The 10 Best Restaurants In Bairro Alto, Lisbon

Praça do Comércio | ©Leandro Neumann Ciuffo/Flickr
Praça do Comércio | ©Leandro Neumann Ciuffo/Flickr
The sleepy but trendy district of Bairro Alto transforms into a lively bohemian paradise by night, and is one of the best places to eat and drink in Lisbon. Thanks to its central location and proximity to the city’s principal sights, Bairro Alto has a higher number of restaurants than any other district in Lisbon. From contemporary, authentic and traditional Portuguese food, to fusion cooking and rare local specialities, we give you a list of ten of the best restaurants in this bohemian neighborhood.

Adega Machado

Adega Machado is hidden away from the busy streets of Bairro Alto, and only locals and lucky tourists know how to reach it. The restaurant has a distinctive yellow tiled entrance, and the refurbished interior now hosts a collection of photographs and images of the Machado family. The food might be a little pricey, but the experience of a live fado performance is unforgettable, and this place has a lovely, intimate atmosphere with lots of attentive members of staff. Formal attire is recommended when planning a visit to this place.


Restaurant, Mediterranean, European, $$$
Elevador | ©Ricardo Liberato/Flickr
This restaurant was among the first venues in Bairro Alto, and helped shape the area’s modern feel. As is evident from the name of Pap’Acorda, they specialize in one of Portugal’s beloved dishes, acorda, a shellfish stew made from bread and spiced with cilantro and coriander. Acorda is a very popular meal here, and is worth trying one with either codfish, lobster or shrimp. However, this restaurant serves other tender delicacies, including eel-shark soup and clams. The interior was designed to represent the textures and tones of the seashells. Pap’Acorda is very popular among local celebrities and residents, so booking is essential.
This caféis located a very close to the Sé Cathedral and the Castle of Sao Jorge. High ceilings, big open windows, funky comfortable vintage sofas and bookshelves across the room that are filled with numerous second-hand books create a cosy and friendly atmosphere. Pois offers a great mixture of international cuisine, and it is a good place for an affordable lunch with a glass of wine.
The Insólito is located at the top of a 19th century building, and offers a magnificent view of Lisbon. There is a special counter in this restaurant, reserved for moody and rainy days, it offers meals that are not served at any other time. Those who love watching chefs in action can get their fill near the large open kitchen. The menu focuses on traditional Portuguese cuisine, but with an original and innovative interpretation. The cocktail mixologist often experiments with different formulas and recipes to establish a unique cocktail list.
100 Maneiras is a sophisticated dining area with a minimalist black and white interior. It was one of the first restaurants in Lisbon to implement the ground-breaking concept of a tasting menu only, without the traditional à la carte menu. This is the second time 100 Maneiras has opened its doors to customers. The new owner, Serbian by birth, started to serve regional Yugoslavian plates such as meat rolls and cheese and spinach pita, in addition to traditional Portuguese cuisine. Bookings are recommended, since 100 Maneiras is a very small space which accommodates 30 guests at a time.
Ibo Restaurant is located in a former warehouse facing the Tagus basin. The cuisine takes its inspiration from classical Portuguese gastronomy, and brings novelty by adding Mozambican flavors. The name of the restaurant was also adapted from the name of an island in the Quirimbas archipelago in the north of Mozambique. The interior is simple and laid-back, and the food is a fusion of European and African flavors. Prawn curry with white rice and roasted kid with sautéed cabbage are must-try meals, alongside the refined collection of wines made of the best Portuguese grapes from Douro to Alentejo.
For the past 30 years Restaurant Tagide has remained one of the most prestigious dining establishments in Lisbon. It’s housed in the ancient monastery of Saint Francis in the heart of the city, and offers amazing views from its cosy veranda. Tagide uses the best quality ingredients to create delicious dishes, including soups, seafood appetizers, marinated salmon with lentils, foie gras and bass with vegetables. An excellent selection of local wines is also available.
The Decadente is run by the owner of The Insólito, and is located within the same neighborhood, but offers a completely different experience. Located in a youth hostel, The Decadente has become a trendy place for meeting, as travellers and locals frequent this vibrant, multicultural venue for a drink with friends or colleagues. Guests are welcomed even if they are not staying at the hostel. The food here is very reasonably priced, and will suit travellers on a budget. The kitchen frequently utilizes different seasonal ingredients, and the interior creates an amiable atmosphere, with azulejotiles decorating the walls, and wooden benches and tables. It’s a good place to stop for a drink and to taste the octopus in paprika.
Pharmacia is an unusual concept for a restaurant. It was established in the building of the National Association of Pharmacies, and has preserved the feel of the vintage pharmacy, even with a slight scent of the medicines. Old medicine boxes are kept in the cabinets and create a funky and friendly atmosphere. Chef Susana Felicidade creates refreshing Portuguese-style cocktails and tapas and the surprise menu (where the Chef chooses for you) is well worth a try.
‘Found you’ is actually witty word play on the speciality dish served here – fondue. It is a great dish to share with someone but however, visitors can freely request a single meal. The meat and fish fondues are especially popular and the decorations are simple but pleasant. Found You also offers great sangria.
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