I’ve just got back from a weekend in Lisbon — my second little jaunt there in as many years — and oh gee, I’m smitten. The wine! The cobbled backstreets! The food! Oh, the food… Whether you’ve got a sweet tooth or a savoury, you’ll quickly find Lisbon is foodie heaven. Heavenly egg custard tarts are the perfect any time snack, and for lunch and dinner, you’ll find the freshest seafood in great restaurants right across the city. Here, my pick of the best places to eat...
Patéo by Jose Avillez
Our first meal in Lisbon this time was a damn good one. Jose Avillez has the double Michelin starred restaurant, Belcanto, in the city, but if you can’t get a table or can’t justify that, make a beeline for Pateo, his more relaxed restaurant in Bairro Alto that was perfectly fancy enough for me. With beautiful interiors, great wine, and really fantastic food, there’s no better place for lunch in the city in my eyes. Everything we ate was amazing, the fresh sea bass particularly so. Oh, and the pasteis de nata millefeuille!
Just wow! This tiny little place is a hit with the locals and it’s got a no-bookings policy so go early and/or expect a queue. We sat up at the kitchen bar — definitely the best place to be — and had the most amazing evening not only eating but also watching every dish be so lovingly prepared. As the name suggests, it’s all about ceviche here. Go for the tasting menu and expect an array of colourful, fresh, exquisite dishes — to be paired with obligatory Pisco Sours of course. Just stunning!
Pasteis de Belem
Join the locals and the hoards of tourists and make a pilgrimage to Belem for the best custard tarts in the city. These guys have been here making their famous pasteis de nata since 1837, and those years of experience do show. My oh my, they are simply perfect. Small, sweet, dangerously light bites of custard heaven with a delicate crisp case. I’m drooling at the very thought. Squeeze in and have a couple with an espresso, then line up and get a box of 6 to take home. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t.
On the way to or from Belem, LX Factory is a great place to stop. An unused industrial estate just off the main road has been transformed into a street of bars, boutiques and restaurants, the highlight of those being 1300 Taberna. Here you’ve got quirky, industrial decor, great service, and a strong menu of Portuguese flavours. The Catch of the Day is always a good starting point, and the octopus rice is a comforting and wholesome dish. Great craft beers on the menu too!