Praia da Adraga – on the edge of mainland Europe one of the
most spectacular restaurant views?
Spending a substantial part of February in Lisbon is a decidedly attractive occupation. Although there is a good chance of rain, the temperatures are normally considerably higher than those in London and when the sun shines the sky is a brilliant blue.
The centre of Lisbon is beautiful and the people are very friendly with the exception of the pickpockets who inhabit some of the trams.
Eating out in Lisbon is a serious business. There are literally hundreds of restaurants and cafés. Many of these are remarkably cheap – catering for the Portuguese workers who often eat a substantial weekday lunch. Fortunately, in my experience, it is difficult to eat a bad meal in Lisbon. I cannot, however, claim to have eaten in more than a small sample of Lisbon’s restaurants and I do make a point of eschewing restaurants where waiters wave menus in my face as I pass.
We always eat a lot of fish and shellfish when we are in Lisbon. Plainly grilled fish is often fantastic, although a few places have a tendency to over salt the fish.
Here is a selection of some of my favourite restaurants in Lisbon and the surrounding area. I have listed them in alphabetical order:
Casa dos Passarinhos (Campo d’Ourique)
Every neighbourhood should have a restaurant as good as this. The grilled fish is always excellent and amazingly cheap for the quality – a turbot shared between two is around 25€, while a sole is 13/14€. It also possible to enjoy the perfectly drinkable wine of the week for 5€! Not surprising that it is busy, especially on Fridays and Saturday. If you have to wait for a table you can always help yourself to some Moscatel or Port to help pass the time.
Rua Silva Carvalho, 195 Lisbon
Tel: 21 388 2346
Restaurante O David, Alcantara
This was a happy recent find. The shellfish restaurant I had seen frequently when passing on the bus heading to Belém and fancied trying turned out to be closed, so we decided to try O David, which is a very typical Portuguese restaurant but as is so often the case we were made welcome, were well looked after and enjoyed our clams – ameijoas a bolhao pato, prawns in garlic and then a substantial crab. Around 100€ for four but could be much cheaper if you didn’t go for the crab.
Address: Rua Prior do Crato 132, 1350 Lisbon
Phone: 21 390 6307
2014 Tinto Vulcânico wine from the Azores –
an excellent recommendation from Pedro!
This is a great wine bar, which opened in April 2003, in the heart of the Bairro Alta. It is run by Pedro Jorge Marques (Pedrão) with Vitalina Marques, the chef operating from the associated restaurant on the other side of the street. They are ably assisted by Paulo Pontes. The petiscos are delicious – duck in pastry is a particular favourite. Pedro knows his Portuguese wines so I’m always happy to follow his advice.
Open until early in the morning it is little wonder that this small, atmospheric and friendly bar has become a meeting place for winelovers in Lisbon.
125 do Diário de Notícias 125, 1200-143 Lisboa
Phone: 21 343 3079
In Lisbon’s Carnide suburb this is a traditional, family-run Alentejo restaurant with very good food and an extensive list of Portuguese wines.
Rua Adelaide Cabete, 1500-023 Lisboa, Lisbon 1500-023 lisboa, Portugal
Tel: 21 711 1088
Pensão Sisudo, Almoçageme
Friendly restaurant in the village above Praia da Adraga beach and not far from the small town of Colares. Here you will find great home cooking with a modern twist plus an interesting wine list including local wines – both from the village and from Colares.
Largo Miguel Bombarda 14, Almoçageme, 2705-029 Colares
Phone:21 929 1507
This is a leading new style strongly Japanese influenced Lisbon fish restaurant. It opened in December and features as executive head chef, Filipe Rodrigues, who used to be the chef at the similarly styled Sea Me. Up in the Saldana district, Rabo d’Pexe is potentially excellent, I would opt for some starters followed by sashimi. Good wine list.
Av. Duque de Ávila 42, 1050-053 Lisboa
Telephone: 21 314 1605
A short walk up from Martin Moniz, Ramiro is probably Lisbon’s best-known seafood restaurant. It is also probably the most popular, so you may well have to queue to get in on most days. Quality of the shellfish is very high.
Avenida Almirante Reis 1, Lisbon 1150-007, Portugal
Phone: 21 885 1024
Restaurante Praia da Adraga
Praia da Adraga must be one of the most unspoilt beaches close to any major city in Europe. There are no hotels, high-rise apartments towering over the beach, no souvenir shops – only a restaurant and café. The Restaurante Praia da Adraga is justly famous for its fish and shellfish. The crab here is particularly recommended. Try to get a table by the window so you can gaze out over the beach and out in the Atlantic – only the Azores between this beach and the USA. Booking pretty essential at weekends and during the summer.
Tel: 915 225 592
Taberna das Flores
André Magalhães is a magician. His inventive cooking – a series of small dishes – makes a table at his small restaurant in the Rua-das-Flores a hot ticket with people prepared to queue for a long time to squeeze in. Great food and well worth the effort!
Rua das Flores 103, 1200-194 Lisboa
Phone:21 347 9418