Updated August 2023
Lisbon is one of my favourite cities in Europe. When I lived in Algarve I would visit the capital every few months but now I’m a short train ride away in Cascais I’m in the city for work and play several times a week. This means I’m always on the hunt for new restaurants, cafes and bars. I’m a sucker for a good foodie experience too! As always my travel guides are written from personal experience. I’ve been living in and traveling around Portugal since 2016 and sharing the best bits as I go.
My aim is always to update this as frequently as possible so you can trust that the places mentioned are still around when you arrive. I also try and support smaller, Portuguese-run businesses where possible so I’ll always make a point of mentioning them.
I’m love 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. Let’s eat, drink and be merry….
BEST RESTAURANTS IN LISBON
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 in Portugal.
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.
Small, secluded restaurant tucked away in Alfama. Great patio for food and drinks.
One of three restaurants by José Avillez (2 in Lisbon and 1 in Cascais). Contemporary Portuguese dishes best shared with friends.
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.
Cute tasca in Principe Rea next to the park. This unassuming but still charming restaurant has some great fish dishes and the usual Portuguese classics to be enjoyed.
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.
As if you needed another tapas bar in Lisbon? But seriously, there is always room for more tapas. Boasting more than 60 tapas dishes, a huge range of drinks and alfresco dining this is worth an afternoon of your time in Lisbon. This has a great atmosphere in the evenings and attracts a young, local crowd.
BOOK A FOOD TOUR IN LISBON
One of the pleasures of Lisbon is wandering around and seeing what you can find and I definitely recommend taking some back streets in search of tascas and unusual restaurants. However there is also no one that can introduce you to Lisbon’s food scene better than a local so consider booking a food tour while you’re there.
This Food + Fado Tour is a great way to skip the touristy fado shows, see the real deal and chow down on some authentic grub while you do it. Or taste a range of petiscos (Portuguese tapas) at sunset on this Food + Wine Tour.
Find one a tour to your taste >> FOOD TOURS IN LISBON
Home to the best Pastéis de Nata in Lisbon which surely means it is the best in the world?! The natas are truly wonderful here but the queues in the middle of summer are absolutely crazy. Go early to avoid waiting. Or skip it all together because there are so many fabulous bakeries serving up epic pastéis de nata.
If you can’t make it to Bélem don’t fear there is incredible pastéis 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!
BEST BARS IN LISBON
Cute wine and Pisco bar. For those of you unfamiliar with Pisco is made from distilled Peruvian grapes and is after a hot day exploring the city. Wine & Pisco is situated in a beautiful square and is the perfect place for a late afternoon drink before dinner.
My most frequented rooftop because of ease. Java is located in Cais do Sodré so it’s super easy to get to. It has a lovely list of cocktails and isn’t too OTT.
Brazilian run bar in Principe Real. Young, hip crowd. Excellent cocktails, great music and some tasty dishes.
Tea bar meets cocktail bar meets vintage shop so if you’re hoping to pick up some vintage finds this is our spot. They are based in Rossio so super central. 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.
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!
BOOK A FADO + FOOD TOUR WITH DEVOUR
My next tip would be to book a tour with a local. Devour work with Lisbon locals and have created a fantastic food and fado tour in the oldest neighbourhoods in Lisbon.
BEST SPECIALITY COFFEE IN LISBON
I’m a bit of a coffee snob and although I love a Delta café after dinner or lunch at a tasca I prefer tspeciality coffee for my first cup of the day! When I first moved to Portugal speciality coffee was hard to come by. There were only a few places in the country but over the last few years more and more places have been popping up. Lisbon has so many now we are totally spoilt for choice.
This is my favourite breakfast/brunch/coffee stop in Lisbon. I’ve been visiting since before I moved from Algarve to Lisbon. These guys were one of the first on. the speciality coffee scene and they remain a- s firm favourite for locals and visitors. Love you guys!
Several restaurants across the city. Consistently good speciality coffee. My go to for iced coffee in the summer. Popular with mostly tourists and the digital nomad crew.
Several locations in Lisbon, Porto and one in Cascais. Also one of the original speciality coffee shops.
(Somewhere in Lisbon)
I hope this Lisbon food and drink guide helps you find a few great foodie experiences 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.
Planning a trip to Portugal, Spain or Italy? I’m here to help.
If you want to plan the perfect trip but there are just too many options, I can help you make the most of your time. If you want a personalised travel itinerary, full to the brim with authentic experiences, I’ve got you…
Money in Europe
The majority of hotels, shops and restaurants in the bigger cities accept card but some smaller places only accept cash or non-foreign cards. Always carry some cash with you. ATM’s are easy to find all over the town. Unless you already have a Euro currency bank account I highly recommend getting a Wise Card. This will allow you to hold and exchange multiple currencies at the best possible rate. There is no charge for withdrawing or using your card to pay. I’ve been living in Portugal since 2016 and I use Wise as my primary bank card here despite also having a Portuguese bank account. I’ve also used Wise to pay and withdraw money in Spain and Italy.
Top tip: Avoid Multi Currency machines such as ‘Euronet’ (usually set up outside souvenir shops etc) as they charge you 3 or 4 euro to withdraw. Look for ‘Multibanco’ machines to withdraw money. More info here…
Book Your Stay in LisbonBooking.com
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!