Estádio do Restelo, Chueca
This sweet little gastropub (inside Estadió do Restelo) is decorated like a design-conscious homage to its namesake, a famous Portuguese soccer player, with tables topped with lacquered newspaper articles, vintage framed jerseys, and original posters on the walls. The menu offers cheap Portuguese tapas and plenty of inexpensive beer, and while it's obviously a place to grab food before or during a game, it's also worth checking out at quieter times, when you can explore the stadium (which is built on an old quarry) without the crowds.
12 Travessa do Convento das Bernardas, Madragoa
Occupying a 17th-century convent, A Travessa is worth visiting for the ambience alone (particularly if you're here with an S.O., as the old stone and classic arches make for a beautifully romantic setting). Ask for a seat under the stone cloister, where they set up tables for al fresco dining, and if you're visiting in the winter, there are cozy fireplaces indoors. Long-time owner Viviane Durieu is actually Belgian originally, so don't be surprised to find French-speaking expats hanging around, or the appearance of familiar menu items, like moules frites, sole meunière, or foie gras.
49 Av. 24 de Julho, Bairro Alto
Pap'Açorda, an old Lisbon classic that's recently moved to a brand-new location in the Time Out Market, came highly recommended from several people we asked. Chef Manuela Brandão has been with the restaurant since they first opened in the '80s, and he's known for classic Portuguese dishes like arroz de cabidela, açordas, and a chocolate mousse that helped first make the restaurant famous. There space is huge and there are two long bars (plus an excellent wine and cocktail menu), so while it's worth making a reservation for a big night out, it's also a good place for last-minute cocktails and snacks.
Solar Dos Nunes
70 Rua dos Lusiadas, Belém
This cozy, rustic little spot has occupied a corner in Belém for years, with the same décor—the walls are packed with framed, edge-to-edge positive reviews and write-ups stacked above blue-and-white tiles. The fresh, gorgeous seafood is a good bet order-wise, and each meal starts with appetizers that the waiter brings to your table automatically (a huge benefit when you're exhausted and starving from a day of sight-seeing).
Solar Dos Presuntos
150 Rua Portas de Santo Antão, Baixa
This old-school, white tablecloth restaurant (which has been open in this space since the '70s), is our pick for classic Portuguese food and fresh-as-it-gets seafood, with an extensive wine list to match. Fish are purchased in the markets each morning, so it's best to opt for classic, lightly prepared foods like the grilled lobster tails with a squeeze of lemon or, for the brave, an incredible salt-crusted fish that the waiter presents and filets for you at the table. For littles, there's an endlessly entertaining lobster tank in the front of the restaurant.
Commercial Center Martim Moniz, Chiado
Great views are a dime a dozen in a city this hilly, but the view from this rooftop bar on the top floor of a busy shopping center (which looks straight out over the castle) is one of the best by far. They're known for great brunch, excellent cocktails, and dignified, destination-worthy bar food, and on the weekends a DJ sets up shop in the corner for long nights in the open air. Sister restaurant Topo Chiado (which also occupies a rooftop) is worth checking out too.
81 Rua São Pedro de Alcântara, Bairro Alto
This laid-back spot in the Independente Hostel and Hotel has all the trappings of the quintessential hipster restaurant: plywood bar, mismatched vintage chairs for seating, and waiters with moustaches. In the mornings the tables fill up with young locals meeting up for brunch, and in the evenings, there's a DJ in the adjacent bar.
15 Rua Anchieta, Chiado
Henrique Sá Pessoa first opened Alma in 2009—it was his first restaurant, and it catalyzed his career as one of Portugal's few celebrity chefs, opening more restaurants and starring in several cooking shows. Though Alma remained a coveted reservation, Pessoa made the decision to close and relocate the restaurant in 2014, switching up the decór (it's now a warm, mid-century vibe, as though the Eames's decorated an old Portuguese chapel) and recommitting himself to the innovation he was first known for. The gamble paid off—shortly after, the restaurant earned Pessoa his first Michelin star. There are several fixed menus to choose from, although the food can also be ordered a la carte. Either way, have cameras ready, as Pessoa is known for his stunning plating.
35 Rua do Teixeira, Bairro Alto
Though he was actually born in Yugoslavia, and didn't move to Portugal until 1997, Ljubomir Stanisic has become one of the country's most well-known celebrity chefs—in addition to his restaurants and books, he's also a consulting chef for Six Senses in Europe and a host of the Portuguese version of Kitchen Nightmares. 100 Maneiras is his original restaurant, and it remains a Lisbon classic. With only 30 seats, it's incredibly intimate—an experience that's furthered by a remarkably well-priced tasting menu. The menu itself changes seasonally, save for one signature item: Stanisic's "codfish clothesline," which is exactly what it sounds like, yet surprisingly appealing.
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