Best restaurants in Lisbon: a flavorsome guide
So, what are the best restaurants in Lisbon? This is the question that never fails to pop up in the mind of the curious traveler. At Episode Travel with Art we know that exquisite, one-of-a-kind gastronomic experiences really matter to most of our clients. Not only the foodies. That’s why spend a lot of our research time at the table, looking for the best restaurants in Lisbon. This is the first part of a deep dive into great dining experiences in Portugal, with our selection of Lisbon’s best restaurants. A succulent list you don’t want to miss.
From Michelin stars to the “tasca”: Best Restaurants in Lisbon
Our curated selection of the best restaurants in Lisbon will reveal some hidden treasures. We’ve already told you about the amazing list of Michelin Star restaurants in Portugal. With 21 star-studded restaurants, these are glorious times for Portuguese cuisine! Now we want to tell you more about each food and wine experience that awaits you. And add some less exclusive, but equally surprising, places to our list of the best restaurants in Lisbon. From Michelin starred restaurants, to the typical “tasca” and creative eateries, join us for a personal, tasty and trendy guide to the best restaurants in Lisbon.
Best restaurants in Lisbon: a taste of “tascas”
Simple, homemade and authentic: such is the food served at Lisbon’s “tascas”, a typical and inexpensive kind of eatery that you can only find in Portugal. Unpretentious and genuine, some tascas are so good that they easily make the list of the best restaurants in Lisbon!
Not all tascas are the same. Some are incredibly good (and they quickly become a hidden treasure for locals before they get too crowded) and some are just passable. But if you find a good one – who knows, maybe the next on the best restaurants in Lisbon list- you will want to come again. It’s more than a food experience. It’s a family affair- and chatting with the owners you will learn a lot about what’s going on: from football to politics.
Typically found in old neighborhoods and often ran by the same family for years, tascas are a crucial part of Lisbon’s varied gastronomical landscape. The meal invariably starts with bread and olives, and, if you’re lucky, some regional cheeses. These are the perfect starters for a genuine food experience at some of the best restaurants in Lisbon.
Serving home-style, seasonal food
Serving home-style food tascas are a a one-of-a-kind type of restaurant. Eating at a tasca is a bit like eating at someone’s home. Here, you will certainly be rubbing shoulders with the locals.
Every Lisboeta has his or her own favorite tasca, sometimes more than one. Among the best restaurants in Lisbon, tascas are not easily copied. It’s not a Spanish bodega, nor an Italian osteria. It’s as close as you get to a real-life, everyday Portuguese tavern.
With its own rules and codes, like the fact that each tasca offers specific dishes on each day of the week, especially at lunch. These are called “prato do dia”: Bacalhau (salted codfish) is usually served on Mondays, because there is no fresh fish available at the markets. Cozido à Portuguesa (Portuguese boiled dinner) is chosen for Wednesdays or Thursdays, since it takes more time to prepare. Fridays are the typical days for feijoada (bean and meat stew) a substantial meal, announcing a lazy afternoon before entering weekend mode.
Best restaurants in Lisbon: the new classics and beyond
Founded in 1956, Cervejaria Ramiro is an institution for seafood in Lisbon. This Portuguese-style bistrot is one of the most iconic places to eat in Lisbon, famous for the super fresh seafood , the “prego” and the extra cold beer.
In our quest to find the best restaurants in Lisbon we stop at Bica, one of the liveliest areas of Lisbon’s hipster nightlife. Here, a new restaurant devoted exclusively to sea creatures, gives fish and seafood a mouthwatering new twist. It’s called “Água pela Barba” . The ambiance, maritime yet contemporary, is the perfect unpretentious backdrop to the delicious dishes. Ceviche, grilled octopus with chick pea mash and creamy rice with prawns are some of the refreshing ideas on the menu. Another appetizing stop in the capital’s food and wine route, and one of the best restaurants in Lisbon, is Taberna da Rua das Flores. An old grocery-store turned into a hip and cozy tavern, with authentic flavors, crisp produce and fresh ideas. The menu changes every day and they don’t accept reservations, so be sure to come early.
One of the best restaurants in Lisbon is José Avillez’ “Bairro do Avillez”. Avillez was the first Portuguese chef to win 2 Michelin stars. The celebrates chef proved that admirable cuisine is not incompatible with more accessible prices. After opening the “Cantinho do Avillez” (a more “humble” eatery, as the name “little corner” suggests, distilling the same culinary brilliance) in 2016 he took over an old building in the historic center of Chiado to create the Bairro do Avillez . Bairro means “district” and this really is the chef’s territory with several options to please the more trained taste buds.
Creative eateries are popping up like mushrooms all over Lisbon. These creative food labs are among the best restaurants in Lisbon. Some ideas to please your senses: Mezzanine, near Cais do Sodré, for irreverent and original dishes, Boi Cavalo, in Alfama or the recently opened Leopold, an out of the ordinary culinary experience in an incredible setting, Palácio Belmonte.