This city has a lot of high quality, cosy and affordable restaurants. Too many to try in just 4 days, but these are my 5 tried & tested favorites for foodies in Lisbon! Try the typical Portuguese dishes like Balcalhau, Pastéis de Nata or Pastéis de Belém, Santini’s famous ice cream and sit back with a cold glass of Portuguese wine, while you listen to a beautiful fado. Bom apetite!
1. Mini Bar
This special restaurant is my absolute favorite in Lisbon! Located in an old theater, with a very theatrical menu…order some ‘support actors’, ‘dramas’, ‘tragicomedies’ or ‘leading ladies’ & enjoy high quality Portuguese wine. The owner, José Avillez, born and raised in this city, runs 6 restaurants in Lisbon. One of them, Belcanto, has been awarded with a Michelin star in less than a year after opening. Luis of B&B Casa Amora, where I stayed, advised me to try the chef’s tasting menu, ‘The Epic Menu’, and so I did. OMG, I don’t think I have EVER had a dinner like this! In 12 (!) amazingly creative dishes, including a Margarita apple, an explosive olive & a ferrero rocher with eatable gold & foie gras, my taste buds have a party. I’m working on a full post about this restaurant, so stay tuned…
♥ Mini Bar Teatro, R. António Maria Cardoso 58 – €€€
2. Time Out Mercado da Ribeira
In this large food market, you can try dishes from all the best food shops & restaurants in Lisbon. So many tasty options to choose from! I go for the traditional Portuguese Bacalhau with truffle oil & chorizo and a good glass of Sauvignon Blanc. After that I try the croquettes from the Croqueteria with cod & ink and the divine ice cream of the famous Santini. There is something for everyone! Keep in mind that it can get very busy here and there is a possibility you’ll be sitting elbow to elbow…Not ideal if you want to have a romantic dinner!
♥ Mercado da Ribeira, Av. 24 de Julho 50 – €
3. Rosa da Rua
We were on our way to a popular new hotspot in Lisbon: A Chevicheria, with a giant papier-mâché Octopus hanging from the ceiling, when I walked past this cosy place. A Chevicheria doesn’t take reservations and there were about 20 people outside waiting to be seated, so we decided to leave and walk back to Rosa da Rua. We enjoy some excellent traditional Portuguese food from the buffet. Two of my favorite dishes are the squid stuffed with chorizo & the chickpeas with cod, really good! The ladies who wait our table, make us feel like we have known them for years and it’s like we’re invited into their home. Warm & cosy! And the prices are friendly too!
PS: forgot to take photo’s…shame on me! Check the website below.
♥ Rosa da Rua, R. da Rosa 265 – €€
4. Petit Café
After a long hike through the hills of Lisbon, I crash, slightly overheated, at Petit Café in Alfama, where a kind guitarist plays Brazilian songs on the terrace. While I attack the tentacles of my ordered octopus & sip on a good glass of Portuguese white wine (they sure know how to fill their glasses over here!), a typical, antique Lisbon tram runs by the restaurant and I can feel myself easing back into the slow Lisbon pace of life. Petit Café is also a wine bar, so ask for some advise! Try the passion fruit tiramisu…. Friendly service & a cosy interior.
♥ Petit Café, Largo São Martinho – €€
This popular restaurant is no newy on the block. Pharmacia is located in the Apothecary Museum and looks like an old pharmacy. Pepper & salt are in medicin tubes and your bottle of wine is put into an old medicinbox next to your table, with a big cross on it. Order an Ibuprofeno or a Morphino cocktail to make you feel better. Susana Felicidade, a female top chef, runs the kitchen. Most of the dishes on the menu are meant to be shared. I loved the sweet potato cookies with crème fraîche & salmon. The garden in front of the restaurant, with astroturf, reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. I did not really like it that much and would recommend booking a table inside!
♥ Pharmacia, R. Mal. Saldanha 1 – €€
Pssst, my Favoroute App about Lisbon, with all my favorite spots, routes, offline maps, do’s & don’ts & photos is now online in the App Store. Everything you need for your citytrip! You can check it HERE!