Last week, I had the chance to see the beautiful city of Lisbon. With its nice weather, amazing historical places and colorful culture, it has so much to offer to its visitors. During my stay there, I have realized that it can be very difficult to choose a great place to eat when you are abroad, but no tears, I got you covered! I have compiled a Lisbon food guide featuring my favorite restaurants and cafés just for you.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t start the day without a good breakfast. Lisbon has so many great pastry shops including one of my favorites: A Padaria Portuguesa. You can find it in various places all around the city. It has appetizing sandwiches and desserts like Pastel de Nata in addition to very affordable menus for breakfast.
If you would like to see a more traditional breakfast place, I highly recommend Confeiteria Nacional which was founded in 1829. You can enjoy many traditional Portuguese pastries and the beautiful interior with its classic look. Situated at the very heart of Lisbon, the place is also famous for its Bolo-Rei (literally means King Cake) associated with Christmas season.
Of course, if you are starting the day off in Belém, there is no need to say that Pasteis de Belém is where you should be. You need to taste the famous Pastel de Belém at its original place. (By the way, I highly recommend putting cinnamon on your Pastel de Belém, makes it even more delicious!) Founded in 1837, it is really close to Jerónimos Monastery and other important historical places. The atmosphere there is amazing; however, since it’s a very popular destination, you can expect a long queue and may need to wait for a table (but trust me, it’s all worth it).
After you are done with your tasty breakfast and explore the beautiful Lisbon more, we can move on to the lunch. Time Out Market definitely has something to offer for everyone: from pizza to sushi you can easily find your favorite meal here. We went for the famous codfish at Sea Me, which I highly recommend, along with the savory salmon with fried egg and seafood pasta. The market is within an easy walking distance of the Praça do Comercio, and open between 10.00-00.00. What’s more, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays it’s open until 02.00am, which is very good for late night food cravings. (who doesn’t have them, right?)
Or you might be in the mood for a quick meal, if that’s the case for you I highly recommend Pastel de Bacalhau. It’s a traditional pastry filled with melted cheese and codfish. It also goes really well with Sagres (Portuguese beer). Pastel de Bacalhau can be found in many different places, but we tried it at Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau, which was a great option for lunch.
The next on our Lisbon food guide is for the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum visitors. I strongly suggest visiting the museum, it has a great variety of paintings, ceramics, and metalwork. The gardens are delightful and very pleasant to stroll. Plus, it’s free after 2 pm on Sundays. You can find more information about the museum here Even though the cafeterias of the museum have good food, service and open-air space, I will recommend a different place for you: 1001 Snack-Bar. It’s within a short walking distance of the museum and preferred a lot by the local people. With its cozy environment, affordable prices and delicious food (you need to try the salmon and codfish) it was definitely a pleasant experience to eat like locals.
Did somebody say dinner time? A great meal is the perfect way to end a long day. My first recommendation for dinner is Cervejaria Ramiro. Since it’s a very popular restaurant, you need to take a ticket with a number printed on it, then wait for your number to be called. It’s very common to share your table with others because of the occupancy. Also, they do not have a typical printed menu, instead you are given a tablet at your table to choose. I know, these may all sound complicated but if you are a seafood lover, I guarantee you will be very satisfied at the end of the night. My ultimate favorites are shrimps (with garlic and olive oil), mussels and razor clams. Besides, I loved the hot bread with butter.
Another great place to eat is Leitaria A Camponeza. What makes it special is that they make amazing skewers (my personal favorite is the prawn skewer) and hang the skewers from racks at your table. It is a tiny place, so you may need to reserve in advance.
Finally, what is better than a gift? A food gift, duh! Lisbon has amazing Queijo (Portuguese cheese) and also famous for its canned sardines which can be great gifts for your friends and family. Also, Port wine-which is well known for its sweetness- and Ginjinha (traditional sour cherry liqueur) can make your loved ones very happy.
Bonus Tip: As a street food option, you can find roasted chestnut (castanhas) stands all around the city. I highly recommend trying them!
Do you have a favorite restaurant or cafe in Lisbon? What is your own Lisbon food guide? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Zehra Naz Hacısüleyman