The nine best new restaurants in Lisbon
António Galapito opened Prado at the foot of the Cathedral of Lisbon (Sé), where he works with organic meat and vegetables. He uses seasonal ingredients recommended by their Portuguese producers, so the menu is ever-changing. Every day, something is different, from meat cuts to fish species. Across the street from aparthotel The Lisboans, where the restaurant is, step into Mercearia do Prado, a sort of deli where he plans to sell bulk products, jams and Iberian hams.
With only 10 seats, all on the same table, and a surface of just 18 square metres, Local is a must if you want to have dinner with strangers. Every night from Tuesday to Saturday, it offers two dinner slots (8pm-10pm and 10pm-midnight), and the kitchen is run by a team of three chefs, currently managed by Manel Limo.
Chef Rui Silvestre left Bon Bon, where he earned a Michelin star in 2015, and opened Quorum on Rua do Alecrim, an honest and direct assembly: at the end of dinner, clients vote for the dishes they liked best, using an app. This is how Lisbon knows the cuisine of this chef of the future - the name of the award he received from the International Academy of Gastronomy at the end of 2017 - with a lot of attention given to the produce and clean flavours that make diners travel through classic world recipes: Vietnamese pho, Peruvian ceviche or French scrambled eggs with mushrooms.
After launching Pedro e o Lobo, Casa de Pasto and Rio Maravilha, Diogo Noronha, the rising star of the cooking world, decided to take on Príncipe Real. The name of the restaurant means fishing, and fresh fish is its focus, with a seasonal menu. Bartender Fernão Gonçalves manages the bar (which has oysters, by the way), from noon to midnight. Amongst the 10 signature cocktails, try the gin fizz with peas and kaffir lime (8€), an alcoholic soup of sorts.
Launched in September last year in Mercado de Arroios, Mezze is managed by Pão a Pão - an association for the integration of refugees from the Middle East. The menu includes Syrian dishes and breads and is divided in six formulas, three vegetarian and three for meat lovers, all ideal for sharing. After all, that’s what “mezze” means. Not only is it a good meal; it’s a meal with a meaning, since you can learn more about the story of those who work there.
After five years at the helm of Taberna da Rua das Flores, André Magalhães opened Taberna Fina closeby, on the second floor of a building on Largo Camões - a fine dining venue inside hotel Le Consulat. In the new Taberna, clients put their full trust in the chefs, with a degustation menu (56€) that includes 10 courses focused on seasonal Portuguese and international produce gathered by the chefs along their trips. No matter how often you go, you’ll never eat the same thing.
At Tantura, which takes his name from the small town north of Tel Aviv where the owners moved four years ago, the signature dishes are the hummus (€6.25), and the shakshuka, eggs cooked slowly in tomato sauce with onions and chili (€7.80). They reach the table in a variety of ways, including mixed in a hamshuka (€7.85). For €15, you get a trip to Tel Aviv via picturesque Bairro Alto. You’ll struggle to find better Middle Eastern cuisine in Lisbon.
In one of the coolest restaurants in the city, you must eat with your hands. The menu includes pani puri (€4.50), spicy duck (€12), potato masala (€8.20) and bagare baingan (€10), made with aubergine, peanuts and coconut. The owner, Aparna Aurora, has an Indian restaurant in Berlin with the same name.
On the seventh floor of department store El Corte Inglès, Gourmet Experience has a 360º view of the city which, until now, no one was enjoying. The new food court, inaugurated last Christmas, has 17 stalls, six of which by national and international chef who, between them, have five Michelin stars. Amongst the best ones: Poke by Chef Kiko; Balcão by Henrique Sá Pessoa; Tasca Chic by José Avillez; Jacaré - a space for “vegetarian carnivores”; Imanol by Aitor Ansorena - with Basque dishes; Galician tapas house Atlántico by Pepe Solla (who won a Michelin star for Casa Solla in Pontevedra); and Barra Cascabel, a partnership between Mexican chef Roberto Ruiz (one Michelin star for Punto Mx in Madric) and the Avillez group. For dessert, keep some space for Nannarella’s gelati.
Eat your way through Lisbon
In the old days (okay, not that old, maybe 20 years ago), one could eat their way around Lisbon having daily, simple meals at the restaurant the way they would at a canteen. One of the good canteens, of course.