After a long wait at the bottom of the Santa Justa lift for the ride up, we savored the sights around the top of the lift then walked down Rua de Carmo. We were famished by then after touring Castelo So Jorge and crossing over to Cristo Rei on the other side of River Tagus. At the foot of Rua de Carmo we saw a simple restaurant which was empty of the lunch crowd by then. It was nothing fancy, I think the restaurant catered to the local crowd. It had a flat screen TV and I saw some elderly Portuguese already having their wine while watching TV or reading the newspapers.
Favorite Dish: We ordered the bacalao set lunch, total of Euro 25 for the two of us including 2 sodas, olives and bread. The bacalao was delicious, not too salty, perfect for 2 very hungry tourists. The staff were quite helpful and efficient even if it was well past lunchtime by then. Don't leave Lisbon without trying the local bacalao. By the way, bacalao is dried salt cod that is rehydrated before cooking.
Café Martinho da Arcada is great for a visit if you love tradional café's. This café and restaurant has been here since 1782. It's the oldest café of Lisbon.
The indoor bar section is small but cosy.
Going to the bathroom is like a trip into history.
Mo-Sa: 8AM - 10PM
The Café A Brasileira opened on November 19, 1905. Ever since serving the best Brazilian coffee has kept the business alive. The walls are decorated with paintings from several local painters. In front at the terrace is a statue of a sitting Fernando Pessoa, writer and poet.
All day: 8AM - 2AM
It is so true the saying that 'there's a first time for everything'. It is certainly true for an appealing city as Lisbon to discover that as a growing metropolis it constantly improves its offerings of not only its very own Portuguese cooking but of foreign cuisines as well. There is now in Lisbon a Philippine restaurant which is a great beginning and a cause for celebration especially among Southeast Asian residents which are few in numbers compared to other European capitals; but this very first entry of authentic Filipino cuisine into a doggedly nationalistic palate is also exciting news and a delight surely for the Portuguese, Lisboates in particular those who have been hankering for fresh, new adventurously foreign taste to venture into their highly nostalgic shores. In obvious way, Lisbon is far behind to other European cities in terms of the availability of international cuisines.
The name of this Filipino restaurant is Hollywood Grill. It's rather a peculiar name for a restaurant in the midst of all Portuguese, but with the owner's history and how the family came about to resettle in Portugal from Los Angeles, it's all very understandble. I discovered it by happenstance just this summer (June 2013) while on my annual pilgrimage of sort to this beloved and uniquely outstanding city. I was ambling the Alfama one hot June afternoon up and down this beseeching neighborhood with her labyrinthian alleyways that seem to go on forever to high heavens when stopping for a cold bottle of water the store owner pointed me to the restaurant just around the corner owned by a lovely Filipino couple. I ran to it right away in order that I confirm his rumour but mostly because if nothing could fill my hunger at the present, it would have to be something beyond a seafood-based Portuguese plate! So there it was indeed - cute and tiny but offering large plateful of Filipino food that in no time has gained enormous popularity and then loyalty to Asian sailors from ships that regularly drop anchor at Lisbon's strategic maritime quarters. But I could see that the area residents around Alfama and Santa Apolonia love the restaurant as well as I did witness that afternoon with locals coming in to dine as well as to simply chat with Mario and his wife, the most amiable owners of the place. The next night, I had to come back to the restaurant to eat again, this time with a few Portuguese friends who in their excitement heard from me about the restaurant; and my friends were quite satisfied and happy. The word will spread for sure and Hollywood Grill Restaurant has a bright future in Lisbon no doubt, I said to myself.
If you haven't had food from the Philippines, this clearly is the place for great introduction. It's an exotic cuisine no doubt, but an exoticism of sort that's derived from so many influences to the native culture: Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian and Indonesian, Spanish, African and in small part, American. Hollywood Grill Restaurant has a Filipino menu which generally encompass the diversity of its many islands. If you love meat dishes, you must try lechon kawali (a uniquely extra crisp chunks of pork cooked in a special pot), pork or fish sinigang (marinated meat or seafood in vinegar-based soup), adobong pusit (squid stew in vinegar, sugar and soya sauce - my favorite), adobong gulay (vegetable stew also in vinegar, sugar and soya sauce), chopsuey (a stir-fry of egg noodles with meat, seafood and veggie combo), tilapya fish cooked in heavenly coconut sauce and a whole lot more menu entries very well prepared and delicious. The restaurant offers typical Portuguese dishes at the same time, mindful of their place in this old city which they now call home among the Portuguese.
I discovered this restaurant on my first Lisbon trip couple of years ago and decided to go back as the food and the service is so good. First time I was staying at the Hotel Real Parque nearby and this time I was at the Hotel Eduardo VII, which is just down the road, so it was handy for dinner.
It's on Rua Filipe Folque in Saldanha. If you come out of Parque metro station (Blue line, one exit), turn left, cross the road and it's the first street on the right. On the corner there is a "fruit" supermarket, i.e nothing but fruit.
The restaurant is in the corner of the first building on the right, next to the stairs leading down to Rua Sebastiao da Pedreira. (Note : there is no access to that street from the main street Av. Fontes Pereira de Melo)
It's run by a friendly team and they know their steak and fish! They have a good selection of fresh fish every day.
They speak English and they remember what you like, we went in for a second time on this trip and they asked straight away: "Same as yesterday?" (drinks)
The locals pop in for a swift coffee or a drink and stand at the bar and there is also a lottery stand in the corner.
NOTE: They are closed Saturdays and Sundays as most of the locals restaurants. If you're in Lisbon over the weekend it's best to eat in town.
EDIT: I've been back there since I wrote this article (in March 2008), in Nov 2008, October 2009, May 2011, May 2012 and May 2013. The food is still yummy and service/prices great! It's now 7 trips I've visited them and will be going back again!
Favorite Dish: The bill in the photos is for 5 beers, 4 wines, a steak and a calamari dish plus little extras like bread, some yummy local cheese etc. which they always bring to the table to nibble on. We were there for 5 hours from 4 till about 9. We'd been shopping all day and were going to have just a quick drink but got to talking some locals and ended up having a meal as well.
They have a selection of fresh fish every day and the steaks are lovely. And the cakes...ooooh! Yummy!
With the smoking ban the locals smokies have been forced out onto the street but they open up the front wall when it's warm enough so the tables are"outside", so as long as you sit at one of the tables on the edge you can smoke.
This is the oldest cafe in Lisbon, having opened in 1782. It was recommended to us by the Portuguese colleague of one of our friends and the four of us decided it would make a good location for our final meal together before going our separate ways the next day.
Located under the colonnades of the Praça do Comércio, the restaurant and adjoining small bar retain a strong sense of their historical and literary origins. This was a favourite haunt of Fernando Pessoa, one of the best-loved of Portuguese poets. A picture of him in the restaurant hangs above the table where he used to sit. The current owner maintains this literary tradition with round-table discussions and cultural events.
Favorite Dish: But we were here just for dinner, and an excellent one it was too. The usual Portuguese cover was brought, with bread, various spreads (the cheese was especially good) and olives. OK you pay for this, but it’s almost always worth what is charged and that was certainly the case here. I then had a nice vegetable soup and for my main course one of the day’s specials, “Arroz de Pato à Antiga, a rice dish with duck. The portion was huge so, although it tasted very good, I couldn’t finish it all.
To accompany our meal we had a very good red wine, as recommended by our waiter. He was in fact a little bit autocratic in dictating our choice, proclaiming some of the wines on the list as “too delicate” for the meat dishes we had all chosen (the others had steak or pork), but at least his recommendation was not too expensive and was very good.
We paid about €35 per person for this dinner – a bit of a splurge when compared with the other meals we had on the trip, but a fair price for food of this quality in an historic and very central location.
For our final meal with our friend Pete on this latest visit to Lisbon, we opted for a table in the sun in Baixa. We enjoyed the extensive cover (rolls, spreads, great cheese, great olives) as our starter. For my main course I chose grilled squid which was served with boiled potatoes and a side salad. Pete had (I think) the cod, and Chris an omelette. We all drank large cool beers and paid about €10 each. The service was very friendly and it made a really nice ending to our trip, as soon after we had finished eating Chris and I had to leave for the airport.
The breakfast at the Hotel Lisboa de Tejo had been disappointing on our first morning, so on the second we decided not to bother (despite having paid for it in our room rate) and instead headed out in search of coffee and something sweet. We found it in the traditional café setting of the Confeitaria Nacional on the southern edge of the Praça da Figueira. This café has been serving coffee and pastries since 1829, when it was considered one of the most elegant in Europe. It still retains some of that elegance, with shiny marble counters and ornate fixtures. When we visited it was busy with locals buying (for the most part) boxes of pastries to take away or an espresso to drink at the counter, as well as tourists like ourselves looking for breakfast. We ordered at the counter but were told to take a seat at a table and our drinks and pastries would be brought to us. We secured the last free spot, a small table a bit tucked away in a corner, and were soon enjoying good coffee and our chosen treats – a pastel de nata for me and a chocolate croissant for Chris. For these we paid only a few Euros (payable at the counter on leaving) and felt it was good value and a pleasant alternative to the hotel’s offering.
The café has an upstairs tea-room with views out over the square but the stairs were roped off when we visited – I suspect that it doesn’t open until somewhat later in the day.
We had drunk at this small café on the north side of the Praça da Figueira after our previous (disappointing) football match here (a defeat to Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Cup), and despite the result that time had good memories of our visit. So on this occasion of course we had to come back. A group of about ten of us arranged this as our post-match meeting point and all gathered here for the inevitable conversation about the game (the goal that could have been, the defensive error that cost us dear, the player who did better, or less well, than usual ...) and for beers and other refreshment.
Most of us were peckish so also had something to eat. Chris and I both chose the calamari – a generous plate of battered rings and some basic (bottled) mayonnaise to dip them in. Nothing fancy, but at just €5 for these and two small beers, very good value. Our waiter was a little erratic, rushing away to put in one order the moment one of us named our choice, rather than waiting long enough to take the rest. But he was friendly enough, although when we asked him to take some photos of the group he seemed to struggle to work out how (or was that his idea of a joke? we couldn’t be sure). Around 00.30 the manager told us that we would have to leave – apparently the café usually closes at midnight but they had very nicely (or sensibly, given the levels of beer consumption) stayed open a bit longer to allow our group and some local fans a little longer. So our cosy time here came to an end, but if ever Newcastle play football in Lisbon again (a big “if”!), we will be back.
"Tasca do Careca", being very near to where I work, is my primary choice to lunch.
Obviously, the proximity is not all, as there are many other restaurants around here.
The food is great, fairly priced and you feel that the employees really want to make things right.
With some fixed choices, it changes some dishes everyday.
At Saturday's there is Live music, Fado.
Warning: The restaurant let's you smoke on the inside.
Favorite Dish: - "Bifinhos a Champignon"
- "Cozido à Portugesa"
This is a lovely little, and I do mean little, restaurant. The waitress was very friendly and helpful and spoke excellent English. It has a cosy atmosphere and delicious food, the perfect place for a long lunch on a rainy day...and you can watch the Nº28 tram as it goes past the door.
Favorite Dish: We had a delicious salad with pears and cheese in it, very fresh and tasty; and we also shared some prawns cooked with lemon and coriander (ORDER THESE!!! - they're fab!) Then I had chicken wrapped in ham with sage and yummy potatoes, again very good. And to finish we shared a passion fruit mouse, yum! (I told you it was a long lunch....!)
I went there several times, not exactly to eat but to listen to Fado (I was told that this is, nowadays, the best place in Lisbon to listen to amatuer fado). I was surprised by the quality of the food and service.
At a reasonable price (nothing to compare to the crazy price you will pay in professional Fado restaurants), we had an excelent meal, and fado afterwards.
Yes, this is golden tip (come on... give it your five stars) because this a local secret, not available to tourists, except in this small corner of VT. One single warning - Fado will happen only in Thursday nights; all the other nights and by day it is only a good restaurant.
Driving and parking in Lisbon is not to easy nor fast. Sometimes, when my trip to Lisbon only justifies the morning or afternoon, I prefer to have lunch in the way, saving some time. In the old IC2, near Aveiras, there was a great restaurant where people used to stop.
Prepared to serve large groups with efficiency, it had a great success. The finishing of A1, diminished the traffic in the old road, putting that restaurant out of the usual circuits.
They didn't resign and... advanced to the highway. In A8, close to Lisbon, Por do Sol 2 became an alternative.
Different, not offering the variety of the main restaurant, it is quicker, but not cheaper.
This place is a hidden gem in a central part of city. You can sit indoors but the enclosed, outdoor patio is absolutely stunning and very cozy. The food is fabulous - lots of veggie versions of typical Portuguese foods plus some other more commonly known dishes if you are just visiting. The restaurant is very clean and always full of people who eat and hang out to enjoy the amazing ambiance.
Favorite Dish: The few times I've been here, I've taken advantage of the buffet. It makes things easy and it is very reasonably priced.
First of all - this place is kind of hidden. Though its located on a street with many restaurants that cater to tourists, Casa do Alentejo is actually an embassy of sorts for the region of Alentejo. Walk through the beautiful courtyard on the ground level up to the second floor to find the restaurant.
Favorite Dish: Carne de Porco à Alentejana (pork with clams)
Great weekend. Best hotel in Lisbon for gardens and outside pool 5* and so not cheap. Excellent...more
The Ritz lives up to its name as one of Lisbon’s finest hotels offering fabulous views of the city....more
Hotel Britania is a very quiet and intimate hotel, while it is only one block away from the Avenida...more