Trip to Lisbon, Portugal - May 2011
Eating out in Lisboa

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As I have mentioned in previous trip reports: finding good places to eat when you travel, can be tricky. Do you just stick around the main tourist areas? Do you try a place based on how it looks from the outside and the menu? Or do you listen to others recommendations? Do you trust the guidebook? Do you trust the feedback on TripAdvisor? Before going to Lisbon I tried to note down various options based on feedback from travel forums, guidebooks etc. I put everything into Google My Maps. Here is a summary of some of the meals we had in Lisbon. Note that you can see the location of the various places marked on this interactive Lisbon Google map. The restaurants are marked with red markers.

A bit of meat and cheese at Chafariz do Vinho Enoteca in LisbonAfter the first few hours of sightseeing in Lisbon we went back to the hotel to freshen up a bit and we asked the hotel if it was Ok to walk around in Lisbon by night and they said that this should be OK. We also got some help from them to make a reservation at a place called 100 Maneiras – we were hoping to get a table at a decent hour but we only got a table at like 10.30 PM! I guess they are no strangers to eating late there! We decided to go for the table at 10.30 as we were planning to start out at another place on the way there. So we walked from our hotel and it was one of our first meetings with the "dreaded" hills of Lisbon. Dried cod at 100 Maneiras in LisbonWe started out at the a place called Chafariz do Vinho Enoteca and this is a restaurant/bar located in the remains of an old aqueduct located on the top of a looong hill leading up to Bairro Alto. When we got there we decided to just sit at a table outside as it was a warm night and we wanted to enjoy the view of Lisbon by night. As we were eating at 100 Maneiras later on we just went for some Portuguese red wine together with local hams and local cheese – as we would find out in the next few days they have a lot of great sheep and goat cheese in Portugal. Pork belly at 100 Maneiras in Lisbon - very goodWhen I got my wine I only got like half a glass and the waitress said that she would come back to fill it up. But by the time we had enjoyed the ham, cheese and wine she had not showed up and when I asked for the bill I mentioned this and the poor waitress was so embarrassed that she removed my wine from the bill. As we sat there enjoying our wine and food, some people that were out for an evening jog came running by. As I said this was at a top of a hill and if you have to pass Chafariz do Vinho Enoteca you have to climb some really steep steps. I guess these guys were into hill-running but they gave us a guilty conscience for just focusing on the good life.

I would like the tuna a bit more toasted - 100 Maneiras in LisbonWe moved on to 100 Maneiras and decided to get there early to see if we could get a table as early as possible. I guess we were not the only ones that had that idea as the tiny entrance was filled with people waiting to get in. But it looked like the restaurant was handling this in a good way and they actually came over and asked if we wanted a glass of champagne while waiting :-) I think I came across this restaurant as it was listed at no. 1 on TripAdvisor and it sounded like a fun place. At this place we did not get a menu – they only have a tasting menu and hence it was easy to get started. And it started out with one of their signature dishes Having beef tartar at 100 Maneiras in LisbonI guess - cod fish clothesline! Sounds weird I know but it was tiny little pieces of cod served hanging up to dry so to speak. From there on we were served dish after dish: potato foam with corn bread crumble, scallop with peas puree, tuna with foie gras carmalized apples, beef tartar with quail egg, black pork, foie gras ice cream(!) and a fake cheesecake ;-) It was actually a great meal and quite a bargain as the tasting menu is “only” 35€ (50 USD) per person. Note that there are some raw(ish) dishes on the menu – the tuna was a bit on the raw side for me and it was also interesting to try out the beef tartar with the quail egg. Best dish for me was the black pork that reminded me of the Norwegian pork Christmas dish (pork belly). All in all the bill came up to 110€ (156 USD) including a bottle of wine. Highly recommended but remember to book in advance to get a table earlier on so that you can enjoy the food. I think we were done at like 1 am and we walked back to the hotel to let the food sink in – but we were also getting quite tired after a long, long day.

That is one way to ride for free - in LisbonThe following night we decided to check out a place called Tasca da Esquina after I found it in an article in a Norwegian newspaper and the chef was described as a guy who did new and innovative things with the traditional Portuguese cuisine. This restaurant is located a bit outside the city centre but there is a tram line that goes right past it – so armed with an iPhone with a GPS we were able to track when to get of the tram when going there. We were travelling with a day-pass but I guess not all wanted to pay for that: a couple of kids were hanging on the tram by the backdoor as we got out of the tram.

Note there are often stuff on the table already when you arriveWe were hoping to get some “real” bacalao if there is such a thing but also this restaurant had a tasting menu. So we decided to go for another 5 course deal if I’m not mistaken. I was not to impressed with the first dish…some sort of soup served with some sort of liver paste pesto(?) on the side. We also got tuna again and this time it was fried just a bit more than at 100 Maneiras and that made it a lot better in my opinion. I was not that impressed by the starter at Tasca da Esquina LisbonWe also had a fish served on top of a green risotto and the risotto itself was quite good while the fish was a bit tasteless. The main dish was a piece of meat served with a chunk of foie gras which is a combination that I enjoy. By this time we were getting quite full so we decided to just share a dessert and I decided to go for the Pudim Abade de Priscos (or Pudding Abbot Priscos). This is some kind of Portuguese flan I guess and it was extremely sweet – just the way I like it. All in all the bill was 82€ (117 USD) including a bottle of wine costing 23€. All in all a good meal and it was nice to also get out of the city center to avoid some of the tourists ;-)

Note: at some restaurants you will find small dishes on the table as you sit down (including cheese, olives etc). These are normally not included in the meal so you will be charged extra for it if you start eating from it.

Bacalhau made the Cervejaria Trinidade way in LisbonOne place that kept popping up on forums and on TA was a place called Cervejaria Trinidade Chiado. We walked past it one afternoon and we walked in to ask if we could make a reservation and we were told that it was full which was a bit of a surprise as it seemed to be a huge place. But we made a reservation for another day but even when we came we had to wait for 20-30 minutes before getting a table. The place is originally a monastery and a brewery and it has a history that dates back to 1294 AD so it is historic grounds. The beef dish at Cervejaria Trinidade was not that impressiveThe place consists of several rooms and some are beautifully decorated with tiles and vaulted ceilings. We were seated in the cloister dating back to 1756 but walking through the restaurant we couldn’t help noticing that it was not full so we were wondering why we had been kept waiting for such a long time. Anyway, in the cloister we were sitting outside in a courtyard I think so the surrounding was quite romantic. I decided to go for some ham to start with and it was actually a pata negra that was served; isn’t that Spanish? Anyway, this place was also mentioned as a good place to try bacalao. Again I have to say that in Norway we are used to one type of the dish bacalao; mainly the one called “Bacalao a la Viscaina” which is made with tomatoes, olive oil, olives, potatoes etc. But bacalao itself only means cod and it can be made in many, many ways.

Note: Norway is one of the main exporters of dried and salted cod to Portugal and Brazil.

But the flan at Cervejaria Trinidade was quite goodSo for the main dish I decided to go for the bacalhau mosteiro and Nikki decided to go for the steak called bife a Portuguesa. I was prepared to be a bit “disappointed” to not get the typical bacalao that I’m used to and it was certainly very different. But klippfisk (or clipfish as it is called in English) is actually a very good fish and it was not bad at all to get it served the Cervejaria Trinidade way. Nikki’s beef was more dubious as the beef came totally covered it what seemed like potato chips. To round it of I tried the flan with some port wine served on the side as it was possible to get a glass for about 4€. But as a conlusion: Nikki was not very happy with the meal and I’m not sure it was worth the wait. The restaurant web site comes in 5 different languages and I guess that indicates that they are aiming for the tourists. The meal that we had cost us 80€ (including a bottle of wine at 20€) but I think you can find many other better places to eat for that kind of money. You can read more about the restaurant on their homepage.

Squid ink risotto at Esperanca in LisbonOn the last night in Lisbon we decided to just return to Bairro Alto and Chiado and as we wanted something fairly light we ended up at the small and informal pizza place of Esperança. The place was tiny and the chairs were not very comfortable. But I think it was worth it anyway – we shared a starter of the classical caprese salad: pesto, tomato and mozzarella. They could have been more generous with the real basil of coursePizza at Esperanca in Lisbon but the pesto was good. For the main dish I decided to have pizza with bresaola and I think that is the first time I have had that topping. Pizza is a pretty forgiving dish as it takes a lot to ruin it and my pizza was not bad at all. Nikki went for something more exotic as she had the squid ink risotto served with prawns and the risotto was black as...well, ink ;-) To round it of I had the tiramisu with a glass of 10 year old port wine (the glass of port was 5.50€). Anyway, a pretty good meal in informal surroundings and it seemed like it was a nice mix of tourists and locals. The meal we had cost 60€ including a bottle of wine costing 9€.

I hope that this has given you an idea of what to expect from dining out in Lisbon – if you want to read more about the famous pasties de Belém makes sure to read the Lisbon trip report itself as I have posted some information about it there. As usual, get in touch if you have any questions.

Please continue to this interactive Lisbon Google map



Click here to get back to the Lisbon trip reportBack to index pageGet in touch if you have any questionsClick here to check out the Lisbon Google map