Best Restaurants near the Cruise Port in Lisbon

Ship to Shore: Restaurants near Lisbon's Cruise Port

Lisbon’s main cruise terminal is at Santa Apolónia, east of the city centre. Restaurants near the cruise port vary in style and in the menus they offer, but all are conveniently located near where international cruise liners visiting the Portuguese capital tie up. Neighbouring the terminal building itself is Casanova, an Italian restaurant with a reputation for baking some of the tastiest thin crust pizzas this side of Rome. On the opposite side of the road up on the hill behind the Santa Apolónia train station is Faz Figura, a noted fine dining venue that has great views across the river. Not far away is A Travessa do Fado, a chic restaurant located next door to the Museu do Fado. Further along the same street is Trigo Latino, known for its South American fare. Bica do Sapato, one of the city’s most fashionable eateries, is sited a short walk from the cruise port building whereas Canto Saudade is a leisurely fifteen minute stroll. Cais da Pedra, arguably the Portuguese capital's trendiest burger bar, is another very good restaurant that’s practically part of the cruise port building. Over the road and into Alfama is Mestre André, a local tasca full of flavour. Further towards the downtown district is quirky Taberna Moderna, known for its gin list. And back alongside the terminal is Deli Delux, a smart eatery that doubles up as a gourmet delicatessen. 





Santa Apolonia

A waterfront café that's also a delicatessen, Deli Delux is a great idea for lunch by the river. Tables are set inside and across the enclosed terrace at the rear of the premises, which faces the Tagus. The menu offers a good selection of light meals, many of them pasta based. Pizzas are available, and sandwiches and pastries are also listed. The weekend brunch is the traditional continental breakfast plus scrambled egg and other hot plates. As a specialist food store, Deli Delux offers one of the most comprehensive gourmet food selection in Lisbon - hams, cheeses, teas, jams and all sorts of other goodies. The hundreds of different national and international labels available will dazzle wine connoisseurs, but expect to pay a little more than usual for everything, including the location. Mind you, sometimes a visiting cruise ship will interrupt the fine panorama across the Tagus afforded by the café's patio tables.

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Santa Apolonia

The bar serving this delightfully offbeat restaurant has nearly 80 different varieties of gin to tempt diners – handy if you end up waiting for a table. But very often this is the drink of choice for customers choosing to eat at this extremely popular dining venue. It's not that the wine list is in any way inferior, but with such a bewildering array of gin at hand, it's rather fun to experiment with the food. The menu is tapas orientated – delicious Spanish finger food is the speciality. But there's also an interesting sushi-esque choice as well as Portuguese-Mediterranean fusion options, dishes like beef Carpaccio and duck, braised tuna and mushroom risotto.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Offbeat and quirky, Taberna Moderna is a great party venue, and the fun often spills out onto the pavement terrace.

Paul's expert tip: Reservations are recommended, and arrive earlier to grab a seat on the outside terrace – then finish off later with a late-night digestif.

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Unassuming but full of character, Mestre André is located on the edge of the city's Alfama district not that far from the river. The food is traditional Portuguese, with dishes like bacalhau com nata (cod with cream), and oven-roast chicken with chestnut and dry fruits gracing a deceptively simple menu. There's also a limited vegetarian selection. Interestingly, the kitchen offers a menu degustation, a tasting menu, for groups of 12 or over, making this a popular venue for discerning tour parties. The tiny interior is simply furnished, with a permanent candlelit shrine to Saint Anthony, Lisbon's favourite saint, set up in the window. Tables on the outside terrace are illuminated by hanging spotlight.

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Fancy a burger? How about one with gorgonzola cheese, rocket, tomato and red onion jam. Or how does a salmon burger wrapped in carob bread filled with red onion, lettuce, cherry tomato with a yoghurt and chive dip sound. And wait till you try the "Rossini" - beef burger with foie gras and black truffle mayonnaise. Nope, these are not your run of the mill meat in a bun jobs. Instead, chef Henrique Sá Pessoa has re-invented the humble burger to offer a menu of tasty and nourishing gourmet creations, with side orders such as baked potato with sour cream and bacon beefing up the choice. There's plenty of salads, too, plus a dessert list that numbers cheesecake "New York" style and that favourite standby, chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream. Mix all this with a young, outgoing crowd and great river views and you've a recipe for success.

Read more about Cais da Pedra restaurant →

Santa Apolonia

Wonderfully atmospheric and well regarded for its cuisine, this traditionally decorated restaurant enjoys a loyal local patronage and is also a favourite with tourist groups who come here to listen to fado, which is performed regularly – fadista Clara Sevivas sings here on occasion. The food is traditional Portuguese: wholesome, hearty and delicious. An excellent wine list featuring labels from across the country complements the menu. Canto Saudade is open throughout the day during which it functions as a bar (they do great cocktails) and retail outlet selling handicraft and wines, including port and Madeira) that make perfect souvenirs. Dinner here is a popular option so booking a table in advance is advisable.

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Santa Apolonia

Set on the dock at Santa Apolónia, this fashionable and trendy venue has a well-known Hollywood name behind - American actor John Malkovich, who even pops in unannounced on occasion. The menu here is international, but also celebrated Portuguese culinary tradition with dishes like braised turbot with spinach and clams garnished with coriander. Needless to say, the wine list complements the excellent choice of gastronomy. Upstairs, a minimalist sushi bar serves excellent sashimi, tempura, kushiyaki and other Japanese delights. For a less formal experience, the riverside bar offers a lighter menu (and wonderful views) and is especially popular at lunchtime.

Read more about Bica do Sapato →

Santa Apolonia

A grain warehouse once stood on this spot (translated, trigo means wheat) but the space has long since been given over to this homely retro-style bistro. An exciting and carefully prepared menu offers diners a well-balanced choice of international and Mediterranean cuisine. Delicious homemade soups, fresh crunchy salads and tapas-style appetisers prime the palate for dishes like salmon with sesame seed and red pepper and duck garnished with red berry and caramelised nut. The artisan quality of the cuisine extends to the dessert choice, so leave plenty of room for their cheesecake and ice cream. The wine list is broad as it is imaginative, with Portuguese labels sharing the cellar with classics from Chile, Argentina, Spain and Italy, among other countries. The bar is also renowned for its gin cocktails!

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Located just a 10-minute walk from the cruise port, Trigo Latino fuses Portuguese character with a Latin flavour and the combination is intriguing.

Paul's expert tip: The signature dishes are the humungous Uruguayan steaks: order a cut with fries and asparagus.

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Santa Apolonia

Sited next door to the Museu do Fado, this stylish eatery functions like a tapas bar where small plates of Portuguese delicacies, or petiscos, are served. Drawing on the country's rich culinary tradition, the menu features bit-sized wonders such as polvinho confitado em azeite, octopus with garlic and potato drizzled with olive oil, and a lovely and smooth cod fishcake called bacalhão à "Zé do Pipo". Those with a sweet tooth can indulge in the likes of torta de laranja, a tangy orange cake. The restaurant's interior angles through a corridor and onto a wing that overlooks the courtyard below – the perfect setting for al fresco dining! And as the name suggests, fado is occasionally performed here although this place is not considered a traditional fado house.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Tapas-style snacks can be enjoyed either in A Travessa do Fado's stylish interior or at a table set on the attractive outside terrace.

Paul's expert tip: Try the peixinhos da horta, a flavoursome snack of green beans wrapped in a crispy batter coating.

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Smart, stylish and fashionable, this fine dining venue is another Lisbon restaurant that woos guests with fabulous views – some of the tables are set alongside large picture windows that frame the Tagus Estuary. A light and airy esplanade allows for al fresco meals in summer. The creative Portuguese/Mediterranean cuisine features specialities such as tiger prawns grilled with lemon risotto and duck breast with sour sauce and leek puree. The desserts are equally alluring: try the caipirinha mousse with black currents or the delightfully rich and traditional fig and carob pies. Wine connoisseurs will appreciate the extensive choice of labels from just about every region of Portugal, including a Cartuxa 2009 from the Alentejo and Duas Quintas Reserva 2008 from the Douro. Reservations essential.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: The restaurant is not far from Santa Apolonia but it's even nearer to Alfama, a neighbourhood definitely worth visiting after dinner.

Paul's expert tip: When booking, ask for a window table.

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Santa Apolonia

They use genuine wood-fired ovens here to create the crispiest, crunchiest wafer-thin pizzas you'll ever likely to taste in Lisbon. Located just metres away from the dockside and the cruise port, late night Casanova has built on its reputation as hip, chic Italian pizzeria, a place with a young vibe and a menu that mamma would be proud of. There's plenty of pasta and antipasta choice, and the list extends to tasty crostini, bruschetta and calzone appetisers, antipasto temptations and beautifully cooked pasta creations - try the ubiquitous bolognese and see how they've reinvented this most iconic of Mediterranean dishes. Round off a meal with a dessert, a creamy panna cotta perhaps, or a perfectly presented tiramisu, and then take a coffee on the outside terrace.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: If you're looking for pizza on the riverfront, it doesn't get much better (closer) than this, and the views provide the perfect topping.

Paul's expert tip: If it's warm outside, arrive early and bag a table on the dockside terrace.

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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