This is an updated version of our ‘Top Ten favourite places to eat’ posted this time last year.
Most of the old favourites are still firmly in place but we’ve added a few new ones that we thought should make the list. The criteria is exactly the same though; each restaurant must be within a ten minute walk of Lumi and we have to absolutely love it – of course!
let us know what you think, and if we’ve missed off any particular favourites…
A Cervicheria | yes it’s tricky to get a table and no, they still don’t take reservations (grrr) but trust us on this – it IS worth the wait. Chef Kiko Martin’s cerviche is legendary – Peruvian inspired but with a Portuguese twist. You can always make the wait easier by ordering one or two of their legendary pisco sour’s…
Bairro de Avillez | Chef José Avillez’s latest restaurant is all about flavour 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 ‘O Beco’ – hidden away at the back of the main restaurant – a 12 course tasting menu served while you sit back and enjoy the show…
Restaurante Pharmacia | a brisk ten minutes’ walk away from Lumi 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.
Less / Gin Lovers | Miguel Castro e Silva has created this restaurant and trendy bar, housed in the beautiful first floor courtyard 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 to get the full experience. The mashed potato with truffles and asparagus is historic.
Atalho Real | located in the old palace kitchen of Embaixada in Principe Real, Atalho specialises in top notch steak and burgers (not surprising from a restaurant created by a butcher and a chef). Worth ordering a couple of starters to share as well – our favourites are the ‘Queijo Provolone’ (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.
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. K.O.B is located next to our sister hotel The Vintage and – as an added bonus to anyone staying at The Lumiares – this feels like home from home with its cool Art Deco touches and blue and copper colour scheme.
O Asiático | the second restaurant from Chef Kiko Martins to make the list. Inspired by his first visit to Asia, this is a contemporary Asian menu served tapas style in a beautiful venue. Worth arriving early just to sample their signature cocktail ‘schochu’.
BOA-BAO | If you fancy a more traditional take on Asian food, head down to Boa Bao in Chiado, which opened just over a year ago. This really is a gem of a restaurant, serving authentic and freshly cooked thai-style food in a cool setting. No bookings taken though, so be prepared to arrive early or to wait at the bar for a table…
A Mercantina | Sometimes only pizza will do. Proper authentic pizza cooked Neapolitan-style in a massive wood fired oven and topped with the freshest ingredients. We count ourselves lucky to have this little corner of Naples on our doorstep…
Zero Zero | Our second choice for Italian fare is Zero Zero in Príncipe Real. Don’t be put off by the rather non-descript exterior – inside is lovely with a great atmosphere and a gorgeous (and spacious) courtyard at the back. Named after the flour used for the dough, Zero Zero takes its pizza very seriously, and it shows. Another restaurant that doesn’t take bookings – worth bearing in mind over the weekend when it can get very busy.
SeaMe | The freshest of fish served any way you like it. Everything from sushi to traditional dishes with a contemporary Asian twist. 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 food court with a difference located at the bottom of the hill from The Lumiares, opposite Cais do Sodré 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.
Mercado Simply Portuguese | Lumni Restaurant & Bar Of course we have left the best for last. We have two acclaimed restaurants at The Lumiares; on the ground floor, the more relaxed Mercado Simply Portuguese serves traditional Portuguese fare as well as salads, snacks and coffee. On the top floor, Lumni restaurant & rooftop bar boasts glorious views across Lisbon and serves a menu of delicious contemporary Portuguese food served ‘tapas’ style. 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!).
Featured image by João Miguel Simões @jmigsimoes