Fine Dining in Lisbon: Distinguished Places to Eat in the City.



Fine dining in Lisbon means eating in some of the city’s most alluring restaurants, anything from funky waterfront eateries to establishments housed in noble and historic buildings. Cuisine ranges from traditional Portuguese to contemporary international, with plenty of fusion ideas combining a world of tastes. Alma, in Chiado, epitomises the classic fine dining venue, housed as it is in an historic building where a 1-star Michelin menu tempts the palate.  At Tabik on Avenida da Liberdade the menu celebrates Portuguese and southern Mediterranean cuisine served in funky surroundings. At Feitoria Restaurants & Wine Bar, the seasonal menu has won a nod from Michelin, and the riverside location only adds to its allure. Seafood is a speciality in Portugal, and at Gambrinus the choice extends to splendid caviar options. The privilege of dining at Travessa is the setting, a former 17th-century convent building that’s as appealing as the menu. For a serious gourmet treat, book a table at Belcanto, currently the only 2-star Michelin restaurant in the Portuguese capital. Meanwhile, the bonus of dining at Tágide in Chiado is that the menu is heightened by fabulous views over the river and the city below. Also in Chiado is Largo, another Lisbon fine dining venue that’s located in an historic former convent. A homely but stylish atmosphere is exuded at Estórias na Casa da Comida while the ambiance at the lofty Panorama Restaurant & Bar is enhanced by the best views of the capital from any restaurant in the city.  



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Crowning the five-star Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa, the Panorama Restaurant commands glorious views of the Portuguese capital and River Tagus. This is top-floor dining at its cosmopolitan best, a gourmet retreat set in a fashionable urban eyrie. An imaginative a la carte menu explores the tastes and textures of Portugal and southern Europe, effortlessly melding Atlantic influences with those of the Mediterranean. Beautifully crafted and presented, the gastronomy acknowledges culinary tradition but in a colourful and contemporary manner. A note-worthy interior design feature is the remarkable glass-fronted wine cellar. Here, some of the most celebrated wines in the country lie waiting to be chosen, along with champagnes and selected international labels. The restaurant is separate from the bar, where gin and sushi work particularly well together. Both venues exude a refined, understated glamour, but it's after dark, when Lisbon sparkles below, that Panorama reaches the height of romance.


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For over 35 years this restaurant has maintained a reputation as one of the most prestigious in the city, indeed Portugal. Tucked away in a quiet residential street in one of Lisbon's leafier neighbourhoods, its low-key profile belies the many gastronomy awards bestowed upon the kitchen, and its patronage by an appreciative local and international clientele. Chef João Pereira consistently raises the culinary bar with his inventive take on traditional Portuguese cuisine. He'll very often leave the kitchen and greet diners during the course of the evening â€" a wonderfully personal gesture. Sommelier Ricardo Morais brings to the fore his considerable expertise in pairing the wines. The setting is romantic and quite beautiful, in a homestyle kind of way.


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Considering its location under the vaulted 18th-century ceiling of the former Convento de Igreja dos Martires in Chiado, this stylish and contemporary restaurant represents excellent value for money, with an inexpensive gourmet menu choice that continues to delight and inspire. Paulo Santos is one of Portugal's most talented chefs and combines his love of authentic regional cuisine with all tastes southern European: try the duck magret with green asparagus and truffles risotto! The restaurant's interior design palette is super cool, all apple greens and soft lime. The mezzanine is decorated in a fushia wash and serves as a chill out lounge where guests can enjoy a cocktail before of after their sitting. In summer, the terrace is the only place to sit!


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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 â€" an especially alluring site 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 honoured 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 savour the gastronomy (if you're that fortunate). Otherwise, opt for the beguiling tasting menu. As befitting such quality, the wine list perfectly complements the food.


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Jose Avillez, one of Portugal's most celebrated chefs, runs 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.


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The chef'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 his 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 flavours 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 splendour.


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The specialities 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?


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Reservations are essential at this 1 Michelin star dining venue. Housed within the fashionable five-star Altis Belem Hotel & Spa that overlooks the riverfront, Feitoria displays three tasting menus a year featuring authentic Portuguese gastronomy and spicy Oriental ingredients. The Mirandesa veal chop with dome potato and Terrincho cheese with sauteed garden vegetables is typical of the regional cuisine. An executive lunchtime menu caters for the city's movers and shakers while a special creative menu allows Portuguese chef Joao Rodrigues to experiment with textures and flavours to conjure surprise dishes that are very often unique one-offs. The extensive wine list features noble reds, aromatic whites, ports, moscatels and Madeira vintages.


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The lunch menu at this fashionable eatery lists entradas such as tomato salad with braised feta cheese and main dishes including succulent strips of black pork with sweet potato puree. The choice ingredients and imaginative presentation sets the standard for what has become one of the city's top-notch gourmet hotspots, which perhaps is no surprise as its executive chef Hugo Dias designs the menus. Dias has worked with the likes of Edwin Vinke at his Michelin two-star Kromme Watergang restaurant in the Netherlands and with Heinz Beck at the acclaimed Gusto in Portugal's Algarve. Together with a young and dynamic team, Dias has played a significant role in shaping Tabik into a funky and creative place to eat. One of the most rewarding ways to savour his work is to linger over the tasting menu one evening while slowly digesting the atmosphere. Diners can also choose from an exciting à la carte option. The wine list excels in its range.


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This Lisbon fine dining venue glows under a Michelin star 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 favourite dishes. There are also a pair of three-course menus, Origens and Caminhos, plus an al la carte list, where diners choose their own dishes. 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.


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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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