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Quick Hit: favorite restaurants in Lisbon and Porto

For those who are familiar with these two towns, I'm planning a trip for my wife and me and another couple to visit several parts of Portugal in early June. I'm pretty well finished with the itinerary but thought I'd ask this esteemed group what restaurants you might recommend in Lisbon and Porto and, if possible, why you would recommend them.

Suggestions of what I would classify as budget places (under 40€ for a couple), standard tier places (40€ to 100€ for a couple) and splurge places (100€ and up for a couple) all are welcome. I recognize my price tiers may be out of whack with prices on the ground in these cities, but that's how I usually think of these things. We like most any kinds of food and especially seafood, which we are looking forward to enjoying. We're also planning to take a food tour the evening we arrive in Lisbon and expect to pick up some recommendations from the guide.

I'm familiar with the usual online sources and am using them, and I also have slick Rick's guidebook for Portugal. But what I'm looking for here are recommendations based on personal experience.

Obrigado!

Posted by
345 posts

In Porto, our favorite was "A Grade" restaurant. The best grilled octopus that I've ever had, and the service was great. It's very small, so you might consider making a reservation if you are interested in dining there.

Posted by
568 posts

Our favorite restaurant in Lisbon is Cervejaria Ramiro, recommended by the late Anthony Bourdain. If you love shellfish, you will love this restaurant. Seafood is fresh and simply prepared. They serve everything from gooseneck barnacles to langoustines, enormous oysters and many varieties of shrimp. I don’t know if they take reservations. According to my notes, we arrived at 6:30pm and had a 40-minute wait. It’s worth it!!! Cost was 86 euros for 2 people, including wine and ice cream for dessert. This was the most expensive restaurant we ate at in Lisbon.

We also liked Bonjardim Restaurante. They serve delicious fried chicken with piri piri sauce. It’s small and plain, nothing fancy. I didn’t note the price but this is an inexpensive restaurant.

I recommend visiting the Time Out Market (Mercado Ribeira). It houses tons of food stalls and small restaurants. We ate at Monte Mar. We had shrimp soup and shared grilled shrimp for appetizers. For our main meals, I had hake and my husband had sea bream. Delicious and fresh!

Posted by
67 posts

Thank you very much!

TravelBug79 -- Grade A is only a 10 minute walk or so from our apartment in Porto, so that would be a great choice. I'll definitely add it to the list. I've only grilled baby octopi before -- the tentacles of those little guys crisp up nicely -- but I've never had the full grown polvo da grelha.

kmkwoo -- Shellfish is a definite favorite. The size of some of the shrimp/prawn/gambas/langoustine can be impressive in Europe, and I'm looking forward to Cervejaria Ramiro as well. The chicken at Bonjardim sounds good as well. France is not known for spicy food, so some chicken spiced up with piri piri would be great! Where we're staying in Lisbon is near Time Out market, so we'll definitely be hitting that place a few times.

Thanks again to both of you. I really appreciate it.

Anyone else with suggestions or advice?

Posted by
31 posts

I was just in Lisbon and loved Zapata. This is mid range although I splurged on the grilled prawns on 3 occasions. The grilled octopus was amazing as was the dorado. The bill was in the region of 80 euros for 2, which inclluded the wine.

By the Wine is another great mid range restaurant. What is interesing is that they have 3 wine prices... by the glass, bottle, and the last.. a take away bottle. The take away bottled are absurdly cheap, so stock up on sone decent wine to have when you get back to where you are staying.

A really small but authentic Fado place is A Baiuca Fado. I phoned to book on the day at about 5pm. It opens at 8pm but you can arrrive at 7:30 which is asdviable and then you can choose where you want to sit. It is very small but the food was good and the musich was great. It wasn't commercial or touristy at all. I think the whole things 2 meals, wine & more wine cost about 80 euros.

Posted by
67 posts

Hey marco -- that's great. I really appreciate reading about your recent experience.

I'm on the fence about the whole Fado thing, but I think our friends are going to want to see it, so your recommendation about A Baiuca Fado is very welcome. I'll pass it on to our little group.

Zapata sounds good, as we will be targeting seafood on this trip, but the photos I've seen for By The Wine are interesting. I live in France, so I'm used to being in wine caves, including those that have been converted into tiny restaurants or intimate music venues, but By The Wine looks like an ultra-modern version of that. Very interesting.

Thanks!

Posted by
4777 posts

I may have more input after my trip, we are leaving later this week for two weeks. One comment I will make now though...

We have Friday in Lisbon to recover a bit from the flight (then returning near the end of the trip) and my food plan is:

  • Lunch and snacks at the Time Out Market, then we will head out to Belem for some Sun and a walk.
  • Dinner: It is a toss up right now, it will be Seafood, specifically shellfish. The plan is to go to Ramiros, but crowds can be an issue and we do not know how we will feel after a long flight. The place is still well rated, but I always get Leary when places suffer TV fame, crowds show, service gets gruff, food rushed. As a contingency, I tagged several other places that are similar:
  • In Belem, if we are there longer than plan, Nunes: Real Marisqueira
  • A bus ride from our Hotel, in case we wind up there, Cervejaria Boa Esperanca, very well rated, but off the tourist track, might be what Ramiro's was before Bourdain darkened the doorstep.
  • Near a Brewery I want to go to: Marisqueira O David.

If it helps, seafood restaurants vary some, the places above are primarily buy by the weight shellfish places. Other places focus more on Fish, some on Fish/Rice dishes, similar to a Paella. Most other restaurants have a more varied menu, but nearly all have solid seafood. On our return, we are looking at heading across the river to Restaurante Farol as well as some smaller places we can find.

Posted by
244 posts

Abadia in Porto, yes! Ate there twice, with pleasure - 1st time on the rec. of our hotel receptionist, 2nd time as the choice of a Portuguese friend. Full disclosure, this was in 2014, & restaurants can change, so check recent reviews.

Also in Porto, at least look in at the beautiful Majestic Cafe on the main street - history, decor, ambiance.

Posted by
2 posts

We really enjoyed "A Grade" in Porto. But if you have the time, the Culinary Backstreets Porto tour is fantastic.

Posted by
316 posts

If you are up for a bit of an adventure with your seafood, I recommend Ponto Final - across the river in Lisbon. Take one of the little commuter ferry boats from Cais do Sodre. (cheap, and about 10 min to cross). Once you disembark, turn right and walk along the seaside walk for about 15 min past abandoned warehouses. Spectacular views of Lisbon, amazing food. Hold out for a table in the sun on the jetty. We first saw this place on "Somebody Feed Phil" and put it on our Lisbon to do list. We loved it. I would say middle of the road prices.