Lisbon is one of my favourite cities in Europe. It helps that it is a short train from our home in the the Algarve and hosts some of the best foodie/drink experiences in Portugal. We try and visit the capital every few months to get our fill of the good stuff!
Our travel guides are based on real experiences. With the exception of Pastéis de Belém we have visited all of the bars and restaurants listed in our Lisbon eats + drinks guide. We only feature places we absolutely fall in love with and would/have returned to since our first discovery.
We’re big on finding the tiny, unassuming bars and restaurants as well as testing out some of those super popular spots. This means you’ll find a good variety of locations, styles and prices to ponder over. Now… go make yourself hungry and book some flights!
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A new addition to Lisbon, Comoba offers excellent speciality coffee, a tasty and filling breakfast and lunch menu (think breakfast burritos and matcha pancake stacks) and a light and airy space to enjoy it all.
The tiny but charming Taberna Da Rua Das Flores offers a range of lunch specialities but it is the evening service that will have you salivating. The menu changes daily but you can expect creative and delicious menu Portuguese fusion. A waiter/waitress will talk you through a long but interesting menu and recommend you choose 3 dishes between 2 people (obviously we choose 4 and had no regrets!). I can hands down say that this was one of my favourite meals I have ever had.
DON’T MISS OUT: Taberna does not take bookings in advance. You need to turn up on the day at 6pm to book a table for that evening. Needless to say it is very, very popular so if this is top of your list while in Lisbon make sure you get there early to secure yourself an evening of foodie heaven.
Cute wine and Pisco bar. For those of you unfamiliar with Pisco (as I was before visiting this bar) it is an un-aged brandy.
All you really need to know is it is made from distilled Peruvian grapes and is very drinkable,
especially on a hot afternoon after a day exploring the city.
Wine & Pisco is situated in a beautiful square and is the perfect place for a late afternoon drink before dinner.
Does what it says on the tin, literally. Loja Das Conservas translates as ‘tinned food shop’ and thats what this casual tapas bar serves up, but not as you know it. Hidden away down an unassuming alley this unique restaurant find serves up a mouthwatering range of tapas dishes all created from tinned fish. I was blown away by some of the flavour combinations here so if tinned fish isn’t your usual go-to let this place change your mind. Our tuna samosas paired perfectly with an ice cold beer and my other half enjoyed a flavoursome garfish.
Once you’ve got a taste for all the tinned food possibilities visit their shop next door and stock up on Portuguese sardines, tuna and more to take home and try out yourself.
Tea bar meets cocktail bar meets vintage shop and we’re totally ok with that. A Outra Face Da Lua has a relaxed but fun vibe with a great outdoor seating area where you can soak up the Lisbon scenery and provides a cracking jug of sangria to boot.
Epic food hall on the waterfront. A big and bustling space with tonnes of options from traditional Portuguese to Juicy burgers, Thai and Japanese. Ideal for loading up before your journey home or as an evening spot with a group who can’t agree on what to eat! There is a Manteigaria here to so you can stock up on those natas too.
Yet another atmospheric tapas bar with amazing dishes that meets all the requirements for a memorable evening. Estrella da Bica is a cosy tapas restaurant located mid way down the iconic Elevador da Bica. Its wide variety of dishes and local buzz will have you returning to night after night. Again, this is a popular spot so arrive early to book a table for the evening. There is plenty of lively bars around to help you muster up a hunger beforehand.
Fuel up on (excellent) coffee at Fabrica and stock up on some freshly roasted beans to take home. This trendy brand roasts their own beans and supply many of the speciality coffee shops in Portugal. If you’re coming into or out of Lisbon via Oriente station you can also grab a coffee to go from their funky silver van. Beats a train station “coffee” thats for sure!
When you’re in the city but wish you were on the beach or you just need some fresh air head to Naus 5 for a relax and a glass of something cold. Stress relieving deck chairs, a fully stocked bar and beautiful views across the Tagus…what more could you need?
Perched up high at the Santa Caterina view point is Noobai. This multi-level restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks and effortlessly slides from day to night. So whether you’re here for a hangover breakfast, a fancy dinner and cocktails or just a few sunset beers the atmosphere will be perfect. The view over the Tagus isn’t too shabby either!
We found this (almost invisible) bar in the middle of Bairro Alto whilst on the search for a beer. Chico is a tiny cave-like bar come restaurant with live Fado most nights. For what it lacks in space and light it makes up for in atmosphere and experience. If you want to secure table for a sit down meal during the show you’ll need to book a day in advance but you don’t need to eat (or have a table) to enjoy the live Fado here. Turn up between 830pm-9pm and grab a beer to enjoy in the street outside the bar. At 9pm they’ll usher as many people from outside into the bar as will fit and shut the door for a 10 minute Fado show. If you don’t make it in for this one don’t worry they’ll be another one shortly after. It is completely free to watch the Fado and you’ll experience it as the locals do – packed in like sardines! This bar is a real gem amongst many expensive and touristy Fado shows and we highly recommend it!
12. T Á B E R N A |
BAR / COCKTAILS
n75, Tv. dos Fiéis de Deus
Friendly staff, great beer snacks, excellent cocktails and music in the heart of Bairro Alto! This our usual spot for an after dinner drink and it never disappoints.
The only place on our eats + drinks guide that we have not visited (yet!). I had to feature it on our list because apparently this is home to the best Pastel de nata in Lisbon which surely means it is the best in the world?! We attempted to visit during our last trip but mid July is crazy busy and the queues were unbearable. Next time, next time. Located out of the city centre in beautiful Belém – well worth a stop on your itinerary. If you want a world class nata in the city centre read on….
If you can’t make it to Bélem don’t fear there is incredible pasteis de natas hidden all around the city in various bakeries and cafes. The main thing to remember is that these Portuguese tarts need to be eaten fresh so look for places that make them daily on site. One I highly recommend is Manteigaria where you can watch the sweet treats being made in front of your eyes and they do a delicious espresso too. It doesn’t get much fresher people!
As if you needed another tapas bar in Lisbon? But seriously, there is always room for more tapas. Boasting more than 60 authentic dishes, a huge range of drinks and alfresco streetside dining this is worth an afternoon of your time in Lisbon. The tapas is more expensive here than other spots but it has a great selection suitable for all types of foodies and the beer is cheap!
U N K N O W N |
SOMEWHERE IN LISBON
Enjoy our guide and check out some of our recommendations but don’t forget to forge your own foodie trail too. There are hundreds of bars, cafes and restaurants waiting to be discovered in Lisbon and we just haven’t found them yet! To get you started we dare you to try and find a Chouriço Assado (flaming Chorizo) in Bairro Alto.
MONEY: Although some bar, restaurants and shops do take card many of the smaller, local places do not so it is wise to carry cash on you. There are plenty of ATM’s around the city. Look for local bank ATM’s rather than currency exchange ATM;s and you’ll save money. Or even better get a prepaid travel card.
I always travel with Revolut. Revolut is a free prepaid card and app that you can hold and transfer multiple currencies on. You can use the contactless Revolut card abroad and at home with no exchange fees whatsoever. Simply top up using the app and transfer between currencies whenever you like. You can also transfer money to friends with Revolut in one tap; super handy when you need to split the bill. I have been using Revolut since we moved to Portugal three years ago and I have saved hundreds of £’s compared to using my UK bank account. There is no set-up fee or running costs (it is completely free) and you will also receive a free card when you sign up below. I’ve also written up a post on the Best Travel Money Card if you want to read more about Revolut.
TIME ZONE: GMT+0 (same as UK)
LANGUAGE: European Portuguese
Lisbon is a popular destination for British holidaymakers (and many other nationalities) so the majority of restaurants, cafes and bars speak good English. However, most Portuguese will appreciate you making a small effort when it comes to learning their language so even if it is a simple bom dia (good morning!) you should try you best while you are visiting beautiful Portugal.
Here is some very basic phrases and words to start with…
Do you speak English?
I speak a little Portuguese
Eu falo/a um pouco de Português
Chicken with piri piri Frango piri piri
Water sparkling/still Agua com gas/sem gas
Red wine Vinho tinto
White wine Vinho branco
Green wine Vinho verde
Do you have? Você tem?
If you haven’t booked your accommodation yet go and explore some of the options. There are so many cool apartments in Lisbon and if you book early you’ll get the best choice. My personal favourite? Look for first or second floor apartments with a balcony in Bairro Alto and you’ll be rewarded with memorable views!