If there is one thing I miss from my times in London was the ability to have almost any kind of cuisine from around the world without having to wonder if it was going to be authentic or not. After moving to Portugal and despite having, in my opinion, the opportunity to experience one of the best cuisines in the world, sometimes it can be frustrating when trying flavours from around the world. That’s why I am always happy when I find some of the flavours I miss in a restaurant near me.
Sometimes the interpretation and the ability of the chefs who are trying to recreate said flavours is not always the best and this is why I was pleasantly surprised with the American BBQ Ribs served at Dote in Lisbon.
Although there’s still room for improvement, the flavour was there and I could finally have some barbecue meat, well cooked and with a sauce that reminded me of my favourite American flavours. Unlike the meat though, I was a tad disappointed with the chicken soup which was too salty and made with rice instead of noodles. Apart from I’ve described, there’s much more for you to try, beef tataki, entrecôte, chuletón, Mozambique shrimp, cod and francesinhas.
When it came to the venue, I really liked the space, a lot of tables and a stylish decor. If you visit them on a Friday or Saturday you can have dinner with your friends while a DJ plays the latest tunes. As for prices, I found them very reasonable, the pork ribs with barbecue sauce, chips, coleslaw was a mere €13.50.
Address: Av. da República 51 C 1050-188 Lisbon Portugal | Phone: 21 796 1104
Villa Saboia belongs to one of Portugal’s biggest soap opera superstars. Ok, maybe that’s not the most important part of this restaurant’s history, but if you live here or are just visiting, I think that’s an interesting tidbit of information.
And if you are a fan of NCSI and the stunning Portuguese actress Daniela Ruah, this is a place where you could potentially spot her when she visits her hometown.
Now, talking about what really matters, the food. Villa Saboia is an amazing restaurant in Monte Estoril with not only some of the most delicious sushi you can try in the Estoril and Cascais area but also fabulous Mediterranean dishes.
The restaurant has two floors, downstairs you will find the sushi and gin bar and upstairs you can sit, relax and enjoy both the sushi and also the wonderful Mediterranean cuisine while sitting amongst the most sophisticated and trendy crowd of the area.
On Sundays Villa Saboia, offers an irresistible all you can eat sushi feast for only €25. If you are ever around for business you can always try the “Menu Almoço Mediterrâneo” for €12.90. Try it and let us know what you think.
Hi all! How are you all feeling after, I might say, the most disappointing summer of all time in Portugal? I have never experienced such ridiculous temperatures as the ones we’ve had this year. Low twenties in mid-July and mid-thirties in August? This is not what I call a real summer experience and I am sorry for all of you who either moved to Portugal or booked a holiday looking for a hot summer. I too feel bummed about all this nonsense and what do I do when I’m feeling down and need a pick me up? Go for brunch, who doesn’t?
That’s why last week I ventured into Lisbon and went to try one of it’s newest and most popular brunch spot: Fauna & Florain Madragoa, right next to the Assembleia da Republica (the Portuguese Parliament) and not far from river Tagus. We loved the space, once you step in you can immediatly feel zen. The calming influences of a forestal decoration takes over the walls and the surroundings.
The brunch menu is filled with delicious options, from granola and smoothie bowls to different types of pancakes, avocado toasts and snacks. My husband and I both had toasts, I chose the Avotoast and he had the Terycow.
To drink, I had red fruits juice and for dessert? Of course, we had to try the chocolate brownie which was very rich but also very tasty. I couldn’t even finish it. I loved it so much, nothing like a delicious meal to forget about this depressing weather.
Location: Rua da Esperança, 33, Lisboa, 1200-655 Lisboa📍
You can be sure you will have fresh and delicious sushi in this cosy restaurant. Can’t think of a better place for a more intimate dinner. The sushi man, Aron Vargas, came from Brazil 16 years ago and immediately started working with one of the most renowned sushi chef’s in Portugal, Takashi Yoshitake. Today he has two sushi restaurants, this is the most recent one and it’s right above a fishmonger so you can rest assured, the sushi will be very fresh. They offer 9 lunch menus with sushi and sashimi combos (€35 for 30 pieces or €18 for 15 pieces) or you can try instead the a la carte menus.
Address: Mercado 31 de Janeiro, R. Engenheiro Vieira da Silva, Lisboa
I’m always suspicious when the sushi price is low but in this case, the low sushi prices are inversely proportional to the fish quality. It’s fresh and it’s delicious. At this new restaurant, you can take a seat at the counter or you sit in one of the tables. 8 pieces of tempura go for €9,90 and a meal for two can go up to €30.
Address:Rua Barao de Sabrosa 315A, Lisbon 1900-091, Portugal
The Chiyome Sushi is located in Belém, more specifically, inside the Associação Naval de Lisboa and has the best view of the Tagus river, as you can sit in the margins of the river while enjoying your dish. Prices for a sushi combo start at €17 for a plate with 15 pieces and go up to €57 for the chefs special with 50 different pieces. Every day there are different specials available.
Average dinner price for two: €30
Address: Av. Brasília, Doca de Belém, Pavilhão ANL, Belém
Crunchy cones stuffed with marinated tuna and Port infused caramelised onion, covered in sesame seeds and wasabi peas are one of the client’s favourites, but there’s more. Prawn tempura with tartare mayo, white fish ceviche with tigers milk, chips and sweet potato puree… Should I say some more?
It’s right in the centre of Lisbon, in Bairro Alto more precisely. At the helm of the restaurant is the only Portuguese certified by the All Japan Sushi chef Anna Lins. At this restaurant, you can try a mix of the old and new sushi cuisine. The chirashi is, at the moment, one of the most highly recommended dishes.
This restaurant is what happens when you get the freshest of fish combined with the skills of some of the countries’ best sushi chefs. Located inside of Ritz, this restaurant has only 18 seats available so book in advance. The menu is mouthwatering, with options ranging from the most traditional dishes to fusion or Nikkei.
You can try the tasting menu for €69 a person, lobster with spinach and yuzu and truffle vinaigrette is included in the menu or, if you prefer to go for the weekday lunch where you can have the executive lunch for €39 per person, the price includes a saké negi or saké maki temaki, 18 pieces of sushi and sashimi, a dessert and a drink.
Average dinner price for two:€100
Address: Ritz Four Seasons Hotel Lisboa, Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 88
To make a reservation:213811400
*average prices for two include 2 appetizers + 2 mains + 2 beverages + 1 dessert
Hope you enjoy all or at least, some of my suggestions. Are there any other restaurants I should know about? I’m all ears. Let me know in the comment section!
Portugal is amazing, but, like any other country, there are lots of weird or quirky things you will notice when you first visit us. I’ve compiled a list of the things you should look out for when eating at a Portuguese restaurant. Here’s your guide so you can navigate Portuguese restaurants hassle free.
You touch it, you pay for it
Imagine this, you just sat down at your table in a restaurant and, before even being handed the menu, someone is putting the most delicious bread, tuna patê, cheeses, and pastries in front of you. If you’re thinking “Wow, they sure know how to treat a customer here” as you reach for the bread, give yourself a hand slap. None of this will be free. Doesn’t matter if you only took a slice of bread and some cheese, everything you touch will be paid for at the end. It’s not free, repeat after me, NOT FREE.
2. Chips, crisps, french fries, they’re all the same here
When you look at a Portuguese menu, you’re going to see a lot of grilled meat with a side of chips. Most people would expect a side of french fries but let me warn you, 50% of the time when you read chips on the menu, they will usually mean crisps. If you don’t want to be disappointed when your meal arrives to your table make sure you ask what kind of chips they are bringing before making your order.
3. Parsley is massive here
They will add it to your rice, on your fish, on your meat, on your salad and I’ve even been served a Pad Thai with parsley sprinkled everywhere!
4. House wine is usually good and very cheap
Portuguese house wine tends to be good and the best of it all, it’s not expensive. If you’re looking for a bit of wine with your meal and you don’t want to spend too much money, ask for a “jarro de vinho tinto da casa” (a jar of red house wine).
5. Where’s the wine list?
If you ever happen to be off the beaten track and decide to have a nice meal at a more traditional restaurant, outside of Lisbon, there might be a chance, a big chance, that the restaurant doesn’t have a wine list. The best way to deal with this is to just overcome that first usual shyness and ask straight outright for the prices or tell the waiter your price range and work from there.
6. Beer is tiny
If you order a beer in Portugal you will probably be given an “imperial”, a 20cl beer served in a conical or cylindrical glass. If you tend to be more thirsty than this, I would suggest you order a “caneca” (50cl) or a “girafa” (1l). You’re welcome!
7. Salads only have three ingredients
If you like lettuce, tomato, and onion then you’re in for a treat with the typical Portuguese salad. It can be a bit difficult finding more original salad alternatives.
8. The bill comes slowly
One of the best things about Portugal is how slow the pace is here. You can really disconnect from the real world and appreciate life in its full glory when sitting at a cafe sipping a nice glass of wine. But on days when you’re on a bit of a hurry and you just want to pay and get a move on, that’s when waiting for the bill can become frustrating. If you’re in a rush, it’s totally OK to get up and pay directly at the counter. Or ask for the bill with your coffee.
8. The tips are not mandatory but they’re nice
The salaries are low and although big tips are not expected here, the waiters will be happy if you leave some change behind.
9. Tremoços or caracóis
Have you ever noticed people in cafes having a beer with what looks like some weird round yellow beans? Well, don’t diss it until you try it. In Portugal, it’s common to be served beer with lupini beans. They’re pickled, they’re salty and they’re delicious. In the summer, the Portuguese also enjoy caracóis, which are little snails, served with a very refreshing beer.
10. They might not accept card payments
In the big cities, you can pay with card in most places but when travelling to smaller cities in some places they might not accept card payments. Just be ready and have some money with you. Usually, there’s a sign at the entrance saying “No Multibanco” or “Cash Payments Only”.
11. Coffee is tiny and Portuguese love it
Visitors are always surprised with how tiny our coffees are. They’re intense, strong and they’re part of the Portuguese culture and routine. Portuguese tend to drink one coffee at breakfast, sometimes one during the morning break, usually one after lunch and if they’re brave, another at night. If you ever visit us and want a big coffee, you can try and order an americano, a café com leite (latte) or even a meia de leite (small stronger latte)
A little appetizer in Maria’s belly button, the main course just under Ana’s right breast and what about dessert? Should we have it on Bruno’s left thigh? This could just be the sexiest most delicious dinner in the whole of Lisbon tomorrow, 22 September. Organized by events company Grand’Ideia, this is the third installment of the very successful Body Food experience inspired by the ambiance of the movie Eyes Wide Shut. Dinner will be served under candlelights, on the naked bodies of both male and female models.
If you’re interested there are still some places left and all you have to do is either book your table on this page or talk to the event organizers on Facebook. The dinner will cost €45 euros per person and it’s only for ages above 18. Upon booking, you will get a password which will lead you to this world of sexy and tasty delights. Time: 22 September, 9pm
Duration: 90 minutes
Address: Casa do Chef,Avenida de Berlim, 35 A, Lisboa, 1800-033 Lisboa
Every now and then it’s great to have a more exuberant brunch but other times it’s nice to just sit in a cosy cafe and have a more authentic homey experience. With the following suggestions not only you can have a different perspective on the Portuguese lifestyle but you will also be able to save since you’re combining breakfast and lunch for less than €14. And with no further delay here are our top 4 cheapest brunches in Lisbon.
This brunch is served as a buffet and it’s delicious. You can fill your plate as many times as you want with scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, different types of bread, croissants, pancakes, yoghurt, cereal, quiches, juices and, the best part, a selection of homemade cakes, just like the ones in the picture.
Price: €14, children from 3 to 6 years old €7
Brunch Times: Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays fr0m 11am to 1.15pm and from 1.30pm to 3pm.
Eric Kayser’s cafe speciality is traditional, additive free, french bread. And for only €9 you can try some of their loaves when you try the brunch at either their new cafe in Amoreiras or in Parque das Nações. Le Brunch, it’s what they call it, includes a warm drink, which can be a coffee, a latte, a cappuccino, tea or hot coffee. And then freshly squeezed juice plus croissants, pain aux chocolate and a cinnamon bun or apple strudel. There’s, of course, different kinds of bread and butter, fruit marmalades or honey, fruit salad, Kayser eggs or scrambled eggs with salmon or prosciutto.
Brunch Times: From 10 am to 16 pm,
Address: Amoreiras Plaza – Rua Professor Carlos Alberto da Mota Pinto, 1070-374 Lisbon
Alameda dos Oceanos 1341,1990-083, 1990-083 Lisboa
You can sit here and read a magazine or read the latest news over a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Or take a friend and choose one of the brunches on offer. Prices vary but they’re all below the €12 mark.
This Austrian cafe was where I first had tried a brunch and it’s one of the first in Lisbon that ever even had that option. It’s very popular and its different variations start at €8,60 for the Wiener Frühstück. It includes Austrian bread, a croissant, a mini chocolate and cream came, jam, Nutella, honey and butter and then there’s the Wir sind Kaiser, which you can have for €11,90. This one includes a Viennese sausage with a Salzburg stew sauce, scrambled eggs, bread and butter. There’s also vegetarian options.
Address: Rua Anchieta, 3, Lisbon
Brunch Times: Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays from 11am.
It’s a hostel, that used to be the residence of the swiss ambassador in Portugal, but it’s also a famous restaurant and now it’s a great brunch destination if you’re ever wondering in Bairro Alto. Every Saturday and Sunday, from 12pm to 4pm you can have a brunch that includes a roasted turkey sandwich with mushrooms, cherry tomato and eggs. Homemade oat waffles with caramelised apple, spices, salted caramel and vanilla foam. Greek yoghurt with crunchy muesli and dark chocolate zest, bread, juices, coffee. There’s also a menu for kids and gluten-free and vegetarian options.
Address: Rua São Pedro de Alcântara 81, 1250-238 Lisboa