Complete Guide to Restaurants in Lisbon: Portuguese Food, Must-Eats, Tips…

Where and what to eat in Lisbon?

Portuguese People and Food

Food in Portugal is more than a lifestyle; it provides an insight into the history of the country, its residents and Portuguese culture. The Portuguese enjoy the pleasure of eating together with friends and family, making really long lunches or dinners.

As you can see, dining in Portugal is a social and cultural journey where meals are meant to be savored together. So, eat like a local and don’t rush your meal when sampling the best of Portuguese cuisine!

  • Don't expect much for breakfast; a bica (espresso) and a pastry are pretty standard. Check out the complete list of the 10 best cafes in Lisbon to find the perfect location for breakfast. 
  • Lunches are an important social event that often run into the evening- where the locals sit for hours together, drinking and hanging out. 
  • In contrary to many Western countries, dinner is eaten rather late, between 20:00 and 21:30. But most of the restaurants also serve dinner at 19:00.

Thanks to restaurant prices that are probably the lowest in Europe, nothing stands in the way of memorable food experiences…

Bom apetite!

What to eat in Lisbon

What to eat in Lisbon?

With its diverse cuisine, the Portuguese capital is the perfect place for a foodie trip that will not disappoint!

Lisboners love seafood and grilled meats - as opposed to dishes with vegetables.

However, as a cosmopolitan city, Lisbon's dining scene offers a wide range of culinary options, from authentic Portuguese kitchen to vegetarian dishes and international cuisine. If you're in search of Lisbon's best vegetarian and vegan restaurants, begin with the locations in our article. 

Whether you are looking for a small eatery, a rustic tavern or a fancy restaurant, in Lisbon you will find a restaurant for every taste and budget.

Traditional Portuguese Cuisine

Portuguese cuisine is rich in the freshest seafood, olive oil, meat, bread, and spices - and is widely underestimated. One could even say it is one of Europe's best-kept secret.

Portuguese food is not only a feast for the senses, it also has a distinctive identity. A former seafaring nation, Portuguese food culture, influenced by the Atlantic Diet and Mediterranean cuisine, reflects its maritime explorations and the food culture of its colonies.

The Portuguese love dining on seafood so much that they even have a name for it: mariscada. But the country also has a wide variety of regional dishes to offer. Each region has its own unique tastes and specialties, and we recommend trying as much as you can.

It is also worth mentioning the excellent quality of Portuguese wines, which harmonize perfectly with the typical cuisine.

Here are some of the most beloved and famed Portuguese dishes that you should definitely taste during your Lisbon trip:

  • Bacalhau: Bacalhau, dried and salted cod, is the national dish of the country. It has been part of the Portuguese cuisine for hundreds of years.
  • Seafood: Order a seafood platter to try a variety of the best fresh and local flavors of the sea. The plate often includes charcoal grilled fish as well as crabs, clams and large shrimp.
  • Caldo Verde: Caldo Verde is another local favorite. This flavorsome and satisfying soup typically includes kale, potato, onion and sausage.
  • Port Wine: This fortified wine, originating from the Douro Valley near Porto, is the most famous wine of the country. Try the different variations, ruby, tawny and white port as well as the newest trend, the refreshing Porto Tonico (tonic port).
  • Arroz de marisco: This specialty, similar to Spanish paella, is a juicy rice dish with seafood, vegetables and herbs.
  • Polvo grelhado: Another traditional dish is grilled octopus, prepared in olive oil, which keeps the meat tender and tasty.
  • Cozido à portuguesa: The ingredients of this traditional Portuguese stew varies depending on which region you eat it, but typically contains vegetables, boiled meats and sausages.
  • Vinho Verde: Portugal’s famous green sparkling wine comes from the north of the country and is a must-try.
  • Petiscos: These small dishes are the Portuguese version of tapas and are perfect as a snack.
Must Eats in Lisbon

Must Eats in Lisbon

We recommend that you don't leave the city without trying a few of the following highlights of Lisbon cuisine:

  • Sardinhas: Whether its fresh or canned sardines, the delicacy is one of the most commonly eaten fish in Portugal. Fresh sardines are often served directly from the grill, sometimes with some bread. Their smell is omnipresent in Lisbon during the festival in June.
  • Mista Carne: If you're more of a meat lover than a fish lover, then the mixed meat platter with a delicious selection of grilled barbecue platters is for you. Many restaurants in Lisbon offer a set price for everyone on the table, which includes wine, appetizers, and food.
  • Pastéis de Belém: Lisbon is the birthplace of the beloved pastry Pastéis de nata. The original, which was invented in the famous bakery Pastéis Belém, is the only one who can call their custard cream pastries Pasteis de Belém. Find out more about the history of both the dessert and the cafe on the audio-guide Tour of Belém from YourMobileGuide
  • Ginjinha: The syrupy red cherry liquor that originates in Lisbon is the city’s signature drink. Try ginjinha at a bar or, even better, from one of the Alfama residents who sell homemade ginjinha right on their doorstep.
  • Chouriço: The paprika flavored sausage is often served in a clay dish on fire where you roast it yourself at the table. A must-try!
  • Piri piri Chicken: The oven roasted chicken is marinated with a mix of African chilli pepper and cooked over an open flame. This creates a crispy, spicy outsie that absorbs the mouth-watering juices of the marinated inside.
  • Prego & Bifana: The best cheap meals in Lisbon are the delicious sandwiches Prego and Bifana. These sandwiches, made from big chunks of meat squeezed between dry buns, can be found everywhere on the streets of Lisbon.
Where to eat in Lisbon

Where to eat in Lisbon?

The right Neighborhood for every Taste

  • Some of the best seafood in the city can now be found around Alfama! Pick a family owned tavern and enjoy traditional seafood dinners.
  • Craving some fusion food? Bairro Alto offers tons of fusion restaurants to try.
  • Graca & Intendente are the perfect neighborhoods for authentic Chinese food, as many immigrants live here.
  • Fancy some Nepalese or African food? Then off to the multicultural Martim Moniz neighborhood!
  • Looking for a posh and trendy restaurant? There are fancy restaurants in Cais do Sodré & Santos that cater more to foreigners, but prices are usually higher than the average restaurant.

Pastelaria: A Pastelaria can be found on every street in the city. It is more than just a regular pastry shop; it is the center of Portuguese social life. It sells everything from coffee and alcohol to sweets and sandwiches, and usually at very reasonable prices. What's interesting about the Pastelaria is that it always has a standing counter where locals order for a quick meal or espresso. 

Quiosques: The charming green kiosks of Lisbon are an essential part of the city and society. You can find one in every little neighborhood, park, plaza and at prime locations such as viewpoints or at the waterfront. On offer are decently priced drinks, coffee and food. Chill like the locals do and order a glass of fruity sangria or a delicious pastry and relax.

Time Out Market: For the ultimate dining experience, visit the famous food hall Time Out Market. You can find here a variety of stalls selling all different types of Portuguese and fusion foods. We recommend hopping from stall to stall to taste the unique flavors that are offered in the restaurants, bars, coffee and pastry shops. There are even some top Michelin-level restaurants.

Lisbon in June - Popular Saints Festival: The month of June marks the celebration of the three popular saints, St. Anthony, St. John and St. Peter. Expect colorful street parties, lively festivities and … lots of sardines. The delicacy takes over the streets of Lisbon, which are filled with the smell of coal roasted sardines. Lisboners gather in the streets decorated with garlands to celebrate, drink and eat together.

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Good to know


In restaurants in Portugal, you will often be welcomed with bread, olives and other dishes. Please note that these are usually not included in the price. If you don't want to pay for them, be sure to send them back, or you will be surprised later to find the food on your bill.

Authentic Restaurants:

If you are looking for an authentic Portuguese meal, you should avoid the tourist places as the prices there are likely to be inflated. The key to an affordable, authentic meal is always family-run establishments. With that in mind, before you sit down to eat, look for a place that looks like a family-run business.

Spoiled for Choice:

With so many delicious dishes to choose from, it's often hard to pick one. Our advice: When visiting a seafood restaurant, ask for the catch of the day, which is often listed on a chalkboard outside. This is an excellent way to find out what is fresh, in season, and a specialty of the chef.

Lisbon Food Tour

Want to discover more of Lisbon’s famed foods as well as the historic neighborhood Alfama? Download our audio-guide "Taste of Alfama" and go on an adventure through the city’s oldest neighborhood, Alfama, while discovering its top attractions and the taste of the city on your own.


Museums, Tours and Sightseeing

Tours & Tickets for Lisbon Top Attractions


For corporate events, trade fairs, and large private events in Lisbon, we are happy to take care of the catering.

Learn more about our group travel offerings.

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