A Guide to Cafes and Restaurants in Lisbon

A Guide to Cafes and Restaurants in Lisbon

Experience Lisbon as a local by enjoying typical Portuguese dishes at the best restaurants throughout the city at a price you can afford. Take away the overwhelming pressure of deciding where to eat in a city as dynamic and riveting as Lisbon by allowing this guide to suggest local restaurants with Portuguese charm and classic dishes. Each restaurant offers locally-sourced food, either prepared traditionally or with a slight modern twist.
Portugal is an outstanding country for cuisine, and there is no better place to discover all the delish flavors than its capital, Lisbon. This app offers you insight into affordable local tascas or tabernas, run by generations of families that serve traditional dishes, as well as newer cafès and restaurants that are gaining popularity with locals by adding a culinarily innovative and modern twist to the most authentic of Portuguese dishes.
Image Courtesy of: PortoBay Hotels & Resorts

1. Páteo 13

Páteo 13
Tucked away in the narrow streets of Alfama, Pateo 13 offers a great selection of fresh grilled fish and meat, all to be enjoyed out in the open Lisbon air on large tables with a scent of BBQ in the air. Although it’s difficult to find in the maze of narrow streets and dead ends in Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood, it is well worth the effort, as the simple grilled dishes, picturesque courtyard and casual atmosphere make for a very authentic Portuguese dining experience. All dishes are accompanied by a small side salad and boiled potatoes, which complement the char-grilled flavors in the most simple yet delicious of ways. It becomes very busy on summer evenings, and unfortunately, due to the restaurant having only outdoor seating, this hidden gem is closed during the winter and on those rare rainy summer days.
Where to find it:
Calçadinha de Santo Estêvão 13
1100 Lisbon, Portugal
Tel.: +351 21 888 2325

Opening Hours:
Tuesday - Sundays: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Monday: closed

2. Chapitô à Mesa

Chapitô à Mesa
Image Courtesy of: Morgaine
Chapitô boasts one of the best views of Lisbon from its location near Castle São Jorge, and therefore you must reserve if you wish to sit close enough to enjoy it. A restaurant, bar, theater, cultural association and art shop, Chapitô offers more than just a meal. You can often enjoy music, art exhibits and even juggling or tap-dancing, as they also have a circus school. The prices are steeper than many restaurants included on True Lisbon Eats, so even if you don’t fancy dinner, be sure to go for the bar and enjoy the relaxing and friendly atmosphere.
Where to find it:
Costa do Castelo 1
1149-079 Lisbon, Portugal
Tel.: +351 21 885 5550

Opening Hours:
Monday - Sunday: 12:00 pm - 12:00 am

3. Bela Ipanema

Bela Ipanema
If you are looking for a quiet setting for a romantic evening for two, this is not the place for you. Although located on Avenida da Liberdade, which shamelessly boasts boutiques of fashions biggest names, with stylish little kiosks sheltered neatly under draping trees, you would think Bela Ipanema would make more of an effort. But that is what makes this place great. In an imposing, tiled dining hall some of the most Portuguese food can be found; Portuguese liver and onions served in a rich gravy, which is simply to die for, ‘Alheira’, a rich garlic and chicken (or veal) sausage, fried and served with chips and a fried egg on top, are just the two delicious examples of many. This is Portuguese food at its purest and most honest. So put romance on the shelf, and give this place a chance – you can do the candlelit cliché another night.
Where to find it:
Avenida da Liberdade 169
1250-141 Lisbon, Portugal
Tel.: +351 21 357 2316

Opening Hours:
Monday - Saturday: 07:00 am - 00:00
Sunday: closed

4. Royale Café

Royale Café
Royal Café’s menu has an enjoyable combination of modern interpretations of classic dishes and what they refer to as ‘dishes from the other world’, including hummus, guacamole and tzatziki. The contemporary menu blends well with the ambiance of the café where you can either go to enjoy a midday tea or coffee with a delicious homemade cake, or for a full dining experience. Their organic and homemade goods selection changes with seasons, but the quality is always the same. No need to book a table unless you’d like to enjoy the quaint patio in the back, which fortunately has outdoor heaters for those nippier winter evenings.
Where to find it:
Lg. Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro 29
1200-369 Lisbon, Portugal
Tel.: (00351)21 346 91 250

Opening Hours:
Monday - Saturday: 11:00 am - 00:00
Sunday & Holidays: 11:00 am - 08:00 pm

5. Restaurante Cabaças

Restaurante Cabaças
You’ll be able to smell this family-run restaurant before you see it. The aroma of the house special, Naço na Pedra or steak on a stone, seeps out of the narrow window and door, inviting all who pass to come in and dine. Although it’s a very small and simplistic place, where you will undoubtedly be bumping elbows with your neighbors, it is a must while in Lisbon. The atmosphere, locale, décor and staff provide for a unique and unforgettable experience. Make sure to get there early, as the wait can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 50. But as we are in Portugal, there is no rush when it comes to good food. So, forget your diet for one night, and don’t miss out on the doce de casa.
Where to find it:
Rua das Gàveas 8
1200-208 Lisbon, Portugal
Tel.: +351 21 346 3443

Opening Hours:
Tuesday - Friday: 12:00 pm - 03:00 pm
Tuesday - Friday: 07:00 pm - 12:00 am
Saturday, Sunday: 07:00 pm - 12:00 am

6. Rosa da Rua

Rosa da Rua
This rustic and friendly restaurant offers an intimate atmosphere with bare brick walls and exposed crossed wooded beams; an architectural strengthening feature of Lisbon buildings implemented after the devastating earthquake of 1755. Here you are sure to eat plentifully for lunch or dinner, as it is a buffet restaurant. The selection includes a starter menu of various cured hams, cheeses and salads, a tasty variety of authentic main course dishes and a light dessert. The main course dishes include pork, octopus, chicken and, of course, one of the hundreds of different bacalhau (cod) recipes known to all the Portuguese. As the menu is constantly changing, don't be afraid to visit this place more than once to truly experience Portuguese cuisine to its fullest. To add to the charm, handmade and vintage jewelry and bags are for sale at the front of the restaurant for those who like to dine and shop in one go.
Where to find it:
Rua da Rosa 265
1200-385 Lisbon, Portugal
Tel.: +351 21 343 2195

Opening Hours:
Monday - Saturday: 12:00 pm-03:30 pm

07:30 pm-10:30 pm

7. Duetos da Sé

Duetos da Sé
Image Courtesy of: Luca Boldrini
Duetos da Se is located on a narrow side street behind the impressive cathedral in Alfama. The restaurant has high ceilings, open brick walls displaying pieces by local artists, jazz and blues in the late evening, and offers a more formal yet friendly dining experience. The menu boasts traditional dishes made with local ingredients, all with a unique and special twist. For example, three classic ingredients of black pudding (blood sausage), apple and cinnamon are all brought together making one of the best starters on the menu. Although it has a small menu with only 4-5 main dishes (all reflective of the season), each dish is deliciously infused with complementary flavors and created by the owner.
Where to find it:
Travessa do Almargem 1B
1100-019 Lisbon Portugal
Tel.: +351 21 885 0041

Opening Hours:
Monday and Tuesday: 04:00 pm - 00:00
Thursday and Friday: 04:00 pm - 02:00 am
Saturday: 04:00 pm - 02:00 am
Sunday: 04:00 pm - 00:00

8. Hó Caldas

Hó Caldas
This shockingly cheap and delicious restaurant is the definition of a real Portuguese ‘tasca’; family-run, tight squeeze, daily menu, traditional dishes. The restaurant is tiny, but cozy. An upper balcony accommodates a few more tables and provides a charming view of the tables and kitchen below. The menu changes daily, but always includes one of the many bacalhau (cod) and pork dishes. There is a risk you might be left with very limited options from the menu if it has been a busy night or you arrive very late. So, for a truly local experience with a friendly staff, Ho Caldas is the place to go.
Where to find it:
Rua de Sao Mamede 22C
Lisbon 1100, Portugal
Tel.: +351 218 875 711

Opening Hours:
Tuesday - Sunday 10:00 am - 10:00 pm

9. Café De São Bento

Café De São Bento
When Café Sao Bento opened in the early eighties, the aim was to resemble the traditional Portuguese cafés, which have become increasingly rare over the years. With the décor reminiscent of a Victorian parlor, and a menu offering a delectable rump steak in a unique pepper sauce, this is a dining experience you don’t want to miss. Although it is pricier than your average Lisbon restaurant, the quality and service are excellent, so much so that TIMEOUT magazine voted it the ‘Best Steak in Lisbon’. Let your taste buds decide if it is worthy of the title, you will be glad you did.
Where to find it:
Rua de São Bento 212
1200-821 Lisbon, Portugal
Tel.: +351 21 39 529 11

Opening Hours:
For Lunch: Daily from 12:30 pm to 02:30 pm
For Dinner: Daily from 07:00 pm to 02:00 am

*closed for lunch during August

10. Tropical da Graça

Tropical da Graça
Located on the highest of Lisbon’s many hills, on which some of the most breath-taking views of the city can be found, is Tropical da Graça. From the outside looking in, you wouldn’t be blamed if you walked straight past it. Follow your nose instead of your eyes, however, and you will find yourself in front of a mightily impressive hot coal grill, backed with the classic array of Portuguese meats and fish, the best of which, is the house specialty, the grilled chicken. In the humble dining room at the back of the restaurant you will find no more than 25 seats, almost guaranteed to be occupied by locals. And as a general rule, if the locals like it, it is well worth a go. So work up an appetite, enjoy the views, quench your well-earned thirst and hunger with a glass of crisp ‘vinho verde’ and plate of freshly grilled sardines, all in the safe knowledge that there is always a tram to take you back down the long and winding road.
Where to find it:
Rua da Graça 72
1170-170 Lisbon, Portugal
Tel.: 218 868 889

Opening Hours:
Monday - Saturday: 09:30 am - 09:30 pm
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