A great Portuguese standby, grilled chicken with piri-piri (chilli sauce) is beloved by locals and visitors alike. Cheap, hearty and mouth-wateringly tasty, the quality of the meat served at Rei dos Frangos ("King of Chickens") is up there with the best of them – it's been around since the 1950s! The restaurant is tricky to find: it's tucked away in a sidestreet, with the premises divided into two sections, one each side of the alley. Tables are set outside the main building, and the terrace is the place to sit for al fresco dining. Portions are generous, with chicken accompanied by French fries and a salad of lettuce, tomato and onion (sprinkle it with olive oil for the freshest flavour). A great budget option, with comfort food that really hist the spot.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Locals have long known about this place - and the chicken, chips and salad that is served promptly without fuss!
Paul's expert tip: A "portion" of chicken is in fact a whole bird, usually enough for two people.
This unassuming tavern is noted for its wine list as much as the selection of tapas-style pesticos (snacks) that the kitchen conjures up with suitable attention to looks as well as taste. The rustic decor – all wooden floors and walls – lends the tiny restaurant a local, down-to-local quality that is instantly appealing. Equally so is the food, small plates of traditional Portuguese delicacies that hail from across the land. The croquets with butter work wonders with a glass of beer, as do the spicy sausage with lemon. A more substantial option is the broad bean salad, and the tuna steaks are also worth trying.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Consistently good food served in one of the liveliest restaurants in the city. Memorable!
Paul's expert tip: This is the place to come if you like to whet your appetite with some really good wine.
The Hard Rock Café Lisboa is already known for its international menu, but its Southern & Smoked options celebrate the traditional recipes of America's Deep South. This is comfort food at its finger-licking best, with an authentic menu of BBQ specials prepared by smoke king Isaac Tiger. He draws his inspiration from the rural kitchens of Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi to produce plates such as gut-bustin' hickory-smoked ribs, chicken wings, and pulled chicken sandwich, all served with ample sides of sweet coleslaw, spicy Cayenne peppers, hot jalapenos, melted cheese and other trimmings, and garnished with all sorts of fabulous sauces. Isaac works his magic using the slow smoke cooking system and fuels his oven with cedar, maple and oak as well as hickory to obtain that distinctive country-style flavour.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Chef Issac uses a smoking oven that costs thousands of dollars, so diners know they'll be tucking into the real deal.
Paul's expert tip: For a real treat, go for the hickory-smoked BBQ combo – ribs, chicken and pulled pork, with fries, homemade muffin and coleslaw. Awesome!
The menu at this informal and rustic eatery features some unusual delicacies, including corvine â" a thick cut steak of croaker fish, grilled to perfection. There's also chocos assados com tinta (cuttlefish grilled in its own ink). Blink and you could miss this tiny roadside taverna, located just off Praca do Principe Real. It's a local, home style haunt and fills up quickly, particularly at lunch times when the daily specials are eagerly snapped up, along with a jug of house red, especially the very agreeable Ermelinda Freitas. The menu is not in English, but the waiter has great fun in translating the list, which includes hearty regional dishes and lighter offerings such as plain omelette.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Good-sized portions at exceptional value for money endear Tascardoso to a loyal clientele, so join the locals.
Paul's expert tip: There are only ten tables available so it's best to turn up early to bag a place.
The rustic and home-style kitchen at Tasca do Manel dishes out hearty and tasty fare from Portugal's northern Minho region, and the Alentejo, in the south of the country. The choice of gastronomy is therefore wonderfully represented and all the more varied. Either way, it's all positively delicious. The menu lists speciality game dishes like gut-busting feijoada de javoli (wild boar stew) and fragrant perdiz à serra morena (partridge from the Morena mountains). Staples include nourishing bacalhau a bras, an inventive ensemble of codfish and whisked eggs with thinly cut fried potatoes, and succulent lombinho de porco (pork tenderloin). The wine list, of course, favours reds and white from the aforementioned regions but there are plenty of other labels in the mix.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Family-owned and well established as an eatery serving up authentic regional cuisine. Excellent choice of wines.
Paul's expert tip: Try the gambas fritos ao alho (fried garlic prawns) as a starter along with a fresh and fruity vinho verde.
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 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 Homestyle because: Consistently good service and quality of cooking has kept Antiga 1 de Maio well ahead of the game in the area's competitive restaurant scene.
Paul's expert tip: Advance booking is advisable due to its tremendous popularity. Ask for Sr Ricardo, who speaks English.
The whacky décor in this snug, cheap 'n' cheerful eatery reflects the restaurant's name – Bota Alta means "High Boot" in English, and this particular style of footwear treads all over customers as the subject of numerous prints, drawing and paintings that festoon the walls, and even as decorative bar ceramics styled as the hobnail variety. The food is good old-fashioned country-style cuisine, and the menu draws on traditional Portuguese recipes from across the country. They do a superb cod in port wine, and an equally appetising garlic-laced "Bota Alta Steak" complete with egg and chips. It doesn't get much more plain and simple than this, especially when it's all washed down with a glass or two of the house wine.
Recommended for Homestyle because: A perennial Lisbon favourite, this place has been feeding them up for years and it's still difficult to get a table after 8pm!
Paul's expert tip: The interior is tiny, and a little too familiar if you're looking for a romantic table for two.
The regional fare served at this humble eatery is of such high quality that some of Lisbon's top chefs choose to eat here on their days off. Locals have known about this place for years, and the home cooking is as good as it gets. The menu reads like a traditional cookbook, with dishes such as rojões à minhota (spiced and marinated chunks of roast pork Minho-style) typical of the authentic Portuguese cuisine on offer. Complementing the food is a wide variety of wines, bottled at vineyards from across the country. The ambiance is gregarious and familiar: O Pitéu do Graça is a favourite eating venue with families, especially at weekends. Indeed, the homestyle dining experience is authentic and memorable, but the restaurant is still relatively undiscovered by most visitors to Lisbon.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Regarded by several top chefs as the best place in Lisbon to enjoy homestyle Portuguese cuisine, O Pitéu do Graça remains delightfully unassuming and accessible.
Paul's expert tip: A novel way to arrive at the restaurant is by streetcar: the number 28 tram stops almost opposite the door.
A pizza and hamburger joint rolled into one, the homestyle menu and the traditional Portuguese flourishes that underpin it 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 interior is refreshing modern and dynamic, with a lot of emphasis on the 1950s dolce vita look.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Slick but accessible, with an unusual marriage of Italian and American food blessed with distinctly Portuguese twist.
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.
Characterising the menu at this family-run Portuguese restaurant is authentic homestyle cooking of the highest order. Working from recipes handed down from generation to generation, an enthusiastic team of local chefs prepare ingredients in a huge kitchen using a bewildering arsenal of utensils. Depending on what you order, food is cooked over hot spits, on flame grills or inside huge ovens. This is hearty country fare at its best. But the eatery is also known for its ocean-fresh seafood, and the choice of fish dishes is exemplary. So, too, are the wines, which are proudly displayed on a narrow shelf that runs along the entire length of the walls. Located well out of the city centre, the rustically styled David da Buraca has been serving a loyal clientele since the mid-1960s and despite its popularity remains well under the tourist radar. It's therefore best to jump in a cab for the ride out to Benfica.
Recommended for Homestyle because: Serving tasty authentic Portuguese cuisine since 1967, this family-run restaurant positively buzzes with local flavour.
Paul's expert tip: David da Buraca's signature dish is the hot stone steak, naco na pedra. Try it with a fruity red wine from the Alentejo.