8 Must-Try Culinary Experiences in Lisbon: From Sunset Delights to Upscale Dining

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This article is brought to you by National Geographic Traveller (UK).

  1. Alma

Perfect for: Fine dining enthusiasts

Immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance of Alma, located in the backlit, bottle-lined vaults of an 18th-century former book warehouse in Chiado. This Lisbon fine-dining gem, led by renowned chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, holds two Michelin stars. Alma pays homage to Portugal with its ingeniously composed and artistically presented tasting menus. Indulge in signature dishes like succulent suckling pig confit with turnip-top puree, or savor the Costa a Costa, a captivating exploration of the sea featuring scarlet shrimp, pumpkin, harissa, and black garlic.

  1. Rossio Gastrobar

Ideal for: Sundowner experiences

Perched on the seventh floor of Altis Avenida hotel, Rossio Gastrobar offers panoramic views of Lisbon’s skyline adorned with castle turrets. The restaurant’s glass walls and art deco design create an elegant setting. When the sun graces the evening, secure a table on the terrace and relish a feast of exquisite small plates crafted by chef João Correia. Delight in plump and sweet Algarve scarlet shrimp or indulge in tender lamb from the mountains of northern Portugal. The cocktail selection is equally impressive, with standouts like the Grape, blending gin, vermouth, and fresh grape juice.

  1. Gunpowder

For an explosion of flavors

Bringing a blast of fusion cuisine to Lisbon’s culinary scene, Gunpowder is a vintage-cool restaurant that skillfully combines the freshest Portuguese ingredients with Indian-inspired recipes and spices. Transport your taste buds to the shores of Goa and the backstreets of Mumbai with seafood delights like silky Algarve oysters accompanied by zingy kachumber salad or razor clams seasoned with ghee.

  1. BAHR

Unparalleled vistas

Bairro Alto Hotel’s rooftop restaurant and cocktail bar, BAHR, offers breathtaking views that will leave you in awe. Set against subtly lit tables and an open kitchen, this fine dining establishment embraces a sophisticated atmosphere without unnecessary frills. Chef Bruno Rocha pays homage to Portugal and beyond with delectable petiscos (snacks), such as smoked barnacles on toast and buttery Algarvian tuna. Prepare your palate for main courses like sea bass with Jerusalem artichoke and beurre-blanc dashi, and conclude the culinary journey with desserts like meringue accompanied by a refreshing green-apple granita.

  1. Seen

The perfect spot for a romantic date night

Led by renowned Portuguese chef Olivier da Costa, Seen is a glamorous and seductive glass-walled restaurant located within Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa hotel. With Lisbon glittering beneath, a tree growing through the bar, and emerald-velvet sofas surrounding marble-topped tables, Seen offers an ambiance that exudes sophistication. Lounge beats from the DJ create a relaxed atmosphere as guests enjoy pre-dinner cocktails on the rooftop terrace. The menu showcases a fusion of Portuguese, Brazilian, and Japanese influences, featuring excellent sushi and sharing plates like ceviche tacos with guacamole and Wagyu beef with leek, mushrooms, and green curry.

  1. CURA

Highlighting local ingredients

Michelin-starred CURA, located at the Four Seasons Ritz, boasts a head chef named Pedro Pena Bastos, who scours Portugal for exquisite farmed, fished, and foraged ingredients. These exceptional finds are transformed into mini masterpieces, delivering extraordinary flavors. Experience the culinary artistry with tasting menus that include dishes like bluefin tuna with horseradish, turnip, and smoked broth, turbot with barnacles and wild garlic, and parsnip with pine, heather honey, and toasted milk.

  1. Tapisco

A taste of tapas and petiscos

Tapisco offers an understated yet stylish space where Spanish tapas and Portuguese petiscos take center stage. Overseen by Henrique Sá Pessoa, this cool establishment features banquette seating, cozy tables, and an open kitchen that stretches along the length of the restaurant. Immerse yourself in a lively ambiance reminiscent of Barcelona’s tapas bars. Delight in carefully selected vermouths paired with clean and bright flavors, such as octopus salad with paprika, marinated fish with lime, seaweed, and Aljezur sweet potato, or cuttlefish tempura with lime mayo.

  1. LUMI

Casual elegance at its best

As the sun gently transitions into a serene night, LUMI offers a rooftop dining experience at The Lumiares Hotel & Spa. With its expansive views of Lisbon, cushioned seating for relaxed al fresco dining, and bohemian atmosphere, LUMI provides a delightful escape. It’s the perfect spot for brunch, where you can savor dishes like the Lumi omelette with cheese, spinach, and chili or indulge in a refreshing fruit-topped açaí bowl. Return in the evening to enjoy negronis and share delectable plates such as oxtail croquettes with fava bean pesto, roasted octopus with padrón peppers, and spicy pica-pau beef strips.

This story was created with the support of Turismo de Lisboa and Catarina Laires PR.
Published in the June 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK).

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about culinary highlights

What are some of the recommended culinary highlights in Lisbon?

Some of the recommended culinary highlights in Lisbon include Alma for fine dining, Rossio Gastrobar for sundowner experiences, Gunpowder for fusion flavors, BAHR for stunning views, Seen for a romantic date night, CURA for local ingredients, Tapisco for light bites, and LUMI for a low-key chic dining experience.

Which restaurant offers fine dining without frills and stunning views?

BAHR, located at Bairro Alto Hotel, offers fine dining without unnecessary frills and provides stunning views of Lisbon’s skyline.

Where can I find a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views in Lisbon?

Rossio Gastrobar, located on the seventh floor of Altis Avenida hotel, is a glass-walled restaurant with a rooftop terrace that offers panoramic views of Lisbon’s skyline.

Which restaurant combines Portuguese and Indian flavors?

Gunpowder is a restaurant in Lisbon that combines the freshest Portuguese produce with Indian-inspired recipes and spices, offering a unique fusion of flavors.

Where can I enjoy a romantic date night with a glamorous ambiance?

Seen, a restaurant located in hotel Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa, offers a glamorous ambiance for a romantic date night, with glass walls and a rooftop terrace overlooking Lisbon.

Which restaurant specializes in using local ingredients in their dishes?

CURA, a Michelin-starred restaurant at the Four Seasons Ritz, is known for using exquisite farmed, fished, and foraged local ingredients in their dishes.

Where can I enjoy Spanish tapas and Portuguese petiscos in Lisbon?

Tapisco is a restaurant in Lisbon that offers Spanish tapas and Portuguese petiscos, providing a lively ambiance similar to tapas bars in Barcelona.

Where can I experience casual al fresco dining with great views in Lisbon?

LUMI, located at The Lumiares Hotel & Spa, offers casual al fresco dining with great views of Lisbon from its rooftop.

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