A gastronomic experience? Five need-to-visit restaurants in Lisbon

Food plays an important role in Portuguese culture. Highly influenced by nearby Africa and former colonies in India and the Far East, typical dishes are made from honest and simple ingredients. More often than not, fish is used as the main ingredient and bases, seasoning and sauces are made using a mouth-watering collection of herbs and spices.

Lisbon, Portugal’s largest and capital city is a great place to start when exploring fine dinning and unique cuisine. With a fabulous collection of wine bars, small eateries, romantic cafes and innovative restaurants, you’re spoilt for choice. Here are five restaurants really worth a visit if you find yourself in this beautiful nation.

1. Enoteca de Belém

The Enoteca de Belém is a unique wine bar that serves up gourmet food that’s innovate and utterly delicious. Tucked away up a little side street, the knowledgeable staff are happy to advise all curious customers on both wine and cuisine options. Patrons can enjoy their meal in a cosy and intimate environment knowing the food is made with passion and expertise.

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2. Eleven

Sat atop Edward VII Park, Eleven is a Michelin-star restaurant that offers ambitious and unique food with a view that stretches across Lisbon. The food, scenery and ambience is stunning, and whilst a meal fetches a pretty penny here, it is well worth the splurge.

3. Solar dos Presuntos

The food at Solar dos Presuntos is said to be amazing. Offering top-class cod and perfectly seasoned shellfish, the food presents dinners with dishes originating from the northern part of Portugal in a vibrant and positive setting that almost feels like home.

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4. Clube de Jornalistas

This unpretentious gem plates up the best Brazilian food in Portugal. The staff are extremely friendly and customers can enjoy the expertly seasoned, spiced and served food on the gorgeous garden terrace should they wish. Set in the Lapa district, the restaurant enjoys a rather romantic and vintage character – perfect for dates and special occasions.

5. Frade dos Mares

Frade dos Mares is a seafood and fish specialist; serving up the finest garlic-laced octopus and tender fish fillets alongside scrumptious meat from the grill and lip-licking desserts. Offering a comprehensive wine list, there are lots of taste bud delighting options available.

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If you’ve never been to Lisbon, you could find it’s somewhat geography confusing. It is a very hilly city and most maps don’t show this. What looks like a simple southern trip can take a lot longer once you’ve traversed the uneven landscape. To avoid such an issue and to know you’re getting to your favourite eatery, considering hiring a car for a few days, it also acts a great opportunity to get out and explore. You can pick up a bargain from companies like Economy Car Hire so you don’t have to worry about being ripped-off by taxi drivers or getting lost while walking.