We are spoilt for choice at The Lumiares. It’s not just that there are LOTS of restaurants within easy walking distance 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 Lumi front desk 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, they do a pretty mean veggie burger. Don’t miss the ‘Queijo Provolone’ starter (warmed bread dipped into melted cheese) and the ‘Pica-Pau’. The garden terrace is lovely in the summer so book to sit outside if you can.
Less / Gin Lovers | Miguel Castro e Silva (Our Lumni & Mercado chef) has created this restaurant and trendy bar on the 1st floor of Embaixada, a converted palace and concept store up the hill from The Lumiares. This is all about sharing dishes (petiscos) so eat ‘tapas’ style and be prepared to share to get the full experience. Housed in the Palace’s inner courtyard the space is stunning.
A Cervicheria | Chef Kiko Martins’ second restaurant 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 though and they don’t take bookings so be prepared to queue at peak times. We promise 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. Or, for something completely different, pre-book ‘Beco’ – hidden away at the back of the main restaurant – a 12 course tasting menu while you sit back and enjoy the show…
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 to have it on our doorstep.
The Pharmacia | a brisk ten minutes’ walk away but we love this quirky restaurant. They no longer do the tasting menu but you can still order a great selection 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)| a fab food court with a difference located at the bottom of the hill from The Lumiares, opposite Cais do Sodre train station. This is gourmet and showcases regional Portuguese cuisine. Every chef here, and that includes our very own 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 | Mercado Simply Portuguese | and of course we have left the best for last; acclaimed Portuguese Chef Miguel Castro e Silva has created two restaurants especially for The Lumiares. Lumni restaurant & bar on the rooftop boasts glorious views across Lisbon and serves a menu of delicious contemporary Portuguese food served ‘tapas’ style. On the ground floor, the more relaxed Mercado Simply Portuguese serves traditional Portuguese fare as well as salads, snacks and coffee. 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 alleyways around The Lumiares. Here you can feast on seafood served with thick wedges of crusty bread to mop up the juices. Take a stroll, pick a spot and eat like a king (but on a budget!).