If you are in town, this is a guide you don’t want to miss; trust me! Avoid tourist traps & eat like a true local. But proceed with caution, your mouth will probably be watering all the way through this article.
At this point, I believe it’s no longer big news that Lisbon is one of the best places in the world to eat. Nothing beats access to fresh and high-quality ingredients, traditional know-how & the influence of so many foreign cultures. Also, enjoying food on a beautiful terrace underneath the sun makes it that more delicious.
I came up with a list of my all-time favorite places in Lisbon. Make every meal of your day extra special with this guide to the best restaurants and cafes in the Portuguese capital.
Breakfast & Brunch
If you want to play it like a local true local, your breakfast should be quick and washed down with some expresso. Although Padaria Portuguesa is not exactly what you would call traditional, this chain of cafes has a delicious selection of Portuguese bread and pastries that promise not to disappoint. It’s practical, it’s cheap, and it definitely gets the work done. You can find one of these across the whole city, and I highly suggest the Breakfast Menu to get you powered up for a day of sightseeing.
Where: Across the city.
The brunch concept is pretty foreign but very much adopted by locals at this point. You can find countless restaurants in the city to enjoy a lovely slow morning and plenty of food. Raffi’s Bagels is most likely one of my favorites. The name is pretty self-explanatory: bagels are the star of the show here. Freshly baked in-house, these bagels are to die for, and you can get them with pretty much anything.
Where: Campo de Ourique or Estefânia
Let me tell you, I could kill for this place’s croissants. Actually, for pretty much any of their pastries. As soon as you get in, there are so many mouth-watering options that you’ll likely get overwhelmed for a second. But I highly recommend you give their sugary croissants a try. It may not be the most eye-catching pastry, but your taste buds will be grateful for life.
Where: Baixa Chiado
The lines are always huge and for a good reason! Treat yourself to the best seafood in Lisbon in a restaurant with countless options. It’s like having the sea at your table.
Time Out Market
This is an extremely touristy place and a recommendation you would not expect to see on a local’s list. But... let me explain! I’ve always been a fan of the Time Out Market because you get to taste food from different restaurants while sitting in the same place! It’s a great way to try a little bit of this & a little bit of that without fully committing to one specific restaurant.
Where: Cais do Sodré
In Portugal, we call this type of place a “tasca”: a restaurant that is not exactly the most charming option, but the food is traditionally delicious! Here you get to really sit, eat and behave like a local.
Travel the world …in Lisbon
If you enjoy that greasy goodness that can cure any hangover or broken heart, this place is definitely a mandatory stop. I would recommend a specific dish, but there is really no way you can go wrong, no matter what you order. The space is cozy but incredibly cool & the cocktails are to die for!
Where: Principe Real
This one is definitely an experience you don’t want to miss. And noticed how I said experience and not necessarily mentioned food? That’s because, although the food here is amazing, the ambiance is very unique. These illegal Chinese restaurants have been a landmark of the city for quite a while and a beloved gem for both tourists and locals.
Where: Martim Moniz
Along with the best Arab food in Lisbon, Mezze also has an incredible purpose behind it. This pioneering project focuses on providing training and jobs to refugees from the Middle East! In addition to eating incredibly delicious food, you will be supporting an amazing initiative!
If this is your first time visiting Lisbon, you must go to Belém and get the original “pasteis de Belém”. However, if you have already tried them and want to skip the line without sacrificing the flavor, this suggestion is for you. Manteigaria is my absolute favorite place to get this Portuguese treat. The crunchiest drought you have ever bitten into and the creamiest feeling in the world. You can find them in multiple places across town.
Where: Baixo Chiado and Cais do Sodré
This is a Portuguese artisanal ice cream place with more than 70 years of experience! With a selection of countless flavors, Santini really has something for everyone. You may have to deal with a bit of line, this place is famous among locals and tourists. But I promise it’s worth the wait.
Where: Baixo Chiado
Have you ever eaten a donut that is the actual size of your head? No? Well, here is your opportunity. These donuts are not only humungous but also decadently delicious. Let yourself go in a moment of pure self-indulgence and try more than one. You might need a tasting buddy for this, though.
Where: São Sebastião
For more Lisbon tips, don’t forget to check my Lisbon’s Hidden Gems Guide!
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