From seafood to robust stews and delicate desserts, Lisbon food lovers’ paradise promises an unforgettable culinary experience.
Pastéis de Nata
Let’s kickstart this delicious journey with Lisbon’s crown jewel – Pastéis de Nata.
These small, custard-filled delights are quintessential to Lisbon, and missing out on them would be akin to not seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Encased in a perfectly baked pastry shell that’s crisp and buttery, the soft custard filling carries just the right touch of sweetness and a hint of vanilla, creating a heavenly balance that will leave you craving more.
Where to eat Pastéis de Nata in Lisbon
A few places have truly perfected the art of Pastéis de Nata in Lisbon.
Manteigaria‘s miniature tarts come filled with a decadently creamy filling that flows with every mouthful, offering an indulgent treat for the senses.
Fábrica da Nata is another must-visit, where the tarts are beautifully crispy on the outside, with the creamy custard interior complemented by a balanced sweetness.
But for the true believers, Pastéis de Belém is the holy grail. Steeped in history, it’s been whipping up these Portuguese delicacies using a guarded secret recipe passed down through generations. It’s a pilgrimage worth making, and the reward? Authentic, utterly delightful Pastéis de Nata.
Tips: To get around Lisbon and nearby areas such as Belem, I highly recommend renting a car. It gives you flexibility and freedom, and is useful for day trips from Lisbon.
Pasteis de Bacalhau (Codfish Fritters)
Codfish, or Bacalhau, is a staple ingredient in Portuguese cuisine.
One of the most popular ways to enjoy it is in the form of Pasteis de Bacalhau. These are codfish fritters or croquettes, mixed with potatoes, onions, parsley, and eggs, then deep-fried to a golden perfection.
Each bite delivers a delightful crunch, followed by the tender, flaky codfish within.
Where to eat Pasteis de Bacalhau in Lisbon
To enjoy some top-notch Pasteis de Bacalhau, head over to Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau. This eatery specializes in these delicious fritters, even serving them stuffed with Serra da Estrela cheese for a unique twist.
Another solid choice is the Time Out Market, where several vendors serve their own delicious versions of Pasteis de Bacalhau, offering a great opportunity to compare flavors.
Bacalhau à Brás
Bacalhau à Brás is another delicious Lisbon dish made from cod.
It’s a rich, satisfying blend of shredded salt cod, finely chopped onions, and thinly sliced potatoes, all pulled together by scrambled eggs and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
The mix of textures and the mingling of flavors, from the saltiness of the cod to the sweet undertones of the onions and the creaminess of the eggs, make each bite a pure joy to savor.
Where to eat Bacalhau à Brás in Lisbon
To experience Bacalhau à Brás at its best, make a beeline for Tasca da Esquina. Nestled in the charming Campo de Ourique neighborhood, this cozy nook gives a classy twist to this traditional dish.
Restaurante O Velho Eurico in the historic Alfama district is another worthy contender, serving a heartwarming and flavorful rendition of this Portuguese classic.
Laurentina is also one of our favorites. This cozy restaurant has amazing cod dishes, and is famous for its Bacalhau à Brás. Be sure to make a reservation before you go so you don’t have to wait long.
Leitão (Suckling pig)
Next up, we have Leitão, or suckling pig, a dish that’s as delicious as it is rich in tradition.
Expertly roasted until the skin is crackling and the meat is meltingly tender, it’s a dish that promises an explosion of flavors and textures in every bite.
Where to eat Leitão in Lisbon
Several spots in Lisbon serve Leitão with a flair that’s hard to beat. Restaurante Afonso dos Leitões, with its traditional vibe and years of expertise, offers a succulent version of this dish that’s hard to resist.
Dom Leitão is another great choice, with several guests saying it’s the best suckling pig experience they’ve had in Lisbon.
If you’re in the mood for a modern twist on Portuguese cuisine, Tasca da Esquina won’t disappoint with their Leitão dish.
Bulhão Pato (Steamed clams)
Bulhão Pato is a dream come true for every seafood lover. Named after a famous Portuguese poet, Bulhão Pato is a testament to the joy of simplicity.
This dish consists of succulent steamed clams bathed in a delightful broth, a beautiful concoction of garlic, olive oil, fresh coriander, and delicate white wine.
The beauty of this dish lies in its straightforwardness – the spotlight is squarely on the clams, letting their natural flavor shine through.
Where to eat Bulhão Pato in Lisbon
In my quest for the best Bulhão Pato in Lisbon, I stumbled upon a few gems. Cervejaria Ramiro is a seafood paradise where the atmosphere is as lively and authentic as the dishes.
Another excellent seafood restaurant in Lisbon is Pinóquio, offering traditional Portuguese flavors in a laid-back setting. Here, the Bulhão Pato is refined, a gastronomic journey that dances on the edge of culinary heaven.
Or you can also try O Cacho Dourado. It’s a lovely restaurant nested on Rua Eça de Queiroz, perfect for those seeking a budget but delicious dining experience.
Imagine biting into thin slices of pork loin, marinated to perfection, held by two halves of a crusty bread roll. It’s Bifana sandwiches, a delicious Portuguese dish.
The meat, seasoned with garlic and spices, is doused in a zesty sauce made from white wine, garlic, and piri-piri chilies, giving it a tangy kick that will make your taste buds sing.
Where to eat Bifana sandwiches in Lisbon
Lisbon offers a multitude of spots to indulge in this snack.
My absolute favorite has to be Casa das Bifanas, the oldest and most renowned sandwich shop in the city. Here, you’ll find both locals and tourists queuing up for their beloved Bifana.
Caldo Verde (green soup)
Our next culinary wonder is Caldo Verde, the soul-warming soup that encapsulates the heart of Portuguese cuisine.
This hearty blend of potatoes, kale, and smoked sausage simmered together in a rich broth is comfort in a bowl.
Each spoonful transports you straight to the cobblestone streets of Lisbon, where the tantalizing aroma of garlic and smoked sausage fill the air.
Where to eat Caldo Verde in Lisbon
For the best Caldo Verde in Lisbon, head to O Caldo Verde, a cozy restaurant tucked in a quiet alley. This place serves delicious traditional Portuguese food, such as the classics like grilled octopus and sardines.
Or stop by Tasca Do Chico, home to fado performances and amazing Portuguese dining experiences. The music starts at 8:30, but you should reserve your table at 7 pm to avoid the long queue.
Francesinha (Portuguese sandwich)
Originally from Porto but equally enjoyed in Lisbon, Francesinha is a must-try for any food enthusiast.
This Portuguese sandwich is a hearty dish filled with various types of cured meats, covered with melted cheese, and doused in a rich tomato and beer sauce. It’s typically served with French fries on the side and is absolutely delectable.
Where to eat Francesinha in Lisbon
For the best Francesinha in town, look no further than Restaurante Marco. This eatery has been a local favorite for years, offering a delicious take on the traditional Francesinha.
Another great spot is Dom Tacho, a cozy restaurant serving one of the best Francesinha in town.
Piri Piri Chicken
When you’re in Lisbon, you absolutely must try the iconic Piri Piri Chicken or, as the locals call it, “Frango Piri Piri”.
This fiery delight is a love song to your taste buds with its grilled chicken marinated in a savory mix of garlic, lemon, and the signature Piri Piri pepper.
Paired with a side of crispy golden fries or fragrant rice, and a fresh salad, the balance of textures and flavors is pure harmony. Trust me, the burst of spiciness coupled with the perfectly grilled chicken will not just warm your soul but make you swoon!
Where to eat Piri Piri Chicken in Lisbon
For an authentic, lip-smacking Piri Piri Chicken experience, visit A Valenciana. This joint is all about this fiery dish, and their rendition has earned raves from both locals and tourists.
If you’re keen on exploring, another spot that does justice to Piri Piri Chicken is Bonjardim. With its charming ambiance, this restaurant will not only satiate your hunger but also leave you craving more.
Sardinhas Assadas (grilled sardines)
Sardinhas Assadas, or grilled sardines, is a dish that truly embodies the rich culinary heritage of Lisbon.
Imagine this: sardines grilled to perfection, crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, with just the right hint of sea salt and a drizzle of Portuguese olive oil. It’s a dance of flavors that will transport you straight to Portugal’s sunny coastline.
Where to eat Sardinhas Assadas in Lisbon
To taste the best Sardinhas Assadas in Lisbon, head over to Floresta das Escadinhas, a bustling seafood restaurant with a lively atmosphere, serving fresh, grilled sardines that are simply divine.
For a more traditional take, I recommend Lisbon Tu e Eu. This rustic eatery serves delicious sardines straight from the grill, best enjoyed with a side salad and a glass of local wine.
Açorda à Alentejana (Bread Soup)
Another classic of Portuguese cuisine you should definitely try when in Lisbon is Açorda à Alentejana.
This hearty bread soup typically combines stale bread with garlic, coriander, olive oil, vinegar, and water, and often includes a poached egg on top for good measure.
The result is a deliciously comforting dish that epitomizes the rustic charm of Portuguese food.
Where to eat Açorda à Alentejana in Lisbon
For a fantastic Açorda à Alentejana experience, you can’t go wrong with O Galito, a traditional family-run restaurant renowned for its excellent rendition of this bread soup.
You might also want to try Cocheira Alentejana, a nice restaurant in the Bairro Alto neighborhood.
Pão com Chouriço (Bread with Chouriço)
Pão com Chouriço is a simple yet delicious snack or meal in Lisbon. It’s a hearty bread roll stuffed with Chouriço (Portuguese smoked sausage), and then baked.
The result is a savory treat with the smoky, spicy flavors of the chouriço permeating the fresh, crusty bread.
Where to eat Pão com Chouriço in Lisbon
One of the best places to get Pão com Chouriço is A Merendeira. Here, you can not only try Pão com Chouriço, but also a variety of Portuguese traditional dishes.
Another great place to try Pão com Chouriço is the Time Out Market. In this food hall, several vendors sell their own versions of this dish. It’s also a great place to try a wide variety of Portuguese cuisine all in one place.
Cheese lovers, Lisbon has something delectable in store for you – the famed Azeitão Cheese. Originating from the Setúbal region, this creamy, tangy sheep’s milk cheese is a slice of heaven.
Its mild and versatile flavor profile means it pairs well with everything from fresh fruit and crusty bread to robust wines and hearty meats.
And to top it all, the traditional vine leaf wrapping enhances its flavor and aroma, making it an unforgettable treat.
Where to eat Azeitão Cheese in Lisbon
You can buy Azeitão cheese at Mercado da Baixa, a local market where you can indulge in the velvety Azeitão cheese alongside other Portuguese specialties.
For cheese enthusiasts who enjoy exploring a variety of cheeses, make a pit stop at the Queijaria cheese shop. Their selection of cheeses, including Azeitão cheese, can be savored solo or paired with a glass of fine wine.
If you’re looking for another memorable culinary experience in Lisbon, try the Alheira sausage.
This traditional Portuguese sausage is made with a blend of meats, bread, and spices, and is a staple of Lisbon’s cuisine. The Alheira sausage has a rich and savory flavor with a crispy exterior and a juicy interior that will leave you craving for more.
Where to eat Alheira in Lisbon
When in Lisbon, there are a few restaurants that serve the best Alheira sausages in town.
Salsa & Coentros is a hidden gem in the Alvalade neighborhood of Lisbon. It serves high-quality traditional Portuguese cuisine in a nicely appointed venue.
Another great option is Tasquinha do Lagarto, a cozy spot fully packed with locals every night. You’ll need to book in advance or early wait at the doorsteps before opening.
Cataplana de Marisco (seafood dish)
If you’re a seafood lover, Cataplana de Marisco is an absolute must-try Lisbon food.
This tasty dish is a true celebration of the sea, featuring a variety of freshly caught seafood cooked to perfection with a blend of fragrant herbs, spices, and aromatic vegetables.
From plump and juicy shrimp to succulent crab and tender fish, every bite is a flavor explosion that will have you dreaming of the ocean.
Where to eat Cataplana de Marisco in Lisbon
When it comes to trying the best Cataplana de Marisco in Lisbon, you’re spoilt for choice. For an authentic experience, head to Baía do Peixe, a buzzing seafood restaurant serving freshly prepared food.
Alternatively, check out Mar ao Carmo, a cozy eatery that has won the hearts of many diners.
FAQs about Lisbon food
What is the most famous food in Lisbon?
Pastéis de Nata is undoubtedly the most famous food in Lisbon. These delicious custard tarts with a crispy pastry shell and creamy filling are a staple of Portuguese cuisine and can be found all over the city. However, seafood is also a special culinary highlight in Lisbon, with its coastal location providing access to some of the freshest and most flavorful seafood dishes in Portugal.
Is the food in Lisbon expensive?
The cost of food in Lisbon can vary depending on the restaurant or eatery. However, Lisbon generally offers a great range of affordable food options, including traditional dishes, seafood, and street food, making it a budget-friendly destination for foodies.
Where to eat in Lisbon?
Mercado da Ribeira, also known as Time Out Market Lisbon, is a must-visit for foodies in Lisbon. With over 40 restaurants and kiosks, there’s something for everyone, from traditional Portuguese dishes to international cuisine. Don’t miss the chance to try the famous pastel de nata from Manteigaria or the seafood at Sea Me.
What time do people eat dinner in Lisbon?
In Lisbon, dinner time typically starts around 8 pm and can last until as late as 11 pm, with some restaurants serving dinner earlier or later. It’s common for dinner to be the biggest meal of the day, with several courses and a leisurely pace.
Do you need to tip in Lisbon?
No, tipping in Lisbon is not necessary, as it’s not a part of the culture. However, rounding up the bill or leaving a small amount as a gesture of appreciation is always welcome.
Final thoughts about Lisbon food
Experience the flavors of Lisbon’s traditional food with our must-eats guide! We’ve scoured the city to find the best dishes that showcase the rich culinary heritage of Portugal. From hearty stews to sweet treats, each bite is a journey through Lisbon’s food culture. And with our guide on what to eat in Lisbon, you won’t have to worry about missing out on any of these amazing dishes!