World Cup 2018 - Group B: Spanish, Moroccan and Iranian restaurants in Lisbon
Rabia Esserghini swears that Flor da Laranja, a Bairro Alto restaurant open since 2004, is the one truly Moroccan place in central Lisbon, especially after Pedro das Arábias and Ali-a-Papa closed down. It still serves good Moroccan food, resisting the introduction of other tourist-pleasing cuisines. Here you can eat lamb tagines with caramelized plums and a side of sweet potatoes, sultana grapes, honey and cinnamon, fava beans with olives and olive oil, spinach with lemon or eggplant and tomato. Only open at dinnertime, so you can't watch the game against Portugal (on the 20th, 1pm) there, but maybe the match will whet your appetite.
The decoration is very plain but the menu is wide-ranging, enough to make you travel to Morocco in Cascais. The appetizers include hummus, cold or hot couscous salads with pressed eggplant and tomato, served on bread or with a "pastilla" pastry - thin dough stuffed with chicken, almonds and cinnamon. There's nine different tagines, such as meat and plums or salmon and vegetables; to cap the meal off, try mint ice cream or three varieties of Moroccan cakes, all including almonds and honey.
This restaurant, led by chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, is a harmonious union of Spanish "tapas" and Portuguese snacks. First order a vermouth, the house drink; then go for the bombastic croquettes, scarf down your "huevos rotos" broken eggs and peck at some "patatas bravas". The menu has big platters of paella, Iberian pork "presa" or the more Portuguese braised green peas with Alentejo chorizo. As for desserts, order all of these and share among your party: "toucinho do céu" almond pudding, "Alicante turrón" nougat and "crema catalana".
This unassuming establishment in the historic centre of Paço de Arcos serves fine food with influences from Galicia, the Basque Country and other regions of Spain. Valencian Paella, the house speciality (€22), is in itself worth the visit, but before that try the octopus (€9.50), the Galician style pig's ear (€4.50), some Spanish mussels (€4.50) or "setas al ajillo" (€4.50). The meat dishes include stuffed partridge with balsamic vinegar and rosemary, and lamb chops.
The one true Spanish "méson" to have "tapas" in Lisbon. The menu is basically composed of shareable dishes. Start with the "jamón" before going for the "huevos rotos", here served with truffle oil (€7.50); also try their refined "patatas bravas" (in rolls, very spicy) or the Padrón peppers (€6.50). Save some room for the roast "cochinillo" with sweet potato, or the lamb chop, served steaming, with rosemary.
This small Praça das Flores restaurant has been showing how many spices and herbs are to be found in typical Iranian food. Don't be intimidated by the hard-to-pronounce names, Pooneh Niakian is there to help you. Start with the appetizers - roasted nuts with cinnamon and "barbari" bread (a sort of focaccia). Then there's a herbs fritatta (€5.30), chicken breast served on naan bread (€8.50) and spicy beef or lamb kebabs (€10.90).
Somewhat hidden next to a fitness centre in the Roma-Areeiro area, it could be confused with a Portuguese snack bar. But it's a restaurant with Iranian specialities that come in large servings. The menu contains kebabs with a mix of veal and lamb (known as "koobideh kabab") or a lamb shank stew with a side of fava beans and dill (baghali polo ba mahicheh). Desserts include a Persian ice cream, "bastani sonati", made with milk, eggs, sugar, rose water, saffron, vanilla and pistachio.
World Cup 2018 in Lisbon
Affordable places and more expensive tables - but always with the certainty that these menus will leave us with a full belly. From dishes of absolute comfort to those appetizers no less gratifying, we chose the best restaurants to watch football in Lisbon with candles adorned with scarves, sweaters and memories. Happy World Cup 2018 and enjoy.
Football is about 11 million people routing for 11 people on a field. In the end, Lisbon wins. Lisbon and its outskirts with their places to watch the World Cup 2018 outside. You can always stay in, but we all know that these games call for happy gatherings with - hopefully - happy endings. Wether you're planning to wacth your home team or keep a close eye on their adversaries, the World Cup 2018 is also played on the streets of Lisbon. Here are some of the best places to watch the World Cup outside. Gather your friends and good luck!