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Where to eat in Lisbon? These 20 restaurants won't let you down

Don't know where to eat in Lisbon? Here's a list with 20 good restaurants and tips that will get you acting like a local in all of them

© Arlindo Camacho

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.

Where to eat in Lisbon? These 20 restaurants won't let you down

A Cevicheria

It wasn't Lisbon's first Kiko Martins-led restaurant (that would be O Talho) but it was the one that put him in the map. It became one of the city's most popular locations. Cevicheria was born to pay tribute to Peru's national dish, by serving it with salmon, tuna and even codfish, but the best version, the one worth waiting in line for, is the pure ceviche: seasonal white fish, puréed sweet-potato, onions, seaweed and tiger's milk.

Time Out tips:

– Wait for a table with a glass (or two, or three) of pisco sour in your hand.

– To finish your meal, go for a surf & turf mini-sandwich with pork belly and shrimp.

– If you want people on social networks to know where you are, take a picture of the giant octopus on the ceiling.

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Princípe Real

A Taberna da Rua das Flores

Recommended

To lead a restaurant where the menu changes daily you need creativity. André Magalhães and his team have it and they also know a lot about forgotten or hard-to-get Portuguese products. Thus a part of the menu usually confuses the patrons – fear not, the staff is on hand to tell you what is what. By day this is an old-fashioned Lisbon tavern with traditional recipes; by night, it is a chef's laboratory, mixing influences from all over the world.

Time Out tips:

– It's always crowded and no reservations are accepted, so go early.

– Beyond dining, there is also a micromarket with quality wares.

– Taste their lunch specialities: garnished “iscas” and “meia desfeita” cod.

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Chiado/Cais do Sodré

Adraga

Recommended

Whenever you daydream about the Adraga beach restaurant's fresh fish and shellfish and decide to drive the 40km from Lisbon, remember this detail: make a reservation. Yes, even in rainy winter days (which amounts to 50% of them in Sintra...). The restaurant is so great that the beach's parking lot is filled with its patrons. Tables by the window are the most coveted, but we'd rather set our eyes on something else: the fresh fish on display before being sent to the grill.

Time Out tips: 

– The sea bass is line-fished, right next to the restaurant.

– Local barnacles are usually available (the rough sea gives them texture).

– Strawberry meringue or apple pie? Hmmm... Both.

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Sintra
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Belcanto

Recommended

He was the first Portuguese chef to stamp two Michelin stars on his resume, the first to earn one for the Greater Lisbon area. At Belcanto, the second of his six Lisbon restaurants, his creativity is everywhere: both in fully reinvented traditional dishes, such as his “cozido” with a strong-flavoured broth, and in bold experiments such as his famous garden of the goose that laid the golden egg - in which a golden, edible layer covers a soft-boiled egg. And we've yet to mention the appetizers, delicious as always.

Time Out tips:

– More than a meal, an experience; don't rush it.

– This is no place to be a spendthrift – including when it comes to wines.

– The tasting menus cost €125 and €145, but you can also order à la carte.  

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Chiado

Casanova

Recommended

The Casanova pizzas (aka “Lux's pizzas”) are usually the Lisbon standard in any conversation about pizzerias. It's a high standard to look up to. The dough is very thin and gets crunchy on the edges, it is baked in a wood-burning stove for just the right amount of time, every ingredient is of top quality and – unlike some competitors – they always come in generous amounts. What to order? Hmmm.... Diavola, San Daniele, Parmigiana or, if you can't make up your mind, half of each.

Time Out tips:

– Try going outside mealtimes. That's the only way to avoid waiting in line.

– The burrata comes from Puglia and it's incredible.

– The best drink in the house is prosecco with cremolato (don't refer to it as “juice”).  

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São Vicente 

Das Flores

The small eatery at the Rua das Flores in endangered ever since its building was approved for building a hotel. But there is no closure date for now, so enjoy their croquettes (Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays), their cod cakes (Tuesdays and Thursdays), their “alheira” sausage with fries and egg, their “iscas”, their homemade soups, their almond pie... well, the menu isn't very long but it's always hard to pick just one thing. If all else fails, just go “eeny, meenie...”

Time Out tips:

– Only lunches are served, and by 11am they are usually fully booked.

– The cod cakes won a blind taste test by Time Out Critics.

– There is no sign at the door. Memorize the street number: 76

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Chiado
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Estoril Mandarim

Recommended

Estoril Mandarim, established quite a few years ago, introduced Portugal to Chinese fine dining. The menu includes more than 100 entries, among which we recommend the shark-fin soup and the Peking roast duck (served in two stages – first the skin, then the meat). For lunch, they offer Greater Lisbon's finest dim sums, prepared by master Cham Kam Leong. Try the siu-mai, with crab eggs on top, or the há-kau, with prawns and white mushrooms.

Time Out tips:

– In good old-fashioned Chinese style, several private rooms are available.

– The “nata” custard pie might be better than many of its Portuguese siblings.

– Even the bird's nest soup is outstanding.

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Cascais

Feitoria

João Rodrigues is among Lisbon's most creative minds. He is a master at extracting maximum flavour from every ingredient, whether fish and shellfish (brought in from the Algarve and Peniche fish markets) or several bio legumes grown at the Quinta do Poial. The restaurant has a hotel-kitchen style, with plenty of seafood and Eastern touches, but the chef can't resist showy experiments with smoke, dust sprinkles and the like. As it must be in a fine dining spot, the appetizers and the amuse bouches are part of the experience and the artistry does not disappoint.

Time Out tips:

– It has one Michelin star, but it should have gotten a second in 2017.

– The Terra menu is 100% vegetarian and awesome.

– Menus cost €80 (three courses), €95 (four) and €135 (six).

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Belém

Go Juu

This Japanese restaurant was created in 2015 by former Aya disciples and it was a boon for fans of Japanese traditional cuisine. Despite its ever-changing menu, Go Juu paid tribute to Japan's most iconic dishes. It soon acquired an aura of mystery by creating the exclusive Club Go Juu. You don't need to be a member, but you must know their admittance rules and schedule: the restaurant is open to everyone from Tuesday to Sunday at lunchtime and Wednesdays for dinner; from Thursday to Sunday, only members are allowed for supper.

Time Out tips:

– If somehow there is a free table, non-members are also welcome outside the regular schedule.

– They serve toro often.

– Desserts, oh their desserts... Don't blow your whole budget on the fish.

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Avenidas Novas
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Ground Burger

Recommended

These. Are. The. Best. Burgers. In. Lisbon. Let's pronounce every word properly because what takes places at the Ground Burger lab, in view of the patrons, if pure magic. It's 150 grams of 100% Black Angus beef within a brioche bun (they bake in-house two batches per day), with quality ingredients, crunchy onion rings or french fries with rosemary to dip in French's American mustard. As for drinks, order a huge milkshake (don't feel bad about it) or a craft beer.

Time Out tips:

– The Ground Burger is great, so is the Chili cheese, and the Philly Burger as well.

– Amazing: even the Veggie Burger is to die for.

– They also have a burger of the month - that means, 12 new burgers to enjoy in 2017.

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São Sebastião
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