One of the best parts of a trip abroad is discovering new and exciting food and drink. Lisbon is built on seven hills so you’re sure to work up an appetite during your break in the Portuguese capital. Check out our handy guide to the city’s best places to eat and drink and take a bite out of Lisbon!
Pasteis de belem – Rua de Belém nº 84 – open from 8am
There is only one choice for breakfast in Lisbon – pastries! A sweet tooth is required as the staple breakfast items in Portugal are sweet, baked goods like donuts or egg custards. Every neighbourhood is dotted with Pastelerias (bakeries) and everyone has breakfast there before work or school. The most famous breakfast item (and an absolute must-try in Lisbon) are pasteis de nata, the signature pastry of Portugal. These are small, round pastries filled with custard and topped with cinnamon and sugar. The only Pasteleria still using an original recipe is Pasteis de Belem in the Belem district on the banks of the River Tagus. This bakery is extremely popular with both locals and tourists so get there early or you may have to queue!
Top Pick: Pasteis de nata and a Portuguese cappuccino called meia de leite
Manteigaria – Rua do Loreto, nº 2, Chiado Square – open from 8am
Located in a former factory, Manteigaria is renowned as the best place in town for pasteis de nata. Again it gets crowded but it’s worth the wait as the pastries are delicious and also very good value; expect to pay just a couple of Euros for a pastry and a coffee. You can also watch them being made while you wait!
Top Pick: Can only be pasteis de nata and an espresso
Pastelaria Versailles – Avenida da República, 15 A – open from 7.30am
This traditional, Art-Noveau style café has been serving up delicious Pasteis since 1922. Choose from the wide selection of cakes at the counter then sit back and relax as your breakfast is served at your table. The grand surroundings including enormous chandeliers and art on the walls evoke Lisbon’s golden age.
Top Pick: Ducheses (cream buns) and coffee
El Rei D’frango – Calcada do Duque 5 – open from midday ’til 10pm
This unpretentious local restaurant offers great value (dish of the day with a drink for less than 10 euros!) in the traditional surroundings of the Barrio Alto. The restaurant is basic but still very popular among locals and tourists alike thanks to its low prices and generous portions.
Top Pick: Octopus with garlic fried in olive oil and grilled potatoes with a beer
Bota Feijão – Rua Conselheiro Lopo Vaz 5 – open 8am-8pm Mon-Fri
This low profile restaurant can be tricky to find, located in the Parque das Nações district to the north-west of the city centre. However, it’s usually crowded with locals which is always a good sign! The speciality is Leitão (roast suckling pig) served with bread and homemade chips. This is definitely one of Lisbon’s hidden gems.
Top Pick: Leitão with chips and a glass of sparkling wine
Sol e Pesca – R. Nova do Carvalho 44 – open Mon-Sat noon ‘til late
This fun, quirky café looks more like a fishing tackle shop from the outside and that’s exactly what it used to be. Sol e Pesca only serves tinned fish which sounds like a strange concept but works well for a quick snack at lunchtime. Try the Azores tuna, sardines with green peppers or octopus salad.
Top Pick: : Azores tuna on bread with sparkling vinho verde
Lost In – Rua D.Pedro V, Nº 56 – open until midnight, closed on Sundays
For a real haven amid the bustle of the city, head to Lost In in the Príncipe Real district, at the top of the Bairro Alto. Their terrace gives amazing panoramic views over the city and the castle and overhanging trees provide shade and an atmosphere of tranquillity. Chill out with a selection of tapas or a cool salad while the sun goes down.
Top Pick: : A Thai rice salad with a cool cerveja
Pharmacia – Rua Marechal Saldanha 1 – open daily, 1pm until 1am
This quirky restaurant is part of the Lisbon Pharmacy Museum and continues the medical theme by serving food and drinks in pharmacological equipment like test tubes and specimen jars! The food is somewhere in-between traditional Portuguese flavours and nouvelle cuisine and includes staples like croquetes, octopus & sirloin strips.
Top Pick: Iberian pork stew with a glass of red wine
Bebedouro – Rua de São Nicolau 24, open from midday to midnight
Stylish Bebedouro is famous for its wine list, tapas and tasting platters as well as its knowledgeable and friendly staff. Local specialities include bruschetta with sardines, octopus ragout and garlic potatoes. Take your pick from the extensive wine list, most of which come from the Douro region of northern Portugal.
Top Pick: Calamari and a flight of white wine
Rooftop Bar – Hotel Mundial, Praça Martim Moniz 2
Boasting some of the best views in Lisbon, this trendy terrace is located on the top floor of the Hotel Mundial and serves cool cocktails and live jazz music which you can enjoy with a 360 view of the rooftops of Lisbon. During the summer the Rooftop Bar hosts Sunset Parties with DJs playing until gone midnight.
Top Pick: make a choice from the extensive gin menu
Pavilhao Chines – Rua Dom Pedro V 89-91
A real curiosity this one! A warren of rooms with model aircraft hanging from the ceiling and display cabinets on the walls containing model trains, vintage toys (including Action Man, wow!) and other weird and wonderful items. Pavilhao Chines boasts an extensive cocktail menu as well as a great wine list, all served by waiters dressed in traditional attire. There is even a snooker table to keep you occupied!
Top Pick: Try a cocktail while perusing the paraphernalia on the walls!
Tease – Rua Nova da Piedade N. 15 – open from 9am to 9pm
Did you know that tea was made fashionable in Britain in the 1660s after the marriage of King Charles II to the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza, who brought her liking for tea, originally from the Portuguese colony of Macau, to the English court? It’s no surprise then that there are plenty of places to get a nice cuppa in Lisbon. One of the best is the vintage-inspired Tease in the Barrio Alto.
Top Pick: A cup of freshly brewed tea and a cupcake
Are you planning a trip to Lisbon? Maybe you’ve already been? Let us know your favourite Lisbon eateries in the comments section below…