Lisbon’s food scene is so incredible it almost makes you feel guilty about previously dining in average tourist trap restaurants anywhere else. This is the first place I have visited where every meal has been an absolute hit. There are so many great eateries that our 48 hours in Lisbon were consumed with trying to decide which restaurants to try out. Read on for my top 5 picks of places to eat in this brilliant city.
This was our first meal in Lisbon. Located in the ultra cool LX Factory, A Praça is a modern eatery serving up no fuss, delicious Portuguese dishes. This lunch would’ve been extremely satisfying at the best of times, but after a few hours of travelling and avoiding plane food it was complete heaven. We ordered the pork medallions served with polenta and greens as well as the cod potato cake.
The front of the restaurant spills out on to the street making it a perfect open space to watch the world go by. The price was reasonable for two mains and two drinks, however dining in central Lisbon is far better value. There are lots of restaurants on this street so getting a table somewhere shouldn’t be an issue.
A post lunch stroll through LX factory is an absolute must. Make sure to check out the cool trinket shops, tattoo parlours and quite possibly the most incredible book shop on this planet. To get to LX Factory buses and trams run frequently from the centre of Lisbon. The 15E tram takes you to the Calvário stop which is a two minute walk from the factory.
(photo credit Pinterest)
This was one of the best meals of my life. Taberna rua da flores serves up such a creative and flavoursome menu. Mackerel tartare, squid spaghetti – yes, so long courgetti, crispy pork fillet and fried goats cheese were amongst some of the dishes we sampled.
They are served in a tapas sharing style and the menu changes daily. We didn’t need to see a wine list, the house was the only option suggested – and for good reason. We were astounded by how reasonable the cost was for this exquisite meal. Taberna doesn’t take bookings, and this tiny restaurant fills up very quickly so get there early. Metro stop: Baixa-Chiado
Cervejaria Ramiro is a no frills seafood restaurant you absolutely have to try. The waiters are fun and friendly, and the food is excellent. Within seconds of sitting down we were clutching ice cold beers and devouring the warm, crunchy garlic butter bread.
The waiters will happily recommend things on the menu for you. Be careful as the prices are all based on weight and it’s difficult to gauge how much you are actually ordering. A slight panic ensued when choosing the lobster, which turned out to be unnecessary as the cost is so reasonable for the quality of the food. We opted for sizzling garlic prawns, clams, lobster and prego rolls. We came here on a recommendation and were told that the steak sandwiches are not to be missed. A recommendation I feel compelled to pass on. All this delicious grub was washed down with a few cold beers. There is a great buzz to the restaurant, it almost feels like you are dining in the very busy kitchen of a ship.
You can expect to queue outside – but the wait is so worth it. Metro stop: Intendente
Sea Me is an upmarket Portuguese & Japanese seafood restaurant located in Chiado. The restaurant takes reservations so make sure you book because it’s always busy. Immediately you are given bread, olives and crab mousse – something so divine I wished it could’ve lasted forever. You can either select your fish from the counter or order off the main menu.
I was served the most succulent octopus I had ever eaten, and the poached cod was just as much a hit with my boyfriend. Both dishes served with a mountain of spinach and sautéd potatoes. The house wine is excellent and very reasonably priced.
This was our most expensive meal in Lisbon, however the cost was staggeringly cheaper than it would have been in most other european capitals. We were once again overwhelmed at how good value dining out in this city is. Metro stop: Baixa-Chiado
We visited Timeout Market twice during our 48 hour stay in Lisbon. The indoor market is filled with the very best of Lisbon’s eateries. We dined on seafood, barbecued meats, Portuguese rolls and Lisbon’s finest icecream, all washed down with Superbok beers and strong espressos.
The place was absolutely buzzing and it is obvious that the food vendors do very well here. It made me wonder why these markets don’t exist in more cities. The concept is absolutely genius. It’s like the world’s chicest food court. Within the venue we dined at Cozinha da Felicidade, Santini, Monte Mar and Miguel Laffan.
The clear winner was Cozinha da Felicidade where we dined on medium rare grilled tuna steak served with sautéed sweet potatoes and a side of duck croquettes and cod fritters with tartare sauce.
Feeling fully satisfied we followed up our feasting with a wander around A Vida Portuguesa who have a pop up store in the market. The shop is filled with kitsch Portuguese trinkets and is definitely worth visiting if you want to buy gifts to take home. The market also hosts cookery classes and demonstrations at their cooking station. Timeout Lisbon is located near the waterfront at the Metro stop: Cais do Sodré.
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