Where to Eat and Drink in Lisbon
What to eat and where to go in Lisbon for great tasting food and drinks? Well, when we travel, we usually like to eat what the locals eat and are always trying find those small little hidden gems… This trip we weren’t so prepared, so we made some mistakes and found ourselves in a few tourist traps but we still managed to find some gems.
In Lisbon you have both the upscale bars and restaurants with great views and service but you also have really really cheap places great for backpackers and low budget seekers…
Lisbon has a wide variety of food to choose from!
Regarding the different cuisines in Lisbon, you can find almost anything from their own fantastic Portuguese courses to International Japanese, Spanish, Brazillian and even some great Mexican food. When we first arrived, we happened to eat at a typical tourist place that to our surprise was really good! It was on the main square Praca do Comercio overlooking the water. We ordered cheese and sausages with a bottle of white sangria. It was quite expensive but so delicious.
They are really good at simple meat and cheese in Portugal!
Would you like to know more about some of their traditional food? Keep reading…
Where do you find the Local food?
FISH: The Typical Portuguese dish is a Cod dish (Bacalhau) and you will find it along with a lot of other seafood in most restaurants. Portugal is one of the largest producers of canned Sardines and if you like them, you will find dozens variations/flavors to choose from.
If you like shrimp, octopus, squid or a large grilled fish, then this is the place for you; A Camponesa. It’s located in the popular Baixa/Chiado area and is a typical local Portuguese restaurant that’s very cheap with great service.
MEAT: You will also find great steaks here; the pepper and mustard steaks could be found in a lot of places and are definitely recommended. We enjoyed a restaurant we found on Spotted by Locals called Café no Chiado. A bit more upscale but still very inexpensive for how great the meal we received was.
SWEETS: Surprisingly, their coffee is not that good, at least if you compare it to Italy. This might also explain why others hadn’t told us about Lisbon. Swede’s are coffee freaks; to be able to stay awake in these dark times we need good coffee.
Anyway, what they do here in many places is put whip cream on the top of their espresso and call that a cappuccino. It could be nice with a small treat but maybe not for your morning breakfast? At little bit too sweet for me! What they do really well though is actually sweets, they have coconut bread called “the bread of the gods” (Pao de Deus) and if you are a fan of coconut, It’s So Delicious!
They also have their traditional “Pastel de Nata” which is small little custard filled pastry that’s very sweet and goes perfectly with their bitter coffee. You can either visit their most traditional bakery: A Padaria Portuguesa or you can head over to Belem for the famous Pasteis de Nata. If you are very interested in their pastries read Steph’s blog post about the Sweets in Lisbon.
IS there more? Yes! Another thing we didn’t know was that marmalade originally comes from a fruit called marmelado that grows in Portugal. So, when you think about the typical orange marmalade you have on bread, it’s actually not the “real” marmalade. Read more here.
“I wish I could download Food from the Internet”
Bars and Restaurants to Visit!
Something Lisbon has done really well, is using their hills for placing great rooftop bars or restaurants overlooking the water! If you check out welovelisbon.com you will find several hidden rooftop places. Two of our favorites was PARK that’s located in Baixa/Chiado, PARK is actually the name of the place as well as the location because it’s located on the top of a Parking garage, not the easiest to find if you didn’t know that! They have an amazing view with affordable drinks and food!
We also loved a small little kiosk by the edge of Baixa/Chiado called Miradouro de Santa Catarina (view more on the map below), this is where a lot of people hang out on the stairs drinking beers, playing music and just enjoying the view. Fantastic for sunsets and you can buy a liter of beer for only 2 euros in the kiosk!
Along the water
There are several great spots along the water of Lisbon, some really nice restaurants and some cafes to just enjoy a beer or a coffee. As I mentioned before you have all the tourist places at Praca do Comercio but you can also find some great places closer to the train station Cais do Sodre. We usually took a morning walk along the water and once we stopped at this kiosk for a Cappuccino and some scones! If you go even further you will find a lot of great restaurants spread out all the way to the bridge.
Bars and Party
If you have been in Lisbon or done any research you probably know that Bairro Alto is the place to be for any Party. It’s a long street in this area where you will find one bar after another. There are some local sit down bars, sport bars, clubs and of course the tourist bar everyone has heard about that sells liter sized of Caphirina or Mojito in a plastic cup for 5 euros. Yes! You read that correctly!! Super cheap and super strong, around half a bottle of rum per drink.
In my opinion, they weren’t that good but I guess that’s not the point 😉 It’s cool to hang out there if you are backpacking and want to meet a lot of fun fellow backpackers or tourists. If you want to find more expensive and upscale places, visit the rooftops or club!
Are you interested in knowing more about the different district in Lisbon or where to stay? Please let us know and we would be happy to write about it!