*Dining Diva on tour* – Lisbon 

I’ve recently returned from the most amazing time in Lisbon. The city is so relaxed, easy to navigate, affordable and full of friendly people. This was my first visit to Portugal and I cannot wait to return as soon as possible! A major plus point for me is the extensive range of incredible eateries in the city – strong up and coming foodie scene.

During our trip we also took day trips to Sintra (think historical Disneyland) and Cascais (the nearest beach town to Lisbon). I would strongly recommend making these visits if your trip expands beyond a couple of days.

If you are planning a trip to Lisbon (you should) then please browse my thoughts on a couple of the stand out restaurants we sampled! There is so much choice and I would encourage you to explore but I find it extremely helpful to have a rough idea of some culinary hot spots before I arrive!

As I write this I am experiencing SERIOUS holiday blues. I’ve been lucky enough to have multiple trips this year but returning from an amazing break is always gutting!

A Cevicheria 

We visited this restaurant on our first night in the city following a recommendation from a friend. We arrived early (around 7pm) and there was already a queue outside! We put our name on the list and proceeded to have a glass of wine al fresco!

The wait was around 40 mins in total. We were seated at the bar so had incredible views of the chefs preparing the dishes using all the fresh produce. We decided against the tasting menu and instead ordered around 5 plates to share.

The photo below is of the salmon ceviche (their signature!) and I am not exaggerating when I say it was one of the most amazing plates of food I’ve EVER had. It was so fresh and succulent with perfect flavours. If you go in and order just one dish, make it this. You won’t regret it.

Other plates we had were tasty and pleasant but we peaked too soon having the salmon first! I could rave about it for hours!

For an upmarket place the food prices were reasonable and the wine was incredibly cheap (tip: go for the house brand; it’s lovely!) I’m tempted to get the founder Chef Kiko’s cookbook and attempt to recreate some of the delights myself!

Top tip: try to book a table in advance or go as early as possible to avoid hanger!

Sommelier 

We attempted to go to this steakhouse on our second night in Lisbon. We were greeted with a warm welcome by a waiter who told us the restaurant was full but he would check with his manager if anything could be done.

The manager informed us that they would be unable to offer us a table until 11.15pm which we politely declined (starving by this point!) and he insisted on suggesting some alternative dining options. Whilst relaying this to us we were given a complimentary glass of white port to enjoy which I thought was a very generous, classy touch.

We were so impressed with the service we had received that we booked a table for our last night in the city. We looked forward to it all week and were excited to go back to round off our trip!

The service was once again great but unfortunately the food was a little bit underwhelming (I blame our high expectations and my food choice!) I went for the burger (medium rare) on the beetroot bun however when it arrived it was cooked well done which is not to my taste. I would urge anyone visiting to learn from my mistakes and order a steak! My boyfriend’s steak was cooked very well and tasted lovely! Also, be sure to order the breads to start with the butter “foams”; these were delicious!

To drink we had an incredibly named Sexy Golden Brut sparkling wine; I admit we ordered it for the name but it was very nice!

To finish we both had a red port (when in Portugal and all that…) and the Portuguese cheeseboard which was also great. There are so many wine options and the staff are very knowledgeable and helpful with suggestions.

I would definitely recommend booking to go here if you can!

I didn’t manage to capture snaps for all the places we tried but special mentions to the following:

  • We stayed in the Sheraton Lisboa and visited their restaurant – food was delicious and it has the best views of the city (aim for a window seat!)
  • Champagneria – this fantastic little wine bar/restaurant was a great find! Slightly off the main tourist track we enjoyed some lovely bubbles and sharing plates – plus our waitress was excellent which really topped off a wonderful evening.
  • 5 Sentidos (Cascais) – After walking around for ages trying to find a lunch spot we stumbled upon this little gem! Seafood bonanza! I had garlic prawns and the salt cod risotto; both were delicious (and huge!)
  • Pasteis de Belem – for a world famous secret recipe custard tart (local delicacy!) There are large queues but they move quickly.

I hope the above has inspired you to consider lovely Lisbon as your next holiday destination!