Eating in central Lisbon
Given the length of my notes on Lisbon, I decided to divide them into sub-pages, by zones, the same applying to restaurants. More information about Lisbon restaurants is published in “General“, “Baixa“, Belém“, “EXPO” and “Remote“.
Regular Business place
Discreet behind a long corridor, a reasonable restaurant, with some quality intentions is mainly aimed to professional meals than touristy ones – its location, out of the touristy paths, recommends that orientation.
I had a good lunch, paid a little more than 20 €, and came out, pleased but with no particular reason to go there again – or to avoid it.
Address: Av. Marquês de Tomar 83
Good first impression
Located in the edge of the touristy area, but in the best area for hotels and transport (near Saldanha, in the back of Gulbenkian museum) there’s a quiet area with a few esplanades serving restaurants. We decided to try this one and didn’t regret.
The food was well prepared, the menu was interesting, the service correct, and the price as expected. Nothing in particular to remember, but a positive impression.
Address: Av Conde de Valbom, between Avenida Elias Garcia & Avenida Visconde de Valmor
Phone: +351 21 797 0410
Once upon a time, in the middle of last century, high society living in the new quarter called exactly “Avenidas Novas” used to gather in selected places, for the 5 o’clock conversation with or without tea.
Versalhes was in the top, a real landmark.
Times changed, coffee houses were replaced by banks or phone houses, the most resistant tried to survive selling something to be eaten on foot, but not Versalhes.
There it is with a shining facade, assuming its role of a social monument of town.
Address: Avenida da República 15A, 1050-185 Lisboa
Phone: +351 21 354 6340
If you find yourself in the new part of Lisbon, around Arieiro or Av. Roma then you may eat at “O Pote”. That’s my everyday restaurant in Lisbon.
It features Portuguese food, homemade type, with a long menu, good quality and reasonable price. I started to eat there in 1962, when it was only a small tavern, with prices for student. The employees (9 brothers at all) bought it later, and started to enlarge and modernize the place, always with good attention to the clients.
Now, those kids are old guys like me, but it’s good to confirm, each time I go there, that everything remains as before.
A group from Hungary went there in May 2013… and I got a gift for the suggestion… Thanks. Tito is now working close to it, and that’s a new good reason to keep going there. I do it almost each month, and… great, as usual.
Favorite Dish: Iscas com elas and 12 more
Address: Av. João XXI, 7 Phone: +351 21 848 6397
Website: O Pote
Many decades ago, while visiting “O Pote” as a regular costumer, I witnessed the opening of another restaurant, across the street, with a more impressive image, and, (I thought), another range of price. I never entered it.
A few days ago, I went to Pote again, but… it was closed for maintenance. Fernanda suggested to try the facing restaurant, and I entered it for the first time. Forty years passed I realized that (now) it is not an expensive place, neither… good. The food was so common and industrial that we all decided to forget the place. Besides, “our” Pote opened the next week…
Address: Av João XXI Phone: +351 21 849 8730
Isaura, now Martinez
For almost one year I was delaying my notes about one of the best restaurants in Lisbon, if you care about price/quality ratio. Last week I went there once more, and… it was closed, not surviving the crises.
But… no! It is impossible!
It opened again with a new name, “Martinez” and I don’t know if it keeps the quality and standards. The new owner is Spanish, and that may mean a great difference. I will check it out.
I did! I had a curious dish (braised tuna with vegetables), everything else was acceptable, and we paid… 15€… both…
Address: Av Paris 4B Phone: +351 21 848 6651
From the old days as student, I kept the idea that the restaurants in Roma avenue where expensive and… bad. For more than thirty years I skipped them.
Recently, I had something to do in the area, with only twenty minutes to have lunch. This restaurant was close to our destination, and Fernanda insisted to try it.
My first surprise was the answer when I asked it it would be possible to be served and eat in twenty minutes – YES.
The second surprise was the quality of the quick meal – a well done octopus.
The third one… the price – less than 10 € each. Twenty minutes later we were on our way, with one decision – next time I will not hesitate, and will have a deeper observation.
Address: Roma Av. near the railroad
Bife da Portugalia
Forty five years ago, I found a restaurant in Lisbon with a special steak, swimming in an exclusive and delicious sauce. Though ninety per cent of the costumers eat seafood with beer, I always keep eating the steak… with wine.
Once, I found near the Liberdade Avenue another restaurant with the same recipe – the Ribadouro. I tried it, and… an absolute disaster. Obviously, it was my first and last visit.
Nowadays, the Portugália became a chain of restaurants, in Cais do Sodré and most of the shopping malls, but, forgive me… my steak remains in Av. Almirante Reis, near Praça do Chile.
Anyway, I must confess that, seen from outside, the restaurant in Belém (photo) has a special attraction.
Favorite Dish: Bife a Portugalia
Address: Av Almirante Reis, 117 Phone: +351 21 314 0002
Cervejaria Alto Mar
A Double surprise
If you risk to read my tips, maybe you found one of them that I called “you’re lost”, to write about this residential area of Praça do Chile, where (I thought) tourists would never come.
I was wrong (or maybe, things had changed).
Not only I saw tourists dragging their bags in Morais Soares street, but I had the surprise to see in this restaurant, where I entered for the first time, that the other customers where (only) a french family.
The restaurant was a very positive experience.
First of all, they had something that I had never tasted ( and that pleases me). Furthermore, the dish was a simple variation of one of my favorites (Pork with clams, “à Alentejana”) but with rabbit replacing the pork. Funny, unexpected, simple and tasty.
Fernanda had a grilled fish, fresh and well done. To end well, the price, after a very good coffee, was moderated. All said, this restaurant entered my list to a second visit.
Favorite Dish: Coelho à Alentejana
Address: Rua José Falcão, Nº 62-64 Phone: +351 21 846 08 33