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Exploring Lisbon’s Dining Scene: Four Recommended Lisbon Restaurants

Largo restaurant in Lisbon

Largo restaurant in Lisbon

Lisbon has emerged as having one of the most exciting dining scenes in Europe. There’s an abundance of cool restaurants, and I’m proud to say that despite having a baby in tow we managed to eat at some of them during our time there in October.

(We also could have subsisted on pasteis de nata from Casa Brasileira on Rua Augusta and Santini’s gelato the whole time, but fortunately that wasn’t necessary.) Honestly, eating at good restaurants is not that hard in Lisbon because there are so many.

Casa Brasileira

pasteis de nata in the window of Casa Brasileira on Rua Agusta

On our first night in Lisbon, a Saturday night in October, we wandered around jet-lagged and stumbled upon Cafe No Chiado, which later we learned was highly recommended by our guidebook, Time Out Lisbon. Set in the National Centre of Culture in the chic Chiado district, Cafe No Chiado known for attracting a literary clientele. And sure enough, the people sitting next to us were authors who were exchanging books. The inside has a coffee-house vibe, full of newspapers, magazines and brightly colored walls. We preferred the lively atmosphere outside, which is where we sat and enjoyed risotto and pesto pasta. Funny enough, those two dishes were staples on most of the Lisbon menus we saw.

Sea Me Lisbon

almond-encrusted shrimp tempura at Sea Me

Our second night in Lisbon was a Sunday, and most restaurants are closed on Sunday nights. But we were determined to go somewhere good and chose a place in Barrio Alto after doing some web research. However, Barrio Alto turned out to be a longer walk than we bargained for from our apartment in the Mouraria district. We were very happy when we stumbled upon Sea Me — Peixaria Moderna on our way there. This fun, modern fish house was bustling on a Sunday night, even though the DJ booth was empty. The menu has a Japanese influence, and we started with almond-encrusted shrimp tempura. Then I had some creative sushi rolls, while my husband had a whole grilled sole, one of the fresh choices of the day.

Our third night was an anomaly: we had a reservation! Yes, on Saturday night when we were wandering around jet-lagged we found Largo (pictured top) and the wait was too long so we made a reservation for Monday night. The decor is awesome, especially the jellyfish tanks that turned different colors. There’s a €29 two-course prix-fixe menu available so I started with goat cheese in filo pastry with honey and tomato and my entree was a modern twist on a Portugese classic: risotto with cod, carmelized onions and port wine jam. My husband started with tagliolini with lobster and then had steak. Oh, and just like at all the other restaurants, we found that Portugese wine was the perfect accompaniment.

Our last night in Lisbon, we didn’t go out for dinner. We had taken a day tip to Cascais and we were too tired to go out again. So we got take-out at Verde Perto, a little gem we had discovered just a few blocks away, between our apartment and Castelo de Sao Jorge. Not only is Verde Perto a cool little gallery/cafe that sells jewelry and art, but its salads, sandwiches and crepes are delicious. We stopped there for lunch after our trip to Castelo de Sao Jorge, and then had lunch there the next day before setting out to Cascais. Had we stayed in Lisbon longer, we probably would have eaten at our neighborhood spot even more times.

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12 Responses to Exploring Lisbon’s Dining Scene: Four Recommended Lisbon Restaurants

  1. Angela
    Twitter: angelacorrias
    November 28, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    It’s been a while I’ve been thinking about a trip to Portugal and your posts are only making me want to go more!
    Angela recently posted..In Cordoba to cast a glance at the cruel side of history

  2. Abby
    Twitter: abbytegnelia
    November 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Yum! I’m so happy you guys liked Lisbon. These places look delicious!!
    Abby recently posted..No Judgements on a Stormy Day

  3. Danee Gilmartin
    Twitter: museumchick
    November 28, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Looks fantastic! Never been but hoping to make it to Lisbon one day!
    Danee Gilmartin recently posted..Easy Canvas Prints Giveaway!

  4. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures
    Twitter: andiperullo
    November 28, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Yum yum yum!!!

  5. Stephanie - The Travel Chica
    Twitter: thetravelchica
    November 28, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    I didn’t realize Lisbon had such a great reputation for food. Looks like another city that would make me fat :-)
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Steak Extravaganza: Restaurant Review – La Cabrera

  6. JC
    Twitter: AllPortugal
    November 28, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    Largo is one of my favorite restaurants in Lisbon. I’m glad that someone else found it and talk about it.
    Nice post.

  7. Andrea November 30, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    Yum! They had such wonderful meat and fish when we visited there
    Andrea recently posted..Win a 5 Night Stay in Budapest: Passports With Purpose!

  8. Sophie
    Twitter: SophieR
    November 30, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    Lisbon is so full of little gems, isn’t it?
    Sophie recently posted..Fiery Furnas: Steamy cauldrons in the Azores

  9. Vera Marie Badertscher
    Twitter: pen4hire
    December 4, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    Bookmarking this for my trip to Portugal. I simply MUST go, because every other day I run into a wonderful article about Portugal.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..7 Gifts That Give

  10. Laura December 5, 2011 at 2:57 am #

    Great tips! I hope to get to Portugal soon and had no idea they had such a great food scene!
    Laura recently posted..News!

  11. Sonja December 6, 2011 at 5:25 am #

    Love these Lisbon tips – we’re headed there this summer! Can’t wait!
    Sonja recently posted..Blue Christmas

  12. Vibeke December 6, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    Great tips! I had a lovely meal in the Largo restaurant last month, bacalao of course, and loved every bite and second of it! Lisbon is such a great city, and I am already looking forwards to going back!
    Vibeke recently posted..Portugal, all that glitters is silver

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