Posts About 'Food & Drink'

5 Restaurants to Dine for Less than 20 Euros in Lisbon

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Lisbon is known for its excellent-value restaurants, with decent portions at prices no longer found in other Western European capitals. But it’s not the bargain it used to be, and most places are now reaching the European average. So where can you still find those places where you can eat for less than 20 euros, including a drink (and often a dessert as well)? There are still many, but the five below offer some of the best local traditions:

Toma Lá Dá Cá

TOMA LÁ DÁ CÁ
Travessa do Sequeiro, 38
Found not far from the Santa Catarina terrace, this could very well be the best value restaurant in Lisbon. It’s a “tasca-style” restaurant, meaning it’s a classic family-owned neighborhood restaurant with home-style food at reasonable prices. The fresh fish and meat are of excellent quality, and everyone seems to know it by now, judging from the long lines at the door. Locals and tourists are willing to wait, and it is really worth waiting, as the portions are generous, and so are the prices. The service is rushed but friendly. It’s possible to spend less than 20 euros per person, even with one of the excellent desserts.

Prego da Peixaria

O PREGO DA PEIXARIA
Rua da Escola Politécnica, 40
A “prego” is a steak sandwich but the current trend is to make it more than that. It’s now also all kinds of meat, and even salmon or cod. There are also veggie versions, and in most cases it’s served in “bolo de caco,” a traditional bread from the Portuguese island of Madeira. At this trendy spot in the neighborhood of Principe Real they’re served with fries, and although there are now several restaurants also specializing in “pregos,” this is the most attractive and with a relaxed ambience. It’s quite popular, so expect to wait a while at the door (it doesn’t take reservations).

Taberna da Rua das Flores

A TABERNA DA RUA DAS FLORES
Rua das Flores, 103
There was a time when most restaurants in Lisbon were like this. They were something of a neighborhood kitchen or living room, where people gathered to talk while having a few “petiscos” (tapas). This restaurant in Chiado recreates those times in the décor and food, listing several traditional “petiscos” that change daily and that are served throughout the day. They range in price from 6 to 9 euros, so if you order more than a couple, it will still come out to less than 20 euros per person, including a drink.

Petiscaria Ideal

PETISCARIA IDEAL
Rua da Esperança 100
It was one of the first restaurants to bring back the all-“petiscos” concept, and remains quite a popular spot. The decor (with cooking utensils and antique pieces on the walls) makes you feel like you’re stepping into your grandmother’s kitchen, and the food (meant to be shared at the table) is in fact the type that most Portuguese grandmothers serve their guests. There are no reservations, so you may have to wait a while for a table, especially on weekends.

Oficina do Duque

OFICINA DO DUQUE
Calçada do Duque, 43A
A creative young chef offers a list of reinvented traditional Portuguese dishes at lower-than-average prices at this restaurant with an open kitchen. It includes about half a dozen “petiscos,” and in addition to the meat and fish, there are a couple of vegetarian options. The original desserts are worth a try, although they’ll likely put you over the 20-euro limit per person…

Street Food in Lisbon

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Enjoy street food and outdoor dining, or simply want quick inexpensive meals in Lisbon? Go here:

Martim Moniz, Lisbon
MARTIM MONIZ SQUARE

MARTIM MONIZ
Martim Moniz Square is the heart of the city’s most multi-ethnic neighborhood, home to immigrants from China, Bangladesh, Goa, and Mozambique. The square is overlooked by the castle, and offers a number of food stalls offering varied cuisines. They change from time to time, but currently there’s one for vegetarians, another for hamburgers, another for pizza, another for sushi, and another for hot dogs and cocktails. When the sun is shining, it’s a nice spot to relax with a drink or meal, surrounded by a multicultural ambience and the old trams passing by.

Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon
AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE

AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE
Lisbon’s luxury shopping avenue is lined with a number of kiosks serving food and refreshments. They’re open throughout the day, and some only close late at night. Look for the one that best appeals to your taste buds: there’s one for pizza, another for hot dogs, another for salads and wraps, another for pastries.

Tram cafe, Lisbon
BANANA CAFÉ TRAM

THE TRAM CAFÉ
In the Belém district, across the street from the monastery, is an old tram now converted into a café. At the tables around it you may enjoy a drink or a variety of light meals, such as salads and other healthy choices.

Ribeira das Naus, Lisbon
RIBEIRA DAS NAUS

RIBEIRA DAS NAUS AND MUNICIPAL SQUARE
Watch the trams go by as you sit by the kiosk of Municipal Square. It serves drinks and light meals, perfect for before or after a stroll along the waterfront nearby. One of the most popular waterfront promenades is Ribeira das Naus, to the west of Comercio Square, and that’s where you’ll find another kiosk, quite busy in the afternoon as the sun goes down.

Praça do Município, Lisbon
MUNICIPAL SQUARE

THE LUNCH TRUCKS
New in town are the lunch trucks that are parked around the city from March to October. From Monday to Friday, from 10AM to 8PM, they may be found in the Cais do Sodré neighborhood, in the Amoreiras district or Saldanha Square uptown. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 8PM to 2AM they’re also at the top of Edward VII Park overlooking the city. On Sundays, there’s one from 10AM to 7PM at the Monsanto forest park. Different types of foods will alternate between each location, so you may find the one serving burgers, or the one with hot dogs, another with traditional Portuguese food, another with sushi, and yet another for the healthier meals offered at the Municipal Square kiosk mentioned above.

10 Things to Do in Lisbon’s Avenidas Novas District

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Although it’s home to a large number of hotels, Lisbon’s Avenidas Novas district is the least touristy in the city. Mostly dating from the the early-to-mid-20th-century, it’s mostly a business and residential area, but there are a couple of museums that top the list of must-see attractions for many tourists. If you’re staying in this part of town, or are simply passing by, consider these often-overlooked recommendations:

Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon

CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN MUSEUM
It’s the must-see museum in town, so many do end up here. But even those who don’t particularly enjoy museums will want to check it out, even if just to enjoy its wonderful gardens. Take advantage of Lisbon’s mostly-sunny weather throughout the spring, summer, and autumn months, and catch some sun or have a picnic on the lawns by the duck ponds. Once inside the museum, you’ll find a treasure trove of masterpieces from the East and West.

MODERN ART CENTER
Those who enjoy modern art will want to discover Portugal’s modern artists. Their work is on display in temporary and permanent collections at this museum on the grounds of the Gulbenkian museum and park. Managed by the same foundation, it also has a good collection of British works.

Versailles Cafe, Lisbon

VERSAILLES CAFÉ
This is the classic European café, with a mirrored interior that could very well be part of a royal palace. Admire the architecture as you enjoy a huge selection of sugary pastries that the café and Lisbon are famous for.

Medeiros e Almeida Museum, Lisbon

MEDEIROS E ALMEIDA MUSEUM
It doesn’t even come listed in many guidebooks so it just may be one of Lisbon’s most wonderfully surprising attractions. It’s the former private residence of a wealthy businessman from the late 1800s, who lived among the works of art he collected. Highlights of a visit include not just those precious pieces, but also the rooms themselves. There’s a Rembrandt portrait, paintings by Rubens and Tiepolo, and the beautiful “Lake Room” covered in tile panels from the 1700s and with a fountain that used to be at the gardens of Versailles.

Museu da Cidade, Lisbon

MUSEU DA CIDADE
Get to know Lisbon a little more by touring this museum that tells the story of its different periods in history. Housed in a palace built by the king for his mistress, it includes a pleasant garden with real peacocks roaming around other ceramic creatures.

Eleven restaurant, Lisbon

ELEVEN RESTAURANT
This Michelin-starred restaurant not only offers fine dining, but also views towards Edward VII Park and beyond. The food is mostly Mediterranean, and is a good choice for a dinner for two or for a larger group.

DeCastro Elias restaurant, Lisbon

DECASTRO ELIAS RESTAURANT
One of the top local chefs that concentrates on traditional Portuguese cuisine for modern tastes is Miguel Castro Silva. He’s behind a trio of restaurants in town, and at this one not far from the Gulbenkian, he specializes in “petiscos”, the tapas-like Portuguese dishes based on classic recipes.

El Corte Ingles, Lisbon

EL CORTE INGLÉS
Lisbon’s two big department stores in Chiado burned down in a major fire in 1988, so this Spanish giant is currently the only one in the city. Skip the malls and head here instead on a rainy day, and you’ll find everything you expect from a department store, but will also find a good food court on the lower level.

VARANDA RESTAURANT
It’s worth a splurge at one of the city’s most refined restaurants. It’s on the top floor of the Ritz Four Seasons Hotel, and offers buffet lunches and a la carte dinners with city views. The food mixes Portuguese and international flavors.

Panorama bar, Sheraton Hotel, Lisbon

PANORAMA BAR
End your day above Lisbon, at the top of the Sheraton Hotel. Have a drink in an elegant, relaxed space overlooking the city below.

5 New Spots to Eat in Lisbon in the New Year

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Start the new year with new experiences. If you’re in Lisbon at the moment or will be arriving in early 2014, you may be among the first to experience some new spots for lunch or dinner.
Here are five:

DeCastro restaurant, Lisbon

DE CASTRO
Rua Marcos Portugal, 1
Phone: 915 986 474
The name is that of the chef, one of Portugal’s most acclaimed. Although he’s already responsible for the menu of one of the city’s trendiest restaurants (“Largo”), here he continues to innovate with new dishes, while not forgetting his old favorites (like the clams with butter beans). It’s found on one of the city’s most tranquil spots, facing the romantic little Praça das Flores in the Principe Real district.

Casa de Pasto, Lisbon

CASA DE PASTO
Rua de São Paulo, 20
Phone: 213 471 397
Hidden on an upper floor, this is a brand new secret by one of the city’s top young chefs. Although he brings his fresh reinterpretations to Portuguese cuisine, the menu is mostly a list of time-tested dishes, cooked in a charcoal oven. That oven isn’t the only inspiration from the past, as the entire dining area is decorated like the typical Lisbon restaurant from the early 1900s.

Las Ficheras, Lisbon

LAS FICHERAS
Rua dos Remolares, 34
Phone: 213 470 553
In Lisbon you may want to concentrate on the local cuisine, but for something different, why not try Mexican? This new spot is open throughout the day and offers the spicy traditional Mexican food that has fans all over the world. Wash down the tacos and enchiladas with a nice glass of tequila before continuing down the neighborhood known for its bars.

Prego da Peixaria, Lisbon

O PREGO DA PEIXARIA
Rua da Escola Politécnica, 40
A prego is a steak sandwich but at this restaurant it’s also fish burgers. The most popular is the salmon prego, but be warned that if you’re not a big fan of fish, you should go for the meat or vegetarian option instead. The fish taste is quite strong, as is that of the cod prego. All are accompanied by fries in a small attractive space decorated with recycled materials.

Campo de Ourique market, Lisbon

MERCADO DE CAMPO DE OURIQUE
Stay on tram 28 until the last stop in Prazeres and you’ll be in the mostly residential neighborhood of Campo de Ourique. Although it doesn’t offer much in terms of tourist attractions, it’s a pleasant area with some good restaurants. But if you’re looking for a meal at any time of the day, head to the neighborhood market instead. It’s a building from the 1930s, recently renovated inside to offer a food court in addition to the stands of fresh fish and vegetables. You can sit for a quick meal of traditional Portuguese petiscos (tapas), or sushi or pizza, every day until midnight.

5 Spots for a Break by the Castle

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

After climbing the hill to the castle and walking around its ramparts, you’ll surely need a break. Luckily, there are several spots to sit for a drink or meal in the neighborhood, and we’ve selected five that you’ll want to place on your itinerary:

Nata Lisboa

NATA LISBOA
Rua de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 5-11
You don’t have to wait until you go to the Belém neighborhood to enjoy Lisbon’s famous custard tarts. They’re available throughout the city at most cafés and pastry shops, and recently a chain specializing in that pastry was born. There are currently a trio of branches in the city, and one of them is right by the castle gate. With tables facing the castle entrance, here you can have one or several tarts or simply enjoy a refreshing drink.

28 Café, Lisbon

28 CAFÉ
Rua de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 45-47A
Down the same street as Nata Lisboa is another authentic Lisbon experience — having a drink or meal inside an old tram. At least that’s what the interior of this cafe which recreates that of the city’s emblematic trams wants you to feel. But instead of taking you up and down the city’s hills it transports you back in time, with old black and white photos of the city and its trams on the walls.

Wine Bar do Castelo, Lisbon

WINE BAR DO CASTELO
Rua Bartolomeu Gusmão, 13
Down the hill, around the corner from the gateway to the castle is this wine bar that’s become a tourist magnet with dozens of Portuguese wines by the glass. They’re accompanied by cheeses and charcuterie, perfect for a break at the end of your sightseeing.

Claras em Castelo Restaurant, Lisbon

CLARAS EM CASTELO
Rua Bartolomeu Gusmão, 31
A few doors up from the wine bar is this tiny restaurant which specializes in traditional Portuguese food. There are only a few seats inside, but there are a couple more placed outside when the sun is shining. It’s quite a romantic little place where you can also simply stay for a glass of wine.

Chapitô à Mesa Restaurant, Lisbon

CHAPITÔ À MESA
Costa do Castelo, 7
For a more complete gastronomic experience with Lisbon at your feet there’s this restaurant further down the hill. It belongs to a circus school but the food is serious business. It now even has one of the city’s most creative young chefs in the kitchen. There’s a more formal dining room with postcard views of Lisbon where a more refined (and expensive) menu is served, and a more informal terrace outside for lighter meals.

5 New Spots to Taste Portugal in Lisbon

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Sabores da Madeira

SABORES DA MADEIRA
Rua do Outro, 279
Now you don’t necessarily have to fly to the island of Madeira to taste the regional specialties of that subtropical Portuguese territory. At this space in downtown Lisbon you can enjoy the traditional drinks such as poncha (made of lemon, honey and brandy) and end a light meal with a glass of Madeira wine. The meals may include wheat soup or simply a slice of the traditional cakes of the island.

Bebedouro

BEBEDOURO
Rua de São Nicolau, 24
This is a trip to northern Portugal. It’s a café/wine bar open downtown throughout the day, presenting wines and food from the Douro region. The interior is small but attractive, but there are several tables placed outside on what is a pedestrian-only street. To accompany the wines there are sausages and cheeses, canned fish bruschettas and other “petiscos” (tapas).

Pizzaria do Bairro

PIZZARIA DO BAIRRO
Rua da Cintura do Porto de Lisboa, Armazém A, 18
It’s a pizzeria but it’s more Portuguese than Italian. All the toppings are inspired by Portuguese tastes, using local cheeses and hams, and there’s even the choice of cod. It’s found on a former warehouse from the 1800s by the entrance to the Cais do Sodré ferry terminal, and there’s no space to sit inside. Instead, this is a place to grab a slice (or an entire pie) to enjoy on the waterfront.

Loja das Conservas

LOJA DAS CONSERVAS
Rua do Arsenal, 130
What you find here is to be enjoyed at home or elsewhere. It’s not a cafe or restaurant, it’s a shop selling just one type of product — canned fish. Now recognized as a healthy and high-quality gourmet product, the canned fish from Portugal comes in a large variety and in attractive packagings that also make great gifts. Naturally, it’s attracted a large number of tourists, which is why displays on the walls explain the history of each brand in English and Portuguese.

Patio do Bairro

PÁTIO DO BAIRRO
Rua da Atalaia, 35
For many years this was a popular Mediterranean restaurant called “Império dos Sentidos” but is now concentrating only on Portuguese food. The interior is filled with drawings illustrating typical old Lisbon courtyards and alleys, very much like those you find outside the restaurant, in the Bairro Alto neighborhood.

Two Michelin-Star Chefs Opening New Restaurants in Lisbon

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Café Lisboa, Lisbon

There are currently two local chefs in Lisbon with gastronomy’s highest honor – the coveted Michelin star. Coincidentally, they’re both opening new casual restaurants in the city, complementing their well-established fine dining spaces.
José Cordeiro’s Michelin star in Lisbon was received at the Feitoria restaurant on the waterfront district of Belém, and he is now also on the waterfront, but on Comercio Square. The new “Chefe Cordeiro” restaurant has a terrace open throughout the day on the square for those who simply wish to have a drink or light meal on one of the city’s most monumental settings. The more complete meals can be enjoyed inside, in a space from the 1700s filled with contemporary furnishings. From the open kitchen comes dishes said to be “a tribute to Lisbon,” meaning traditional foods, but reinterpreted by the chef’s talent.
The other Michelin star is José Avillez, who in addition to the famous Belcanto restaurant has two others in the city. The new one, the fourth, is a café, found in the gilded interior of the city’s opera house, São Carlos Theater. Open throughout the day, every day, it has a terrace on the square, allowing you to stop for a drink and light meals to the sound of the old trams passing by. In such an emblematic Lisbon setting, the name of the place is appropriately “Café Lisboa.”

“Eat Portugal”

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Eat PortugalWhether you’re a curious foodie or a long-time fan of Portuguese food you may want to try to prepare some of Portugal’s most popular dishes. If you’re not yet familiar with Portuguese cuisine, you may want to check out our food guide which includes recipes for two old favorites. For additional recipes, there’s the “Eat Portugal” book. Written by Lucy Pepper (a British illustrator and writer living in Portugal since 1999) and Célia Pedroso (a Portuguese journalist) who both share a passion for food, it’s a step-by-step guide to preparing Portugal’s favorite dishes with ingredients you can find almost anywhere in the world.
Written in English for a foreign reader, it explains the history of each specialty, including soups and desserts. Especially helpful is the glossary which makes you better understand the dishes you find on a typical Lisbon menu and there’s also a dictionary at the end.
Well illustrated, it whets your appetite for some quite surprising foods.
You’ll find the book at book stores in Lisbon or you may order it online from the publisher:
Book: Eat Portugal book
E-book: Eat Portugal eBook

The 10 Most Famous Foods in Lisbon

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

There are certain foods that people go out of their way to enjoy. Those kinds of specialities that turn ordinary restaurants into legends and often into symbols of a city. Here are ten things to eat in Lisbon that people rave about.

Piri Piri Chicken

PIRI-PIRI CHICKEN
It’s perhaps even more famous outside Lisbon thanks to the Nando’s chain. But there are no Nando’s in Lisbon and Lisbon’s chicken is nothing like Nando’s. First of all, it’s far from being fast food, it’s meant to be enjoyed slowly and ideally on the terrace of the Bonjardim restaurant. Also known as “Rei dos Frangos” (“The King of Chickens”), it’s very much a local place but also a tourist magnet, with many claiming this is the best chicken they’ve ever had.

Pastel de Nata

CUSTARD TARTS
Lisbon’s most famous pastry is often imitated but never duplicated around Portugal and now even the world. The original place to try them is Antiga Confeitaria de Belem (known to most simply as “Pastéis de Belém”) but there is also a couple of “Nata Lisboa,” small spots specializing in the delicacy, in the Chiado and Principe Real neighborhoods.

Chocolate Cake

“THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE IN THE WORLD”
“O Melhor Bolo de Chocolate do Mundo” is really the world’s best marketing name. Although quite good, truth be told, it’s not even the best chocolate cake in Lisbon… But given the name, you feel compelled to try it. It’s now served at several cafes and restaurants around the city but a good place to find it is at the Santini ice cream shop in Chiado.

Pão de Deus

“PÃO DE DEUS”
It literally means “God’s Bread” and will taste divine if you love coconut. It’s more a pastry than bread, and ever since the chain of “A Padaria Portuguesa” bakeries presented its own square-shaped version it’s become a fad that will surely become a long-lasting favorite.

Açorda

“AÇORDA”
It doesn’t look that appetizing at first sight, but you’ll be sold at first bite. This soupy dish of bread and shellfish (or cod) is traditional in southern Portugal but served all over the country. No one does it better than the Pap’Açorda restaurant which uses lobster and prawns in its “Açorda Real” and gives the bread the aroma of coriander.

Sardines

GRILLED SARDINES
There are those who’d stay away at any cost, those who eat them regularly, and then there are those in Lisbon who actually have them only once a year during the big “Festas de Lisboa” street feasts. You’ll see (and smell) them grilling in almost every corner in June, and that’s enough to make them one of the city’s icons.

Clams

CLAMS
The Pinóquio restaurant could present nothing else on its menu and still make big business thanks to its clams arriving from Algarve. People come from miles away just to enjoy this garlicky dish which helps explain why its serves between 15 to 20 kilos of clams daily, from noon to midnight. This dish is available at many traditional restaurants in the city but there’s something special about Pinóquio’s.

Croissant

CHOCOLATE CROISSANT FROM “BENARD”
So what if the croissant is not native to Lisbon? Forget the rushed not-so-welcoming service and enjoy a chocolate croissant at the Benard cafe. It’s incomparably better when straight out of the oven, but it’s always a treat getting chocolate all over your fingers and lips as it drips from the flaky pastry.

Chouriço Assado

“CHOURIÇO ASSADO”
This is one of the best-loved traditions in the country, served at many bars to accompany glasses of wine. It’s become a popular experience at the Artis and Tasca do Chico bars in Bairro Alto, with tourists especially fascinated by the fact that it arrives in flames at the table.

Estendal do Bairro

“ESTENDAL DO BAIRRO”
Alluding to the laundry seen hanging from so many windows in the older districts of Lisbon, chef Ljubomir Stanisic came up with the idea of presenting fried pieces of cod held by clothespins. Looking like something of a contemporary art project, it’s become so famous that it can never leave the menu of his restaurant 100 Maneiras and we like the ingenious way it pays tribute to Lisbon.

10 Spots to Dine by the Water in Lisbon

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

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.

River Lounge

RIVER LOUNGE
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.

Darwin's Café

DARWIN’S CAFÉ
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.

À Margem

À MARGEM
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.

Nosolo Italia

NOSOLO ITALIA
With a terrace floating on water, this is a favorite of families for pizza, pastas and ice cream. The Discoveries Monument stands right outside.

Capricciosa

CAPRICCIOSA
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

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.

Doca Peixe

DOCA PEIXE
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

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.

Alma Lusitana

ALMA LUSITANA
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

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.