If you're wondering where to eat in Lisbon, this post is for you! Below I'll share all of Lisbon's must-try local specialties and my favorite places to eat in the Portuguese capital. Bom apetite!
A few years ago my husband planned a last-minute work trip to Lisbon, and I decided to tag along.
It had been over seven years since I'd been to Lisbon, and in that time the city went from under the radar to exploding as a top travel and food destination. I was excited to see what it was all about—would Lisbon's food scene be worth the hype? (Spoiler alert: definitely!)
I had only three days to devour my way through Lisbon, but luckily I have a lot of foodie friends in my profession! My list of places to try was a mile long, and cutting it back was no easy feat.
But I can honestly say that I enjoyed every bite we had in Lisbon (a rare claim), and immediately started planning my next trip to Portugal. I'm excited to share my top picks for where to eat in Lisbon—and discover more spots every time I return!
Devour Lisbon Food Tours
If you want to taste all of the best local treats and learn about Lisbon's culture and history from a local, I highly suggest taking one of our tours! Make sure to book early, since tour groups are small and spots fill up fast.
What to Eat in Lisbon – Top 10 Foods & Drinks
Here are my top 10 must-try foods in Lisbon (including one that's technically a drink). At first glance, some might seem more appetizing than others—but I promise they're all incredibly delicious!
The Portuguese word for salt cod, bacalhau, sneaks its way onto most menus in Lisbon. While salt cod is also traditional in Spain, the Portuguese take it to new heights, with a variety of delicious dishes that are true labors of love.
From crispy salt cod croquettes to creamy cod in a cheesy bechamel sauce, the options are endless. There are even whole restaurants dedicated to this special fish! Don't miss my favorite spot (named below).
2. Pastéis de Nata
I think by now everyone has seen this quintessential Lisbon pastry on a travel show or Instagram feed—it's certainly photogenic. But unlike many pretty pastries, the pastel de nata tastes amazing too.
These Portuguese custard tarts can be found everywhere in Lisbon, but like most great foods, not all are created equal! My favorites are served warm out of the oven, dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar.
When you give it a squeeze for that first bite, you'll hear a satisfying "crack!" from the crispy base. Just writing about these delicious treats makes me want to run back to Lisbon!
Make It at Home: Pastéis de nata recipe
Apparently, the original pastéis de nata were convent sweets, invented by Catholic monks who had plenty of leftover egg yolks after using the whites to do laundry and/or filter wine.
This story is familiar, as many Spanish pastries have a similar origin story. But in my opinion, there's no pastry in Spain as good as the Portuguese pastel de nata!
The bifana was a new discovery for me on my first trip, but it was at the top of the must-try list from all my foodie friends. Some even claim it's the best sandwich in Portugal!
So what exactly is a bifana? At its core, it's a simple pork sandwich: stewed pork slices on bread—nothing fancy! But when done well it's incredibly delicious. The best places marinate the pork in garlic, spices, and white wine and slow-cook the meat before placing it on soft bread with a crispy crust.
There's always the option to add mustard or a few drops of spicy piri piri sauce (highly recommended). And a cold beer to wash it all down is a must for the truly local experience!
Taste It: We try a fantastic bifana on our daytime Lisbon food tour!
Can't get to Lisbon? Make it at home with this authentic bifana recipe!
4. Piri Piri Chicken
Speaking of spicy sauce, piri piri chicken is another simple but delicious dish you'll find in Lisbon. A humble roast chicken (frango assado or frango na brasa) is a popular and cheap quick meal throughout the city. For under €20 you can often get a whole roast chicken, sides of rice and salad, and a couple of beers.
As you'd probably expect, Lisbon is heaven for seafood lovers. But one of the most unique seafood dishes you'll find here is crab. Seafood restaurants are especially famous for brown crab, which is often served whole in its shell, mixing the crab meat and roe with butter, garlic, onions, and white wine. Try this at the famous Cervejaria Ramiro (see below).
Sardines are one of the symbols of Portugal, whether freshly grilled or preserved in a tin. You'll find shops featuring delicious canned sardines all over town.
Like their Spanish counterparts, Portuguese canned goods are a delicacy. You'll also find tuna, mussels, and other delicious options. And of course, if you go to a seafood restaurant you may also find fresh sardines, especially during summer. If you see them, be sure to try them!
Read More: The ultimate guide to canned fish in Lisbon
Read More: A look at the popularity of canned foods
7. Fresh Seafood
Apart from amazing sardines and crab, Lisbon is home to countless other varieties of seafood. Giant prawns, lobsters, fresh fish, razor clams, gooseneck barnacles, mussels... the list goes on.
I highly recommend visiting the local markets to see the variety of seafood on offer. And make sure to plan a special evening at one of the city's marisqueiras (seafood restaurants). The bill adds up quickly, but it's well worth it.
Cozido à portuguesa is another typical Portuguese dish that you'll find in Lisbon (and throughout the country). It's a delicious and hearty stew consisting of different cuts of meat (including pork, chicken, and beef), pork fat, and sausages.
It can also include vegetables such as potatoes, cabbage, and carrots. Some versions even make use of offal, like intestine or pig ear. Regardless of the recipe, you can be sure it'll warm you up on a chilly day.
9. Caldo Verde
Another dish to warm you up is caldo verde—literally, green broth. Best served piping hot, this comforting dish is so popular that McDonald's in Portugal has even added it to the menu (don't try it there, though!).
The soup is made with a simple combination of potatoes, leafy greens, garlic, onion, chouriço (Portuguese sausage), olive oil, and water. It's another example of Portuguese simplicity that pays off in a rich depth of flavor.
My last recommendation for must-try foods and drinks in Lisbon is ginjinha: a sweet liqueur made of sour cherries. You might not think of it as a must try—but trust me, it is.
Lisbon's tiny ginjinha bars are well worth a visit, not only for the tipple but also to stand at the bar and people-watch for a moment. I hope that these little treasures will survive Lisbon's tourism boom—they're one of a kind!
Where to Eat in Lisbon – The Best Restaurants & Bars
Here are a few of the best places to eat and drink in Lisbon, plus some tips for places I haven't tried yet that come highly recommended. If you have another Lisbon food suggestion, leave a comment for my next visit!
1. Café Martinho da Arcada
I actually stumbled upon this place by accident. I'd checked into my nearby Lisbon hotel and was starving; it was raining and I didn't want to go far. Despite being super centrally located, this historic café looked special, so I wandered inside.
I stood at the bar, surrounded by locals, and chose one of the dishes of the day and a cup of soup. The food was deliciously homemade, and I couldn't even finish it (I forgot how huge Portuguese portions can be). Founded in 1782, this place is definitely worth a visit!
Praça do Comércio, 3
2. As Bifanas do Afonso
Everyone told me that this is THE place to try a bifana in Lisbon, and I wasn't disappointed! It's a tiny "old man bar" with barely enough room to eat inside.
We squeezed in and ordered two sandwiches, which were prepared before our eyes—the smell of the stewed pork in white wine was intoxicating. With a squirt of piri piri sauce and a cold beer, I was in my happy place.
Rua da Madalena, 146
I discovered Lisbon's best pastéis de nata by accident, and for a moment thought I was privy to a secret gem. But I soon realized that many fellow food lovers had already been seduced by the delicious custard tarts at this local institution.
After eating an embarrassing number of tarts in my short stay, I can confidently call these my favorite—a must-visit. There are multiple locations, but I suggest the original near Praça Luís de Camões.
Rua do Loreto, 2
4. Mercado da Ribeira & Time Out Market
Mercado da Ribeira has been Lisbon's main market since 1892. Recently renovated, a large part of the market is now a food hall hosted by Time Out Magazine. This is a great place to taste a variety of dishes from Lisbon's best chefs and restaurants. Head next door to the old part of the market to buy ingredients from local vendors!
Avenida 24 de Julho, 49
5. Cervejaria Ramiro
Our hopes were high when we set off for Cervejaria Ramiro, one of Lisbon's most highly recommended seafood spots. Upon arrival, we took a ticket and waited nearly an hour until our number was called! Could it possibly be worth the wait?
Luckily it was, and we really enjoyed our meal at this iconic place. We ordered the most delicious grilled giant tiger prawns, garlic butter clams, and razor clams. Plus a prego (steak sandwich)—just for balance!
Avenida Almirante Reis, 1
6. A Casa do Bacalhau
This elegant restaurant outside of the city center is well worth a taxi ride over. It's truly the "house of cod" and offers a variety of delicious preparations.
We absolutely loved the dishes we tried here (get the bacalhau com broa!), and enjoyed the service and ambience as well. It's the type of place where you could easily spend hours—and we did our best, ordering a couple of rounds of delicious port wine for dessert.
Rua do Grilo, 54
7. Cantinho do Avillez
Known as the casual canteen of Lisbon's top chef (José Avillez), this was another recommendation that topped our friends' lists. We made a late reservation and started with cocktails at the bar.
I do have to admit that it wasn't my favorite stop in Lisbon. But if you want to taste modern local cuisine by a Michelin star chef, this is the place.
Rua dos Duques de Bragança, 7
8. By the Wine
We stumbled upon By the Wine by chance, but soon realized it's one of the city's top wine bars. We only stopped in for a drink, and were wowed by the sleek design and friendly service. Located in the trendy Chiado neighborhood, this place is definitely on the list to revisit next time.
Rua das Flores, 41–43
9. Duque Brewpub
Lisbon is as trendy and hip as any European capital, and its growing craft beer scene is booming. We visited the popular Duque Brewpub for a couple of pours and loved the laid-back vibe and friendly owners (as well as the great beer!).
Calçada do Duque, 51
10. Wine Bar do Castelo
We found this inviting place—better known as "that wine bar near the castle"—when it started pouring and we were trapped at Lisbon's Castelo de São Jorge. Fearing it might be super touristy, we ventured in hesitantly, but the rain didn't give us much choice.
Luckily it was a great place, and we spent a couple of hours drying off and sipping port. The menu is enormous, with a great variety of fine wines as well as cheese and charcuterie plates.
Rua Bartolomeu de Gusmão, 11–13
11. A Ginjinha
Enjoy sour cherry liqueur like a local at Lisbon's most famous ginjinha spot. (Hint: order it "com elas," or with cherries!) Simply walk up to the bar, order and pay, sip it quickly (but don't toss it back like a shot), and go. No lingering at a tiny hole-in-the-wall like this one!
Largo de São Domingos, 8
On the List for Next Time
I haven't personally tried these places yet, but I highly trust these Lisbon food recommendations from friends. Check them out and let me know what you think!
Known for serving some of the best piri piri chicken in Lisbon, this place is at the top of the list for my next visit!
Travessa de Santo Antão, 11
2. Taberna da Rua das Flores
This old-fashioned Lisbon tavern doesn't accept reservations, but friends tell me it's worth the wait.
Rua das Flores, 103
3. Zé dos Cornos
This truly local tavern is famous for its pork ribs and salt cod, as well as its epic bifana.
Beco dos Surradores, 5
Known for cheap, no-frills seafood—sounds like my kind of place!
Rua do Poço dos Negros, 47
5. Tasca do Chico
Recommended by friends in the know as the place to see good fado with a local vibe. They suggest grabbing a drink but skipping the food.
Rua do Diário de Notícias, 39
Devour Lisbon with a Local!
If you want to know where to eat in Lisbon—according to a local—join my passionate team at Devour Lisbon on one of our Lisbon food tours. In between stops you’ll learn all about Lisbon’s unique culture and history, and meet the locals behind the food. Even if you aren't a "tour person," this unique experience is worth trying.
Looking for Spanish recipes? Download my free ingredients guide and get a weekly recipe sent directly to your inbox.