9 Must-Try Dishes & Desserts in Lisbon (& Where to Find Them)

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Wondering what to eat in Lisbon?

Portugal may not be as popular as neighbouring Spain and other European countries when it comes to food, but it is actually a favourite destination among foodies, especially seafood lovers. And without a doubt, one of the best places to indulge in delicious Portuguese dishes is Lisbon.  

From the much-loved pastel de nata to the popular bacalhau (salted cod fish), there are plenty of delicious dishes and desserts to try in Lisbon.

If you’re looking for the best foods to eat in Lisbon, check out these suggestions by fellow foodies.

Tip: Want to explore Portuguese cuisine with a local? Check out this gourmet food and wine tour of Lisbon led by a local guide.

What to eat in Lisbon | Bacalhau is a very popular dish in Lisbon
Bacalhau is a very popular dish in Lisbon.

Delicious dishes in Lisbon

1. Bacalhau at Antonia Petiscos Portugueses 

“Bacalhau is a common Portuguese dish of dried and salted cod. One wonderful place to try bacalhau in Lisbon is Antonia Petiscos Portugueses.

This small neighbourhood restaurant serves traditional Portuguese dishes in Bairro Alto. Plenty of dishes on the menu are delicious, from the classic Portuguese steak to the popular octopus, but you must try their bacalhau. The cod dish is perfectly seasoned and served with a side, such as rice or potatoes. Make sure not to overlook the wine list — pair your bacalhau with a glass of local vinho.  

The draw of this restaurant goes beyond the menu. With its cozy atmosphere, eclectic decorations, and friendly staff, you’ll find yourself feeling right at home.”  

Carly from Papers and Airplanes

Bacalhau a Bras | What to eat in Lisbon
Bacalhau a Bras. Photo by Emily from Wander-Lush.

2. Bacalhau à brás at Grelha Do Carmo  

“With more than 1,000 miles of coastline, it’s hardly surprising that seafood is a big deal in Portugal. If, like me, you’re not a huge fan of fish, the traditional dish bacalhau à brás is a great way to sample salted cod without it being too overbearing.  

Bacalhau à brás is a traditional Portuguese dish that’s thought to have originated right here in Lisbon’s old quarter, on the streets of Barrio Alto. It’s made from shredded salted cod fish cooked with onions and topped with potatoes and egg. It’s pan-fried, and the contrast between the crispy matchstick potatoes and soft fish is heavenly. The dish is typically served with olives, parsley, and a big squeeze of lemon.  

I highly recommend trying the bacalhau à brás at Grelha Do Carmo. Located in downtown Lisbon, just footsteps from Carmo Convent, this intimate restaurant has a dozen or so tables and lovely views from the street-facing windows.”  

Emily from Wander-Lush

Grilled sea bass. Photo by Laura & Charlie from The Travelling Stomach.

3. Grilled Sea Bass at Ultimo Porto  

“Hidden away amongst the sea containers stacked along the port near the famous Ponte 25 de Abril is Ultimo Porto, where you can watch your fresh fish grilled on open hot coals before you. If you’re driving, you’ll probably question whether you’re going the right way as you travel out along the port towards what seems a fairly remote place for a restaurant.  

However, on your arrival you’ll find it bustling with locals and you may have to wait for a table. Along with the rest of the country, you will find a menu flowing with fresh fish, be it swordfish, sea bass or octopus, and which will be tossed onto one of their outdoor barbecues, all whilst you savour one of the well-priced bottles of Portuguese white wines. A hidden gem, here you will be able to enjoy some of the best fish in the city all whilst avoiding the typical tourist bustle.”  

Laura and Charlie from The Travelling Stomach

Vegan meals in Lisbon | What to eat in LIsbon
Tempeh Burger. Photo by Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan.

4. Tempeh Burger at Hamburgueria do Bairro  

“I’ve eaten quite a few burgers in Lisbon, and my favourite is probably the tempeh burger at Hamburgueria do Bairro. The name of this place translates to something like “the local neighbourhood hamburger joint”.

They actually have six locations in different parts of Lisbon, so no matter which neighbourhood you’re in, your probably not far from one of them.   They serve no fewer than 17 different types of burgers, 5 of which are veggie burgers. And they’ve recently reprinted their menu to clearly mark which of the veggie burgers are vegan. This makes Hamburgueria do Bairro a great option for mixed groups of veggies and omnivores eating out together in Lisbon.  

Since I’m vegan, I stick to the vegan burgers, and of these, the tempeh burger is the clear winner for me. No mushy patties here; this one is a hearty, downright meaty burger. And be sure to order a side of sweet potato fries to go with it!”  

Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

Cured ham & bread. Photo by Claire from The Tales of a Backpacker

5. Pata Negra Cured Ham at Manteigaria Silva  

“I visited Manteigaria Silva as part of a food tour in Lisbon, and immediately fell in love. It is a beautiful delicatessen, with a large selection of cheeses, cured meats, tinned fish, alcohol and salted cod, among other delicacies. There is an old wine barrel outside where you can stand and enjoy some of the produce. We tried some of the Pata Negra ham with a glass of wine, and some bread and olive oil.

Pata Negra ham is made from a special breed of Black Iberian Pigs which feed off acorns, giving the meat a unique flavour. Pata Negra ham is cured for at least 12 months and is definitely something you have to try in Portugal as it is smooth, rich and incredibly delicious.”  

Claire Sturzaker from Tales of a Backpacker

Chocolate cake. Photo by Michelle from Intentional Travelers.

Delicious desserts in Lisbon

6. The Chocolate Cake at Landeau Chocolate  

“This is arguably one of the best chocolate cakes we’ve ever tried. With a couple different layers, a predominantly mousse-y texture, and dark cacao powder on top, it is perfection. Landeau also has coffee, which pairs well with the cake, and drinking chocolate.

There are two locations for Landeau, one in the LX Factory and another closer into the centre of town. Both have stylish interiors and special touches. Whether you’re dining in or taking cake to go, it feels like a real treat.”  

Michelle from Intentional Travelers

Tigelada | What to eat in Lisbon
Tigelada. Photo by Zornitsa from This Life of Travel.

7. Tigelada at Chiado Caffe  

“We were reluctant to try Chiado Caffe as it was only few steps away from the famous yellow tram stop in Chiado, so we thought it would be some kind of tourist trap.

Boy, were we wrong about that! Every single pastry we ordered was outstanding, fresh, and full of eggy yumminess. There were also a decent number of locals in there! I highly recommend trying tigelada – a traditional Azorean Custard recipe. It is a delicious dessert that resembles creme-brulee and goes really well with a cup of coffee.”  

Zornitsa from This Life of Travel

Bolo Bolacha. Photo by Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan.

8. Bolo Bolacha at Jardim das Cerejas  

“Bolo Bolacha is a traditional dessert in Portugal, and the literal translation of the name is “Cookie Cake”. The cake consists of several layers of cookies piled on top of each other, with a creamy filling in between each layer. The particular cookie used to make this cake is a simple, round, dry cookie called a Maria cookie, which is very popular in Portugal.  

The best bolo bolacha I’ve ever tasted is at Jardim das Cerejas, a restaurant in the heart of Lisbon, in the central Chiado district. They serve different flavors of the cake, such as mango, coconut and chocolate versions, so it’s always a surprise to see which one they have each time I visit. There’s always at least one bolo bolacha in the dessert case, and it’s always delicious!  

I love it that they use very thick cream layers in between the cookie layers. And the best part is that their cake is made with plant-based cream. So even visitors who are lactose intolerant or vegan can still enjoy this traditional Portuguese dessert!”  

Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

Pastel de nata | What to eat in Lisbon
Pasteis de nata. Photo by Alice Butenko on Unsplash.

9. Pastel de Belem at Fabrica dos Pasteis de Belem  

“Belem cakes are one of the typical specialities of the country, and we all know that Portuguese food is among the world’s best cuisines. Fabrica dos Pasteis de Belem is a must-visit when you’re in the Belém neighborhood, which also has other attractions such as the Torre de Belem, the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belem Cultural Center.  

The recipe for Belém cakes is a secret, but what is certain is that they are slightly different from pasteis de nata. The filling for pasteis de nata is made with cream, while pasteis de Belém are made with egg and sugar, which gives them a yellowish color and a more intense flavor.  

These sweets have their origin in the 19th century when Jerónimos Monastery monks began to make them as a way of life. As the monastery attracted many visitors, the cakes also became very popular. Nowadays, the best way to taste them is to visit the cafeteria and factory of the Pastels of Belém, where they are produced and sold.  

During high tourist season in Lisbon (especially on weekends), you may have to queue to be able to sit down. But sitting is optional. If you just want to buy them, there is a counter at the door where the pasteis are sold nicely wrapped as a Lisbon souvenir in hexagonal boxes. They last up to three days.”  

Inma from A World To Travel

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Daniela Frendo

Daniela Frendo

Hi! I'm a Maltese blogger based in Scotland. I created Grumpy Camel to help travellers connect with places through culture, history and cuisine.
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