Lisbon’s Best Tascas
A tasca is a traditional Portuguese restaurant, and the best tascas in Lisbon are typically found in the old neighborhoods or away from the city’s most touristy areas. Tascas serve home-style food in large portions and at cheap prices, and are great places to meet Lisboetas (the name given to residents of Lisbon).
Tv. do Sequeiro 38, 1200-259 Lisboa, Portugal
Enter this restaurant and you will still be walking on Calçada Portuguesa (traditional Portuguese paving). You will feel like home in this typical and familiar Portuguese restaurant, offering good food and a good place to dine with friends, before you head to Bairro Alto for a drink. If you don’t like to wait for a table, try to arrive a bit before 8pm. My suggestion is Gambas à Guillo (garlic prawns) as an appetizer and tuna as the main dish.
R. do Diário de Notícias 39, 1200-141 Lisboa, Portugal
This place is mandatory, especially if you want to hear some fado. Here you can listen to Fado Vadio (sung by nonprofessionals) on Mondays and Wednesdays, hear consecrated artists and potential stars, or hear a regular who just feels like singing a fado accompanied by Portuguese guitar. Once an old tavern, A Tasca do Chico was restored in 1993; on the walls are paintings, posters, and clippings. Go early, because it can be crowded. If you like chorizo, ask for “chouriço assado"—basically, this chorizo is on fire. Let the flame disappear and then eat it with some bread.
6 Praça Dom Pedro Iv
There is a fado song proclaiming that all artists and fado singers come to A Tendinha, here in one of the oldest areas in Lisbon, founded in 1840. At Rossio, between the old cafes like Suiça and Nicola and on the other side of the D. Maria II National Theatre, next to Arco da Bandeira, you will find this little tasca. Here you can eat ham or fresh cheese sandwiches, bifana (pork sandwich) or some fried petiscos (snacks) like the Pastel de Bacalhau, a codfish cake, and shrimp croquettes. Ask for a beer or red wine from the house to accompany.
Tv. Ferragial n.1, 1200-184 ferragial@gmail, Portugal
Yes, it’s a canteen, so self-service, but it’s delicious and affordable. The secret appeal about this place, though, is not the price, nor the décor (which doesn’t exist), it’s the wonderful view of the city. Arrive before 1 p.m. to snag a seat before the local workers arrive for their midday meals.
Calçada Santana 49, 1150-301 Lisboa, Portugal
You will be served good Portuguese food by the owner, Mr. Cerqueira, and you will feel like home. He knows the locals who come here often, and he knows already what each one of them likes, making a bit of conversation with them. You can reach the restaurant by catching Lavra Lift. Or, at Rossio look for Calçada de Sant’Ana, near the theater, and go up. Address: Calçada de Sant’Ana, 49
Santa Justa, Lisbon, Portugal
I really like to eat in Portuguese tascas, where the food is good, cheap, and classic. And here you have a wonderful view to Rossio train station from the seats outside. After lunch you can catch a train straight to Sintra, or you can go up Calçada do Carmo and visit Carmo Convent and Santa Justa Elevator. Address: Calçada do Carmo, 39 (if you are at Rossio, just go to Calçada do Carmo and go up the stairs and you will see it).
A typical restaurant at a typical neighborhood: cheap, good, homemade food and a local environment. The students gather here when they want to join for a class dinner. The name Tollan comes from an English container ship that sank in the river. This was back in the 1980s, and it stayed there for almost four years, with the hull upwards.
24 Rua João do Outeiro
Located in the Mouraria neighborhood—the birthplace of fado—this restaurant is a prime pick for sampling traditional Portuguese food. The codfish, or bacalhau, is a must here. It is served with plenty of bread to clean your plate. In the style of a classic tasca (Portuguese tavern), the walls are adorned with blue tiles and many photos, paintings and drawings.
R. das Gáveas 89, 1200-365 Lisboa, Portugal
This restaurant opened in the 1980s in a very small space, but due to its popularity the room was extended. The décor is quite simple, with tiles up to the middle of the wall, and the color red is present in curtains and lamps. The restaurant is located at Bairro Alto and is usually full of youngsters looking for a casual and relaxed atmosphere and typical Portuguese dishes served in generous portions.