Lisbon and Porto Best Budget Eating
Arrived in Lisbon and sifting through the board for recs (thanks all for many great suggestions). I didn't see a post on this topic specifically so I'll start it here. The French have this term I love : bon rapport qualité prix--basically good quality / price ratio.
I'm wondering if we might compile a list of great budget restaurants in Lisbon and Porto. I'm thinking local, authentic and cheap places that offer great food at great prices. The kind of typical places with no english menus and speakers, where you just have to wing it in Portuguese and hope for the best. I'm sure some of the restaurants on vinhotinto's list or those mentioned in in other posts fit the bill, but I'm not precisely sure which ones. As I discover some, I'll post them too.
I went to Porto in April and fell in love. You know when people tell you booze is cheap in cities, then you go and it's the same as any other city, Porto has very inexpensive booze, you can get a beer in a pub for .80 cent!!! We ordered a glass of wine in a restaurant for 8 Euros and it turned out to be a bottle!! Our best meal was Larica, it is a tiny space that seats about 20 people, the entrance is a top/bottom double door and you have to ring a bell, a real bell, not a doorbell, to let you in. I walked by it, instantly I knew that is where we were eating. We had a wonderful meal and it was under 30 Euro for two and this is where we had the 8 Euro wine!!!
I had the BEST sangria, I have ever had in my life at the Bull and Bear, this is a more trendy, modern restaurant, really delicious, we blew it out and our bill was 60 Euro a couple! The sangria photo is the Bull and Bear. If you try the sangria, make sure you try the white one, not the red.
We took the train and went to Pinhao for a day trip, near the train there is a little Port tasting room, we had white port, tonic water and lemon slices!!!! You have to drink some of these. If you want to see my Pinhao photos, go to Facebook and look up Poprock Photography and there is an album Pinhao.
Most places that I normally recommend tend to be in the moderate or "cheap and cheerful" category since most of the time I rather cook at home in my apartment in Lisbon rather than eat out. That being said, most regular restaurants in Lisbon tend to be rather affordable in comparison to the rest of Europe.
Also, while I know you are looking for places where there will be few tourists, I never see that as a concern in Lisbon. The multi-lingual menu is normally a thing restricted to a few streets in the Baixa. Otherwise, even though most Portuguese are multi-lingual, here are ones where you will not see many tourists or non-Portuguese speakers:
Restaurant/Grill Lamosa (Rua do Salitre - Near the Rato Metro Stop)
O Churrasco da Graça (In the Largo da Graça)
Cervejaria e Marisqueira Barcabela (Near the Martim Moniz Metro Stop right where Avenida Almirante Reis begins; Some claim this is a rough area, but just be careful)
Cervejaria Jaguar (Av. Conde Valbom - Near the Gulbenkian)
Bonjardim (Sit upstairs to be with the "locals." This sounds too much like Bourdain or Rick Steves!)
Esquina da Fé (Rua da Fé: on a hidden pedestrian inclined street area is known as São José) ** There are also a bunch of places on the Rua São José that are very small, affordable, and local.
A Granja Velha (Baixa - Rua dos Douradores) A good place for lunch during the week or on Saturday. Many longstanding residents (age-wise) like this place for lunch.
Restaurante e Cervejaria Jerónimos (Rua de Belém)
There are tons of others, however I'm not sure how far people are willing to venture to the suburbs and over to Almada where the majority of Lisboners now live.
Great suggestions all. We watched the Portugal North Korea match over lunch at Esquina da Fe, Was happy to try some slightly saucier dishes there, with a tomato based sauce.
At Barcabela had an incredibly delicious rice with lobster, for a bargain price of 14.95. It was enough for two. We tried some of the mariscos there and liked the clams a lot. The cold shrimp (maybe the Mozambique camarao) were tough to eat and yielded not so much meat. I think I need a primer on what to for in those cold marisqueria windows that isn't too expensive and offers more rewards for my labour.