A Gourmand’s Guide to Lisbon

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There’s a lot more to Portuguese cuisine than a cheeky Nando’s! With the help of this handy guide to six of the best spots to find food in Lisbon, you’ll be suitably prepared for when you hit the capital’s cobbled streets.

Lisbon’s Biggest Fresh Food Market

Mercado da Ribeira
Mercado da Ribeira – Image by Chuck Moravec via flickr

Once the setting for arguably the most famous fish market in the continent, the Mercado da Ribeira in the riverside district of Cais do Sodre now houses Lisbon’s biggest fresh food market.

Bringing together 35 local establishments specialising in everything from tins of sardines to Ginja wild cherry liqueur wine, foodies can look forward to having their every whim and fancy catered for!

The Best Ice Cream in the World

With temperatures regularly reaching the heady heights of 30°C throughout the summer months, we’ve got a feeling that some ice cream is in order. For more than sixty years the good people at Santini have made what’s been described by some as ‘the best ice cream in the world’ using nothing more than an old family recipe and completely natural ingredients. The result? Queues that regularly pour out of the shop and on to the streets.

Time for Tarts

Mercado da Ribeira
Pastéis de Belém – Image by Heather Cowper via flickr

Whilst you won’t fail to see Pastel de Nata (Portuguese custard tarts) on sale pretty much everywhere you go in the capital, it is worth heading to the neighbourhood of Belém to find where the famous delicacy was invented many moons ago.

Make sure you grab a table at the deceptively large Pastéis de Belém café and sample one or two of the impeccable 20,000 tarts they turn out each and every day.

Tradition on a Budget

The romantic Bela Vinhos e Petiscos in Alfama makes up what it lacks in size with the promise of traditional food, live Fado performances and plenty of sangria. For anyone visiting Lisbon on a budget, the restaurant’s affordable menus combined with eclectic continental vibe makes it an interesting place to dine.

Seafood Eat Food

Mercado da Ribeira
Seafood – Image by Zaldy Camerino via flickr

For those after a taste of the ocean, set a course for the Lisbon institution that is Cervejaria Ramiro in Interdente. Spread across three floors, the vibrant restaurant can usually be found packed to the rafters with hungry diners keen on sampling the finest shrimp, crayfish and giant tiger prawns served in the city. So make sure you get there early to ensure you get a table. If you’ve got room after your meal, do as a locals do and order a prego (steak sandwich) for dessert!

Michelin Star Marvels

Mercado da Ribeira
Belcanto – Image courtesy of Belcanto

Lisbon has three restaurants with Michelin stars, but only one with two in the shape of the brilliant Belcanto. Whilst it had been a firm favourite with the city’s elite since its opening in 1958, the food has reached new levels since acclaimed chef José Avillez entered the kitchen.

Promising a stylish and sophisticated setting to enjoy carefully crafted modern cuisine, such is the excellence of the food dished up that the establishment warranted a mention in the prestigious Restaurant magazine’s 2015 ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants‘ list.


But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what Lisbon has to offer foodies! Have any other food recommendations? Tell us where by leaving a comment below.


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