We are spoilt for choice at The Lumiares. It’s not just that there are LOTS of restaurants (more per capita than any other area in Lisbon) but that there is SO much choice. You could feast on dishes from around the world without leaving the narrow grid of streets that make up Bairro Alto and the neighbouring districts of Chiado and Principe Real. And while it has been like that for years it has grown even bigger and better over the last five years or so. Chefs like Kiko Martins and José Avillez and our very own Miguel Castro e Silva have led the way in creating new and exciting restaurants that simply add a cherry on top of an already delicious cake. (Apologies for the terrible food analogy!).
So here, in no particular order (apart from saving the best for last!) are our absolute favourites. All within a ten minute walk of The Lumiares. The concierge at reception will happily arm you with a map and point you in the right direction.
Atalho Real | top notch steak and burgers (not surprising from a restaurant created by a butcher and a chef). It’s not ALL about the meat though, our resident vegetarian waxes lyrical about the veggie burger. Don’t miss the ‘Queijo Provolone’ starter (warmed bread dipped into melted cheese) and the ‘Pica-Pau’. The garden terrace is lovely so book to sit outside if you can.
Less / Gin Lovers | Miguel Castro e Silva, our chef at The Lumiares, has created this restaurant and trendy bar on the 1st floor at Embaixada (a converted palace and concept store, up the hill from The Lumiares). The food is simply superb; modern Portuguese at its best. Eat ‘tapas’ style and share a few dishes to get the full experience. Housed in the Palace’s inner courtyard the space is stunning.
A Cervicheria | the second restaurant from Chef Kiko Martins and one of the coolest places to eat in Lisbon – not just because of the iconic octopus suspended from the ceiling (!) but because the cerviche is incredible. This is a small space and they don’t take bookings so be prepared to queue at peak times. It’s worth the wait!
Bairro de Avillez | Michelin starred Chef Jose Avillez has a handful of fantastic restaurants in Lisbon but this one in Chiado is our favourite. It’s all about flavour and choice and going where the mood takes you; the space is assembled like a small but perfectly formed Lisbon neighbourhood. Choose to eat at Taberna (small plates), Patéo (seafood) or browse in the gourmet shop Mercearia.
The Insolito / The Decadente | Just a few doors up from The Lumiares are these two hip sister restaurants. The Insolito, serving Portuguese food and cocktails, overlooks the São Pedro de Alcãntara viewpoint and is reached by a tiny and ancient elevator – an experience in itself! The Decadente serves modern Portuguese fare at everyday prices and has a cool terrace out the back that is heated in winter – great for brunch or a chilled out evening with friends.
A Mercantina | Sometimes only pizza will do. Proper authentic pizza cooked Neapolitan-style in a mammoth wood fired oven and topped with the freshest ingredients. This place is a mecca for pizza lovers in Lisbon and we are lucky enough to have it round the corner.
The Pharmacia | now strictly speaking this isn’t on our doorstep but it’s only ten minutes’ walk away and as we love this quirky restaurant, it had to make the cut. If you’re feeling particularly peckish opt for the surprise chef’s menu – a veritable feast of Portuguese-style tapas. The setting is great; think vintage (chemist) meets cool and funky design. There is also a fabulous garden for pre and post dinner drinks.
K.O.B by Olivier | This is another meat lovers paradise – K.O.B. stands for ‘Knowledge of Beef’. But it’s not all about the dry-aged beef, excellent though that is; Chef Olivier has put together a great selection of side dishes (Asian sautéed broccoli, mashed potato with truffle) and there’s always a fish option for non-carnivores. As an added bonus this place feels like home from home for anyone staying at The Lumiares with its cool Art Deco touches and blue and copper colour scheme.
SeaMe | The freshest of fish served any way you like it. You can even take it home to cook yourself if you fancy – but why would you do that when they do it so much better here? Everything from sushi to traditional dishes, sit at the bar with a chilled glass of wine or at a simple wooden table with friends.
Time Out Market (Mercado da Ribeira)| at the bottom of the hill from The Lumiares, opposite Cais do Sodre train station, is this fabulous food court with a difference. This is gourmet and showcases regional Portuguese cuisine. Every chef here, and that includes Lumni Chef Miguel Castro e Silva, had to prove they were top of their game to be given a slot. It gets very busy though – be warned! – this is Lisbon’s number one attraction.
Lumni Restaurant & Bar | and of course we have left the best for last; celebrated Chef Miguel Castro e Silva has created this fabulous rooftop restaurant and bar for The Lumiares. Perched on the top floor, Lumni commands glorious views across Lisbon, best enjoyed with a cocktail or chilled glass of wine in hand. The menu is delicious contemporary Portuguese food served ‘tapas’ style and the service is friendly and relaxed. Come and see for yourself!
P.S. and don’t forget to scout out the wonderful little restaurants that appear like magic after sunset in the cobbled alleyways around The Lumiares. Here you can feast on seafood – a bowl of steamed clams perhaps or giant tiger prawns or fish stew served with wedges of crusty bread. Take a stroll, pick a spot and eat like a king (but on a budget!).