With its vibrant culture and rich history, Lisbon is a culinary haven waiting to be explored. I am still exploring and discovering new gems every day. Having had the pleasure of indulging in just some of the city’s diverse food scene, I want to share a curated list of five exceptional restaurants that not only tantalized my taste buds but also offered an immersive journey into the heart of Lisbon’s gastronomic landscape.
1. Mambo: Fiesta From West Africa
Nestled on a walk-only street between Rua de Boavista and R. do Poço do Negros in the Santos Lisboa neighborhood, Mambo is a gastronomic delight owned by Gil Silva from Angola with Angolan and Cape Verdean origins, Duda of Angolan descent, and Mamadou Faty from Senegal. I am on a strict low-starch diet, and they had the perfect option for me. I had Cachupa. It’s a dish with red beans, corn, carrots, beef, chicken, and chorizo, and the flavors filled my heart and stomach with bliss. The menu is a celebration of comfort food from the owners’ homes. You can find Mambo on this Google link.
2. Cantinho do Aziz: Culinary Diversity Under One Roof
Cantinho do Aziz is a Mozambican restaurant located in Lisbon’s Mouraria neighborhood. Just look for the yellow wall and be prepared to sit outside. Award-winning Chef Jeny Sulemange is also a cookbook author, mother, and wife. I still recall diving into a bowl of spicy curry crab like I had never eaten before. It was the best crab ever! You won’t be disappointed. Book a table here before because this is a popular spot. Find the restaurant at R. de São Lourenço 5, 1100-530 Lisboa.
3. Santa: Brazilian Fusion with a Twist
This is located just down the road from the Sé de Lisboa, also known as the Lisbon Cathedral or Santa Maria Maior Cathedral. They had these delectable, deep-fried cassava pieces in some magical sauce. Also, try the fillet fish and drinks that boost your energy to climb more hills in Lisboa. Try the Sangria tinto as a make-you-happy drink. I am addicted to that stuff. The staff is super friendly, and you sit in an open restaurant or outside at the front. I guarantee you won’t leave much work for the dishwasher. The restaurant is located on the corner at R. de São João da Praça 103, 1100-585 Lisboa. You can book a table on The Fork here.
4. Dear Breakfast: Best Breakfast on a First-Day In Town
This place is a little sentimental, thus the reason it makes the list. It was the first place we had breakfast during a visit years ago, long before moving here. Watch the old tram go up and down the hill while you feast on your healthy morning nourishment. They are an ode to morning foods. We were fascinated by the freshly squeezed juice, only now realizing that’s normal. There are three of these kinds of restaurants in town, but our favorite is located in Chiado, a must-visit neighborhood, at Calçada de São Fransicso 35, 1200-201 Lisboa. The staff were lovely and did not mind that we did not speak a lick of Portuguese. Make a reservation here and ask to be seated on the balcony upstairs if it’s a nice day.
5 Amélia’s: Eat Outdoors That’s Covered From The Elements
We ate at Amélia’s, with a menu with many vegan options and a beautiful presentation. While there, don’t hesitate to share a large table with strangers. You might meet new friends like we did. Be careful about ordering all three courses. The serving sizes are relatively big for the average eater, and you will feel guilty if you leave anything on your plate because it’s all so delectable. Amelia’s is located in Campo de Ourique, a really hip and multi-national neighborhood in Lisbon. The address is R. Ferreira Borges 101, 1350-128 Lisbon. Check out their menu on this link. I suggest you book a table on this link if you are going during peak time, like during lunch.
Lisbon’s culinary scene is a tapestry of tradition, innovation, and diverse influences, and these five restaurants provide a glimpse into the city’s gastronomic richness. Whether you savor the modern African twists of Mambo, Cantinho do Aziz, or Roda Viva or indulge in the elegance at Santa, Dear Breakfast, or Amelia’s, each dining experience in Lisbon is a journey of flavors that lingers in your memory. As you plan your visit, or if you are living here and need a treat, include these culinary hotspots for an extraordinary gastronomic adventure.
To fully enjoy your culinary exploration, consider venturing beyond the popular tourist areas. Lisbon’s neighborhoods, small alleys, and walk-only streets (what we call a hole-in-the-wall), each with its unique charm. These are often hidden culinary gems waiting to be discovered. Aproveite!