Portugal’s cuisine features Mediterranean influences often partnered with a lot of seafood or hearty portions of meat. Some dishes incorporate one of the various nation’s cheese or staple vegetables.
Portugal’s gastronomy is delicious, and while there are traditional staples that you will find in most restaurants, the art of Portuguese cookery is continuously evolving and developing upon itself. Below are the 27 most delicious restaurants in the country. Enjoy!
O Pipo Velho (Marrazes, Leiria)
Family-owned-and-operated, this rustic, yet cozy restaurant is a must for any seafood connoisseur. Additionally, a visit provides visitors with the opportunity to experience a traditional Portuguese restaurant. The décor pays tribute to the locale’s name, which literally translates to “old barrel”. Wine corks and wooden barrels adorn the dining area. (Daily 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
Recs: Bacalhau (codfish), filet mignon, francesinha; a traditional Portuguese sandwich originally from Porto made with bread, meat, thick layer of tomato sauce and covered with cheese, cod fish pie, and grilled meat platter.
Marrazes Rua Vale Verde
2415-555 Leiria, Portugal
Malagueta Afrodisiaca (Leiria)
Quaint and contemporary, this non-traditional Portuguese restaurant has earned a place in the Portugal Michelin Guide, as well as the 2010 goldaward in the Confraria Pinhal do Rei contest. The menu offers a fusion of Latin American, Mediterranean, Scandinavian and Asian cuisines. For an enchanted dining experience, dine on the outdoor terrace and take in the dreamlike view of the castle. (Daily 7 p.m. to midnight)
Recs: Chili and meat, chicken with korma (a favorite), curry chicken with spinach, tenderloin with chili anxo, prawns with soy sauce and mango, and Mexican prawns.
R. Gago Coutinho 17
2400 Leiria, Portugal
Casa de Nora (Cortez)
This old-world style restaurant’s claim to fame is their succulent grilled octopus. Picturesquely framed by an old wooden watermill and narrow flowing stream, the lush vegetation and welcoming service will have you wanting to stay forever. The inner décor only further adds to the charm, with old stonewalls and a cozily low ceiling. (Daily 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.; 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.)
A Tasquinha (Nazaré)
Famed for its fantastic seafood, A Tasquinha is centrally located in the city center just a short walk from the beach. Reminiscent of a fisherman’s tavern, nautical knickknacks cover the walls, eliminating any risk of boredom as there is always something new to see! (Tuesday to Saturday; lunch and dinner)
Recs: Any shrimp plate, codfish with peppers and potatoes, and the fish stew.
Rua Adrião Batalha, 58
Salao Brazil (Coimbra)
Salao Brazil, or Brazil Room, is the place to go for jazz lovers. Enjoy live music in a sultry environment at night, or enjoy a refreshingly sunny meal in their well-lite dining room during the day. Penny pinchers, try their economical lunch menu. For roughly €5, you will get a light meal (small entrees, sandwiches and soups).
Rec’s: daily specials
Largo do Poço nº3, 1º,
3000-335 Coimbra, Portugal
Ze Manel Dos Ossos (Coimbra)
A total dive and completely delicious, this hole in the wall houses no more than five tables and serves up some of the area’s best hearty food. Hearty tavern fare guarantees that those who come hungry will leave in a food coma. (€7-€10 / Monday to Friday 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday for lunch)
Recs: Pork and bean stew (feijoada), grilled sardines and carapau, wild boar stew with beans, pork with mushrooms
Beco do Forno, 12
3000 Coimbra, Portugal
Restaurant A Taberna (Coimbra)
Restaurante A Taberna serves up home-style Portuguese cuisine with fresh-daily ingredients in a family friendly atmosphere. Meat, fish, and vegetables have been earning culinary awards and winning the hearts [and stomachs] of patrons since popping out of the wood-burning stove in 1982. (Tuesday to Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sundays lunch)
Recs: octopus vinaigrette, posta tras os montes (steak with potatoes), cod with potatoes, chocolate crepe
Rua dos Combatentes da Grande Guerra 86
3000 Coimbra, Portugal
Inácio Restaurant (Braga)
Inácio specializes in dishing up regional Minho cuisine in a rustic and authentic environment. This means massive portions of a lot of meats and starches. Be sure to ask to see the wine list as the cellar is always pleasingly stocked. (€16-€20 / daily except Tuesdays)
Recs: Roast lamb (“cabrito”) with potatoes, bife de cacarola (pot roast), roasted veal, rum omelet soufflé.
Campo das Hortas, 4, 4700-210 Braga, Portugal
Cafe Astoria (Braga)
A local hotspot, Café Astoria’s menu boasts the unique combination of Italian cuisine and Portuguese staples. The first and second floors balance one another. Those looking for a quiet meal should stick to the first floor, while those interested in dancing and partying should head upstairs to the restaurant/late night disco bar. (€8-€18 / second floor: 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.)
Recs: Sandwiches and beer
Praça da República, 5, 4710 Braga, Portugal
Solar do Arco (Guimarães)
Located in an antique house in the historic district of Guimarães, pick a bottle from their extensive wine list to partner with your flawlessly prepared seafood. Solar do Arco prepares Portuguese staples such as codfish and clams to perfection. All of their fishes are locally caught, so you can rest assured that it is fresh. (€20 -€30)
Recs: Codfish stew, cream of marisco (shellfish) soup, lombo de boi (beef tenderloin), fruit tart, toucinho do ceu (custard) dessert
Rua da Santa Maria, 48-50, 4810-443 Guimarães, Portugal
Cozinha de Se (Braga)
Just a few steps from Arco da Porta Nova, Cozinha de Se’s rustic stone walls and attentive service will have you coming back for more. The menu’s prized fares are the international dishes. Every plate is prepared only from the freshest ingredients, and the menu proudly boasts vegetarian options. (Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday)
Recs: Rice with rape (monkfish; pronounced rap-ey), codfish filet, açorda de marisco (seafood stew) in bread bowl, chocolate mousse dessert.
Rua Dom Frei Caetano Brandao, 95, 4700 Braga, Portugal
B.L. Lounge (Evora)
Upon entering this award-winning establishment, diners will feel the welcoming atmosphere of a restaurant that prides itself on great food quality. B.L. Lounge is mentioned in several culinary websites including Michelin Restaurants U.K. Antonio Bravo, owner of B.L. Lounge, also manages the operations. His wife, Lucia, is also owner and head chef. One thing that sets this family establishment apart is its incredible, unforgettable chocolate cake. Lucia credits her notorious chocolate cake recipe to six months of dedication and trial and error, which finally resulted in the perfect recipe for all of the restaurant’s patrons to enjoy. This husband and wife duo serve up some of the best food in the center of Évora, just two blocks from the Temple of Diana.
Recs: Oven roasted cheese, fried quail eggs, roasted mushrooms with garlic, veal cutlets, chocolate cake
Rua das Alcacaris N1
7000-587 Evora, Portugal
+351 266 771 323
This award-winning establishment has been mentioned on numerous culinary websites for its outstanding cuisine. Their selection of liquors, wines, and champagnes are to die for, and all of their dishes will leave you with a smile on your face and a contentedly full belly. However, if you do nothing else, stop in for desert and try the chocolate cake. Lucia, wife of the owner and head chef, credits her flawless chocolate cake recipe to six months of tireless dedication and trial and error.
Recs: Oven roasted cheese, fried quail eggs, roasted mushrooms with garlic, veal cutlets, chocolate cake
Rua das Alcaçarias nº1
7000-587 Évora, Portugal
Fortaleza do Guincho (Cascais)
Formerly a 17th century military fortress, Fortaleza do Guincho is located within the Hotel Do Guincho. The restaurant offers breathtaking views of Guincho Beach and Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in all of continental Europe. Its Portuguese cuisine has earned the establishment numerous awards. I recommend the homemade duck liver, and do not be shy about asking what wine is best paired with your meal. (Daily 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.)
Estrada do Guincho
2750-642 Cascais, Portugal
+351 214 870 491
Tavares is the definition of divine decadence. The walls appear as if they are coated in cold, and the immense chandeliers that drape from the ceilings make you feel as if you have been teleported back in time. In fact, Tavares is the oldest restaurant in the country, and home to some pricey, yet delicious cuisine. Incredible presentation with only the most speculative eye on detail make this a rich man’s culinary paradise. (Tuesday to Saturday 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.)
Recs: Chestnuts and crab, The Garden of “The Hen that Laid Golden Eggs,” egg with earthy aromas, poached sea bass with shellfish, seaweed and glasswort in lemony seawater, baby lamb with carrots in puree, chocolate cigars, pear parfaits and hot chocolate
Rua da Misericórdia, 35
1200-270 Lisboa, Portugal
+351 213 421 112
Tasca da Esquina (Lisboa) o meu Preferido...
Do not let Tasca da Esquina’s small and informal appearance deceive you. Tasca da Esquina serves up some of the best gourmet seafood dishes in town. Luminous windows and red concrete floors are paired with a friendly staff and excellent food. (Monday to Saturday 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.)
Recs: Clams in white sauce, codfish, abbot priscos-a hearty wine pudding
Rua Domingos Sequeria 41 1350-119
+351 919 837 255
Baiuca “Fado House” (Lisboa)
Located in Lisboa’s old Arab quarters, Baiuca’s claim to fame is their live shows of Fado music, a traditional Portuguese music that involves guitars and singing. Their food is as traditional as the music, and their fare offers up classic Portuguese dishes in a hospitable and cozy environment.
Recs: Seafood soup
Henrique Sá Pessoa, Alma’s Portuguese chef, has truly put Alma on the map with his passion for culinary perfection. The restaurant’s name, meaning soul, is reflected in the pure white décor. Presentation and quality is the name of the game here. You will be awed the instant the first dish is laid before you. Reservations are strongly recommended. (Tuesday to Sunday 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
Recs: Grilled octopus, cod fish, black pork
Calçada Marquês de Abrantes 92 1200-720 Lisboa, Portugal
+351 213 963 527
Friendly servers welcome you and lead you to your table in this unusually decorated locale. Bare stone domes and columns are paired with sea anemone and jellyfish tanks. The entire restaurant is offset by black, white, and green accents. Reservations are strongly encouraged. The black pork was my personal favorite. (Daily 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
Recs: Fresh coriander cream soup with goat cheese and braised tomato, sole filets with scallops on leek sauce, roasted black pork with chickpeas with wild mushroom stew
Rua Serpa Pinto 10
1200-445 Lisboa, Portugal
+351 213 477 225
Café Guarany (Porto)
Affectionately known as the musician’s coffee shop, Café Guarany has been dishing up tasty eats since 1933. Lucky patrons will get to enjoy live Fado music or vivacious Cuban musical acts. Ask for the white port and your waiter will happily give you a lesson on proper drinking techniques. (Daily 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.)
Recs: Bacalhau (codfish), filet mignon, francesinha; a traditional Portuguese sandwich originally from Porto made with bread, meat, thick layer of tomato sauce and covered with cheese.
Avenida dos Aliados
nº 89/85, Porto, Portugal
+351 223 321 272
O Paparico (Porto)
Traditional, yet modern, O Paparico’s core concept revolves around preserving the flavors of the dishes by avoiding over spicing and too much sauce. The romantic ambiance is perfect for vacationing couples. Antique stone walls are balanced by the white linen that serves as the perfect backdrop for your new age Portuguese dish. Remember the house red wine, and do your best to spare some room for dessert! (Tuesday to Saturday 7:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.)
Recs: Duck tartar, raw codfish, octopus tartar, grilled octopus, lamb with wild mushrooms, tangerine sorbet ice with potato vodka, homemade ice cream with pop rocks.
Cafe Majestic (Porto)
Café Majestic is housed in a building over 160 years old, rich in history and perfectly restored right down to its grandiose glass doors. They serve up the classics, but most just come in for a mid-morning caffeine fix before getting on with their day. On a sunny day, dine outside on the sidewalk terrace or in the winter garden courtyard. (Daily 9:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.)
Rua Santa Catarina
nº 112 4000-442 Porto, Portugal
+351 222 003 887
Yuko Tavern (Porto)
This chilled out eatery dishes up old-fashioned plates with no frills and no fuss. Carnivores are sure to love their francesinha sandwich, whose hallmark ingredients are: cured ham, fresh sausage, Iberian ham, steak, cheese and tomato between slices of freshly baked white bread. Layered with cheese melted to perfection, smothered in tomato sauce, and topped with an egg, what isn’t to love? Forget about calories for the day, you can work those off later. (Monday to Saturday 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.)
Rua de Costa Cabral
nº 2331 4200 Porto, Portugal
+351 225 482 291
O Pai Ramiro (Porto)
O Pai Ramiro literally translates to My Father Ramiro. The founder, Ramiro, is still honored in the restaurant through his hanging portrait in the dining room. Dishes are both national and international, though they pride themselves on their fresh seafood. Fried, baked, grilled…it really doesn’t matter. It will all have your mouth watering just the same. (Closed Sunday evenings and Mondays)
Recs: Seafood empanada, octopus tartar, linguini with clams, homemade chocolate cake with dessert wine.
Rua Nova de S. Crispim 286
nº 4000 363 Porto, Portugal
+351 220 994 815
Foz Velha (Porto)
An impressive selection of Port wines, a topnotch chef, and classically prepared Portuguese food all make Foz Velha a favorite amongst nationals and tourists alike. The restaurant’s boutique style ambiance is adorned with bright purples and pinks; and diners can relax below decadent chandeliers. (Monday 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Tuesday to Thursday 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to midnight)
Recs: Fried Quail Egg, meat roll, seared codfish filet, rack of lamb
Esplanada do Castelo
nº 141 4150 Porto, Portugal
+351 226 154 178
Marisqueira Mare Cheia (Aveiro)
Marisqueria Mare Cheia is widely consider one of the area’s best restaurants for nautical eats. The old-tavern vibe will make you feel immediately relaxed. The options are limited to the freshest catch, and prices are economical.
Recs: Oysters, sea bass, seafood with rice
Rua Jose Rabumba
nº 10 Aveiro, Portugal
+351 234 384 030
Zé Da Calçada (Amarante)
Housed in one of the few buildings that survived Napoleon’s 1809 rampage, this authentic Portuguese restaurant serves unforgettable codfish dishes. Additionally, Amarante’s central location offers Zé Da Calçada access to specialty regional ingredients like veal, chicken and lamb. Enjoy the cool breeze on the terrace overlooking the Tamega River, and take your time browsing their extensive wine list before ordering your hearty dish.
Please check out our Portugal Country Guide for Kindle. If you have any other restaurant suggestions in Portugal please leave a comment below!