There’s a lot of things that I love about Lisbon and the food is definitely one of them. Fresh, seasonal ingredients and plenty of seafood mean that Portugal’s capital is a great destination for foodies (even little ones).
Lisbon is packed full of great restaurants from small restaurants where the locals like to eat to fine dining rooms with Michelin stars and tasting menus. The good news, however, is that eating out in Lisbon is very affordable.
If you’re wondering where to eat in Lisbon then the following are some of the restaurants that we enjoyed the most.
What to eat in Lisbon
There are a handful of traditional Portuguese dishes that you really must try in Lisbon including piri piri chicken; take a look at the 7 most popular!
The Portuguese like to say that they have 1,001 recipes for cod, which is ironic given that the humble cod doesn’t even swim in Portuguese waters. Still, you will find salted cod (mostly from Iceland) on most restaurant menus and it’s served as the main meal at Christmas. Pastéis de bacalhau, essentially fish cakes made with cod, are a good option for kids.
Other popular dishes in Portugal include cozido à Portuguesa, a traditional stew made with potatoes, carrots, sausages, cabbage, beans and beef. You may find some versions served with pig ears and pig feet, which may cause amusement / horror with your kids!
Bifana, a pulled pork sandwich, is a popular street food snack and you’ll find plenty of stalls selling this around town.
And don’t go home without trying Ginja (pronounced gin-gin), the local tipple made from sour cherries. We stopped by Ginjinha Sem Rival, which is also famous for being the only shop to sell Eduardino, a liquor made from herbs, fruit and aniseed. Ginja Sem Rival opened in 1890 and is still run by the same family in the same location, just around the corner from Ginjinha do Rossio, the oldest ginjinha bar in Lisbon.
Finally, no trip to Lisbon is complete with at least one pasteis de nata (preferably one a day!). I’ve listed my favourite place to get what I think are the best pasteis de nata in Lisbon below.
[author] [author_info]Don’t miss these 11 best shops in Lisbon or the best things to do in Lisbon with kids. If you have time, head to the coast for a stay at the family-friendly (and luxury) hotel Martinhal Cascais[/author_info] [/author]
Where to eat in Lisbon
Arco de Velha
The quirky Arco de Velha was one of my favourite Lisbon restaurants. Housed within what looks very much like your grandmother’s living room, this reasonably priced restaurant serves simple, home-cooked Portuguese food.
The menu changes depending on what’s available that day and we had grilled tuna, roasted chicken and a delicious traditional Portuguese pie. One of the best tables in the house is in the shop window at the front of the restaurant. This is one Lisboa restaurant you don’t want to miss.
Arco da Velha, Rua de São Paulo,184-186,1200-429 Lisbon,
Time Out Market
The Lisbon Food Market operated by Time Out is one of the best places to eat in Lisbon. Housed within a large, historic market hall on the waterfront, this market is home to 26 restaurants, 8 bars, a handful of shops and even a music venue.
We ate here several times and the food was excellent.
You can pick up everything from pizzas, burgers and sushi to food by some of Lisbon’s best chefs including Michelin-starred restaurant chefs Henrique Sá Pessoa and Miguel Laffan.
The market is also houses a produce market, home to some of the city’s longest-running market vendors of meat, fish, fruit and flowers. The Time Out Market (the produce market is known as the Mercado da Ribeira) is located near Cais do Sodré.
The food court is open daily for lunch and dinner, from 10am to midnight (until 2am on Friday and Saturday). The traditional food market is open from Monday to Saturday from 6am to 2pm. The food court can get very busy at lunchtimes and on weekends so be prepared to wait for a table (or get here early for dinner).
Time Out Market
Avenida 24 de Julho, 49, Loja 11
This lovely café and surf shop sat right opposite our apartment in the São Bento neighbourhood of Lisbon. It’s a great option for breakfast and lunch, serving up healthy, delicious meals. For breakfast we tried the poached eggs on avocado toast, the blueberry pancakes and a smoothie bowl, which was amazing.
For lunch one day we had bagels (they come with salmon, tuna or chicken), sushi burritos and an excellent poke bowl. The staff are friendly, as is the resident golden retriever who will sit very patiently at our feet in the hope that you might share some of your food with him. This is a great option for breakfast or lunch in Lisbon. Dishes start from €6 each.
Boutik Lisboa, Rua de São Bento 106D
Open Monday to Saturday: 9am – 7pm. Sunday closes at 6pm.
One of the best restaurants in Lisbon that we found was quite by chance. We stumbled upon Cafe Tehran on our first night and loved it. Located on Praca das Flores, this small, friendly Iranian restaurant is a great place to eat with kids.
The menu is not very large but the food is excellent. We enjoyed grilled chicken, fried squid with couscous, a delicious tomato soup and a herb frittata. We also tried the beetroot hummus and grilled aubergine, which was our favourite dish of the night. It’s also great value for money.
Café Tehran, Praça das Flores, 40, Principe Real
The Mill is definitely one of the best places for breakfast in Lisbon.The pancakes are delicious, the breakfast bagel incredibly generous and the rosti with smoked salmon and poached egg kept me going until dinner time. They serve great coffee and smoothies too.
The restaurant is not big with one long white communal table and a handful of small circular tables so be prepared to wait. The Mill also sells some beautiful ceramic plates, bowls and cups that I’m still kicking myself for not buying!
The Mill, Rua do Poço dos Negros 1, Lisboa, 1200-355
We didn’t get the chance to eat at Prado while we were in Lisbon as we didn’t book a table (make sure that you do!). It comes highly recommended and the food is supposed to be delicious.
This is one of the most popular Lisbon restaurants right now and the menu features Portuguese dishes with lots of sharing plates on offer. Lively and fun, locals say that it’s also a cool place to hang out (but not so hip that you can’t bring the kids!).
Prado, Travessa das Pedras Negras, 2, Lisboa, 1100-404
Fauna and Flora
Located in the design quarter is this lovely, light-filled restaurant that serves up a mean breakfast. They promise seasonal, healthy, fresh, homemade food and they didn’t disappoint.
I enjoyed an excellent ‘Salmon basket’; two poached eggs, baked in the oven with parmesan, served with smoked salmon and vermicelli ‘baskets’. The kids had pancakes and a smoothie bowl and Nick had portobello mushrooms served with tomatoes and avocado.
They also serve lunch, including kiddie burgers or meat, tuna or vegan. The coffee is also excellent. Dishes start from €6.
Fauna and Flora, Rua da Esperança, 33, 1200-655 Lisbon
Even if you don’t go to Pharmacia Felicidade for dinner, it’s definitely worth visiting this lovely terrace for a drink. Housed within the same building as the Pharmacy Museum (see what we thought of this museum here), this open-air terrace is a fun place for a sundowner.
The menu appears in a medicine packet and look like instructions but is actually full of fun, themed drinks. I had the Hypnotic, the bar’s own version of the Negroni. There are also mocktails for kids.
You can eat on the terrace too and the menu dispenses a number of sharing plates to choose from. Alternatively, there’s the indoor restaurant, which shares a similar medicinal theme. I particularly loved the first aid drinks’ holders.
Pharmacia Felicidade, Rua Marechal Saldanha nº 2,1249-049 Lisbon
We stumbled upon this excellent empanada restaurant after wandering around the Alfama district and we all agreed it was one of the best places for lunch in Lisbon. Choose from various flavours including corn, onion and cheese, tuna, chicken, veal, and spinach and cheese. All are handmade on site and can be washed down with a variety of drinks, including a large selection of cocktails. Empanadas are €3 each.
Empanadas Union, R. São Cristóvão 27, 1100-514 Lisbon
Housed within what was once an old monastery and later the first brewery in Portugal is this traditional restaurant. It’s worth a visit even if you decide not to eat here as the walls are decorated with grand tile panels depicting the elements and the seasons (although one season is missing – can you spot which one?!).
Cervejaria Trinidade, Rua Nova da Trindade, 20C, Lisbon
Pop Cereal Café
If your’e looking for Lisbon restaurants where locals eat this is probably not it. But, if you’re looking for somewhere fun to eat that the kids will love then the Pop Cereal Cafe is your answer.
Much like the Cereal Killer Café in London, this retro cafe serves all manner of breakfast cereals – from crunchy nut cornflakes to Fruit Loops – served with a variety of toppings. There’s not an ounce of nutrition in any of the bowls but they look tasty!
Pop Cereal Cafe, Rua Do Norte, 64, Bairro Alto, 1200 Lisboa
This pretty restaurant is a great place for fresh, healthy food. Located in Baixa, the restaurant serves everything from nasi goreng bowls with chicken and poached egg and red velvet pancakes to veggie burgers and salads. If you’re wondering where to eat in Lisbon for breakfast or brunch, Nicolau Lisboa is a great option.
Nicolau Lisboa, Rua de São Nicolau, 17, Baixa
This lovely ice cream parlour serves up a range of delicious flavours, all made on the spot in the retro ice cream parlour.
Sorbettino, Rua da Misericórdia 23, 1200-270
Established in 1829, this is the oldest pastry shop in Lisbon. It’s particularly famous for its Christmas cake, known as the Bolo-Rei (the “King” cake).
Funnily enough, the bolo-rei actually originated in Toulouse, France and was brought to Portugal by the Confeitaria Nacional. It’s now a staple during the festive season and can be found on the table in households before, during and after Christmas and New Year. We visited in February and king cakes were still for sale!
Confeitaria Nacional, Praça da Figueira, 18 B – Rossio, Lisboa
Without doubt the best Pastéis de Nata (custard tarts) in Lisbon is Manteigaria. Most people visiting Lisbon make a beeline for Antiga Confeitaria and its world-famous pastel de Belém but personally I like the Pastéis de Nata from Manteigaria more. Plus, at Manteigaria you can watch the cakes being made from start to finish. You’ll also find a branch at the Time Out Market.
Manteigaria, Rua do Loreto, 2, 1200-242 Lisbon