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Bairro Alto/Principe Real's Best Restaurants



Restaurants located in the Lisbon neighbourhoods of Bairro Alto and Príncipe Real number some excellent local eateries and other choice places to eat. In fashionable Príncipe Real district you can eat and drink at Gin Lovers & Less, located in the inner courtyard of a neo-Moorish palace. In the same street tasty ceviche prepared with flair and panache is served at A Cevicheria. For plates of traditional Portuguese fare try Antigo de 1 Maio or Farta Brutos in boho Bairro Alto. Near-neighbour Sophia La Loca is known for its delicious tapas-style petisco selection while Flor da Laranja dishes up colourful and flavoursome Moroccan cuisine. Eat pasta like mamma used to make at Casanostra, one of the city’s most celebrated Italian restaurants. Meanwhile back in Príncipe Real book a table at the Michelin recommended La Paparrucha for humongous steaks Argentina-style. Heightening the South American flavour is Brazilian eatery Comida de Santo while tiny Tascardoso is noted for its simple homemade Portuguese cooking. 


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Bairro Alto/Principe Real


They don't stand on ceremony at this tiny tasca, set on a side street just off Praca do Principe Real. But then that's not really the point. Instead, this rustic and informal eatery is feted for its traditional Portuguese cuisine, served promptly and without fuss. Indeed, all you need to do is turn up to savour regional dishes from across the country. The menu also features some unusual delicacies, including corvine â€" a thick cut steak of croaker fish, grilled to perfection, or chocos assados com tinta (cuttlefish grilled in its own ink). More conventional palates are also catered for: if you want an omelette, just ask. The wine list is selective but good â€" the house red is very often a wholly agreeable Ermelinda Freitas.


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Bairro Alto/Principe Real


The name of this restaurant translates to English as "Crazy Sophia", and a Sophia does indeed work in the kitchen. But rather than display any bizarre or outlandish behaviour, she's calm and collected and cooks up some excellent tapas under the direction of chef Tiago Vieira. Colourful, cosy and great value for money Sophia La Loca offers up an intriguing menu of Portuguese style petiscos â€" snack-sized interpretations of traditional Portuguese cuisine, wonderfully textured and imaginatively presented. Chef Tiago knows a thing or two about wine too, and the list â€" a selection of some of the best reds and whites in the country â€" do supreme justice to the gastronomic offer.


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Bairro Alto/Principe Real


This colourful and lively restaurant has been serving up deliciously authentic Brazilian cuisine since 1981. The vibrant decor and stylish interior design is tempered by a menu that celebrates traditionally prepared gastronomy, meals like vatapa â€" dried shrimp minced with fish peanuts and caju bathed in palm oil and coconut milk. Meat dished include the ever-popular feijoada ? Brasileira from Rio de Janeiro â€" cuts of beef, pork and sausages with black beans served with rice, cabbage and slices of orange. Another favourite is delicia de frango, a plate of small cut chicken pieces cooked with milk cream, palm hearts, mushrooms and corn and served with rice. Vegetarian choice is good, and there are dozens of side orders to choose from, and the tropical fruit selection rounds off any meal perfectly.


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Bairro Alto/Principe Real


This highly regarded Argentinian restaurant is famed for its choice of succulent parrilla-grilled steaks, anything from sirloin and tenderloin to rump and flank. Serving options range from a juicy tenderloin wrapped in puff pastry with wild mushrooms and bacon to a delicious mixed meat kebab â€" sirloin steak, cap rump, bacon, onions and peppers. The menu also lists a selection of pasta and fish dishes. As you'd expect, the extensive wine list features several Argentinian labels including a full-bodied Finca Flichman Misterio Syrah red. The restaurant's other claim to fame is the fabulous views (totally Romantic at night) across midtown Lisbon from the window tables and outside terrace. A bar allows for drinks before or after dining.


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Bairro Alto/Principe Real


This much-loved Italian eatery is one of Lisbon's best-known restaurants, and has been serving tasty pasta dishes since the 1980s. Owner Maria Paola has created a wonderful retreat for lovers of Mediterranean cooking, and interior designer Manuel Graça Dias has captured the occasion with her simple vanilla and mint colour scheme and mood lighting. Menu selections include a wide variety of Italian classics, with dishes created using homemade pasta. They're all here all here, the spaghetti, ravioli, tagliatelle, linguini and some truly mouth-watering pizzas. If you fancy something a little more Portuguese, Casanostra also has several succulent grilled meat options. Wines listed include some noted Italian labels. Favourite dessert choices are the Sicilian-style tiramisu and the refreshing sorbets. Reservations recommended.


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Bairro Alto/Principe Real


One of the very few authentic Moroccan restaurants in Lisbon, Flor da Laranja tempts with a menu of North African specialties â€" the starters alone include a delicious Harira (traditional soup) and Melouioui, freshly baked stuffed bead. Included with main dishes is a superbly presented platter of vine leaves, spinach and lemon, fava beans and olives, Zaalouk aubergines and sweet potatoes with raisins. Recommended is the lamb tagine, a classic Berber dish, or the chicken with preserved lemon. Vegetarians are well catered for. The signature dessert is the passion fruits and orange flan. Chef-owner Rabea Esserghini presides over a wonderfully intimate space, snug, cozy and decorated with stained glass Moorish lamps.


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Bairro Alto/Principe Real


Occupying the ground floor of a building the foundations of which date back to 1732, this traditionally styled eatery has existed in various guises since 1904. Along the way its customary ambiance and the regional fare prepared from cherished hand-me-down recipes has attracted a host of national luminaries including celebrated artist Júlio Pomar and writer and Noble Laureate José Saramago. Many of these VIP guests have been captured for posterity in framed photographs decorating the walls that hang alongside newspaper cuttings featuring glowing reviews, and numerous culinary certificates and citations. The menu takes diners on a seasonal gastronomic journey through Portugal, and plenty of vineyards too. Indeed, the restaurant is known for its noble Madeira and port wines. Yes, you can eat well here which is probably why Farta Brutos, which translates more or less as "excessive amounts" is named as such.


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Bairro Alto/Principe Real


This family-run restaurant prides itself on a menu of home cooked meat and fish dishes based on regional Portuguese cuisine, and this cosy little eatery looks the part with its the tiled walls and original stone-arched ceiling. The menu reflects the country kitchen appearance with dishes like carne do porco a alentejana, an intriguing combination of pork and clams bathed in olive oil garnished with coriander, garlic, paprika and sliced lemon. There's an excellent fish and seafood choice â€" try the grilled dourada (bream) â€" and the wine list is impressive for such a modest taverna â€" check out the bottles standing to attention along the top shelf that runs along the edge of the salon. The atmosphere is relaxed and familiar, with waiting staff often joining in with the friendly banter.


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Bairro Alto/Principe Real


One of the coolest places in Lisbon to sample ceviche, A Cevicheria has at its helm Chef Kiko Martins, who's authentic interpretation of this traditional South American dish has caught the imagination of the public as well as some of the city's most respected food critics. Preparation is deceptively simple, with raw fish diced into bite-sized pieces and marinated in citric juice, salt and various seasonings. As well as four different ceviches, the menu lists causa and quinoa-based dishes, gaspacho, croquette and "surf 'n' turf" sandwiches. There's no reservation policy, so all you can do is turn up early (or late) or else wait. If so, grab a beer, some wine or try a pisco sour cocktail and prop up one of the tall tables set outside on the pavement.


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Bairro Alto/Principe Real


The beating heart of the Embaixada concept boutique mall is this unusual two-in-one restaurant-bar. Set within the romantic inner courtyard of the neo-Moorish Ribeiro da Cunha Palace, Less is run under the guiding hand of respected chef Miguel Castro e Silva whose contemporary reinventions of Portuguese and southern European cuisine have caught the imagination of even the fussiest eaters. Sharing this discreet and elegant space is one of Lisbon's favourite gin joints. Here, over 60 different gins are available and prepared as liquid works of art by savvy bar staff. They can also put you right on which wines to pair with your food.


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Meet Paul Bernhardt

Paul Bernhardt cut his teeth as a press photographer in England before leaving the UK to settle in Portugal, where he has lived for over a decade, and where he started to focus on more...  More About Paul

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