The image most associated with Lisbon is probably water, whether it’s that of the Atlantic beaches nearby, the history of its explorers’ ships at sea, or where the famous seafood comes from. Those visiting the city often do it with the beach in mind, but during the colder months you may also have a pleasant outdoors experience on the waterfront. In the summer or in winter, here are ten places to enjoy a meal in relaxing scenery.
Opened in late 2012, this lounge/bar/restaurant is literally on the water. It’s inside the Vasco da Gama Tower which is now the Myriad Hotel and serves contemporary Portuguese cuisine.
On the opposite edge of town (Belém), this café-restaurant is inside one of the city’s newest contemporary architecture landmarks, the Champalimaud Foundation building. It’s just a short walk from Belem Tower which can be seen from the terrace. It serves meals throughout the day.
Also close to the tower and right on the river’s edge, this café in a white glass rectangle serves light meals, and although it’s best experienced when the sun is out, it’s also pleasant at night.
With a terrace floating on water, this is a favorite of families for pizza, pastas and ice cream. The Discoveries Monument stands right outside.
Many of the restaurants in the docks are tourist traps but this more recent addition comes with a history and reputation as one of Lisbon’s favorite pizzerias. It was originally in a big space nearby but the new location by the marina is much more attractive.
DOCA DE SANTO
It’s the most attractive of all the restaurants at the docks but as a tourist magnet you can either have a memorable experience or one to forget. Even so, it’s worth a stop, even if just for a drink and a lighter meal in a beautiful setting.
With one of the most beautiful locations in the city, this restaurant doesn’t have to work very hard to attract customers. That’s reflected in the service which doesn’t always meet expectations but it’s still a nice spot for fresh fish by the water.
BICA DO SAPATO
It’s one of the best restaurants in the city, both in food and in service, matching the wonderful riverfront location and the hype as the restaurant of a Hollywood star (John Malkovich). It has a terrace outside but you’ll also have views of the Tagus from many of the tables in the stylish interior.
In a central location by the water (Cais do Sodré), it could be a restaurant just for tourists but it’s not. It’s an unpretentious place for traditional Portuguese cuisine, mostly fish, especially grilled.
MENINOS DO RIO
A short walk along the waterfront from Cais do Sodré is this café that’s especially popular in the summertime. Serving refreshing drinks and light meals, it’s a pleasant stop after sightseeing.