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Where to Eat in Lisbon


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Where to Eat in Lisbon

Find out where to eat in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, where the gastronomy scene is booming like never before.
20 September, 2021

Lisbon is a city where the gastronomy scene booms, with few parallels compared to the rest of Europe right now. A new flow of immigrants and a horde of tourists (slowly trickling back at the tail end of the pandemic) have helped the city develop its culinary scene very quickly. With restaurants finally reopen, Lisbon is an excellent destination for those seeking to eat well.


In a large and elegant building with plant-covered walls, Arkhe wants to prove that vegetarian food can also be fine dining. For this, chef João Alves invests in accurate preparations and high-quality vegetables to conceive dishes such as peas and fava bean with white bean cream and a umeboshi vinaigrette, or a delicious gnocchi with parmesan fonduta and nasturtium pesto. Meanwhile, in the room, front-of-house manager and sommelier Alejandro Chávarro pampers his guests with an exclusive list of natural wines and other bottles that he collects from around the world.


In this contemporary bistro, a French brother and sister make every effort to serve their international clientele in the Principe Real neighbourhood: he is in charge of the room; she oversees the kitchen. Chef Louise Bourrat is only 26 years old, but has worked with prominent names in gastronomy such as Alain Ducasse and Tom Sellers, and has lived in Peru, Colombia, Thailand, and India. In her all-female kitchen, she prepares creations with all these influences and only seasonal produce (oysters, mussels and organic vegetables), but without letting go of her roots, bien sûr. 



Courtesy of Eleven

German chef Joachim Koerper helped pave the way for foreign cooks who made their names in the Portuguese food scene — many of them with great accolades. He arrived in Lisbon in the early 2000s (after years living in the country's interior) when the city was still opening to gastronomy. One year after opening Eleven, he won the first Michelin star in the city. Koerper’s new menu is a celebration of his 50-year career, from his upbringing in Germany to stints in other countries such as Switzerland and Spain. Although the main inspiration is the chef's path around the world (from eisbein, the pork knee from his homeland, to mullet from the Spanish coast), Portuguese ingredients are present throughout the 5-course menu.


Feitoria courtesy of Feitoria

Courtesy of Feitoria

Semente (seed), Chef André Cruz's first signature menu, is presented in 4 options: the Semente 8 steps, the Semente 6 steps, and the two vegetarian versions, respectively.
Semente, in the words of the Chef, “privileges the quality and seasonality of the products, whenever possible with certified organic products from small producers, where the balance between the use of animal protein and vegetable protein predominates”. 
The result is an author's menu, focused mainly on Portuguese products, which captures the essence of flavor and authenticity of ingredients and a deep respect for the product.



Courtesy of FOGO

Chef Alexandre Silva (from Michelin-starred Loco) opened this restaurant just before the pandemic to serve a type of cuisine that speaks to his heart: ingredients cooked directly in embers and fire. His open kitchen is at the end of a dark room with fiery lights, where Portuguese seafood, fish, meat and vegetables (even some desserts) are cooked over a collection of open flames. The result is dishes with lightly smoked flavours and lavish textures, something only a skilled chef can achieve with diverse techniques, ranging between grills, open flames, and iron pots. 

O Frade

O Frade Courtesy of O Frade

Courtesy of O Frade

From a small U-shaped counter in charming Belém, Sergio Frade's restaurant offers a menu inspired by national gastronomy and focused on the matrix of Portuguese flavors. Chef Diogo Carvalho also signs new dishes such as the special Rissol with cannolicchi, oxtail stew with vegetables, creamy rice with mushrooms (vegetarian option), or the already famous 'Frade à Frade' duck rice.
Desserts include walnut cake and ice cream or Dom Rodrigo, lemon, and meringue. These gastronomic proposals reflect the evolution of the concept and all the knowledge that has been years in the making, with maturity and consistency. The restaurant team tries to work with fresh and exclusive ingredients every day.

Monkey Mash

It's a win-win: you come for the cocktails, but you stay (longer) for the food. Recently redecorated, this vibrant and warm bar is in the hands of the most talented Portuguese cocktail group. The dishes are created to pair with the drinks — not the opposite. While you sip innovative and zero-waste signature cocktails (made with avocado pits, banana bark, and other curious ingredients), you can taste well-prepared snacks, like the mushroom quesadillas with Portuguese cheese and the pan-fried Iberian pork katsu sando. If the idea is to ‘raise the bar’ cocktail-wise, climb the stairs to access Red Frog, their classy flagship speakeasy, which recently reopened after a one-year hiatus.


Plano Photo: Carlos Vieira / PLANO

Photo: Carlos Vieira / PLANO

The restaurant is part of a hotel located in Graça, in a 19th-century building that hides a jewel: a green yard with an orchard and a pool, where chef Vítor Adão often cooks on warmer days, preparing his dishes over an open fire for guests sitting at picnic tables. On other days, he returns to the indoor kitchen to serve traditional Portuguese dishes - and those from his home region of Trás-os-Montes - with a modern approach. His creations encompass squid with escabeche and spinach pesto, head cheese with tartar sauce and carrot pickle, and scarlet prawn with tomato cream and coriander oil.


Young chef Antonio Galapito brought a more cosmopolitan aura to the city since he opened this laid-back restaurant in the Baixa neighbourhood. In a modern and airy room, he serves dishes focused on national ingredients but with worldwide references. As a cook always plugged into what is happening in the food world, his creations are minimalist, but rich in texture and flavour, such as the blue lobster toast with parsley and kaffir lime, or the turbot tartare served in a shiso leaf. The wine list has a great selection of Portuguese natural producers. More recently, he opened Prado Mercearia just a few steps away to serve more casual all-day food and also some groceries from all over the country.

Taberna do Calhau

Architect-turned-chef Leopoldo Garcia Calhau opened his small taberna (a Portuguese homey restaurant) in the multicultural Mouraria region to serve no-frills, hearty dishes and a good selection of Portuguese wines. It’s a casual place with marble-topped tables and a cozy feel to taste traditional dishes with a twist, such as the Alentejano croissant, filled with scrambled eggs and truffles; his version of cabeça de xara (pig’s head cheese); and red shrimp with prawns and lupine. Calhau also runs Bla Bla Glu Glu, a cozy wine bar just next door.

Lisbon, a City Tasting Tour