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Apr 6, 2009 09:23 AM

Girls dinner/lunch Lisbon

Hi Chowhounds,

Been reading all your Lisbon suggestions with interest and was hoping I could trouble you for a few specific suggestions for our trip. There are 6 of us ladies heading to Lisbon for the weekend in a fortnight and I'd love some suggestions for brunch/lunch/dinner venues. We love good food and wine and are in town from Fri eve to Sun night, we wouldnt mind splashing out for a slightly more pricey/swanky/formal meal on one night and keeping it more cheap and cheerful another night (maybe even somewhere we dont have to reserve) - however we are from London so used to spending quite a bit even on supposedly "cheap" meals! We'd prefer a mix of different dishes in the restaurants, not all of us are fish lovers for example, so we need to cater for us all. We like somewhere with a nice buzzy atmosphere and good service - altho not a nightclubby/bar type place where people are dancing/getting hammered while you're trying to eat (We're lively but not rowdy!) - and also like to be able to linger and take a while rather than being rushed out. If possible I would also love to try some traditional Portuguese food whilst we're there, prob would prefer not to go to a Chinese or Italian restaurant for example even if its amazing. Finally if there's anywhere good with a view or round tables (personal preference - I hate being stuck at the end of a long table!) that would be fab!!!!

Also any bar recommendations welcome.

Thanks so much in advance for your help. What a great site!


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  1. Based on some of your preferences, the following places might be of interest. Many of these are more pricey options for Lisbon (yet bargains compared with London!). While I've had great meals in some of the pricier restaurants in Lisbon, I've also had just as good ones at bargain places. If you are interested in some bargain locations, let me know.

    Lisboa à Noite (Bairro Alto) - Offers fantastic food in a very modern atmosphere with some nice round and large tables. All regions of Portuguese cuisine are on the menu, so there is a nice division of all types of dishes. Very good wine list too. Decent prices as well.

    Some other suggestions:

    Café Alcântara (Alcântara) - a bit quirky atmosphere with very cool architecture

    Via Graça (Graça) - not terribly lively, but wonderful Portuguese/continental cuisine with remarkable views of Lisbon. Large tables as well.

    Bica do Sapato (Santa Apolonia) - A Trendy eatery, restaurant, and bar. Good food and also partly owned by John Malkovich. I've had good and so-so meals here.

    Faz Figura - Although seafood shines here, there are other options which are very good. The bar and restaurant have wonderful views of the Tejo and Lisbon.

    3 Replies
    1. re: vinhotinto75

      Thanks Vinhotinto, I was looking foward to your reponse and this is just what I was looking for. I will look into your suggestions and will also let you know how we get on after the weekend away.

      I would also be interested in your bargain suggestions, if its not too much trouble.

      Thanks again,


      1. re: vinhotinto75

        Just wanted to say thanks for the suggestions. We went to Lisboa a Noite on our first night and we really enjoyed it. Lovely round table so we could all talk to each other and the waiter recommended a gorgeous red wine that we definitely drank too much of! We shared starters, including the pineapple carpaccio with black pudding which was an interesting and tasty contrast and the mushrooms in cream sauce - yummy! We also had garlic sausage, the flavour was good but the texture was slightly mushy which we all found a little strange. Main courses, 3 of us had grouper fish which came with mashed potato and was amazing and the other three had steak which was also devoured very quickly and enjoyed! The restaurant was busy but service still decent and I also liked seeing the fish tank when you walk in. The location was good too, so near to the Bairro Alto to go out after. The only disappointment was the dessert. The waiters wheeled a trolley round through our entire meal and they all looked fab so we were looking forward to trying them. We had a tiramisu, a chocolate cake and a cheesecake and were unfortunately disappointed by them all. Overall good value for money though and I'd also like to mention there was a non smoking and smoking area of the restaurant and they were kept very separate which was good.

        Whilst we were there we also ate at Chapito on a recommendation of another friend- lovely view over Lisbon but shame for us it was raining and it was slightly out of the way although if you're at the castle its not too far. Food decent, we were there for lunch so had sandwiches which were OK and also calamari which was also just OK.

        We also ate the Sunday brunch at Estufa Real at the Botanical Gardens - we wanted a nice place to celebrate as one of the girls is getting married very soon. Lovely surroundings and so nice to stroll in the gardens afterward. The brunch was all you can eat, quite a lot of fish and seafood so was more lunchy than what I consider breakfast (although there was scrambled egg and bacon). All the food was fresh and lovely, the platters of food were restocked frequently and the desserts were also very good. I particularly like the passion fruit and chocolate mousses and the poached pears. Complimentary glass of sparkling wine and espresso to finish were a nice touch. Was slightly more expensive but we all agreed it was worth it for the surroundings and the quality of the food. Slightly out of the way as well.

        I cant wait to go back to Lisbon and try some of the other places I've read so much about, we simply didnt have long enough!

        1. re: SissyGreen

          So glad that you liked Lisboa à Noite. The few times that I've been there I've found the service to be efficient, friendly, and not instrusive. They also own a more bistrôt style restaurant next door, O Ponto Vermelho," on the Rua das Gáveas which has very good food. Both places also have nice and cheap wines lists with some lesser-known varietals and producers including Chocopalha.

          I haven't been to the Chapito in a long time, although I seem to recall the same experience in that it is more about ambience rather than food. There are a few places like this in any city, and sometimes for a casual lunch, it is worth it.

          Ok - now I'm hungy and craving a glass of vinho tinto and a bica!

      2. I had a very good lunch recently at the Brasserie of the Hotel Tivoli on Avenida da Liberdade; Perfect for a quiet lunch (and open everyday) for a very traditional, old Portuguese fashion service and really good Franco-Portuguese food (including fresh oysters), watching the passers-by on the avenue. Probabluy need to book for a round table by the windows; Look up:

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