Eat authentic Portuguese food at these restaurants in Lisbon

Eat authentic Portuguese food at these restaurants in Lisbon

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Rule number one when choosing where to eat is don’t search for a restaurant while hungry. But that’s easier said than done, right? 

You’ll most likely hover over those shiny-looking menus outside restaurants in downtown Lisbon because that’s where pretty much everyone told you to go to, and you don’t feel like overthinking it. 

How do you avoid getting lured into a tourist trap? Well, for starters, you can take a look at these suggestions of restaurants in Lisbon with authentic Portuguese food.

O Zé da Mouraria

Typical tasca in the heart of the Mouraria quarter

If the blue-and-white checkered tablecloths, the mismatched tiles, and the walls covered with photos from local Fado singers aren’t enough signs that you’ve stepped inside a typical Portuguese restaurant, then the trays overflowing with homemade-style food sure are.

I can’t think of a local or a tourist who hasn’t heard about this place at least once when asking for restaurant recommendations in Mouraria. It’s so crowded that it took me three attempts to finally score a table for one for lunch (and I wouldn’t mind sharing a table with strangers either if it came down to that).

Portions are generous. If you can’t eat all in one go, they’ll pack it for you. That is if you don’t find it too weird to go back to where you’re staying in Lisbon with leftovers.

Whatever is on the fixed menu is delicious, but you can never go wrong with the daily specials, particularly if arroz de pato (rice with roasted duck) is one of them.

Rua João do Outeiro, 24/26

Noon-4pm Mon-Sat

Average €40 for two people

Recommended to book ahead for large groups

Organi Chiado

Vegetarian restaurant with fresh, seasonal ingredients

Being vegan or vegetarian in Lisbon is not a problem. 

Yes, even in the land where bacalhau (salted cod) is king, sardines are queens, and pretty much every single traditional pastry is made with dozen-plus eggs.

As a meat and fish eater, I need a break from all animal protein every now and then, and I like Organi’s approach. Most drinks are organic, and they have a “catch of the day” mentality when it comes to putting together the daily menu.

The first time I ate here, I had the vegan feijoada and loved it so much I actually asked the waiter twice if the dish was 100% vegan (yes, it was). 

Calçada Nova de São Francisco, 2

12.30-3.30pm & 7-10pm Mon-Sat

Average €25 for two people

Weather permitting, sit outside

Chaminés do Palácio

Low-key Portuguese cuisine in a spectacularly decorated palace

What a spectacular finding this restaurant was! Twenty years of Lisbon, many days walking by this building, and I had no idea what a hidden gem it was (no, seriously, a hidden gem).

First of all, you’ll be amazed at the beautiful blue-and-white tiles decorating most of the palace’s walls. And second of all, you’ll be amazed at how this place is hidden in plain sight. 

The menu is basically a trip through the most typical Portuguese dishes. They have something I absolutely love, which is the traditional dish of the day. 

I loved their bacalhau com broa. To me, that could be the traditional dish of the day every day.

Palácio da Independência, Largo de São Domingos, 11

Noon-3pm & 7-10pm Mon-Sat

Average €25 for two people

Take time to admire the tiles

Delfina - Cantina Portuguesa

Contemporary Portuguese cuisine, with a "cooked-by-grandma" feel

Delfina is a typical Portuguese name, the kind our grandmothers or old aunts would have. So Delfina is the embodiment of that spirit, but with the contemporary approach that it deserves. 

You see, this is not only a restaurant. This is AlmaLusa Boutique Hotel’s restaurant, where guests and non-guests are welcome from morning to evening.

All ingredients are fresh and seasonal. Most of them sourced from the nearby Mercado da Ribeira every day, which means they will usually have one menu for the Summer and one for the Winter. 

When in doubt, order anything from the Delfina’s Choices section on the menu. It’s like Portuguese food with a worldly twist.

Praça do Município, 22

7.30am-11.30pm Every day

Average €40 for two people

The esplanade is not the greatest spot (not much of a view there), but the interior design makes up for it

Read more about where to eat in Lisbon:

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