Spotlight on Lisbon
If you were in a position to be indulging in a European love affair, Lisbon would be your choice destination. A city of rambling narrow streets, pastel colours and tiled houses that have been washed by the sun and aged in the sea air – as all romantic European cities should be. Lisbon is a city for walking, liquor drinking before 11 am, lunches that roll into dinners and quiet whispers in the corners of tavernas. As a city that is gathering an increasingly loyal following, it still remains an understated city escape with a quiet reputation for some incredible local cuisine.
You can’t escape the guidebooks for this place, but don’t let that be a deterrent. This is old school in only the best ways, the waiters don’t speak English and operate in a series of gruff hand gestures (and randomly, an iPad menu, but do not be fooled into thinking you can order from here). Tanks line the walls filled with lobsters and piles of fresh shellfish are stacked in the coolers. All fish comes with hunks of garlic bread, garlic butter and lemon. It is pure, utter coronary indulgence.
Av. Almirante Reis nº1 – H, 1150-007 Lisboa, Portugal
Another small spot that doesn’t take reservations but again, the wait is worth it. A small window opens up to serve drinks to the loyal queues waiting to sample the phenomenal ceviche in a quiet corner of the Príncipe Real district.
1250 096, R. Dom Pedro V 129, Lisboa, Portugal
This is finer dining than casual and located in the Altis Belém Hotel & Spa. Feitoria is cited by many for the adventurous tasting menu. Led by the up and coming chef João Rodrigues; this chef is pushing the boundaries of modern Portuguese cooking.
Altis Belem Hotel & Spa, Doca do Bom Sucesso, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal
The Decadente Restaurante & Bar
The small courtyard at the back of the restaurant is adorned with cracked blue and white tiles and makes for a perfect spot for an evening drink. The food is ok, but we suggest going for the style.
R. São Pedro de Alcântara 81, 1250-238 Lisboa, Portugal
Taberna Rua De Flores
This very small Portuguese tapas spot, where you can’t book and you sit at small tables crowded into the narrow restaurant, serves historic tapas recipes. The street is beautiful and sweeps down towards the sea, there are a couple of great wine bars nearby in which you can while away the wait for your table.
Rua das Flores 103, 1200-194 Lisboa, Portugal
Manteigaria Fábrica de Pastéis de Nata
Afternoon pit stops don’t get better than this. Queues fall out of the door for the warm, runny Pastéis de Nata but shoulder in for space at the counter, grab a double espresso and a pastry and remember you are in Europe; you don’t sit down for coffee.
Rua do Loreto 2, Lisboa, Portugal
Flyers and posters adorn the entrance of this cute little café advertising exhibitions, readings and gigs. There is a quiet unassuming hum about this place. A firm favourite among the local art crowd and neighbourhood go to.
R. Ribeira Nova 36, Lisboa, Portugal
A Cevicheria. Photo courtesy of Francesco Rivotti.
April 7th 2016