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Jun 29, 2010 03:32 AM

Hotel and Restaurant for 50th Birthday

My husband will be 50 in a couple of months time so i'm taking him to Lisbon for a long weekend.

I've been looking at hotels and can't decide between Heritage Av Liberdade and Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade.

We arrive on the Friday morning and my husband's birthday is on the Saturday. My husband is a real meat eater, lamb, pork beef, veal. I enjoy my meat but i do love fish, prawns squid etc. Can someone recommend a restaurant that will cater for both our needs? We'd like somewhere that's not too formal, smart but casual if you know what i mean. Also a bar that we can go to after for cocktails maybe.

We have been to Lisbon before but it was years ago. We were with our youngest son but unfortunately he broke his arm whilst in Lisbon so bad that they thought they'd have to operate so most of our time was spent in the hospital.


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  1. Both hotels are very chic and in good locations so you will be able to walk to most places in the Baixa and along the Avenida da Liberdade.

    I think a place that you can certainly walk quickly to from both hotels, and which has excellent seafood and meat dishes is the Solar dos Presuntos. The fish is excellent and their non fish and shellfish dishes are fantastic. Service and ambience is nice, but not too fussy as well.

    If you are looking to go somewhere after for a glass of wine/port and/or dessert, you could head to the Chafariz do Vinho which is closer to the Sofitel (albeit it is up the Rua da Mãe d'Água which is a steep climb).

    Another wine bar close to the Chafariz on the same street is Os Goliardos

    Lastly, another hotel, restaurant, and bar worth checking out is at Tivoli Lisboa on the Avenida da Liberdade. They have a sky bar, Terraço, which overlooks Lisbon and on a clear day/night it has a fantastic view.

    Likewise, they have a restaurant, Brasserie Flo, which also has fantastic food. Here is the link for the Terraço Restaurant, but you can also find out more info about the hotel and their other restaurants such as the Brasserie Flo too.

    Boa Sorte and please let me know if I can assist in other ways!

    9 Replies
    1. re: vinhotinto75

      Hi Vinho,

      Thank you for your recommendations i've had a look at Solar dos Presuntos and i will definately be booking for my husband's birthday.

      Last time we were in Lisbon we did manage go to the Oceanarium and Belem are there any other attractions you can recommend and also more places to eat. We arrive in Lisbon on a Friday, mid-morning, and leave on Tuesday morning.

      If i'm allowed i'd also like to fit in a couple of hours shopping.


      1. re: chez5770

        I have posted quite significantly on this forum over the past 18 months, so you can certainly look up other posts to see some recommendations for places to eat in Lisbon. Here is an abbreviated version and organized via geography:

        Baixa (Rossio, Praça da Figueira, Avenida da Liberdade, São José)

        Solar dos Presuntos (Seafood especially, but also Portuguese regional cuisine)
        Esquina da Fé (Regional Portuguese cuisine)
        Bonjardim (Famous for the Roasted Chicken)
        Forninho do Saloio (Grilled Meats, Poultry, Fish)
        Nektar (Wine bar, petiscos, and full dinner menu)
        João do Grão (bacalhau, fish, regional cuisine)
        Cervejaria and Marisqueira Barcabela (regional Pt food)
        Brasserie Flo (upscale, good price fixe)
        Bar Terraço (overlooking the entire city in the Tivoli Lisboa)

        Bairro Alto and Chiado (including Príncipe Real, Praça das Flores, São Bento)

        Sinal Vermelho (Regional Portuguese Cuisine)
        Lisboa à Noite (Regional Portuguese Cuisine a bit more upscale)
        25 de Abril (inside the 25 de Abril Cultural Center)
        Água do Bengo (Luso-African Cuisine; Angolan Especially)
        Estrela Morena (Cape Verdean and Portuguese Cuisine)
        Restaurante da Mãe Preta (Angolan and Luso-African Cuisine)
        Comida de Santo (Regional Brazilian Food; particularly Northeastern Brazil)
        Primeiro de Maio (Cheap and Cheerful Regional Cuisine)
        Tágide (Romantic, Upscale and with a fantastic view)
        Café São Bento (good Portuguese Steak and Fries)
        Café Buenos Aires (small Argentine place, excellent salads)
        O Caracol (traditional Portuguese cuisine)


        Churrasco da Graça (simple neighborhood place; grilled food, cheap; cash only)
        Via Graça (upscale, yet affordable with great views of the city)
        Kaetano's (upscale, but non-pretentious and affordable)
        Faz Figura (has it's ups and downs, but very good when it is on)
        Senhora Mãe (Alfama; excellent wine list and service, good steaks)
        Papas (Tiny place in lower Alfama near the Sé de Lisboa Cathedral)

        Caçilhas (Other side of Rio Tejo; Take the boat from Cais do Sodré for 80 cents each way)

        O Farol (Cervejaria and Excellent Fish)
        Atira-te ao Rio (Brazilian food with fantastic views of Lisbon and the River)
        O Ponto Final (Portuguese Food and excellent views too)

        Some other ideas:

        If you have done the usual things like visit Belém (always worth another visit), Alfama, Graça, Chiado, and the Baixa, then I might suggest going to Sintra, Cascais, Estoril, etc. for at least a day. Remember that it will be summer, so those places will be crowded. If you haven't been to any of them, Sintra probably merits the visit, yet all of them have their charms.

        On the other hand, if you didn't really get to see too much of the city last time, I would suggest just walking. Lisboa is one the most unique cities to explore on foot due to the layout of the city. Likewise, you can also get some 3 day travel pass from the City Tourism dept which gives you access to transport, museums, etc. I don't know the price, but I think it is a decent deal.

        Likewise, while it would be a day trip and a bit further than say Sintra or Cascais, you could always go to Coimbra, Mafra, or Évora for a day trip. Trains and buses run all day to all of them (especially buses to Évora) so that would be something worth considering.

        Lastly, if you enjoy wine, don't forget to go do some FREE tastings on Friday and Saturday at ViniPortugal in the Praço do Comercio.

        Shopping: best day is to do this on Saturday am in the Baixa and Chiado and then have lunch. Still, like many cities globally, the shopping malls in Amoreiras and out near the Parque das Nações (Expo 1998) are always packed and have the more upscale stores like the boutiques in Chiado and parts of the Bairro Alto and the Avenida da Liberdade. I tend to go to Chiado on Saturdays and visit the used book stalls for rare and out of print materials for my library and collection.

        Let me know if you have any questions.

        Boa Viagem!

        1. re: vinhotinto75

          Hi vinhotino75,

          Once again thank you for all your help.

          Well i will be in Lisbon in 10 days with my husband to celebrate his bithday.
          We will be arriving in Lisbon Friday lunchtime and i'm hoping that we will be able to eat at Bonjardim Friday evening. For Saturday, his actual birthday I've booked a table in the evening at Solar dos Presuntos. Instead of a wine bar after dinner i would like to go for Cocktails can you recemmend somewhere please?

          I now need two restaurants for Sunday and Monday, which will be our last night in Lisbon. Out of the restaurants on your list which ones would you recommend. I think on the Sunday we might just like something light, again no fish for my husband.


          1. re: chez5770


            Many restaurants are closed on Sunday's (and some Monday's) in Lisbon, so perhaps you might want to move Bonjardim to Sunday evening or lunch since you will be eating something light. You can always just order 1/2 chicken with salad and sides of choice.

            Aside from the Tivoli, you might also want to check out some of the other "chic" hotels like the Bairro Alto Hotel in the Praça Camões. They have a bar and a room with a nice panorama of Lisboa as well. The Belém Altis Hotel and Spa also has a fantastic room and view for a cocktail should you happen to be in that area of Lisboa!


            I certainly would spend Saturday morning in Chiado, the Baixa, and parts of the Bairro Alto as there are tons of little boutiques, shops, and cafés to frequent instead of being in a shopping mall.

            Another option for Sunday or Monday dinner could be Café de São Bento which has excellent steaks prepared in various ways and frites done in a Portuguese-mode.

            For Monday, perhaps one place worth searching out would be Restuarante Trempe in the Campo de Ourique. They serve fantastic cuisine from the Alentejo region of Portugal and prices, service, and ambience is simple, yet welcoming. The food is usually fantastic too!


            If you search the archives, I've also suggested some of the more "upscale" trendy places by popular chefs that have opened if you want to go in that direction too. Likewise, if you wanted to go simple, cheap, or moderately priced, I have recommended many of these places too and would be happy to answer any questions.

            Boa Sorte!

            1. re: vinhotinto75

              Bom dia,

              I have changed our accommodation to an apartment in Chiado so i think Saturday morning will be spent walking, and shopping, in the area.

              Vinhotinto your restaurant choices there are so many to choose from i think i will have to arrange another trip to Lisbon to fit them in. One last question where do you recommend we eat on Friday when we arrive. We have a very early morning flight from London on Friday morning so hoping to get to the apartment have a rest, freshen up and then out late afternoon/early evening.

              Once again obrigada.


              1. re: chez5770


                My suggestion for enjoying Lisbon upon arrival on Friday would be stroll around the city after you have been situated and enjoy a pastry, coffee, or tea at any one of Lisboa's famed Confeitarias or Pastelarias in the morning before lunch or late afternoon. For more details on coffee and some of the best cafés in Lisboa, see my suggestions from this thread from not too long ago.


                If you enjoy wine, I would maybe suggest sometime in the afternoon of heading down to the newly remodelled Praço do Comercio and visiting ViniPortugal where you can taste 4-6 wines (generous pours) for free. They feature three of Portugal's wine regions each month and the institute and setting is friendly and welcoming. You could always go to the Institutos dos Vinho do Douro e Porto in the Bairro Alto, but I must confess that I find service and the setting to be a bit sterile. I really only go there when somebody I know really enjoys Vinho do Porto and wants to try some older vintages for a good price.

                If wine is not your thing, there are always more cafés, museums, shops, streets, and parks to explore throughout the city, including Belém. Also, I neglected to mention that the Hotel do Chiado also has a rooftop bar called "Entretanto" where you can enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine.

                For Friday dinner, I wouldn't be hampered by geography, since taxi's and public transport in Lisbon is cheap and convenient. Still, if you wanted to walk, you could go to the following which I mention earlier in the thread as well as some others:

                Three newer trendy places in Chiado/Bairro Alto:

                Clara Chiado

                Largo Restaurante

                Restaurante 560

                Other good options in Chiado/Bairo Alto

                O Caracol
                Sinal Vermelho
                Lisboa à Noite

                As always, feel free to let me know if I can be of assitance, and I hope that you enjoy your time in LX.

                Boa Sorte!

                1. re: vinhotinto75

                  Hi Vinhotinto,

                  Well we got back from Lisbon on Tuesday evening and we had a reallly good time.
                  Once again thank you for your recommendations.

                  Our flight was delayed on Friday so we didn't arrive as early as we were suppposed to so whilst our walking Friday evening we came across Sacremento which was quite close to our apartment and decided to eat there.

                  Shopped in Chiado and the Baixa on Saturday morning. Then went to Bairro Alto Hotel, the view is spectacular from the terrace bar, for cocktails before we went to Solar dos Presuntos for my husband's birthday meal which was gorgeous.

                  Sunday morning caught the metro to Eduardo VII Park walked back and had lunch at Bonjardim. Sunday night we ate at Cafe de Sao Bento.

                  On Monday my husband was feeling to good, over indulgence i think, so i suggested he stayed in bed for the morning and catch up on some sleep while i went out for a walk. So off i went on my own for a few hours when i returned to the apartment, after coffee, a pastry, glass of wine and something to eat my husband was feeling much better. But that time on my own was really nice, my husband won't be reading this. Monday afternoon we went to Belem and in the evening we ate at Clara Chiado if anyone does go i suggest they try the rack of lamb with raspberry sauce, delicious.

                  Had a really wonderful time in Lisbon and i will be back. I have a special birthday in a couple of years so maybe if i hint loud enough my husband will bring me back to Lisbon!


                  1. re: chez5770

                    @ Chez

                    I'm glad to hear that your time in Lisboa was enjoyable. It sounds like you had some good food as well as relaxation too.

                    I highly recommend visiting other Portuguese cities such as Porto, Évora, Coimbra, Viseu, as well as the entire province of Alentejo if you want to explore more regional Portuguese flavors and cuisine so maybe you could do that on your next trip!

        2. re: chez5770

          I second the Tivoli and specially the Brasserie Flo., but I always have a soft spot for Gambrinus:
          May be you ought to visit the Gulbenkian Museum if you have not seen it yet:
          For serious shopping, why not El Corte Ingles. It has it all under one roof, including a Gourmet shop downstairs next to a large food supermarket.
          Shopping in Lisbon nowadays is concentrated in vast commercial precincts like the Colombo or the Amoreiras shopping Centres. Or walk up and down Liberdade, or the Chiado, or anywhere in Lisbon and follow your nose. Lisbon is like Paris, a city where it is pleaseant to walk...