A Taste of Lisbon
The Portuguese use a lot of garlic and olive oil in their cooking. Quite often you will be offered “couverts”, basically little appetizers that will be served usually complimentary. A couple of traditional favorites are: Arroz de Marisco or Seafood with rice. Salted codfish (bacalhau) is considered a staple.
Portugal produces red and white wines of the best quality and is also famous for its rose wines. Another must-try is the so-called Vinho Verde, (veen-yosh vair-desh) or “Green Wine”. It can be red, rose or white – do not be mistaken by the name! What makes this wine different is that it must be consumed before it matures. The world-famous port wine is produced in the region of Douro. Do try the local drink; Ginjinha (zheen-zheen-ya), which is a Portuguese favorite. A liquor made of sour cherries and served in a shot glass. Look for the sign “ementa turistic”, meaning tourist menu.
Mercado de Santa Clara: Near the Santa Clara market, you’ll find traditional Portuguese cuisine. You’ll find locals dining there, as it’s not a touristic destination. Save room for the chocolate cake. Great views as well, as it sits over one of the markets.
Largo de Santa Clara 7
Tavares: A classic, stylish restaurant, dating back to the late 1700’s, and has been frequented by prime ministers and former US presidents. Pricey, but worth it for a special occasion with traditional Portuguese cuisine and a few international favorites.
Closed Sun and Mon. Rua da Misericordia 37
Eleven: Looking for a view? Head to this hip, Michelin-starred restaurant with a contemporary Portuguese/Mediterranean menu. Rua Marquês de Fronteira
Pharmácia: Appropriately named for their retro-pharmacy décor; this trendy spot is known for their "petiscos" (tapas) and a welcoming dining terrace. Rua Marechal Saldanha 2
Mezzaluna: Tired of Portuguese cuisine, this cozy restaurant offers traditional Italian dishes with a Portuguese twist. Chef is Italian-American. Closed on Sundays.
Walk from Metro Rato or Marques de Pombal. Rua da Artilheria Um 16
Imperial de Campo de Orique: This neighborhood icon has been family run for over 30 years. Nothing fancy, and you would probably walk right past it if you didn’t know better They will always have a soup of the day, plus 4 fish and 4 meat dishes. One of their specialties is Carne de cabra, basically goat marinated in wine, then cooked again with garlic, potatoes…and more wine! Probably will find only locals dining here, and that’s not a bad thing. Rua Correia Teles.