I think of a lot of different things to eat, something sweet, some eggs, bread, yoghurt with granola, juice and coffee. If you’re in Alfama and visit Deli Delux, you get just that.
Their tables are too small for the amount of food you get. The brunch menu has three different options and you can choose both a cold and a hot drink.
Information Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Cais da Pedra, Armazém B, loja 8 Facebook
Notes They also have a deli market inside with a great selection of Portuguese wines and much more.
Brick Café is a perfect place for a weekend brunch. You can either get a mini brunch for €7 or a full brunch for €12. The food is great and you can get it vegetarian if you ask. I could count to six different kinds of cheese and in my book, that’s perfection.
Information Rua de Moçambique 2 Facebook
Right behind Sé (the Cathedral in Alfama) there’s a cosy café called Pois. None of the furniture match and there are German books along the walls, very unpretentious.
You can either get a brunch plate on a Saturday or play cards and eat tapas for hours with friends on a rainy day.
Information Rua São João da Praça 93–95 Website
This city guide is divided in three parts. You can also find Lisbon City Guide – to do and Lisbon City Guide – to see.