Whether you are a foodie looking for the latest hit in the Lisbon food scene, or just looking to have a great meal in a trendy place, these are the ones to try. From Spanish and Asian cuisine, to healthy eating and the freshest seafood, we bring you the hottest meals to hit 2017, from the best new restaurants in Lisbon.
The best new restaurants in Lisbon
There’s plenty to see at José Avillez’s newest establishment. This chef owns seven other restaurants in Chiado, including Belcanto, which has two Michelin stars. Literally translated the restaurant is called Avillez’s Neighbourhood, and it was designed to give visitors that exact feeling. There you can find “A Taberna”, where you can enjoy a few snacks, and “O Pátio”, where the fresh fish and shellfish are the forte. It also has a grocery and a charcuterie store where you can shop for local products to take home with you. There’s more: search for the very well-hidden Beco – Cabaret Gourmet, this establishment’s latest innovation, a place where the art of gastronomy blends in with the art of dancing and performing.
Chef Kiko Martins chose the name (“The Asian”) to bring to Portugal the flavours of his road trip around Asia. There’s Thai roast beef and ceviche from Laos, oxtail pho, and wagyu or, better yet, Vietnamese sticky rice for dessert on the menu – designed to take you on a gastronomic experience around Asia without leaving your seat. Elegant and relaxing, this is his third restaurant, after “O Talho”, in São Sebastião, and “A Cevicheria”, also in Príncipe Real.
At first, it was Beatriz Costa’s restaurant, a tribute to the Portuguese actress, a movie star from the 20’s, later it became the French Brasserie Flo and now it was renewed as a modern beer house. Aside from the oysters, the lobster or the spider crab, you can also delight yourself with steak sandwiches and other meat dishes or with the preserved classic tartare steak. The modernity lies in its decoration and in its latest innovation: the client may suggest ways to cook the fish and the shellfish. For instance: the lobster can be cooked au gratin or boiled and the John Dory fish can be served as a fillet or as ceviche. We have to warn you: everything is so delicious that it might be difficult to choose what to eat.
Its location – at Belmonte Palace, one of the best luxury hotels in Lisbon, which was built in the 15th century – may be deceiving. This is not a well-behaved restaurant: minimalist, bold or eccentric are more suitable adjectives to describe Tiago Feio’s cuisine. He started his endeavours alongside his wife, Ana Cachaço, at an old bakery that they renovated so that they could pursue their gastronomic experiences in Mouraria. And after they got big they moved. From the old menu, you still have the seaweed tartare, but there are also new dishes such as the truffle cream with spices.
It is said that “From Spain can come neither good winds nor good marriages”, but at a time when there’s no longer arranged marriages between royal families and given that the winds are constantly changing, this relationship is friendlier than ever. As proof, we have Henrique Sá Pessoa’s newest restaurant in one of the most popular neighbourhoods in the city, Príncipe Real, which serves Bulhão Pato clams with starch potatoes and ham croquettes with octopus salad. The final outcome is great: longer meals to practice the art of sharing.
No, having dinner at a hotel restaurant is not a 70’s thing. And nowadays that visit is much more than just a synonym of glamour: it also means a rewarding gastronomic experience. Have a seat on the green velvet sofa, enjoy the view over the city and to Memmo’s restaurant pool, at Príncipe Real, and then taste Vasco Lello’s African, Asian or Brazilian inspired dishes – a tasty metaphor of the Portuguese adventures around the world.
There are plenty of important references. The historic one: “infame” (the Portuguese word for “infamous”) was the insult that queen D. Amélia shouted at her husband and son’s murderers. Both husband and son were shot during the Portuguese regicide [and the restaurant is located near Almirante Reis, which used to be named Avenida Rainha D. Amélia (Queen D. Amélia Avenue)]. Then, there’s the cultural reference: though it is Portuguese, the menu draws inspiration from the 80 nationalities that this neighbourhood has – there is grilled tuna fish with guacamole, pork belly with sweet chilli and whiskey caramel and date cake.
Here, all vegetable fats rule, the newest flours (such as wheat flour) are always the ones chosen and refined sugar is definitely a no. To serve dishes which have an impeccable presentation and that are surprisingly tasteful, without compromising their nutritional value, is the goal. There’s fish, meat, risottos, pizzas and carpaccios (yes, a bit of everything) and this gastronomic lab is proud of that.
It’s sort of like a fishermen’s tasca (the Portuguese designation for a cheap eating place), but in the city – the description is not ours, but the owner’s. However, the fried pompano tacos with guacamole or the pompano and salmon ceviche with yam, a creation of chef João Magalhães, prove that this is no ordinary tasca.
In October 2016, a Time Out critic wrote, “the sprouts rice with beans and the fried fish fillets can’t seem to get out of my mouth or my mind.” So get your palate ready for this rice restaurant in Chiado. At Henrique Mouro’s kitchen there are plenty of other memorable rice specialties: with pompano and cabbages, lamb and apricot or a sweeter version with praline and marmalade. Are you wondering if this menu only serves rice? The answer is yes, it’s all about the rice.
Eat your way through Lisbon
Some of these restaurants are new, some are old classics. What they all have in common? Delicious food, great ambience and good service. Whichever you choose, don’t forget to book ahead, whenever it’s possible. Trying to decide where to eat in Lisbon can be a hard task, but this list will make your life much easier. Just pick one of these, depending on which kind of food you’re more into.
We Lisboners like a little sweetness in our lives. It's not all codfish and great wines. As proof, we've picked three desserts you should try in Lisbon, believing that a spoonful of sugar really does help everything go down. In case you agree with this theory and this list is not enough for you, feel free to practice more self-medication here: At Lisbon's best bakeries and cake shops.
Here it is, a countdown of Lisbon’s most coveted plates. No more need to agonise over the menu; dive straight in as we reveal dishes to die for at Lisbon’s best restaurants and cheap eats. Our top 20 list picks out sophisticated signature dishes, indulgent desserts, sweet treats and finger-licking street food. Take a look at our selection of the top 20 dishes to try in Lisbon.