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Best Street Food in Lisbon

Lisbon's street food scene: menus for the sidewalk foodie.


Although Lisbon is not particularly regarded as a street food destination there are nevertheless several places where those seeking a snack on the go can head for. Fancy a hot dog? They serve up the best in town at Hot Dog Lovers on Avenida da Liberdade. Similarly, Beira Gare in Rossio is celebrated for its fabulous and filling bifanas – juicy pork steak sandwiches. At Mercado da Ribeira near Cais do Sodré hungry visitors can choose from nearly 40 kiosks preparing all kinds of different tasty meals and snacks. Rossio's Historic Cafe Gelo meanwhile is where to indulge in a spicy sausage roll or a tangy and refreshing fruit cup. Portugal’s most emblematic street food is castanhas, roasted chestnuts. A seasonal treat, they are sold throughout the city from mobile braziers over November until early April. If you like Austrian style sausage then Wurst is the place to head for. The owners are from Austria so this is the real deal! Alternatively, seek out busy Casa Brasileira, which offers a scrummy range of pies, cakes and sandwiches to go. For pastries to eat in or on the go, A Padaria Portuguesa-Camões located in Chiado, is the first place for warm croissants or crunchy baguettes. For a real belly filler, head across town and order burger and fries at Hamburgueira da Parada, an open-air kiosk set in a lovely park in Campo de Ourique. And up in Príncipe Real neighbourhood is Pizza a Pezzi, a great pizza joint that has all sorts of toppings on its menu. 


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10
Bairro Alto/Principe Real

Street food is epitomized by the ubiquitous pizza, and this little hole in the wall eatery serves up rectangles of the thin-crust variety to an appreciative clientele. Italian-owned, the pocket-sized pizzeria is a stone's throw from the bar and club districts of Principe Real and Bairro Alto and gets very busy in the small hours. Pizzas are baked on site and are prepared with some amazing toppings: for example, the Zucchine is coated with mozzarella cheese, courgette and bacon. The special treat is the seasonal Prosciutto e fiche, mozzarella cheese with cured ham and figs! And there's always that great standby, the classic Margherita. Pizza slices are weighed to calculate the price, so decide how hungry you are before ordering.

Recommended for Street Food because: Super friendly with a fast turnaround, a pizza after clubbing tops any night out, but you'll not be the only one queuing for a slice.

Paul's expert tip: After midnight pizza is ordered, paid for and served through a hatch in the wall.

Read more about Pizza a Pezzi →


Set in tranquil gardens in the west of the city, this popular take-out attracts street food fans from all over Lisbon. The homemade hamburgers are freshly prepared and crammed with all sorts of mouth-watering ingredients. Try the Queijo da Ilha, aucculent beef combined with crispy rucola, fried onion, sliced tomato and melted cheese from the Azores. A delicious curry mayonnaise adds a smooth, spicy finish. The menu is select and lists just six different types of burger, plus three wraps. But it's all about quality rather than quantity, even the chips are hand cut! Chairs and tables are set across a terrace and provide sit-down options, but it's just as much fun ordering to go and finding a nearby park bench before tucking into arguably the best burger in town.

Recommended for Street Food because: Grab 'em to go with a bag of chips and a drink, or sit down in the park over one of their menu options.

Paul's expert tip: Tram 28 stops close by after which it's just a few minutes' walk to the gardens.

Read more about Hamburgueria da Parada →


This citywide cafe and bakery franchise has caught the imagination of locals and tourists alike. The concept is simple, a bright and breezy French-style boulangerie (lots of croissants and baguettes) shining under 60's-style lamplights and lots of street food suggestions chalked up on the blackboard. This is a favourite morning haunt for budget-conscious travellers and busy commuters. The breakfast menu of juice, expresso and cheese and ham sandwich is the best buy, and by 9 am it gets so busy the queue backs up to the front windows. The display cabinets heave with sausage rolls, meat pies, donuts, flan and dozens of different cakes, and the place stays open all day and into early evening. Take your pick!

Recommended for Street Food because: There's seating upstairs, but the nearby square opposite makes for an ideal backdrop if you prefer to snack on the street.

Paul's expert tip: Customers need to take a numbered ticket from a vending machine situated at the top of the stairs. When their number is called they can step up to be served.

Read more about A Padaria Portuguesa-Camoes →


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Not to be confused with Café A Brasileira in Chiado, this near namesake enjoys an equally privileged location in Rua Augusta, Lisbon's animated pedestrian thoroughfare in the Baixa (downtown) district. Inside, the long stand-up glass counter is crammed full of chicken pies, fish cakes, rolls and sandwiches and other savory goodies, plus a huge variety of cakes, biscuits and other sweets. All this can be eaten at the balcony standing up, at a table on the terrace or ordered to go. The staff will wrap individual servings or box up a selection. They can also heat up pies, pasties and pastries and even ladle up soup into a plastic bowl. For dessert, order a fruit slide cup, a fresh, tangy and healthy treat.

Recommended for Street Food because: Very popular with locals and tourists alike, this pastelaria is open from 7 am and serves food all day and well into the evening.

Paul's expert tip: Ask about the special combi menus that are specially prepared for those on the go.

Read more about Casa Brasileira →


Austrian nationals Maria and Martin have successfully imported to Lisbon one of their country's favourite foods, succulent, flavorsome sausages. Wurst, (which is the German word for sausage) is located in a covered market area where the sausages – made from organic products locally produced and based on traditional Austrian recipes – are prepared to order. The menu lists several different varieties, from the classic Frankfurter and Bratwürstel (white sausage with a mild taste) to the tasty oven baked Leberkas, which is served grilled. There are also a couple of vegetarian options. Order either as an eat in dish accompanied with fries and sides like coleslaw salad or potato salad, or to go in a bread roll. Optional dressings include hot or sweet mustard, horseradish, ketchup or mayonnaise.

Recommended for Street Food because: An innovative street food idea from two enterprising expatriates, Wurst is all about authentic Austrian snacks.

Paul's expert tip: Try the Bosner to go –a Bratwürstel of either one or two sausages with onion, parsley, mustard and curry sauce. Delicious!

Read more about Wurst –Salsicharia Austríaca →


Every year during the run-up to November, one of Portugal's tastiest and most emblematic snacks hits the streets. November 11 is St Martin's Day (Dia de Sao Martinho) and the Portuguese celebrate by munching on roasted chestnuts, or castanhas. In Lisbon, for example on Praca D. Pedro IV, and across the country mobile braziers appear on pavements and terraces and in parks and squares, where jovial vendors can be seen splitting the shells of these sweet, oaky nuts before slowly roasting them till they're hot and crunchy. Sold as a dozen and presented in a paper bag, this popular take away is available right through the winter and follows a centuries-old tradition. The telephone number listed here is for the Turismo de Lisboa Visitors & Convention Bureau, Rua do Arsenal, 21. They can explain more about Dia de Sao Martinho and the customs surrounding the festival.

Recommended for Street Food because: Healthy and nutritious, roasted chestnuts make an ideal traditional snack between sightseeing the city.

Paul's expert tip: Chestnuts are mostly available from late October until February. But you can still find them for sale through March to early April.

Read more about Castanhas →


Cafe Gelo is one of the longest established eateries in Lisbon, beginning life in 1890 as Botequim do Gonzaga and later Cafe Freitas before adopting its present name in the mid-20th century when it became an ice cream parlour. Once frequented by writers, politicians and intellectuals, Cafe Gelo became the focus of national attention in 1962 when an anti-fascist took place nearby, a gathering banned by the dictatorship of the time. Several demonstrators lost their lives in the riots that followed. Today the scene is much quieter, the cafe attracting hungry tourists eager for one of their pao com chourico (spicy sausage roll) or a fresh fruit cup crammed with chilled slices of mango, kiwi, pineapple, melon and papaya and one of the healthiest street food options in town.

Recommended for Street Food because: Cafe Gelo is a street food hot spot that besides its tempting menu serves up a good deal of fascinating history.

Paul's expert tip: Inside Cafe Gelo is a panel describing in more detail the events of 1962, plus other descriptions of the history associated with the eatery.

Read more about Cafe Gelo →


3
Avenida 24 De Julho

This market is the place to go for a Lisbon "street food" experience. Nearly 40 kiosks are housed around the edge of an immense covered hall. Each "restaurant" specializes in a particular cuisine so the choice of food is varied and deliciously tempting. Traditional Portuguese gastronomy is well represented, but what Mercado da Ribeira is renowned for is its world food menus. One kiosk will be offering a flavoursome Thai green curry while the next will be serving up rich Brazilian black bean stew. Chinese noodles, Japanese sushi and even good old British fish and chips can also be enjoyed here. Some well-known Portuguese chefs lend their name to several kiosks, and their contemporary takes on some of the country's most popular dishes are seriously inventive, and perhaps a little pricy. Tables are set in rows across the middle of the hall and several bars complement the food outlets.

Recommended for Street Food because: Mercado da Ribeira showcases fine Portuguese food and international gastronomy and is designed to evoke a street food ambiance.

Paul's expert tip: If visiting during the day, check out the old fruit and vegetable market next door.

Read more about Mercado da Ribeira-Lisboa →


From the sidewalk you can gaze through the window in gleeful anticipation as the waiters in this city-centre cafe-restaurant rustle up the house specialty bifana, a pork steak sandwich braised in a savory sauce wedged in a fresh bread roll. Time it right and you can catch the chef replenishing the oil in the pan, with the subsequent whoosh of flame shooting upwards in an orange flash. This is deliciously simple street food at its best, a succulent meaty snack that can be enjoyed at the counter or as an order to go. Besides bifana, Beira Gare offers up a host of other tasty snacks and a menu of sit-down dishes.

Recommended for Street Food because: Run by locals for locals, this friendly eatery is arguably the best place in town for the tasty bifana pork sandwich.

Paul's expert tip: For added zing, splash some mustard over the steak and wash the whole lot down with a cold beer.

Read more about Beira Gare →


1
Avenida da Liberdade-Príncipe Re

Fancy a hot dog? Then head to Avenida da Liberdade and the Hot Dog Lovers kiosk, where they've been serving the tastiest in town for over 10 years. This is one of the city's best-known street food spots where you can order a variety of hot dogs wrapped in a baguette sized roll and smothered with delicious toppings and sauces. The chilli dogs are to die for. Equally moth-watering is the cheddar and bacon option. And hey, they can even rustle up a vegetarian hot dog using soya substitute. Complementing the dogs is a selection of snack options, like nachos and mini chicken pies. Drinks range from coffee and soft drinks to beers, wines, and cocktails. Topping all this is a team of funky and friendly waiters who proved spot-on service and a wonderfully conducive cafe-society atmosphere.

Recommended for Street Food because: Hot Dog Lovers tick all the boxes, taste, value for money, location, and friendly staff.

Paul's expert tip: Grab a few extra napkins with your order. These oversized hot dogs seriously overflow with ingredients.

Read more about Hot Dog Lovers →


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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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