The top places to eat in Lisbon

Where to eat in Lisbon by district

As the capital, Lisbon is naturally a foodie heaven. There’s no lack of fabulous places to eat in Lisbon: top-rated restaurants with stunning views and a bill to match, street food joints, and bars serving up mouth-watering morsels for single-digit prices.

  1. Bairro Alto
  2. Chiado
  3. Cais do Sodré
  4. Belém
  5. Alfama
  6. Alcântara

The city comes alive in the evenings, and the slightly cooler hours just post-sunset are tailor-made for exploring the streets in search of the perfect dinner spot. Our where to eat in Lisbon guide takes you from hip Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré to family favourites Alfama and Belém.

1. Bairro Alto

The hilly Bairro Alto is the place to be on a Saturday night. Its winding streets and slightly eye-popping hills lead you to some of the best views in the city, and it’s here you’ll find the quintessential yellow Lisbon tram. It’s also the home of Fado, with joints like Tasca Do Chico, Adega Machado and Café Luso (open until 2am). The district is famous for its nightlife, with small bars and restaurants open until late, their tables spilling onto the pavements. It’s a treasure trove of foodie excellence and great interiors, with spots like The Insólito, an eclectic collection of plants, tiles and chandeliers with one of the best views in the city. More gorgeous décor can be found at the cavernous As Salgadeiras, serving classic Portuguese fare, and Lisboa A Noite. There’s plenty of international cuisine too, from Peruvian at A Cevicheria to Eastern European-Portuguese fusion at Bistro 100 Maneiras and a vegan smorgasbord at daTerra Bairro Alto.

Best for: Fado, live music and quirky interiors

To try: Portuguese wine, tapas plates, bifana (pork sandwich)

2. Chiado

Chiado is a family-friendly area and one of the best places to eat in Lisbon, as well as to peruse the antiques, bookshops and boutiques. After you’ve stopped by what claims to be the world’s oldest bookstore and checked out the chic shopfronts on Rua Garrett, why not nip into the iconic A Brasileira, famed as one of the first places to import coffee from Brazil? Or perhaps head for refreshments with a view at Terraços do Carmo, a former police barracks turned terrace restaurant. If you don’t fancy something local, this is a great district for international cuisine, home to Michelin-starred venues and vegan options. For an indulgent, elegant and totally Instagram-worthy meal or drink, head to Palácio Chiado. Manteigaria is the pastry shop to try here, perched on the border of Chiado and Bairro Alto; some locals claim it rivals Pastéis de Belém for taste. Why not sample both locations and compare?

Best for: Family-friendly and international cuisine

To try: Coffee, pastel de nata, seafood

3. Cais do Sodré

Adjacent to a major station, Cais do Sodré was once home to Lisbon’s red light district. These days, it couldn’t be further from its insalubrious roots, having reinvented itself with plenty of trendy spots to eat, including the famous Time Out Market. The latter is a big hit with tourists, as you can wander the spacious yet bustling market hall ticking off your wish list of local specialities – grab and go, or sit and soak up the atmosphere as you eat. Try a prego steak sandwich, croquetas, cod, seafood and soups, alongside the ubiquitous pastéis and international crowd-pleasers like sushi and pizza. Oh, and there are plenty of bars too. There are a few choice restaurants with riverside views in front of the station, or for a wild evening that starts with some very good food and vinho, try Pink Street. Head home after dinner and drinks or party till dawn – it’s your choice.

Best for: Wine bars and the market hall

To try: Prego (beef sandwich), local soup

4. Belém

Besides the glorious architecture and sunny riverside promenade, there’s one reason we’re directing you to Belém: the pastries. Pastéis de nata, or egg custard tarts, are a Portuguese desert famed worldwide, and there is perhaps nowhere more traditional to try them than Pastéis de Belém, the original purveyors of this tasty treat. The bakery has been running since 1837, and they also serve other traditional sweet treats such as Bolo Rei (at Christmas only) and Bolo Inglês – a sweet, bread-like fruit and nut cake. Dark blue awnings announce you’ve arrived as you hop off the picturesque yellow tram. Inside, it’s large, busy and loud, and you’ll sit on un-fancy, cafeteria-style tables, with a view of the almost industrial-scale production of the pastéis in the open kitchen. The interior is a grand cavern of sconced ceilings, chandeliers, sweeping marble counters and glass cabinets, and it’s lavishly lined with picture-worthy blue and white tiles.

Best for: Coffee, pastries and waterfront strolls

To try: Pastéis de nata (the originals!)

5. Alfama

Where to eat in Lisbon for the most traditional cuisine? In one of the oldest and most charming districts, naturally. When you tire of wandering the winding, cobbled streets, marvelling at the Moorish architecture and gazing at the panoramas from the Miradouro, it’s time to settle in for some seriously good food. It’s a great place to sample bacalhau and other cod dishes, caldo verde (a green soup made with local sausage) and queijo da serra (creamy sheep’s milk cheese). If you’re lucky, you’ll spot a restaurant serving ‘menu’, a multi-course fixed menu of the day allowing you to enjoy plenty of specialities for a very reasonable price. While here, tick Ginjinha (or Ginja) off your Lisbon bucket list. It’s a sweet cherry liqueur flavoured with sugar and spices, usually served from a hole in the wall or a standing-room-only bar in a chocolate shot glass. Ginja d’Alfama is a great place to try it.

Best for: Down-to-earth traditional Portuguese food

To try: Cod dishes, Ginja, caldo verde, sardines

6. Alcântara

There’s one key reason to visit the Alcântara district, located between Belém and Cais do Sodré near the waterfront. That reason is LX Factory. This hipster hangout is part arts centre, part vintage shopping experience and part foodie heaven, housing some of the best spots to eat in the area. The former industrial hub is oh-so cool and creative, with restaurants like rustic Cantina LX for traditional Portuguese fare, Matchamama for Peruvian delights and A Praça for Portuguese tapas. Try Ni Michi for Amazonian and Latin-American cuisine and Café na Fábrica for healthy light lunches, juices and sweet treats. Alcântara is also home to the Docas de Santo Amaro – a former industrial docklands that’s been revamped into a trendy waterside locale for dinner with a sunset view. Plenty of the places are open later for drinks, and there are even nightclubs here to round off your evening out.

Best for: A fun arts space & hangout with food

To try: Craft beer, frango (rotisserie or piri-piri chicken)

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