Chef Nuno Coelho's insistence on using seasonal ingredients is one reason why the cuisine at this historic and wonderfully beguiling restaurant is so highly regarded. Another is the fact that much of it is sourced locally. But what really sets A Travessa apart is Coelho's inventiveness in the kitchen. Diners here are treated to a menu of rare quality, a list of cuisine that melds traditional Portuguese cooking with the rich textured flavors of a northern European recipe book. And of course, those opting to dine here are treated to one of the most attractive and compelling restaurants in Lisbon, set as it is in a former convent dating back to 1653, the Convento das Bernardes, which has been carefully restored to its original 17th-century splendor.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: The savoring of traditional Portuguese cooking imbued with contemporary northern European flourishes is lifted by A Travessa's beautiful location.
Paul's expert tip: The Convento das Bernardes is also the location of the Museu da Marioneta (Puppet Museum), one of Lisbon's quirkiest visitor attractions.
The specialties of the day at this Michelin-recommended restaurant number some of the best seafood options in the city. Gambrinus is synonymous with ocean cuisine and while there are meat dishes on the menu (particularly game) it's the peixes e mariscos (fish and seafood) that continues to reel in an appreciative clientele. The kitchen prides itself on cooking to perfection a range of traditional Portuguese seafood dishes such as grilled sea bream or sea bass (served in a pot with clams). The chefs also add a dash of Gallic magic to produce signature dishes such as turbot court bouillon and a delicious soup starter, seafood bisque. And for a real splurge how about a starter of Iranian beluga caviar?
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Founded in 1936 and refurbished in 1964, Gambrinus remains one of the most respected of Lisbon's fine dining restaurants.
Paul's expert tip: There are no parking facilities, but the restaurant is located near public transport hubs and easily reached on foot.
As locations go, classy Michelin-recommended Tágide is hard to beat. Set within an elegant 18th-century townhouse in Lisbon's gilt-edged Chiado quarter, the restaurant commands glorious views across the city's downtown area - an especially alluring sight after dark, particularly if you're seated on the terrace. The menu errs towards traditional Portuguese cuisine, with chef Gonçalo Costa drawing on regional ingredients and time-honored techniques. Daily set lunch and dinner a la carte options are supplemented by an inspired menu dégustation that really does showcase Costa's talent in the kitchen. It's a seasonal selection, so dining here over several different months is perhaps the only way to truly savor the gastronomy (if you're that fortunate to visit Lisbon frequently). Otherwise, opt for the beguiling tasting menu. As befitting such quality, the wine list perfectly complements the food.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Tágide is coupled with the less formal but equally attractive wine and tapas bar.
Paul's expert tip: For the finest views ask for a table on the terrace, or if visiting in the winter next to one of the windows.
This was the first restaurant in Lisbon to receive a Michelin star and subsequently set the city's culinary bar to the highest level. Eleven has since enjoyed an almost flawless history as one of Lisbon's top gourmet hotspots, although competition at this level is now fierce. The restaurant enjoys an elevated position at the top of the city's Parque Eduardo VII and affords diners sweeping views of the Portuguese capital. Directing the kitchen is acclaimed German chef Joachim Koerper, who has worked in some of Europe's most celebrated Michelin-starred restaurants. Koerper's great love is southern European gastronomy and his tasting menus here celebrate the fresh, subtle flavors of Portugal, Spain and Italy. Koerper describes his cuisine as "luminous and elegant" and rooted in traditions of Mediterranean cooking. Complementing the food is an impressive wine list, with some of Portugal's finest labels sharing the cellar with a noted international selection.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: One of Lisbon's original high-end culinary destinations, Eleven has managed to reinvent itself on several occasions to maintain its Michelin-star status.
Paul's expert tip: Ty the lobster with cauliflower pannacotta and watercress sauce.
Jose Avillez, one of Portugal's most celebrated chefs, operates this two-star Michelin restaurant. Young, creative, intelligent, and a perfectionist in the kitchen, Avillez is passionate about his craft. In 2011 he took over this famous establishment, which was founded 1958, and set about refurbishing the interior, adding stylish architectural flourishes but taking care not to blemish the sober and refined atmosphere Belcanto is noted for. Another recent makeover has lent the eatery a more contemporary design signature. Two inventive tasting menus are offered, plus an a la carte list that includes sea bass with seaweed and bivalves, 'salmonete' - red mullet, liver sauce, vegetable roe and cuttlefish ink dumplings, and 'cordeiro' - lamb with marinated vegetable puree and small casserole.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Two-star Michelin restaurant Belcanto is one of the city's fine dining reference points and its chef, José Avillez, one of Portugal's most respected chefs.
Paul's expert tip: Over 300 different wines from every region in Portugal grace the cellar, and an expert sommelier is on hand if you've difficulty choosing.
Reservations are essential for this 1 Michelin star dining venue. Housed within the fashionable five-star Altis Belem Hotel & Spa that overlooks the riverfront, Feitoria a single tasting menu called Caminho divided as either a seven-course or nine-course culinary experience. There's also a vegetarian menu option. Caminho features authentic Portuguese and oriental gastronomy designed by chef João Rodrigues, who experiments with textures and flavors to conjure surprise dishes that are unique, plates that include tuna belly with dashi, pickled trompet de la mort, and green peas. The extensive wine list celebrates much of Portugal and features noble reds, aromatic whites, ports, moscatels and Madeira vintages.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: One of just a handful of Lisbon restaurants acknowledged by Michelin, Feitoria Restaurante & Wine Bar also shines for its fabulous riverfront location.
Paul's expert tip: Menu selection does not include wines. Instead, the sommelier will recommend wine pairings per person.
This Lisbon fine dining venue glows under two Michelin stars thanks to its chef, Henrique Sá Pessoa, one of Portugal's most dynamic kitchen wizards. Alma, which means "soul" in Portuguese, offers diners the option of two five-course tasting menus: Costa a Costa, inspired by the sea, and Alma, a selection of the chef's favorite dishes. There are also a pair of three-course menus, Origens and Caminhos, plus an inventive al la carte list. Alma works very well as an upscale lunch venue but it's in the evening when the restaurant truly comes into its own after the lights have dimmed and a wonderfully intimate atmosphere pervades the room.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Alma combines all the elements for a fine dining night out: Michelin cuisine, a beautiful venue, and impeccable service.
Paul's expert tip: If you're interested in seeing how the food is prepared, ask for a table near the kitchen balcony. The chef and kitchen staff work wonders right in front of your eyes.
Chef Vincent Farges directs the kitchen at this minimalist Michelin-starred gem, where stripped-down cooking is served in deliberately understated surroundings. At first glance the menu appears deceptively simple, the food uncomplicated. But what is plated up is quite exquisite in its design, a canvas of color and texture that teases the palate. But it's the flavors that astound: fresh, immaculate, and lingering! Guests can choose anything from four to eight dishes, so-called "moments" all composed using locally sourced ingredients. The tasting experience is an exercise in measured exuberance. Bite into bluefin tuna garnished with tangy Hirado Buntan and crisp celery, or rockfish fricassee accompanied with a stirfry of chanterelles, broad beans, marrow and clams, and you begin to understand the less is more philosophy that underpins Fargas's approach to cooking. The Portuguese wines include a Dona Louise 2005 from Quinta de Lemos and Viosinho 2016 from Adegamae.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Epur redefines the uncluttered, minimalist dining experience, both in terms of the menu and interior design signature.
Paul's expert tip: Opt for the wine pairing, which is offered from €40.
Named after celebrated Spanish chef Eneko Atxa, who runs the renowned three-Michelin star Azurmendi restaurant in Bilbao, Spain, and who also operates several other establishments around the world, Eneko Lisboa soon garnered a coveted star itself for its mouth-watering menu of traditional Basque cuisine. The concept behind the gastronomy is simple. Atxa combines flavour, texture, and aesthetics to create a selection of innovative and deceptively simple dishes that are listed on two tasting menus: Erroak (Roots") and Adarrak ("Branches'). Guests can opt to dine in the restaurant's urbane 'Basque' salon or a more formal area, which focusses on the dishes usually served at the Bilbao restaurant. It's here that diners can witness their order being prepared in an open kitchen. An arm-long wine list complements the menu, and the service and presentation is simply impeccable.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Easily the best place in Lisbon to sample tradition Basque fare, designed and created by one of Spain's most respected chefs.
Paul's expert tip: Note that the restaurant closes for the winter season. It reopens first week in March 2022.
A single 16-course tasting menu is offered to diners at Loco, a Michelin-star hot spot. Effectively chef Alexandre Silva's calling card, the list of cuisine mirrors his belief in using organic, locally-sourced ingredients and his respect for Portugal's micro seasons. Every dish is an original and inventive take on traditional time-honoured recipes. Yet Silva manages to conjure up imaginative plates that exude vibrant colour and intoxicating fragrance. Plated up with a light and exquisite touch and designed to provoke all the senses, the food presented at Loco serves as an exercise in harmony, where elements of modern creativity and traditional technique combine to produce textures and flavours that surprise and delight. Dining here is a visual treat. The single dining room features an open kitchen. Order wine beforehand and muse over the delicious gastronomy being created within and set to be served in a prompt and professional manner.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Chef Silva is quite the celebrity and eating at Loco is an entertaining experience for foodies and those new to the Michelin fine dining scene.
Paul's expert tip: Advance reservations are absolutely essential.