Eating in Lisbon.
We are heading to Lisbon in 4 weeks and are looking for good portuguese food that is not fine dining. We prefer more rustic restaurants/bars and love food shops! Any suggestions would be much appreciated. We only have 3 days so I really want to make them count.
If you'll be visiting the Belem section of Lisbon to see sites like the Tower of Belem, the Jeronimos Monastery, and the Discoverers Monument, do this early in the day. The Monastery opens at 10:00 AM but Pasteis de Belem, the home of the sinfully rich, awesomely delicious warm egg custard pastries will be open before that. If you go earlier, the lines will be shorter. At 9:10 AM we walked into the shop with no line whatsoever and purchased the pastries for take-away. Hours later, leaving the Belem area, we passed a line that stretched for well over a block.
If you buy these for take-away, you'll be given a little packet of cinnamon and one of icing sugar taped to the bag with the pastries. I didn't use either of these. I didn't think anything should interfere with the pure custard deliciousness, but plenty of folks think otherwise. There's a park across the street from the monastery that makes an excellent place to eat the pastries.
For a distinctly non-fine-dining experience you can try Cafe Beira Gare on Largo do Duque de Cadaval, famous for its bifana. For fresh fish and seafood don't miss Cervejeria Ramiro. And if you like wine, Wine Bar do Castelo near the castle has an excellent selection by the glass with good Portuguese cheeses.
Conserveira de Lisboa is a great place for excellent canned seafood - really nicely decorated cans.
Mercearia da Atalaia is a nice shop for wine, liquors, chocolates, and assorted artisanal/gourmet Portuguese foods
There are plenty of simple restaurants, and in my few visits I've found a few that I like but I honestly have no idea if there's better - discussions of the lower end of the spectrum in Lisbon are a little sparse on this board, at least that's my impression.
I like Casa da India for simple grilled fish, though I'm sure the fact that they're in guidebooks disqualifies it for some. A Nossa Churrasqueira is good for grilled chicken with piri piri. I'd suggest taking the time to track down a great grilled chicken. I like the bar of Cervejaria a Berlenga, around the corner from A Ginjinha, for beers and bifanas (a pork sandwich).