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.
Recommended for Bairro Alto/Principe Real's Best Restaurants because: One of the few restaurants in the Portuguese capital that prepares and serves authentic ceviche.
Paul's expert tip: For a splurge, opt for the tasting menu - six glorious dishes personally recommended by Chef Kiko.
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.
Recommended for Bairro Alto/Principe Real's Best Restaurants because: Tasty no-nonsense food served with minimum fuss, Tascardoso is a rustic gem set in a busy capital city.
Paul's expert tip: Besides offering an authentic taste of Portugal, this wonderful little restaurant is excellent value for money, but you'll need to turn up early to secure a table.
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.
Recommended for Bairro Alto/Principe Real's Best Restaurants because: Well established with a loyal clientele, many of them Brazilian nationals, Comida de Santo is a colourful and carefree place to eat.
Paul's expert tip: Closed between 19-27 August.
This highly regarded Michelin recommended 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.
Recommended for Bairro Alto/Principe Real's Best Restaurants because: La Paparrucha has remained one of the city's premier Argentinian steak houses since 1998 and has recommendations from Michelin.
Paul's expert tip: From Monday to Friday the restaurant offers a buffet lunch option.
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.
Recommended for Bairro Alto/Principe Real's Best Restaurants because: Offering deceptively simple and affordable haute cuisine, Pedro e o Lobo allows a wider public to enjoy superbly crafted food.
Paul's expert tip: The restaurant has a tiny bar and if you have to wait, be adventurous and order a grappa.
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.
Recommended for Bairro Alto/Principe Real's Best Restaurants because: The authentic menu and attention to detail is such that Flor da Laranja wouldn't look out of place in Fez or Marrakesh.
Paul's expert tip: It's always advisable to book ahead, especially if visiting as a group. Rabea speaks English, French, Portuguese and Arabic!
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.
Recommended for Bairro Alto/Principe Real's Best Restaurants because: Long a fixture on the Bairro Alto culinary map, Farta Brutos prides itself on cooking up an authentic Portuguese dining experience.
Paul's expert tip: During the summer months, and particularly August, the place can get uncomfortably crowded, mostly with tourists.
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.
Recommended for Bairro Alto/Principe Real's Best Restaurants because: A fixture on the Bairro Alto restuarant scene for more than 20 years, the food served here is as authentic as it gets.
Paul's expert tip: Advance booking is advisable due to its tremendous popularity. Ask for Sr Ricardo, who speaks English.
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.
Recommended for Bairro Alto/Principe Real's Best Restaurants because: Hiding in plain sight, Gin Lovers & Less makes for a romantic dinner venue, a chic bar space and quirky shopping venue.
Paul's expert tip: On Sunday evenings from 8–pm live fado is performed in the bar, a wonderfully romantic way to wind down the weekend.
This is the nearest you'll get to actually dining in the Far East! That's to say the cuisine served at this marvelously authentic Southeast Asia-themed restaurant has been personally selected by Kiko Martins, one of Portugal's most celebrated chefs, and certainly one of the most travelled. The menu features dishes from countries across the region, places that include Laos, Korea, Thailand and Japan. But here's the thing: Asiático's chef Guilherme Cruz and his team have skilfully interpreted Martins' selections to create a fusion of tastes that marry Far East flavors with those of Iberia and beyond. A perfect example is the signature Alaskan king crab served with Iberian pork, mushrooms and sake dumplings. The Laos ceviche is an intriguing combination of tuna, coconut, lemongrass and Kaffir lime, with added spices to give it a tangy edge. Dessert choice is equally exotic, with treats such as the wonderfully named Mount Fuji: brownie, green tea mousse, hazelnut and cherry. Wines (all Portuguese labels), whisky and saké feature on the drinks list, as do alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails (try the coconut passion).
Recommended for Bairro Alto/Principe Real's Best Restaurants because: With O Asiático renowned Portuguese chef Kiko maintains a tradition of surprising diners with an original and innovative menu of exotic, wholesome cuisine.
Paul's expert tip: Order a bottle of 'Chef Kiko'. It's chef Kiko's personal wine!