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Dining in numbers: group friendly restaurants in Lisbon.



Group friendly restaurants in Lisbon are ideal for large parties of diners. Purposely designed to cater for groups, or able to adapt their seating arrangements accordingly, a lot of these places to eat offer special group menus at set prices. A stylish and upmarket option is Páteo, a cleverly conceived restaurant space designed to resemble a typical Lisbon patio space. Vintage Café Império is straight out of the 1950s and its authentic atmosphere is a big hit with nostalgic locals. Another very popular restaurants for groups is the beer-hall styled Cervejaria Trindade, in Chiado. Kais, a cavernous restaurant on the riverfront near Cais do Sodré, is an excellent venue for large groups and special party nights. Similarly Portugália, set further along the riverbank, is adequately designed to receive diners en masse. Across the avenue is Popolo, which also has plenty of seating - expect a young, modish vibe! Out of the city in Benfica is David da Buraca, a traditional eatery furnished with long tables to accommodate hungry locals and in-the-know visitors. Alternatively, the more central Casa do Alentejo has a large, wonderfully decorated dining hall that meets the requirements of larger groups. Over in Alfama is Santa António de Alfama, a rustic themed eatery set over two floors where tables are also set on the pretty patio outside. And perched on steps overlooking downtown Lisbon is Café Buenos Aires with its wide terrace and castle views.    

  

 

  


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Family groups are well taken care of at this Argentinian restaurant. Seating arrangements during the summer months mean that tables are set in long rows on the pavement outside so there's plenty of room for everybody â€" provided you turn up early enough to bag a place. This is a hugely popular place to eat and attracts locals and tourists in their dozens, lured by some terrific steaks and an inspiring view over the city towards the castle. And even if you end up sitting inside, the interior is quite fascinating decorated as it is with vintage curious and knick-knacks and posters of various tango dancers.

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With its three floors and a lovely exterior terrace, this wonderfully decorative and atmospheric restaurant is ideal for large numbers of visitors, and there's a special group menu available that showcases the best of what the kitchen has to offer. The cosy rustic-chic interior with its chunky wooden tables and vaulted ceiling is festooned with black and white photographs of writers, musicians and Hollywood's finest. Traditional Portuguese gastronomy has a starring role here, with dishes like grilled bream sprinkled with aromatic herbs, and tuna steak in ginger taking the lead. Support acts include an array of fresh crunchy salads, various pasta plates and mouth-watering desserts â€" try the lemon sorbet with vodka! On warm summer nights tables are set under a beautiful courtyard embroidered with twisting vines and illuminated by spotlight.

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Housed in the Palacio Alverca, a beautiful 17th-century palace built to a Moorish design, the Casa do Alentejo is part of a cultural centre dedicated to promoting Alentejan heritage. The first floor restaurant is set in a stunning neo-Renaissance hall awash with gilded wood and fabulous azulejo (tile) panels depicting rural scenes and pastoral landscapes. Crystal chandeliers hang from the ornate ceiling. The menu of course features traditional cuisine from southern Portugal's Alentejo region, dishes such as the classic carne de porch a alentejana (grilled pork and clams). The wine list numbers some of the most celebrated labels in the country. Its popularity as a favourite venue for tour groups and corporate gatherings means it's wise to reserve a table ahead of your visit.

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7
Sete Rios/Benfica


A spacious and rustically decorated dining room provides ample seating for large private gatherings and tour groups at this traditional, family-run restaurant. Long tables can seat up to ten people, more if necessary when seating arrangements can be arranged to suit numbers. David da Buraca has been serving up tasty Portuguese food since the 1960s, and the menu is as homestyle and traditional as it gets. This is the place to sample succulent flame-grilled spicy chicken, tender baked fish, rich bubbling stews and deliciously nourishing soups. The house speciality is the hot stone steak, delivered rare to your table for you to cook to your own preference. Needless to say, the wine list is adventurous, with dozens of different labels to choose from.

Recommended for Group Friendly because: Located well out of town and a local haunt, David da Buraca is worth seeking out for the authentic atmosphere and delicious Portuguese fare.

Paul's expert tip: Ask one of the waiters to show you upstairs. The huge salon's decor has changed little in 50 years and is reserved for private parties, weddings and other celebrations.

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6
Avenida 24 De Julho


A pizza and hamburger joint rolled into one, the homestyle menu and traditional Portuguese flourishes that underpin this busy eatery belie the modern approach the kitchen has applied in preparing what could be construed as fast food. In fact, Popolo's chef uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, especially cheese and beef produce, although the salmon is imported to conjure up the one fish dish � a smoked salmon, cream cheese and fennel wrap. A selection of Italian wines are available, but customers generally prefer the Portuguese labels on offer. same too with the beers � all local brews! Desserts number diet-inducing apple crumble, artisan ice cream and the ubiquitous brownie. Meanwhile, the large inviting interior is refreshingly modern and dynamic, with a lot of emphasis on the 1950s dolce vita look.

Recommended for Group Friendly because: Sited on one of the city's busiest avenues near a plethora of clubs and bars, this sprawling eatery is an obvious choice for group visitors.

Paul's expert tip: The Portobello mushrooms stuffed with vegetables and downed with a beer is a most conducive way to break up the day.

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5
Cais do Sodré/Santos


The well-respected national chain of Portugalia restaurants and beer halls includes this hugely popular waterfront venue located near Cais do Sodre The restaurant specialises in catering for families, large groups and special occasions â€" birthdays, weddings etc â€" and is often busy even during the day. Highly regarded for its seafood choice including crab, lobster and grilled tiger prawn (which, it has to be said, can be a bit pricy) the menu also stands out for its succulent steaks including a great Portuguese standby, bitoque (fried beefsteak topped with fried egg with chips and garnished with salad). The range of beers is excellent and the wine list is of an equally high calibre.

Recommended for Group Friendly because: The waterfront setting and lovely river views enhance any meal at this popular restaurant, where the menu errs towards traditional Portuguese fare.

Paul's expert tip: A creative menu aimed at kids provides bit-sized portions at half the price.

Read more about Portugália →


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Cais do Sodré/Santos


Fashioned out of the shell of a former 19th-century engine warehouse, this cavernous restaurant in one of the landmark features on the docks mid-way between Cais do Sodre and Alcantara. There's an industrial quality to the interior, with the design drawing on the building's history. The menu is international haute cuisine and features dishes like asparagus risotto, deep-water rose shrimps in champagne sauce, and grilled Iberian black pork tenderloin. The arm-long wine list is impressive, with Portuguese labels at the fore. Kais is particularly suited to large groups, but for smaller parties go downstairs to the rustic-styled Adega do Kais, where grilled meats are the speciality.

Recommended for Group Friendly because: A great example of how a disused dockside warehouse can be turned into a top-flight restaurant while still retaining its original industrial character.

Paul's expert tip: Always book in advance because of the restaurant's popularity with groups, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

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The imaginatively designed group menus offered at this cavernous beer hall are themed in keeping with the history of the building, which was once a monastery. Diners can choose from the Atrium Menu, Cloister Menu or Vestry Menu, and they all list hearty snack and soup starters, a choice of a succulent meat or fish dish and various diet-inducing desserts. The restaurant is spread over several rooms â€" the atrium, dining hall, and the Maria Keil room â€" and all are set under vaulted ceilings and decorated with outstanding azulejo (tile) panels depicting Masonic-inspired mosaics. Individual menus list dishes like tasty octopus salad. Their juicy steaks that are prepared using secret recipes handed down over generations. Trindade once also served as a brewery and while beer is no longer made on the premises there's plenty of it on tap including a special brew and a range of international lagers.

Recommended for Group Friendly because: This acclaimed eatery has a history going back to 1294; the brewery opened in 1840 and closed in 1935. It became a restaurant in 1959.

Paul's expert tip: The group menus are designed for a minimum of ten people, and drinks are not included in the price.

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Dating back to 1955, Império is one of Lisbon's great architectural design reference points. The café sits in the lobby of the old Cinema Império, which was inaugurated in 1952. The building also functioned as a theatre between 1961 and 1965. Films are no longer screened here, and the theatre closed long ago. But Império remains a unique dining institution, and still retains its vintage 1950's ambiance. Ample floor space attracts large groups, mostly Portuguese locals, who come here for the famous bife à Império (their specialty steak dish), or the cod. Another great "must try" is the créme de papaia com licor Cassis, Império's signature cocktail.

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The largest restaurant housed in the Bairro do Avillez neighborhood dining space, Páteo is just that ... a city patio with a wonderfully inviting al fresco atmosphere. Celebrated for its fish and seafood choice, but also known for its tasty meat dishes, the restaurant owes its creative menu to José Avillez, one of Portugal's most successful chefs whose Belcanto restaurant glows under two Michelin stars. Páteo is designed to linger in, and is spacious enough to cater for large groups. But even when it's bursting at the gills the sense of exclusivity is tangible. This is a cosmopolitan and accessible venue where the emphasis is on casual but upscale dining.

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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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