15 Of The Best Restaurants to Eat like a Local in Lisbon

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Getting familiar with a new city and finding the best places to eat can be a daunting task. Determined to explore the city like the locals, we set out to taste Lisbon food, one neighborhood at a time.

Along the way, we stumbled onto Lisbon local restaurants using our own flair for finding authentic food experiences. 

Recommendations from locals also guided us to some of the best traditional restaurants known for authentic Portuguese food.

We’re excited to share these 15 restaurants where you will find the best Lisbon restaurants where locals eat.

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Map Of the Best Local Restaurants in Lisbon

On our first visit to Lisbon, Portugal’s capital and largest city with half a million inhabitants, we were unsure where to start. 

Use this restaurant guide on your travels to the Portuguese capital for what and where to eat in Lisbon. Find also tips on where to stay, things to do and more.

Here are the 15 best local restaurants in Lisbon to try.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: While in Lisbon, we stayed in the Penha Franca neighborhood. We loved the off the beaten path feel as well as the local immersion. To help you find the best areas to stay in Lisbon, check out this useful guide about where to stay in Lisbon.

1. Grelha do Carmo – Traditional Portuguese Grillhouse

Polvo à la Lagareiro Portugese dishes Authentic Food Quest
Polvo à Lagareiro – octopus perfectly prepared with baked potatoes and olive oil

When sightseeing in Lisbon, skip the other tourist traps in the city center and head to Grelha do Carmo. 

This hidden gem looks unassuming, but serves great food at very affordable prices. 

Grelha do Carmo, a cozy, tiny restaurant, is home to the best octopus in Lisbon. Locals and tourists alike rave about the grilled octopus or Polvo a Lagareiro

It’s prepared with authentic Portuguese olive oil, onions, potatoes and cooked to perfection.

The main focus at this local Lisbon restaurant is seafood. You’ll get freshly caught grilled fish, bacalhau or cod cooked just right, sardines, mussels and other absolutely delicious traditional food.

Pair your grilled fish and seafood with local white wine for a traditional Portuguese experience.

Located near the Rossio station, this local restaurant is a perfect spot for lunch near the Carmo Convent ruins.

Don’t be put off by the unpretentious, “mom and pop” vibe of this restaurant. What it lacks in looks it more than makes up for with its cheap eats and warm, courteous staff.

Best Restaurant in Lisbon By Carmo Convent

Carmo Convent Lisbon One Of The Best things to do in Lisbon by Authentic Food Quest
Carmo Convent in Lisbon

Grelha do Carmo

Address: R. da Condessa 3A, Lisbon

Hours: Open every day: 12:00 pm–11:30 pm

Price: Main dishes start at €9 (approx. $9.20)

RELATED: The 10 Best Things To Do in Lisbon for Food Lovers

2. Carvoaria Jacto – Portuguese Steakhouse in Penha de França

Pork Ribs at Carvoaria Jacto a Lisbon restaurant where locals eat Authentic Food Quest
A generous serving of Portuguese pork ribs

Every evening on our way to our apartment in Penha de França, we walked by Carvoaria Jacto. It was always busy with locals. 

We learned that this restaurant in Lisbon is known as a “steakhouse of excellence”, using the best local meats, cooked the Portuguese way.  

You can choose beef, lamb, or pork, and the restaurant will prepare it perfectly for you. Besides the meats, you’ll also find a variety of fresh fish from the ocean. Salad is complimentary and the quality is excellent.

On our last night in Lisbon, we stopped in for dinner. Since we didn’t have reservations, we were led to a table in the middle of the already buzzing restaurant.

Claire chose to have bacalhau assado na brasa com batata a murro or roasted codfish prepared with potatoes. This was a Lisbon food we had been by locals not to miss. 

Rosemary picked the pork ribs or costeletas de porco preto. These were perfectly cooked ribs, incredibly flavorful and very tender. Paired with a bold red wine from the Alentejo region, this was a wonderful culinary match.

For dessert, choose the Portuguese chocolate cake. It’s a dense cake with a gooey chocolate center, best savored in small bites.

For a typical Portuguese dinner at a Lisbon restaurant where locals eat, head to Carvoaria Jacto for their amazing meats.

Where to Eat in Lisbon Penha de França Neighborhood

Carvoaria Jacto Restaurant Eat Bacalhau in Portugal Lisbon restaurant where locals eat Authentic Food Quest
Carvoaria Jacto Restaurant, a Lisbon restaurant where locals eat

Carvoaria Jacto Restaurant

Address: Rua Maria Andrade 6 B, Penha de França, Lisbon

Hours: Open Monday – Saturday, 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Price: Main dishes start around  €10 (approx. $10,21)

Pro Tips: Reservations highly recommended. Huge portion sizes. Go hungry or plan to share.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you are visiting Lisbon for a short time and would like to taste Portuguese traditional dishes we recommend taking a food tour. See our top 7 Lisbon food tours you want to try. 

3. Canto da Atalaia – Fado and Lisbon Food in Barrio Alto

Portuguese Peas and Chorizo Stew at Mascote de Atalaia a lisbon restaurant where locals eat and listen to Fado Authentic Food Quest
Enjoying a hearty stew with fried egg while listening to Fado

Have you heard of Fado? Fado is the soul of Portugal and its symbol. Fado, now on the Unesco list of cultural heritage, is a musical style originating in Alfama and Bairro Alto, Lisbon old neighborhoods. 

Today, Lisbon visitors throng to listen to Fado, a music with melancholic tunes and lyrics. Ironically, it is now performed at well sought-out places, whereas originally you could only hear it at infamous bars where the city’s poor and sailors gathered.

At Canto da Atalaia, the local and intimate atmosphere stays true to the origin of Fado. Space is limited and tables shared. You go there to listen to Fado with a serving of petiscos and wine.

The night we went to Canto da Atalaia, a solo Fadita, or Fado woman singer, was accompanied by an acoustic guitar and the pear-shaped Portuguese guitar. We decided to go beyond the petiscos and try the Fado menu.

This simple menu included a starter, main dish, and dessert, as well as wine and coffee. 

To start, we both had the hearty caldo verde soup. To follow, Rosemary had a grilled tuna dish with peppers, while I savored a classic Portuguese stew with peas, chorizo and a fried egg on top.

To finish, Rosemary had the pudding with the Ginja, Portuguese sweet cherry liquor, which we had earlier tried on Lisbon food tours

And, I was in heaven with the marbled-looking chocolate salami dessert made with rich chocolate and crunchy Maria biscuits.

While simple, the dishes were tasty and full of flavor. The portions were reasonable and we were happy with the options presented.

If you want to listen to Fado, away from the tourist crowds, we recommend this local Lisbon restaurant, Mascote da Atalaia.

Best Restaurant in Lisbon To Listen To Fado

Mascote de Atalaia a fado restaurant in lisbon where locals eat traditional Lisbon food Authentic Food Quest
Fado is the main attraction at Canto da Atalaia and we enjoyed the food too

Canto da Atalaia

Address: Rua da Atalaia 13-15, Bairro Alto, Lisbon

Hours: Open Sun – Wed 6:00 pm to 2:00 am; Thurs – Sat 6:00 pm to 3:00 am

Price: Main dishes start at €12 (approx. $12.30)

Pro Tip: To guarantee a seat at this intimate local Lisbon restaurant, make reservations ahead of time. Listen to Fado all evening, while you enjoy the moderately priced menu at 25 euros (approx $29), wine and coffee included.

4. By The Wine – Petiscos in Chiado

Petiscos Sardines at By The Wine one of the best restaurant where to eat in Lisbon Authentic Food Quest
Enjoy sardines and more delicious petiscos at By The Wine in Lison

The Portuguese have their own version of Spanish tapas, called petiscos. Like tapas, they are also small bites, but generally small versions of large plates. Petiscos are an important part of Portugal’s gastronomy.

Enjoyed in social settings, petiscos generally consist of sardines, codfish or bacalhau, local sausages, and regional cheeses, all washed down with delicious Portuguese wines.

One of the best Lisbon restaurants where locals eat Portuguese tapas is By The Wine José Maria da Fonseca.” 

Situated in the trendy Chiado neighborhood, this wine bar is the flagship store of the famous Portuguese wine maker José Maria da Fonseca.

Wine lovers will enjoy spectacular Portuguese wines from around the country. 

To cure a little hunger one afternoon, we stopped in for petiscos. Accompanying two refreshing glasses of white and rosé wines, we savored a variety of local specialties. 

The black pig Iberico ham and other cold meats paired perfectly with bread from Algarve. Many local cheeses are available as well as delicacies from the sea like salmon ceviche and mussel salad. 

By The Wine in Lisbon is the best Lisbon local restaurant to sample Portugal’s famous petiscos.

Best Restaurant in Lisbon For Petiscos and Wine

By The Wine decor best lisbon restaurant where locals eat for traditional petiscos Authentic Food Quest
Cool vaulted ceiling with empty glass bottles at By The Wine

By The Wine

Address: Rua das Flores 41- 43, Chiado, Lisbon

Hours: Open Tue-Sun: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am.

Price: Main dishes start at €9.5 (approx. $9.80)

Pro Tip: Local Lisbon restaurant with an inviting atmosphere and a wide selection of Portuguese wines. Try something new and ask the knowledgeable staff for recommendations on the local wines.

RELATED: 10 Best Lisbon Wine Tours: From Winery Visits To Porto Tasting

5. Floresta Das Escadinhas – Fresh Grilled Fish

Mixed Grilled Fish Lisbon restaurant Floresta das Escondinhas by Authentic Food Quest
Beautifully served mixed grilled fish –  Photo credit: Floresta Das Escadinhas on Facebook

One of the more popular seafood restaurants in Lisbon, Floresta Das Escadinhas is known for their fresh grilled fish and especially their sardines. 

They offer lovely indoor seating, but you can also sit outside on the landing of the stairs between two buildings for a charming atmosphere. 

Cooking on charcoal is the restaurant’s signature cooking style. Offering a limited menu, the traditional dishes are either fish or seafood on the grill as well as meat and sausages.

The sardines, grilled fish or squid, octopus and bacalhau or cod are especially fresh and tasty. Accompany the dishes are either potatoes or french fries and different salads.

The food is served on bright-colored dishes with a beautiful presentation in a cozy environment.

Service is outstanding at this family restaurant. It serves some of the best food in Lisbon so be sure to go early or make reservations. 

This is one of the Lisbon restaurants people return to again and again.

Best Restaurant in Lisbon For Fresh Grilled Fish And Seafood

Floresta Das Escadinhas Best Local Restaurantin Lisbon by Authentic Food Quest
It is best to make reservations at this popular restaurant – Photo credit: Floresta Das Escadinhas on Facebook

Floresta Das Escadinhas

Address: Rua de Santa Justa 3, Lisbon 

Hours: Every day except Sunday 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Price: Main dishes start at €9 (approx. $9.30)

6. A Grelha Marisqueira E Churrasqueira – Fish and Grilled Meat in Graça

Arroz de Mariscos A Grelha Masqueria e Churrasqueria a Lisbon restaurant where locals eat for comfort Lisbon food Authentic Food Quest
A hearty seafood rice stew for a cool evening

The first indication that A Grelha was a local restaurant was the lack of a menu. There was nothing in English and only a slogan of the local beer and unrecognizable dishes written in large letters on the windows.

It was our first night in Lisbon when we discovered this no-frills restaurant. Intrigued by the buzzing environment and animated crowds sharing tables, we stepped in, feeling a little out of place in the very local environment.

However, the warmth and delectable scents of meat sizzling were an invitation to stay. Though it was the middle of the week, the tables were packed and it was clear this is where many Lisbon locals eat. We found a table right by the entrance.

This Lisbon restaurant specializes in fish and grilled meat. Once seated, the friendly waiter brought the menu and traditional couvert with bread, cheese, olives from the Alentejo region and homemade butter. 

We chose one of the Portuguese food favorites to share. It was arroz de mariscos or seafood rice stew, a hearty dish for a cold January dinner.

In a large steaming bowl, was rice mixed with shrimp and clams in a light tomato-based sauce, sprinkled with cilantro.

Without hesitation, we joyfully slurped up the soupy tomato  rice dish. A tasty food with fresh seafood and fragrant herbs, it’s a comforting dish for cooler nights.

Where to Eat Seafood in Lisbon Graça Neighborhood

A Grelha Masqueria e Churrasqueria Near Mercado de Sapadores a Lisbon restaurant where locals eat homemade lisbon food Authentic Food Quest
Next to Mercado de Sapadores you can’t miss this local restaurant in Lisbon

Located on the top of the hill leading to the Graça neighborhood, this local restaurant in Lisbon is tucked away from the tourist attractions. Attached to the nearby Lisbon food market, Mercado de Sapadores, you’ll not miss the large glass windows with the Super Bock beer sign.

A Grelha Marisqueira E Churrasqueira

Address: Rua dos Sapadores 1, Graça, Lisbon

Hours: Open Wednesday – Monday; 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Closed on Tuesdays

Price: Main dishes start at €7.5 (approx. $7.70)

Pro Tip: In Portugal, you don’t have to pay for the couvert if you don’t eat it. However,  this local restaurant had some of the best couvert we had in Portugal, with fresh bread and artisanal cheeses. So for this one, feel free to dig in.

7. Farol Restaurante – Beer Restaurant in Alfama

Sardines Portugal food facts for grilled Portuguese sardines and Portuguese dishes Authentic Food Quest
Grilled Portuguese sardines with steamed potatoes

Walking back from the Museu do Azulejo, the national Portuguese tile museum, we struggled to find a Lisbon local restaurant open on a Sunday afternoon. 

Luckily, we stumbled onto Farol restaurant near the Santa Apolonia train station in the Alfama neighborhood. 

While restaurants near train stations are never the best choice, we were too tired to walk any further so we decided to give Farol a chance. It’s simple and traditional typical Portuguese atmosphere invited us to stay.

The bar counter occupies the main stage, with a few tables spread out in the length of the restaurant. There is also additional seating outside.

Looking for authentic Portuguese local cuisine, we were in luck as we perused the menu. From the sea, we chose two classic dishes. I ordered polvo a la lagareiro, a Portuguese seafood dish featuring octopus cooked “la lagareiro-style.”  

This style of cooking includes boiled or baked potatoes that are smashed, salted, and tossed with seafood in olive oil with cilantro or other herbs. 

The surprisingly tender octopus and flavorful potatoes made for a simple and tasty experience.

Rosemary, dreaming about grilled sardines, chose this typical Lisbon food. Simply prepared, the generous sardines were served with boiled potatoes. 

Farol was a surprising local restaurant gem, with simple and  tasty authentic Portuguese cuisine.. 

Where to Eat in Lisbon Alfama Neighborhood

15 Of The Best Restaurants to Eat like a Local in Lisbon 1
Santa Apolónia train station in 1928

Farol Restaurante Cervejaria

Address: Rua Caminhos de Ferro 106, Alfama, Lisbon

Hours: Open Mon – Sun, 6:00 am – 12:00 am

Price: Main dishes start at €8.5 (approx. $8.70)

Pro Tip: The service can be slow. We went on a Sunday afternoon and were not rushed for time. If you are catching a train at the nearby station, plan for plenty of time in advance of your departure. Prices are slightly higher than at other Lisbon local restaurants, but we found the quality to be worth it. This is also a great spot to  stop for a thirst quenching local Portuguese beer, like Super Bock.

RELATED: The 10 Best Day Trips from Lisbon for Food and Wine Lovers

8. Time Out Market – Mercado da Ribeira in Cais do Sodré

Creative and delicious Bacalhau com Natas dish

The Time Out Market in Lisbon has become one of the most visited and talked about culinary spots in the city. Since its opening in 2014, the food hall has attracted visitors and locals alike.

The canteen-like food hall has several stalls offering a variety of local, traditional Portuguese dishes, drinks, desserts and products. On one end are stalls from a few Michelin starred chefs representing different regions of the country. All around are dozens of stalls selling regional specialties.

In the interior of the large open dining room are communal tables, perfect for those eating in groups. Wines from different regions of Portugal as well as craft beers were also available in the center.

For a sample of the national cheeses and dry cured meats, visit the Manteigaria Silva food stall, the city’s best charcuterie store.

At chef Susana Felicidade’s stall, Cozinha da Felicidade, you’ll be treated to a creative adaptation of bacalhau, Portugal’s national dish. 

Bacalhau com Natas, which is divinely prepared codfish with sweet potato chips and olives, will leave you wanting more. 

The name of her stall means “Kitchen of Happiness,” and that is exactly how you feel as you savor the fresh, tender and delicate flavors. 

RELATED: 12 Best Affordable Restaurants in Paris Where to Eat in 2023 

Where to Eat in Cais do Sodré Neighborhood

Time out Market the most popular Lisbon food market where locals eat Authentic Food Quest
Busy afternoon at Time Out Market the most famous Lisbon food market

Time Out Market /Mercado da Ribeira

Address: Av. 24 de Julho 49, Lisbon

Hours: Open everyday, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Price: Depending on the stall, prices range 3.50 – 50 (approx. $3.60 – $51)

Pro Tips:  At the peak hours at lunch and dinner, finding a space to eat at the market can be challenging. Go during the off hours for a more relaxed experience.

9.  Das Flores – Homemade Seasonal Stews

Seafood Stew in Lisbon Restaurant by Authentic Food Quest
Delicious homemade seafood stew

For simple, home-style, traditional food, Das Flores is one of the best local restaurants in Lisbon.

This small restaurant and former old grocery store, is known by locals to offer some of the best traditional Portuguese dishes.

You will need to look carefully to find it – there isn’t even a sign on the door! 

Local and guest chefs have been known to frequent this local restaurant and describe it as one of their spots for cheap eats.

The ambiance is comfortable and casual. The portions are generous and prices are reasonable. We recommend their fresh seafood, pestiscos or homemade seasonal stews. 

Regardless, it’s great food and whatever you choose will be absolutely delicious.

Das Flores is only open for lunch and is always busy, so make a reservation or be prepared to wait. They are often fully booked for the day by 11:00am.

Where to Eat in Lisbon Chiado Neighborhood

Das Flores

Address: Rua das Flores 76 78, Lisbon

Hours: Mon-Fri 12:00 pm –3:00 pm

Price:  Main dishes start at €6 (approx. $6.20)

Tip: If the tables are full, ask to sit on the steps in the back room. It’s a perfect spot for people watching.

10. O Caldo Verde – Portuguese Favorites

Grilling on the Street at O Caldo Verde Restaurant in Lisbon by Authentic Food Quest
Grilling outdoors at O Caldo Verde Restaurant
Photo credit: O Caldo Verde on Facebook

When you’re ready for something other than fish, O Caldo Verde has some of the best steak in town. 

The restaurant is mainly frequented by locals and its menu features a variety of traditional Portuguese food favorites.

While the star dishes are the Portuguese meat dishes, you’ll also find soups, grilled fish and seafood and more.

The portions, especially of the juicy steaks are enormous. Plan to share and try something else that’s local from the menu.

It’s a family-owned restaurant and the owner is very visible and attentive to all the details. It has a relaxed laid back atmosphere where you can take your time and savor popular traditional Portuguese flavors.

If you’re a meat eater, we recommend the Portuguese-style steak with garlic, the à Mirandesa. It’s a typical meat dish from northern Portugal where garlic and olive oil take the meat flavors to new heights.

Located on a narrow street in the Madragoa quarter in the heart of the Old Portugal district, the ambiance here can’t be beat. 

Grab a table outside where you can watch them cook right in front of you on the BBQ on the street. 

One of the best traditional restaurants in Lisbon, O Caldo Verde offers Portuguese home cooking at a good price in a welcoming atmosphere.

Where To Eat in Lisbon Santos Neighborhood

O Caldo Verde Restaurant in Lisbon by Authentic Food Quest
Outdoor seating at O Caldo Verde Restaurant – Photo credit: O Caldo Verde on Facebook

O Caldo Verde

Address: Rua da Esperança 91, Lisbon

Hours: Tue-Sun 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm and 7:00 pm – 11:45 pm

Price:  Meat dishes start at €7 (approx. $7.30) and fish dishes at 12.5 (approx. $13)

11. Ze Da Mouraria – Moorish Quarter Tavern

Portuguese Dish at Ze Da Mouraria Lisbon Local Restaurant by Authentic Food Quest
Try traditional Portuguese dishes at Ze Da Mouraria Photo credit:  Ze da Mouraria on Facebook

Ze da Mouraria is nestled within the narrow streets and small squares of the Moorish Quarter, also known as Mouraria.

This hidden gem is one of the best local restaurants in Lisbon. It’s a tasca or tavern and is part of the frew remaining tasca’s in the city.

At Ze Da Mouraria, you’ll find simple, traditional Portuguese dishes served in a bustling atmosphere. 

The dining room is small and lined with Portuguese azulejos tiles. And, aromas from the open kitchen entice.

Located in one of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods, this authentic Portuguese restaurant is on a small side street near Praça Martim Moniz. 

Mouraria is the birthplace of Fado music and portraits of famous Fado singers adorn the walls. 

The communal tables are inviting and you’ll be rubbing shoulders with locals. The portions are massive – be aware that each dish could easily feed three to four people!

The Bacalhau in Minhota, a cod dish with caramelized onions and olives is a delight.  And, the accompanying homemade crunchy fried potatoes are not to be missed.

For delicious and simple Portuguese food, this is one of the best local restaurants to eat in Lisbon. 

Where To Eat in Lisbon Mouraria Neighborhood

Ze Da Mouraria

Address: R. João do Outeiro 24, Lisbon

Hours: Mon – Thurs 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Fri – Sat 12:00 pm – 12:00 am

Price: Main dishes start at €16.5 (approx. $17)

RELATED: 7 Authentic Ways You Want to Eat Bacalhau The Portuguese Way (With Recipes)

12. Mercado de Campo de Ourique – Variety of Lisbon Restaurants Where Locals Eat

Delicate cod roe salad

A short tram ride away from central Lisbon is the Campo de Ourique neighborhood, an area rarely visited by tourists.

This neighborhood is known to locals as a foodie haven, where new concepts are tested and launched.

In the core of the neighborhood is Mercado de Campo de Ourique, a food market with a variety of stalls selling fresh produce, fish and meats. Alongside are stalls serving Portuguese tapas, a variety of Portuguese dishes, drinks and more. 

Petescaria – 2 à Esquina, located in the middle of the food hall, offers Portuguese modern cuisine in small bites.

Small dishes that can be eaten in a small frying pan, accompanied with bread are the main focus. 

Expect to find good food and delights like mackerel, chorizo, farinheira (Portuguese sausages) and a variety of salads.

If you are willing to taste the flavors of Portugal, where most tourists don’t go, this historic market that opened in 1934 is a treat.

Where To Eat at Lisbon Food Market Campo de Ourique

Mercado de Ourique for Lisbon restaurants wherel ocals eat the best Lisbon food by Authentic Food Quest
Open seating at Mercado de Campo de Ourique

Mercado de Campo de Ourique 

Address: Rua Coelho da Rocha 104,  Campo de Ourique, Lisbon

Hours: Open everyday: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm

Prices: Most dishes cost €4-14 (approx. $4-14)

RELATED: Evora Food Guide: 11 Alentejo Foods and The Best Restaurants To Eat Them

13. Tasca Do Teimoso – Traditional Tavern in Principe Real

Tascado Teimoso One of The best local restaurants in Lisbon by Authentic Food Quest
Don’t miss to visit this authentic restaurant Photo credit: Tasca Do Teimoso on Facebook

This spot reminds you what Portugal is all about: simple, fresh, delicious food made from quality ingredients in a warm, welcoming atmosphere. 

A tasca or traditional tavern, this mother and son-run restaurant shines with authenticity.

Classic Portuguese dishes are on offer including a variety of delicious local Portuguese wines.

Get the menu of the day which features market fresh flavors cooked to perfection. At Tasca Do Teimoso, expect big flavors presented in an elegant manner. 

The octopus or polvo a lagareiro and bacalhau dishes are worth making room for.

As well as a tasting menu of petiscos for bites of some of the best Portuguese food. For dessert, leave room for bolo de chocolate, a sinfully decadent chocolate cake.

The mother and son duo are welcoming and walking into this tiny restaurant is like an invitation into their home.

The son, who is the chef, is very intentional in his cooking and everything is prepared lovingly.

This local restaurant in Lisbon is everything you want in an authentic food experience: small, no-frills, inexpensive, welcoming and delicious. 

Where To Eat in Lisbon Principe Real Neighborhood

Tasca Do Teimoso

Address: R. das Taipas Nº 41 A, Lisbon

Hours: Tue -Wed 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm; Thurs – Sat 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm and 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Price: Main dishes start at €5 (approx. $5.30)

14. Zé dos Cornos – Homemade Food

Ze Dos Cornos One of The Best Restaurants in Lisbon by Authentic Food Quest
You can expect generous portions of delicious food – Photo credit: Ze dos Cornos on Facebook

Zé dos Cornos is an old fashioned Portuguese tavern or tasca hidden in an alley between Rua da Madalena and Martim Moniz.

For many years, it was a charcoal factory and later became a tavern. It’s a family owned business and now one of the few remaining authentic taverns in Lisbon.

The cuisine is traditional Portuguese food like BBQ meats and fresh fish, homemade soups, desserts and more.

Like many local taverns that serve the best Portuguese food, Ze dos Cornos is small, with communal seating and a warm, homey atmosphere. 

The grilled dishes are popular and the pork ribs are particularly exquisite. Save room for homemade dessert like queijadas pastries arroz doce and more.

The portions are large and you can count on great food at this authentic local Lisbon restaurant.

Where To Eat in Lisbon Baixa Neighborhood

Zé dos Cornos

Address: Beco dos Surradores 5, Lisbon

Hours: Tue-Thurs 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm; Wed-Sat 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm and  7:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Price: Main dishes start at €7 (approx. $7.30)

15. Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém – Iconic Portuguese Desserts in Belém

Pasteis de Belem with Tostadas for lisbon restaurants where locals eat the best lisbon food by Authentic Food Quest
Sweet pastéis de Belém and savory tostadas (ham & cheese toasted sandwiches)

Pastéis de nata, or pastéis de Belém (Belém is the suburb of Lisbon where they were created) are egg custard tarts that were created by monks in a Belém pastry shop in 1837. 

They are the most iconic and famous Portuguese dessert. 

While you find pasteis de nata at almost every Pastelerias or pastry shop, a trip to the original Belém pastry shop is a must.

Made by Monks who were expelled during a revolution in 1820, they sold egg tarts was a way to make money. 

Shortly, the pastries became very popular with local visitors after a small store attached to a sugar refinery started selling them.

Today, Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém has preserved the traditional recipe. So popular, the store bakes over 10,000 tarts per day for visitors seeking to taste this unique, traditional Portuguese food.

This is the only store that can sell these pastries under the name Pastel de Belém.  

These egg custard tarts are puff like pastries made with lots of butter folded into the layers. 

Small pie shells are filled with the egg custard preparation and then cooked in a very hot oven. Pastéis de natas are served warm with a strong cup of Portuguese coffee, called bica in Lisbon.

Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém is an unmissable stop for pasteis de nata in Lisbon.

Best Restaurant in Lisbon For Pasteis de Nata

Pasteis de Belem Restaurant for Lisbon restaurants where locals eat amazing Lisbon food for Authentic Food Quest
In spite of the crowds, you can always find a spot to enjoy pastéis de Belém

Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém

Address: Rua de Belém 84 – 92, Lisbon

Hours: Open everyday: 8:00 am – 12:00 am

Price: Pastries prices start at €1.30 (approx. $1.32)

RELATED: 12 of the Most Authentic Portuguese Desserts and Where to Enjoy Them

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In Summary

Lisbon has established itself as one of Europe’s hippest destinations. With a thriving tourist scene comes tourist trap restaurants and trendy food concepts.

Portuguese and Lisbon food is simple, flavorful and impeccably prepared. As you explore the city, savor the local flavors at the best local restaurants in Lisbon.

Eat like locals and with locals for authentic Portuguese food experiences. There nothing more heartwarming and sublime than immersing yourself into the local culinary culture.

Do you have a favorite place to eat authentic Portuguese food in Lisbon?  What are your best local restaurants in Lisbon? Please let us know in the comments below.

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51 Comments on “15 Of The Best Restaurants to Eat like a Local in Lisbon”

  1. I love your detailed restaurant recommendations and the way you describe the dishes. It’s now my go-to guide for my upcoming trip to Lisbon. Thanks for sharing your passion for authentic food and helping us explore the city through its cuisine!

  2. Never been to Lisbon but I’d love to! Do really hope it isn’t that difficult to find a place to et vegan or with some vegan options in the menu.

  3. What a fantastic list of places to eat in Lisbon! I’m planning a trip around Europe next year and I think I will put Lisbon on my list! The Lisbon food market would be my pick but I’m sure I’ll have time to check out a few more.

  4. I’ve read so much about Lisbon recently that I’m geared to go. As a South African meat eater, I think I’ll head to Carvoaria Jacto first come dinner time. Wouldn’t mind listening to Fado at Mascote da Atalaia either.

  5. My sister just came back from a trip to Lisbon. She stayed in the Campo de Ourique neighborhood and, as you said, she found it a great place to explore the city and to spoil your buds with some local cuisine. I would actually love to try those pasteis de Belem 🙂 Thanks for sharing

  6. I have never been to Portugal, but a trip to Lisbon seems like it is a must for foodies. Of course I’ve heard of the Pastéis de nata, but didn’t realise they had the alternate name pastéis de Belém. I would love to try them from their suburb of origin! I’m not a huge fish fan, but couldn’t leave without trying the codfish, since it is such a signature dish!

    • You’ll find so much amazing food in Portugal. Beyond the fish, the pork is award winning. The beef is excellent as well. There is a meal for every flavor. Hope you get to Portugal soon and savor some of the delightful bites. It is indeed a country with amazing food. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. I love Spanish tapas but I didn’t know Portugal had their own version in petiscos! Glad to hear that they are more like mini versions of full-on meals, more chances to try everything! The vaulted ceiling at By the Wine looks amazing, I love the effect the stacked wine bottles give the room. And it makes you want to drink more wine to get a bottle up on the ceiling! A bottle of wine, a Fado song, and a big chunk of delicious meat, Portugal sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    • We were also surprised, at first, to see some similarities between Spanish cuisine and Portuguese food. Portugal has its own unique and delicious twist to the food. We also totally loved the design at By The Wine. A truly amazing place to check out when you get to Portugal. Appreciate your comments, Stevo.

  8. Bookmarked! I’m headed to Lisbon soon and can’t wait to eat all the food. I’d hate to waste a single meal at some tourist trap. Thanks for the great research.

  9. What a comprehensive list of great restaurants to choose from in Lisbon! As a traveler, it is so hard to know where to go, especially if you need to watch your budget but still want some authentic food. The trick might be figuring out what is actually authentically Portuguese.

    • So true, finding local authentic restaurants is always a challenge. We hope this Portuguese food guide will help travelers to Lisbon skip the tourist traps and have amazing and affordable authentic Portuguese food. Thanks Tami.

    • Thanks Carol. Actually, we really enjoyed baccalau with different variations of potatoes. This one particular experience did not measure up to all the previous ones, hence the disappointment 🙂 Great local restaurant all the same. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. I’ve never been to Lisbon, but I have been to Porto and the north of Portugal. I wasn’t so impressed with the food for the most part, but it looks entirely different in Lisbon. I love octopus and it’s something I only get rarely. The pea and chorizo stew looks delicious, too, and I think I’ll even try to make something like that at home.

    • Thanks Jennifer, so glad this article gave you a new appreciation for Portuguese food 🙂 The pea and chorizo soup was surprisingly tasty. Let us know how it goes when you make it at home. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Wow… what an unique bunch of restaurants and more importantly, what unique dishes! I can’t imagine most of these dishes but the Octopus with potatoes takes the cake I think! But yes, whatever place you visit, you must eat like a local, otherwise there is no point in going that far.

    • It is quite fascinating how the Portuguese exported their food around the world. We haven’t had the egg tarts from Macau and it would be wonderful to compare and contrast them side by side. Thanks for stopping by, Nicholas.

  12. There are so many great restaurants to eat at in Lisbon and the food is amazing. We ate a few times at a place called Faco & Garfo just of Largo do Carmo square the food was divine.

  13. I’ve been to Lisbon twice and struggled to find really good local food. I hadn’t heard of petiscos before either! Great list and I’ll need to check out Carvoaria Jacto when I visit again

  14. I definitely believe that eating at locsl restaurants of any country is the best way to learn about their culture and at the same time interact with the locals.
    I am sure you enjoyed your food tour


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