a VirtualTourist member asked on Mar 26, 2016
My wife and i will be visiting Lisbon in the last week of september.
We love good food,even more when it comes out of the sea.
But we like the casual atmosfere,taberna-style,we are really not in for stars and bells.
We also like to walk around,visiting markets,shops,harbour,art-galleries and between all that taking time for
a glas of wine or beer and a delicious snack.
We would like to know wich district comes closed to our needs.
Thank you in advance.
Have a nice day
The historical centre of Lisbon isn't large, and is very walkable, so you'll be able to visit several districts during your stay (and probably more than once).
Baixa and the area around Rossio/Restauradaures have lots of shops, galleries and places to eat as does Bairro Alto (perhaps even more places to eat, smaller and less visitor-focused?). The vast majority of places I've passed by are 'casual'.
Alfama, the oldest district, also has lots of places to eat ('casual') and lots of shops & galleries. They are a bit more spread-out than in Baixa and Bairro Alto, because Alfama is a maze of narrow steets and alleyways, but they exist.....
Mercado da Ribiera, the old market building, has recently been transformed into cafes & eating places, with regional food stalls. It wasn't open when I last visited but I think it's definitely worth a wander.
[original VT link]
I have good memories of the strip of restaurants at the waterfront (Doca de Santo Amaro Armazém).
Although I live in Lisbon, I don't really know a "food district", as I already have my favorite spots :)
You can see two of them on my page:
- [original VT link]
- [original VT link]
Lisbon is full of tiny restaurants where you less expect them to be, and those are usually the best. Portugueses are really good cookers, specially when it's not a tourtistic restaurant as it means that the food is being made with love, and not for the money.
So, search for that kind of thing. Follow your nose ;)
All of Portugal has wonderful food and reasonable prices for the most part. One place in Lisbon I would steer clear of is the restaurant row in the Baixa, featuring multilingual barkers trying to lure tourists into their place. Look for a local place on a side street. As mentioned above, your nose can be a good tool.
If you allow a joke, the best foodie district of Lisbon is... Portugal.
All along town and around it, you have plenty of good, regular and bad options. My suggestion is that you make a rough plan about the area where you think that you are going to eat each day, and then browse VT to check the options in that area.
Generally, we divide the restaurants in two options - selective ones (when you may find gourmet or typical food at a price) and popular ones, which I think that will be your choice.
I generally skip touristy restaurants - most of them are good but the ratio quality/price is low. The remaining places may have different orientations: business, family, work, with the generally quality and price descending in each group.
Familiar restaurants seem to be the most suitable to your interests, though some "worker" restaurants also do a good work. These restaurants are better for dinner, when service is more calm, taking advantage of the portuguese use to charge the same prices at lunch or dinner in most places.
"Taberna-style" is always a risk - you may find the better and the worst. Use extra care when choosing.
Portugal is one of the best countries in the world to eat fish, and in most restaurants you may point what you want and choose how to cook it. In these cases check the price, because it is one of the most common situations for unpleasant surprises.
My short list of restaurants in Lisbon include 37 restaurants (so far), but my personal choice keeps being "O Pote", a little bit out of the touristy circuit. I've been there once again yesterday, once again facing the difficulty of choosing one of the about 30 options in the menu, covering almost all styles of food from the north to the south of Portugal, paying less than 15€ each for the complete meal.
A special suggestion - dining at Nini (see my nightlife tip "Fado clubs: A secret only for you"), on thursday, allows to combine a good dinner with a long night listening to (good) amateur fado and drinking a glass of wine without extra payments than the regular dinner and drinks.
Of course, if you decide to travel around Lisbon, then "fish" is a word that may lead you to Sesimbra, Ericeira, and several other places that drag portuguese to some generally crowded restaurants.
A final suggestion - look inside the restaurants, and see who is there - level of occupancy, and type of people (locals use to know what to choose).
You heard from some great locals above.... we enjoyed Oliver (https://www.olivier.pt/landingpage/), but it is high end and found in many tourist books.... but we liked it and would go back. We also liked Adego do Tiexeira (yelp.com/biz/adega-do-teixei...). Which at the time did not have many reviews. We had an entertaining and reasonably priced meal. The owner brought that evenings menu out on a display cart and you picked which piece of fish or meat or whatever the chef would then cook for you. I will be in Lisbon for a couple of nights at the end of May. Hopefully I will have a few more. ;-)
Belem is possibly the worst foodie district. go there for the custard tarts, but eat elsewhere.