A few weeks ago, my family and I took a weekend trip to Lisbon. My brother and Dad took a trip to Lisbon on their own a few months ago, and this time around, my kids, my mom, and I tagged along on Dad’s already-planned trip at the very last minute.
We really love the multi-generational travel experience, and we always find something for everyone when we visit a new place. On this short 3-night trip, we enjoyed seeing what Lisbon had to offer and checking out the delicious food scene (hint: we didn’t have a bad meal).
Here are some restaurant recommendations I’d like to pass along from my family to yours:
Best Authentic Portuguese Food: Taberna Da Rue Da Flores
In Barrio Alto area, this cozy place is a must-go during your visit. Aside from rave reviews and the fact that my dad couldn’t get a table during his last trip to Lisbon, I knew it was a sign for us to dine here when we found out it was literally across the street from where we were staying at the Martinhal Lisbon Chiado Family Suites.
Reservations are not taken, but Taberna Da Rue Da Flores has a reputation for being super busy, especially on weekends, often with 2+ hour wait times. You’ll definitely have to arrive early to put your name on the list during peak times (doors open at 6). We strolled by one evening and felt like we got lucky when we were able to be seated immediately at 7 pm on a Thursday; I am told that is not typical.
The menu changes every day and is presented on on chalk board. Our friendly waitress took her time to explain the entire menu in perfect English, and each dish is about 10 Euro each (cash only). We ordered 5 dishes plus 2 carafes of house wine, and our bill came out to less than 15 Euro per person. The food was absolutely excellent and the dishes are made to order and delivered one at a time, so come in no hurry to leave. I highly recommend dining here if you can get a table.
Best For Gourmet Quick Eats: Time Out Market
Think huge, high-end food court with lots of local speciality restaurants. The Time Out Market is a great place to grab lunch and a glass of wine, and the food is gourmet and tasty. You simply order whatever dishes you want from a choice of dozens of restaurants and dine in the communal tables in the center. This place gets packed during lunch time, but all of the meals we’ve had here have been delicious.
Best Well-Deserved “Hot Spot”: Cervajaria Ramiro
This is the restaurant made famous by Anthony Bourdain, so expect it to get packed during peak times. We arrived during a very busy time and the wait was very long. The owner was very sympathetic to my kids becoming cranky and impatient because they were hungry and tired, and without asking, he seated us rather quickly. It was a totally unexpected and kind gesture that we truly appreciated!
The service here was outstanding, and probably better than most places I’ve ever dined. Albeit what seemed like chaos in this packed and popular restaurant, the waiters were able to memorize our entire order and brought the dishes out very quickly. I highly recommend trying the tiger shrimp, garlic shrimp, prosciutto pata nero, and the steak sandwiches- which are mouth-watering.
A Can’t-Miss Sweet Stop: Pastéis de Belém
Perhaps the most famous dessert in the history of Lisbon, no trip is complete without a visit to Pastéis de Belém. The “Pastel de Nata” is a signature Portuguese pastry, and is so incredibly delicious- crispy flaky tarts filled with creamy and sweet egg custard, topped with cinnamon and sugar that are so fresh that they’re often served still warm.
There was always a line at this place, but it moved quickly, and we were able to enjoy the beautiful area of Belem while savoring our desserts. Right across the street, there is a beautiful grassy field area and a playground that offers gorgeous views on a nice afternoon.
Best Family-Friendly Cafe: M Bar Family Cafe
We spent our 3 nights in Lisbon at the Martinhal Chiado Lisbon Family Suites, and I can’t stop raving about this place (full review coming soon!). The M Bar Family Cafe is located within the Martinhal and is open to both hotel guests and the public. We enjoyed breakfast every morning here, and it was a perfect spot for those like us who had young kids in tow.
The atmosphere is relaxed, the prices are very reasonable, and everything is made fresh and to order, with friendly service. This is a great breakfast spot or a place to recharge for a quick cappuccino or smoothie while sight-seeing.
We truly felt welcome here as this is part of a family hotel where the presence of young kids is accepted and encouraged. Not to mention, it was so nice being able to enjoy a some moments to myself while watching my little ones play with other preschool-aged children; the red car was a hit!
Dine in a Palace – Really: Palacio Chiado
Also nearby to our hotel was a unique food court that’s worth checking out. How about a royal lunch or dinner? Set in a fabulous former Palace in the center of Lisbon, Palacio Chiado is home to over 6 restaurants and bars that offer impressive, quality food for a great price.
When you enter, you are given a card where you can add food and drink items to your “tab” from the various restaurants, and you pay before you leave. There’s everything from oysters, poke bowls, burgers, and good steaks. I was very impressed with the overall experience.