Restaurants and Cafes
TASCAS & RESTAURANTS
A tasca is a basic, affordable restaurant – think grilled sardines and swordfish and homestyle meat dishes. Check the handwritten sheets of paper by the door on the way in for the specials as well as the Pratos do Dia, often found on a separate sheet included in the front or back of the permanent menu. Sharing an assortment of Petiscos (the Portuguese equivalent of tapas), or starters, is also a popular alternative to a traditional meal.
Below is a selection of restaurants DISQUIET staff or previous participants found to be worthwhile:
*Vegetarian places are marked with a V.
Close to the CNC:
Bao Haus: Good Asian food, right next door to the CNC. Rua António Maria Cardoso, 72, 1249-101 Lisboa. €
Das Flores: A very small family-run tasca serving excellent home-cooked food. You might need to book as it only has 22 seats. Rua das Flores, 76 (Chiado). €
Príncipe do Calhariz: A classic tasca, popular with locals and previous participants. Calçada do Combro, 28 (Bairro Alto). €
Popular do Capelo: A local, unpretentious and inexpensive place with outstanding value. It is popular and thus busy, but not rushed. Open until 9pm. Rua Capelo, 12 (Chiado). €
O Cerveirense: A traditional old-fashioned tasca with excellent food where you can also sit at the counter. Open until 8pm. Some outdoor seating. Rua Nova da Almada, 38 (Baixa-Chiado). €
Toma Lá Dá Cá: A great little fish restaurant, wonderful food and cheap. Travessa do Sequeiro, 38 (Bairro Alto). €
Cervejaria Solar do Kadete: A popular place for locals to lunch, serving a variety of grilled meat and fish. Outdoor seating. Cais do Sodré, 2-4. €€
Cantina das Freiras: A self-service cantina run by nuns on the top floor of a building very close to the CNC, with spectacular views of the city and the river Tejo. Outdoor seating. Open between 12 and 3pm. Travessa do Ferragial, 1 (Chiado). €
Jardim das Cerejas: A vegetarian and vegan buffet. All you can eat—delicious and very affordable. A definite staff favorite. Calçada do Sacramento, 36 (Chiado). V €
A Colmeia: A hidden gem on the 2nd floor of a building. It serves a delicious and incredibly cheap macrobiotic vegetarian buffet lunch. Only open between 12:00 and 3:30pm. Rua da Emenda, 110 (Chiado). V €
Organi Chiado: A “plant-based” restaurant with a daily-changing small but excellent menu. Outdoor seating. Calçada Nova de São Francisco, 2 (Chiado). V €
Ofício: Excellent menu of Portuguese typical dishes. Rua Nova da Trindade, 11 (Chiado). €
Go Natural: An organic supermarket and affordable cafe, 5 minutes from the CNC. It is a little bit tucked away and tricky to find, but good for a quick lunch. Travessa do Carmo, 1 (Chiado). V €
Povo Lisboa: Next to the Menina e Moça Bar & Bookstore (highly recommend), Povo serves an all-you-can-eat-buffet lunch from 12 to 3pm. Sol e Pesca, also next door, has some of the best canned fish in Lisbon. Outdoor seating. Rua Nova do Carvalho, 32 (Cais Sodré) €
Taberna da Rua das Flores: This modern, hip little tasca specializing in petiscos is also very close to the CNC. The menu here changes every day, but it’s always great. Go right when it opens or expect a seriously long wait. Rua das Flores, 103 (Chiado). €€
Taquerias by Espada: Taquerias By Espada is a great option for Mexican food. You can find it in Rua da Trindade – 36C (Chiado) and also in Rua de São Paulo, 28. €€
Quiosque de São Paulo: A traditional kiosk with its esplanada on a beautiful square run by the same Chef as the Taberna das Flores. It serves very affordable petiscos and delicious traditional sandwiches. Praça de São Paulo (Cais Sodré). €
A Camponesa: Traditional food under new ownership. Rua Marechal Saldanha, 23/25 (Bairro Alto). €€
26 Vegan Food Project: A hip vegan restaurant with an excellent menu including veganised traditional Portuguese dishes. Rua Victor Cordon, 26 (Chiado). V €€
Kaffeehaus Lisboa: Two Austrian friends opened this Vienna-inspired café in Chiado, and it immediately became one of the hottest addresses for a drink and a light meal, especially on Sunday morning brunch. Very close to the CNC. Rua Anchieta, 3 (Chiado). €€
Sinal Vermelho: This restaurant has been around for ages. It isn’t hip or cosy or quaint. But it’s frequented and recommended by many locals as a safe bet to sample good, reasonably priced, traditional Portuguese food in the touristy neighbourhood of Bairro Alto. Some outdoor seating. Rua das Gáveas, 89 (Bairro Alto). €€
Café No Chiado: This cafe and restaurant makes up for being overpriced by being literally attached to the CNC. A great place to sit after workshop for lunch if you want to stick close for the afternoon talks. Some outdoor seating. Largo do Picadeiro, 10 (Chiado). €€
O Farta Brutos: Look for the gold plaque marking José Saramago’s former favorite seat. Not the most affordable, but beloved by locals. Some outdoor seating. Travessa da Espera, 20 (Bairro Alto). €€€
Cantinho do Avillez: One of the more affordable restaurants of the well-known Portuguese chef José Avillez. Rua Duques de Bragança, 7 (Chiado). €€€
Belcanto: Also by José Avillez, this is the first restaurant in Lisbon to be awarded two Michelin stars. Largo de São Carlos, 10 (Chiado). €€€€
IBO: A stylish riverside restaurant by chef João Pedroso where you can sample exquisite Mozambican cuisine. Compartimento 2, Armazém A (Cais do Sodré). €€€€
Alma: This restaurant from Henrique Sá Pessoa also has two Michelin stars, so expect seasonal à la carte options, inventive set menus, and a price tag to match. Housed in the former Bertrand bookstore warehouse. Rua Anchieta, 15 (Chiado). €€€€
EPUR: Another pricey but excellent restaurant, this one from Vincent Farges. Largo da Academia Nacional de Belas-Artes, 14 (Chiado). €€€€
Mercado da Ribeira (Ribeira Market): Mercado da Ribeira is Lisbon’s main food market. The main draw is the food court, open from 10AM to midnight on Sunday to Wednesday, and from 10AM to 2AM on Thursday to Saturday. It’s found on the ground floor, divided into 30 restaurant stands with seating capacity for 500 people inside, and three terraces outside for another 250. The foods available range from seafood to steak sandwiches, burgers, ice cream, and other specialties including signature dishes by some famous chefs. (Cais do Sodré). €€
Bairro do Avillez: Another José Avillez establishment, this food court has different eating areas including a taberna, a small gourmet market, a courtyard restaurant with a focus on seafood, and a “gourmet cabaret” that opens at night and requires reservations. The taberna and supermarket are open from 12am to 12pm. Rua Nova da Trindade, 18 (Chiado). €€€
To.B – To Burger or not to Burger?: Good burgers and salads very close to the CNC headquarters. Rua Capelo, 24, (Chiado). €
Visconti: New place for Italian cuisine lovers! Largo Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, 18 (Chiado). €€
Brasserie de l’Entrecôte: La Brasserie de L’Entrecôte is inseparable from its top secret recipe of sliced Sirloin Entrecote, with its herb-based inspired by the genuine recipe of the Café de Paris. The fries and salad also come highly recommended. Rua do Alecrim, 117 (Chiado). €€€
Boa-Bao: Good Asian food, inspired by the Asian markets of the 1920s, Largo Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, 30 (Chiado). €
Afuri: New Ramen and Japanese restaurant, very close to the CNC Rua Paiva de Andrada, 7-13 (Chiado). €
BAHR: At Bairro Alto Hotel you can find very good Portuguese cuisine with a contemporary touch by Nuno Mendes, a Michelin Star Chef recognized for his talent and proven experience. The terrace of BAHR was designed to be the extension of the restaurant and there you can enjoy a light meal appreciating, at the same time, a stunning view over the Tejo river and the roofs of Lisbon. Praça Luís de Camões, 2, 5th floor (Chiado). €€
Other places to eat within walking distance:
Bar-Restaurante Snob: You have to ring the doorbell to get into this small vintage bar-restaurant. Expect to be served by Senhor Albino who has worked there since 1974. The place offers a limited food menu which includes its famous Bife à Snob, probably one of best steaks in town. And it’s open till 3am when you might catch the cook hanging up the washing between the tables. Smoking allowed. Rua do Século, 178 (Bairro Alto/Principe Real) €
A Provinciana: A small family-run tasca serving mouth-watering food at incredibly cheap prices. You’ll have to queue to get a table but it’s worth the wait. Just admire the collection of clocks hanging on the walls, all made by the restaurant owner. Tv. do Forno 23 (Baixa). €
Tambarina: A small and unpretentious Cape Verdean tasca where you can eat authentic African dishes like Cachupa and Moamba while listening to live music. Rua do Poço dos Negros, 94 (Bica/São Bento). €
Cervejaria O Zapata: A busy restaurant popular with locals for its generous portions of incredibly fresh seafood and fish. Rua do Poço dos Negros, 47-49 (Bica/São Bento). €
Anta Bar Petiscaria: This delightful tasca, run by a Galician and Portuguese couple, is a recent addition to the frenzy of little restaurants surrounding the plant-lined “green street.” It serves honest, traditional dishes as well as petiscos. Outdoor seating on the cobbled street. Tv. dos Pescadores, 12-12A (Bica/São Bento). €
Cantinho da Paz: This is the oldest Goan restaurant in Lisbon and probably still the best place to discover genuine Goan cuisine. The decor hasn’t changed in decades but you come here for the food and friendly service provided by the son and daughter of the original owner. Best-sellers are the Bojes as a starter, the Caril de gambas or Xacuti as a main, and Bebinca as a dessert. Rua Paz, 4 (Bica/São Bento). €€
Faz Frio: Recently reopened, this classic Portuguese spot has excellent petiscos. Rua D. Pedro V, 96 (Príncipe Real). €€-€€€
A Cevicheria: Has become one of the city’s most popular locations. Cevicheria was born to pay tribute to Peru’s national dish, by serving it with salmon, tuna and even codfish, but the best version, the one worth waiting in line for, is the pure ceviche: seasonal white fish, puréed sweet-potato, onions, seaweed and tiger’s milk. Rua D. Pedro V 129 (Príncipe Real). €€€
Arkhe: A stylish gourmet vegetarian restaurant by chef João Alves. You can sample a delicious seasonal tasting menu for 35€. Rua do Boqueirão Duro, 46 (Bica/São Bento). V €€€
Gambrinus: Many locals agree that you haven’t been to “Lisboa Antiga,” if you haven’t been to Gambrinus, It serves excellent traditional fare in an old-fashioned setting. But it’s pricey UNLESS you soak up the atmosphere at the “Barra,” or the long counter where you can taste their more affordable petiscos, including pregos (steak sandwiches), garlic prawns, soufflés, and what may be the best meat croquettes in town. R. das Portas de Santo Antão, 23 (Baixa). €€-€€€€
Zé da Mouraria: Considered one of the best tascas in the city, and it’s unclear if the word is out yet. Only open for lunch except on Friday and Saturday. Also worth it to walk about Mouraria and check out the plaques to all the famous fado stars. R. João do Outeiro, 24.
The Food Temple: This crowdfunded vegan restaurant is located in a quaint Mouraria square with trees in the centre. In front of it is a curved stairway and a neighbour who sometimes opens her window to sing fado. Outdoor seating. Beco do Jasmim, 18 (Mouraria/Castelo de São Jorge). V €
Close to the Miradouro da Graça is the recently opened D’As Beatas, a tasca which is getting rave reviews for its innovative petiscos. Rua das Beatas, 8. €. On Largo da Graça, 79, you have the bohemian Botequim co-founded by the poet, playwright and activist, Natalia Correia. It serves petiscos till late. €. In the vicinity you also have Chapitó, an association dedicated to the circus arts with live events on some days. Its formal restaurant has mixed reviews, but locals go there for the wonderful views and the courtyard bar and petiscos. Costa do Castelo, 7 (Graça/Alfama). €€
Os Tibetanos: The back room is an indoor garden with a fountain/waterfall/ soothing-type thing. Has good vegetarian dumplings and Asian cuisine. Outdoor seating. Rua do Salitre, 117 (Close to Hotel Lisboa Plaza). V €
A Viagem das Horas: A cool little wine bar with an esplanada on the street offering a variety of natural and organic wines, as well as delicious and innovative petiscos. A perfect place to relax away from tourists while listening to DJ Rykardo play from his extensive vinyl collection. Outdoor seating. Rua José Ricardo, 1 (Arroios).
Lisbon, like many European cities, has some excellent cafés–and also has about twenty different ways to order coffee. For example, a bica is a small espresso, a café a bigger espresso, and a galão a latte. You will find both the traditional cafés where Fernando Pessoa and his Orpheu group used to debate the literary and political ideas of the day to more modern cafés more suitable for sitting down with a laptop.
A Brasileira: A definite stop on everyone’s tourist route, back in the day this was one of Pessoa’s favorite haunts, commemorated by the famous statue outside. Order standing at the counter for quick service. Also, we recommend the custard tarts and codfish croquettes (pastéis de bacalhau). DISQUIETers can be found here throughout the day or next door at Café Bénard. Rua Garrett, 120 (Chiado, very close to CNC).
Café Nicola: While À Brasileira is inevitably associated with Fernando Pessoa, this emblematic cafe-restaurant pays homage, with a statue, to the poet Bocage. We hesitated to include it in this guide: it is situated bang in the middle of the tourist-filled Rossio square and the food can be hit and miss. But it remains a beautiful place with proud old-fashioned waiters and many locals still swear by its Bife à Nicola or Bife à Café. Outdoor seating. Praça Dom Pedro IV 24/25 (Baixa).
Café-Restaurante Martinho da Arcada: More of a restaurant than a café, this was another of Fernando Pessoa’s favorite places to launch projects over drinks with friends. The efficient waiters look as if they’ve been there ever since this iconic place was founded back in 1782 and became a meeting point for artists and politicians. If you order from the separate sheet tucked away in the back of the menu, you can have lunch for less than 10€. Otherwise prepare to pay for the historical experience. You can choose to eat outdoors under the impressive arcades of one of the most important squares in the city. Praça do Comércio, 2 (Baixa).
Fábrica: With locations across the city, this more modern coffee shop near the CNC serves a hip clientele. Rua das Flores, 63.
O Trevo: Somewhere between a tasca and a café, this old-school place with its gruff staff sits right on the corner of Largo de Camões and serves good, quick meals, small beers (imperial), and good coffee. You can stand or sit. Praça Luís de Camões, 48.
A Sala: A wonderful café down some stairs across from the City Hall (and run by old friends of the program–ask for Selma or Vasco), A Sala has excellent tapas, beer, wine, cocktails, and coffee. Walk there with a book or laptop for a great spot to read and write, but check hours before you go. Rua Correia Garção, 11.
Pastelaria Alcôa: Dedicated to the century-old art of making convent sweets in copper containers, following the tradition of the Cistercian monks who inhabited the Alcobaça region. Rua Garrett, 37 (Chiado).
Sacolinha, Padaria Portuguesa, Padaria do Bairro are three good options for breakfast, a quick lunch, or snacks. Rua Paiva de Andrada, 8-12 (Chiado) / Praça Luís de Camões, 44 / Rua da Misericórdia, 13.
Marie Blachère Boulangerie: brings together several suggestions, all homemade: croissants, pains au chocolat and different varieties of bread, including the famous baguettes. Praça Luís de Camões, 33.
Nicolau Lisboa Café: serves healthy and delicious food within a relaxed environment in which to pull out a book and have a small bite. Perfect for breakfast and brunch. Rua de São Nicolau, 17 (Baixa).