A legend among pastry lovers, this place invented Pasteis de Belém (or pasteis de nata as they're called everywhere else) and it's hard to beat their claim to make the best ones (the recipe is kept secret). Have them with coffee in the maze of rooms at the back, sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar from battered metal shakers, or take them home in a tube with little sachets. They won't keep for more than a day - but no-one can resist eating them that long anyway.
Rua de Belém 84-92;
tel 21 363 74 23.
Tram 15, trains from Cais do Sodré, many buses
Not do they sell absolutely heavenly pastries, but buying them is a real experience - crowds of people clamouring for them as they come straight out of the oven. I had to push and shove to the front and then watch three batches be devoured before I got mine. The phrase "selling like hot cakes" must have come from this place.
Rua de Belém 84-92;
tel 21 363 74 23;
Tram 15, trains from Cais do Sodré, many buses
A restaurant, cafe, social club for Alentejans (the vast rural plains between Lisbon and the Algarve) and one of the loveliest Moorish interiors in Lisbon. To see the tiled interior of the restaurant is worth the price of an excellent meal alone.
Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 58, just north of the Rossio
Originally a place for Alentejans to meet, this restaurant has a lovely Moorish courtyard. Go upstairs for a cheap beer, and have a nosey in the crumbling ballrooms, and at the great tiles in the restaurant. It looks private, but just go in from the street - a small door and some tiny stairs lead you into the courtyard. The restaurant is nothing special. It's located in a muddle of tat shops and fish restaurants with pushy waiters outside trying to tempt you in to their overpriced places.
Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 58,
behind the theatre in Rossio
Vegetarians are not well catered for in Lisbon, but the restaurant in the Buddhist centre on Rua do Salitre makes up for it. It's friendly, the food is good, and the building itself is pretty, with a nice garden at the back. Closed at weekends. Booking advised.
Rua do Salitre, 117;
tel: 21 314 20 38;
A buzzing outdoor terrace, quality coffee, history and that atmospheric, cavernous interior – damn the critics, this Brazilian lady is a Lisbon classic.
Address: Rua Garrett No. 120, Largo do Chiado.
Telephone: (351) 213469541.
The Castelo de Sao Jorge is one of the most peaceful spots in Lisbon and has fine views over the city. It's a great place from where to watch the sunset.
When we were there, the Emperor Hirohito's son and heir were filming the amazing sunset.
Follow up with an evening meal in the Alfama district below the castle at the Esquina de Alfama for good value Portuguese food (tasty sardines!)
This broad boulevard with a pedestrianised centre in the middle is the Portuguese equivalent of the Champs Elysees. Some cheap but good restaurants lie either on or near to this avenue.
In the heart of Lisbon, stretching up from the Praca de Comercio to the statue of the Marques de Pombal.
Public terrace and suntrap with a spectacular view across the River Tejo to the 25 de Abril bridge and the Rio imitation Cristo-Rei.
The little kiosk does good, cheap bica's of coffee and imperial glasses of beer. If you take exception with young bohemian types playing percussion stay away. Otherwise, take a book, people watch and easily while away a few hours.
Rua de Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina/Bairro Alto; Metro: Baixa-Chiado
This is a bar at the approach to the castle that is simply wonderful. We passed this place on our way down from the castle & the 80s music playing on VH1 drew us in.
The owner said he plays the music he grew up with/likes so expect an ecletic mix, from Peter Gabriel to the Corrs. Irrespective of your age just go in & savour the atmosphere.
We ordered food and were not disappointed. The chef (a guy with a large moustache) was German and served us two great plates. Two large mains & two large jugs of freshly made sangria set us back only €36.
We really recommend this place - so much so that we went back again towards the end of our time in Lisbon.
11-13 Rua Bartolomeu de Gusmao - if you come out of the castle, turn right and it's on your right, just down the hill.
Portuguese food at its finest. They should have at least one Michelin star, but apparently the French do not think Portugal is part of Europe.
As you arrive, you are installed in an ante room with antique furniture where pre-dinner drinks and amouse bouches are served. One is presented with the menu and once your meal is ready you are seated in the small adjoining dining room (ten or twelve tables, I think).
The seafood is out of this world, particularly the codfish, but last time I was there they prepared a pork loin with a fennel and prune sauce that was magnificent. Very good selection of wines, both local and from other European countries. Desserts are very dangerous indeed.
The place (an old house in a small square) is beautiful. The pace is relaxed. I have had memorable meals there. Expensive but not to excess.
Travessa de Amoreiras 1, close to Jardin de Las Amoreiras and the big shopping mall; tel: 21 388 5376;
Open Mon-Fri 1-3pm; Mon-Sat 8-11pm (reservations required)
Lisbon is famous for its excellent seafood restaurants. This one is really worth trying, booking is essential as it's quite small inside. Friendly service and excellent value for money.
Rua Portas Santo Antao, 142/144 (on the same street as the Coliseu dos Recreios, behind Restauradores Square)
tel: 21 346 4401
Possibly the best ice cream in the world! A must.
Just take the train from Cais do Sodre in Lisbon to Cascais, which takes about 30 min. Once you get there it's a two-minute walk to Santini.
Av. Valbom, 28;
tel: 21 483 3709
A popular restaurant for Lisbonites and for tourists alike, so booking is recommended. The traditional Portuguese fado singers begin at 9.15pm prompt. You can't come to Portugal and not listen to a fado. There is no admission fee but a small cover charge instead. The food is top class.
91 Rua da Norte, Bairro Alto;
tel: 21 322 4640
Fantastic custard tart available from most pastelarias around the city, although the original ones come from one shop in Belem (Antiga Fabrica dos Pasteis de Belem - you can spot it by the queues outside) where they call them Pasteis de Belem. Custard tart really doesn't do it justice, they are truly stunning and one is never enough.
At pastelerias across the city, or at Antiga Fabrica dos Pasteis de Belem, Rua de Belem 84-88, Belem
If you want an authentic economic and tourist-free experience, take the catamaran from Cais do Sodre to Seixal on the south bank of the Tejo estuary. It's cheap and fast.
When you get there, walk for about ten minutes past the shipyard and into old Seixal. There are numerous places to eat the little snails (Caracois) or slices of cuttlefish (Chocos) washed down with a couple of glasses of beer. The cheapest and best however, is the headquarters of the local communist party, which is friendly and open to all!
Take in the traditional boats that used to work the river and maybe the old cork factory just up the road. If you are desperate for internet contact there is free broadband and wireless access in the local library.
A classic Portuguese restaurant in the Bairro Alto with friendly, efficient staff, a great atmosphere and good food. An excellent place to start a night out in the Bairro Alto.
Travessa da Queimada 37;
tel: 21 342 7959
A traditional Alentejan joint in Bairro Alto, where diminutive space is inversionally proportional to the food quality. Forget the mercurial service: the gambas ao alho (garlic sauce shrimps) may be the best you´ll ever taste. Nice value, too.
No sign, but it’s on a corner of Rua do Norte (number 46), low Bairro Alto;
tel: 21 346 4265
Open every day except Monday from 7pm
If you're a fan of the angst-ridden (in the best possible way) Fernando Pessoa, have lunch at the Cafe Martinho da Arcada, one of his favourite haunts. Located on one of the city's grandest squares, Praça do Comércio.
Praça do Comércio 3;
tel: 21 886 6213
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