Known affectionately as the City of Seven Hills, Lisbon is an ideal city for working up an appetite. And oh, how good it is to be hungry in Lisbon—I would return to the capital every year just for the ambrosia-like pasteis de nata (custard tarts) and fish so fresh it’s still chilled from the icy water of the Atlantic Ocean.
Melding traditional Portuguese flavors and international flair, Lisbon’s cuisine is both comforting and surprising. Whether you want to enjoy hearty and traditional meals such as bacalhau à brás (salt cod mixed with fried potato shards) from a family-owned tasca or experience modern takes at chic fine-dining restaurants, here’s how to eat your way around Lisbon in just three days.
Even in winter, you’re still likely to break a sweat when tackling Lisbon’s elevated terrain—layers are your friend.
If you only have time for one thing, make it Time Out Market Lisboa, where most of Lisbon’s best dishes are represented.
Kick off your eating adventure in Alfama, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Lisbon. In the shadow of ancient monuments such as the 8th-century St. George’s Castle and Lisbon Cathedral, you’ll find no-frills taverns serving fried sardines, croqueta de bacalao (salt cod croquettes), and traditional couverts, which comprise fresh bread, olives, and fish paste.
Next, feast your eyes on sweeping views from the Miradouro da Graça lookout point before you head downhill to Time Out Market Lisbon in Cais do Sodré. Here, you’ll find specially-selected stalls selling everything from rustic braised octopus and croquettes to small plates from Michelin-starred chefs.
Tonight is all about Portugal’s world-famous wine. Pleasure your palate on a wine-tasting tour or look out for varietals made using grapes from Alenquer, Bucelas, Colares, and Carcavelos when you visit the bottle-lined bars of BytheWine, Graça de Vino, and Baco Alto.
This morning, let a local take you behind Lisbon’s food scene—either through a market visit and cooking class or on a culinary history tour that includes meeting with food vendors.
On your last night, treat yourself to a Michelin-starred experience. Feitoria favors expertly-crafted dishes that showcase local ingredients, while Belcanto—which has held a place on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for years—creates drama and magic with dishes that combine flavor with folklore.