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.
V 129 R. Dom Pedro, Príncipe Real
A Cevicheria is known for putting a Portuguese spin on Peruvian ceviches (and also for its rather dramatic decór element, a large octopus sculpture that looms over the bar). The rest of the space is white-washed and light-filled, making it a clean slate for the order of choice here—ceviches made with fresh fish that chef Kiko Martins hand-selects from Portuguese markets each morning. And if ceviches are the signature dish here, the pisco sours are the signature cocktail—make sure to get at least one for the table.
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.
15 R. 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.
Bairro de Avillez
Rua Nova da Trindade, 18, Chiada
If you eat one place when you're in Portugal, make it Jose Avillez's thorough, Eataly-style restaurant complex in the São Carlos National Theatre in Chiado. In addition to a grocery with meats, cheeses, canned goods, and kitchen accessories, Bairro de Avillez is home to several notable sit-down restaurants, including Beco, a 1920's-style cabaret that features a prix fixe menu and live entertainment (for 18 and older, only), and Cantinho do Avillez, Avillez's modern take on traditional Portuguese food. Belcanto, the prix-fixe-menu spot that earned Avillez two Michelin stars, is just down the street.
Clube de Fado
86–94 Rua S. João Praça, Alfama
This is a wonderful, aptly named late-night spot where you can get your dose of Fado; it's the kind of comfortable local place where you can end a night with a good meal, a gorgeous set of songs, and a glass of brandy.
Clube de Jornalistas
129 Rua Trinas, Lapa
Clube de Jornalistas occupies a converted 18th-century home, but the place to sit is really the gorgeous cobblestone garden/terrace, which is protected on all sides by verdant walls. Both the wine list and the menu are a balance of traditional Portuguese dishes and more international influences—regulars tell us that the lamb burger is the best in town.
Comida de Santos
39 Calçada Eng. Miguel Pais, Príncipe Real
Given the historical connection between the countries, it's no surprise that there are a few great Brazilian restaurants in Lisbon. Comida de Santos airs on the kitschy side, but the grilled meats (and the fries they serve them with) are cooked to perfection, and there are a few great seafood picks on the menu, too. Bonus: The lengthy but very complete wine selection is quite reasonable.
49 Avenida 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.
R. do Alecrim 35, Bairro Alto
With the exception of a few tables, all seats at Peixola are around one large, key-shaped bar in the middle of an intimate, lively dining room, where you'll find great cocktails, great ceviche, and equally great service. Almost everything on the menu is fish-oriented: think smoked salmon mousse appetizers, fish soup with anejo rum, and tuna tartar. Bonus: As of recently, the kitchen is open on Fridays and Saturdays until 1 am.
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