Top Restaurants and Bars in Lisbon
Lisbon offers a concentrated slice of Portugal’s rich culinary culture, with everything from riverside cafés and neighborhood tascas to Michelin-starred destinations. Seek out the fresh seafood, unique cheese, and famous custard tarts.
R. da Rosa 107, 1200-382 Lisboa, Portugal
Wine-and-cheese bars are ubiquitous in Lisbon and most follow the same formula: Taste a few wines, order your favorite by the glass, and pair it with a plate of snacks. The beloved BA Wine Bar do Bairro Alto is no different in that regard, but its similarities end there. Its intimate, friendly service doesn’t feel touristy at all—a rare thing in otherwise nightlife-heavy Bairro Alto—and its discerningly sourced wines, cheeses, and charcuterie (black-pork presunto, a tasty ham), all of which come from artisanal producers, will floor you. For these reasons and more, this place is always packed; don’t even think about showing up without a reservation. In fact, you should consider making a reservation two weeks before you plan to go.
15 Rua Anchieta
At his two-Michelin-starred flagship restaurant, Alma, there is so much to love about chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, not the least of which is his charred red pepper paired with, among other things, red pepper coulis—a defining dish that stops taste buds in their tracks. At his flagship restaurant, Alma, he serves some of the city’s best tasting menus, paired with daring wines in a casual atmosphere that lets the food do the talking. Pessoa himself often makes the rounds, visiting tables to explain dishes like the succulent confit of suckling pig with turnip top purée, pickled onions, and pepper jus. There may be more famous restaurants in Lisbon, but none is better than Alma.
R. Nova da Trindade 18, 1200-303 Lisboa, Portugal
The latest from the man who is probably Portugal’s most famous chef, José Avillez (of two-Michelin-starred Belcanto), Bairro de Avillez does it all. Upon entry, guests are greeted by a traditional Portuguese taberna, where cheese, charcuterie, and Avillez’s take on traditional petiscos (finger foods) fuel a festive atmosphere. Further inside, you’ll find Páteo, a seafood-focused food court for classic Portuguese dishes, and Beco, a hidden restaurant that offers a gourmet menu alongside sexy cabaret shows. Plan to spend the night here.
2 Rua do Loreto
When in Lisbon, most tourists make a beeline to Antiga Confeitaria to try its world-famous pastel de Belém. The legendary custard tart is indeed delicious, especially when dusted with a healthy dose of cinnamon, but what these travelers don’t know is that is that the ones at Manteigaria are just as good—if not better. Plus, Manteigaria features an open kitchen, where you can watch the creamy treats make their way from dough to delivery. Avoid the crowds in Belém and get your pastel de nata here instead, then ride out your sugar rush nearby on the atmospheric Praça Luís de Camões in Chiado.
Calçada do Combro 58, 1200-123 Lisboa, Portugal
Much of Lisbon’s appeal lies in its sheer beauty. From the rust-toned rooftops across the whitewashed Alfama district to the Pombaline architecture of Baixa, the city is very easy on the eyes. For the very best views, head skyward to Park Bar, located on the rooftop of a Bairro Alto parking garage. There, you’ll find a just-trendy-enough mix of scenester residents and tourists, sipping on white-port-and-tonics while enjoying expansive vistas from the Tagus River to the bell towers of Santa Catarina Church.
R. dos Remédios 139, 1100-081 Lisboa, Portugal
If Lisbon has a soundtrack, it’s undoubtedly made up mostly of guitar-driven fado, the poetic hymns of the downtrodden born in 1820s Portugal. A night spent wallowing in the delicate, heartbroken melodies of the country’s national song style is certainly a quintessential Lisbon experience, but the fado houses of Bairro Alto and the Alfama can be complete tourist traps. Keep on walking to Mesa de Frades, an 18th-century chapel lined with exquisite Portuguese tiles, where just a few intimate tables are up for grabs each night. Be sure to make a reservation, and a late one at that—locals tend to go after midnight.
Escolas Gerais 54, 1100-214 Lisboa, Portugal
The name of this little-known Alfama gem means simply “Aunt Natércia,” and that’s exactly who will greet you if you manage to snag a seat. Here, you’ll find no-frills, home-cooked Portuguese dining, with classic dishes like bacalhau com natas (oven-baked salted cod with fried potatoes and cream), arroz de pato (duck rice), and folhado de bacalhau (salted cod in puff pastry) being upstaged only by Aunt Natércia herself. She’ll talk your ear off in Portuguese while she cooks and serves—it’s a one-woman show—but her food is so good you won’t even care. Reserve ahead.
Rua da Escola Politécnica 4, 1250-096 Lisboa, Portugal
A Lisbon favorite, this family-run chocolate-and-coffee café is continually showered by locals with love and devotion. Here, both the coffee and cocoa beans come from São Tomé and Príncipe. The former are roasted in-house and perfectly executed in one of Lisbon’s best espressos, while the latter are churned into artisan chocolate bars in outstanding flavors like ginger, orange, sea-salt-and-pepper, and toffee. If you order an espresso, you’ll get a free sample of chocolate so you can suss out your favorite before committing to a pricier piece of heaven.
Praça das Flores 62, 1200-192 Lisboa, Portugal
American sommelier Brian Patterson, his wife, Jenn, and their massive Leonberger-Retriever mix, Bear (the Beartender!) are the consummate hosts at Lisbon’s newest, most interesting, and surely smallest wine bar. Located on pretty Praça das Flores in Principe Real, Patterson curates his all-natural wine list with a laser focus on small producers from around Portugal. He sources his finds on reconnaissance drinking missions around the country, including some of Portugal’s more underdog wine regions. His updated-daily chalkboard menu includes a half dozen or so offerings by the glass (€3.50-7) along with two batch cocktails, as well as intriguing bar snacks to accompany (his hummus is destination-worthy in and of itself). The bar doubles as a bottle shop; rightfully so, there is only room at the bar for about 11 provided everyone is sucking in their wine guts. File under: Wine Revelation.
R. Serpa Pinto 10A, 1200-026 Lisboa, Portugal
Superstar chef José Avillez’s flagship dining destination is considered the country’s top restaurant. One of Lisbon’s Michelin two-starred affairs (the other is Alma) and fresh off a recent refurbishment, Belcanto is indeed the perfect place to enjoy Portugal’s rich bounty in the most wonderous, creative, and experimental of ways. The classic tasting menu (€165) nets you Avillez’s signature Garden of the Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs (egg, crunchy bread, and mushrooms), his most famous work of culinary art. More experimental is the Evolution menu (€185), where dishes such as sea bass with smoked avocado, pistachio oil, lime zest, and dashi push boundaries of tradition. It’s a tough choice, especially considering the classic menu ends with Avillez’s wicked cold citrus bomb of a dessert, Tangerine. Belcanto rang in at No. 42 on the coveted 2019 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Tv. Pedras Negras 2, 1100-226 Lisboa, Portugal
To open this all-organic small-plates newcomer near Sé Cathedral, Chef António Galapito imported a caravan of culinary wizardry from the U.K.'s Taberna do Mercado (the London restaurant of Michelin-starred chef Nuno Mendes), including four members of the kitchen staff. The daily menu is an imaginative—challenging, at times—procession of flavor and fun. Standouts might include a charred purple broccoli with buckwheat in a tangy red pepper coulis; a black pork tenderloin with quinces and chocolate peppers; or a portobello mushroom ice cream with pearl barley, sea lettuce flakes, and pork-fat salted caramel (you read that right). Whatever’s on, it will surprise and dazzle even the most blasé of foodies while recalibrating your idea of what Portuguese cuisine is and can be.