Where to Eat in Lisbon

Paulo Barata

Lisbon restaurant offerings, from classics like the seafood mecca Cervejaria Ramiro to trendy spots worth the hype. 

The fanciest restaurants, from trendy Bica do Sapato (Av. Infante Dom Henrique, Armazém B; 351-21/
881-0320) to the leading homegrown chef 
José Avillez’s Michelin-starred Belcanto (Largo de São Carlos 10; 351-21/342-0607), divide opinion enough to make one want to seek out the simple, because there’s little dispute over which salt-of-the-earth eateries are the best in town. Everything is closed on Monday nights—except Solar dos Presuntos (Rua Portas de Santo Antão 150; 351-21/342-4253), which serves up classic Portuguese cooking and has the longest line in the city, and Bota Alta (Travessa da Queimada 37; 351-21/342-7959), 
where diners sit cheek-by-jowl, devouring the cod, wine-soaked Alentejo pork and lamb dishes. Nobody eats before 9 p.m., not even at the city’s most popular restaurants—including Pap’Açorda (Rua da Atalaia 57; 351-21/
346-4811), which is well regarded for a delicious peasant bread stew with prawns and a chocolate mousse scooped from a huge silver bowl. And then there’s noisy Cervejaria Ramiro (Av. Almirante Reis 1; 351-21/885-1024) , with its 1970s-style wood veneer interior and paper tablecloths. Its menu is fish sold by weight; specialties include poached barnacles, clams and scarlet prawns. The number of single diners—
elegant ladies of a certain age, policemen, office workers—says everything about why this restaurant matters. That said, a small number of the neighborhood favorites don’t take reservations, forcing early arrivals. Three other places for a pit stop: Pastéis de Belém (Rua de Belém 84-92; 351-21/363-7423): touristic because it’s iconic, but also brimming with Lisbonites who come for the warm, creamy custard tarts 
(it sells 21,000 a day) and coffee served from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. within a warren of 17th-century blue-and-white-tile-covered walls. 
Sea Me (Rua do Loreto 21; 351-21/346-1564) in Chiado, the main downtown shopping area (grab a seat at the bar and order the grilled sardine nigiri sushi with a glass of green wine) and the fuchsia-pink Quiosque de Refresco (1Praça de São Paulo; 351-21/395-8329), a snack kiosk reminiscent of those from late-19th-century Lisbon, near Chiado, for some old-fashioned Portuguese lemonade. 


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