Disclaimer: Travel and accommodation for my Lisbon trip were kindly covered by Sawdays. All other expenses for food and drink etc were completely self-funded. The Sawdays collaboration has in no way influenced my decision process in choosing these places as a recommendation. As always, all thoughts and opinions are very much my own.
Whenever I travel, I let my stomach be my compass. Lisbon was no exception to the rule. Known for their ‘pastel de nata’, which I did eat an unhealthy amount of (all in the name of research of course), but Lisbon has much more to offer than custard tarts.
Time Out Market
Designed to bring you the very best of Lisbon all under one roof. 24 restaurants, with everything from octopus hotdogs to classic Portuguese steak and fries. Indecisive and hungry, this was our first stop.
Mercado da Ribeira
For a taste of the original farmer and fish market, arrive before lunchtime. It’s under the same roof as Time Out Market so you can hit both in one go. I lapped the stalls a good few times admiring all of the beautiful produce.
Pasteis de Belem
The mecca of custard tarts, it was a pilgrimage I couldn’t ignore! Here is where the original pastel de nata was first created back in 1837. Swamped with tourists and the queue snakes down the road, at any time of the day. Skip the queue and head inside to opt for table service at one of their 400 seats. You will find other pasteis as delicious, so I’ll leave this pilgrimage up to you.
Of all the custard tarts I ate in Lisbon, these were my favourite on offer. This is a grab-and-go type situation. Wait in line, order your pasteis and espresso, stand at the counter eating and away you go!
Coffee, magazines and a small brunch menu with a Scandinavian influence. Generous portions and great value too.
Taberna da Rua das Flores
A small, 20 seat taberna restaurant with a small menu written up on the blackboard. They don’t take reservations so either you arrive early for a lunchtime sitting or as soon as they open at 6 pm to put your name on the list. That being said, while the food was nice enough I wasn’t blown away by it, yet seem to find this place on every ‘go to’ food list for Lisbon I’ve found.
Conserveira de Lisboa
These little, tinned fish shops can be found all over the city. This particular one opened in the 1930s and hasn’t changed much since. I returned home with a tin of anchovies and holding onto them for something special until I decide the best use for them!
The best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. That’s all you need to know.
Bairro do Avillez
A huge restaurant ‘complex’ if you will, opened by renowned Portuguese chef, José de Avillez. I would suggest checking in on the menu first though. Don’t get me wrong, that grilled shrimp was DIVINE but a little on the pricey side.
I thought the main attraction would be the giant octopus on the ceiling and was wary of A Cevicheria living up to the hype. Not only did it exceed expectations, I’d even go as far as to say it was my favourite dish of the whole trip! On the menu, you’ll find Peruvian and South American inspired dishes, with a Portuguese twist. At least one of the ceviche options is a must. I recommend choosing an usual time to eat here, between 3 and 4pm, to avoid the waitlist.
Another hub of food choices. A short tram ride out of the city but definitely worth the trip, we spent the best part of a day here hopping between bars and restaurants. Find Rio Maravilha, a rooftop bar and restaurant with great cocktails.
There is nothing typically Portuguese about Prado and was unlike any other place I tried in Lisbon. Small plates of creative food led by the seasons. If it’s not in season, you won’t find it on the menu.
The places I didn’t get a chance to try but perhaps worth noting for your own visit:
- Copenhagen Coffee Lab
- Cafe Tati
- Cervejaria Ramiro
- Fabrica da Nata
If you’re interested in other Lisbon recommendations, head over to my Instagram where I’m still sharing plenty of photos from the trip.