What to eat?
Traditionally Portuguese. Delicious on a piece of bread soaking up the taste of fish and quality Portuguese olive oil. That said, good grilled fish are Dourada, Robalo and Carapaus, mmm.
Favorite? Patio 13, Calçadinha de Santo Estêvão 13, 1100-120 Lisboa
Pasteis de Nata
The most famous of pastries. You just have to try but one a day keeps the doctor away. Expect plenty of creamy egg-custard filling. The best are at Pastelaria Santo António (very close to Augusto Rosa), Manteigaria, and in Belem (the inventors). Throughout the city their is a lot of "Pastelaria" with lots of cakes, cookies, pastries, tarts... Alcoa and Ovos Moles are places that revive the old traditional pastries of different regions in Portugal. Try "Toucinho do Céu", a pudding with tons of egg yokes and sugar. Confeitaria Nacional remains a legend when it comes to having a coffee and cake.
Favorite? Pasteis de Belem, Rua Belém 84-92
From the beautiful landscape of the Arrabida Park, one of Portugal's best. Try it with Moscatel from Setubal or an excellent Colares wine (both very close to Lisbon).
Favorite? Bairro do Avillez, R. Nova da Trindade 18, 1200-466 Lisboa
Bacalhau (and more fish)
There is many versions of this dried codfish. "À Brás" is the most famous and definitely something you should taste. The dried fish is soaked, then bakes with eggs and small chips are added. Go for "Bacalhau com Natas" if you like cream. You surely want to try a grilled "Dourada", juicy grilled fish, served in all simplicity : a dash of olive oil, some potatoes and either salad or a broccoli on the side. Same for "Robalo" and "Carapau" (mackerel). Yummy !
Favorite? A Casa do Bacalhau, Rua do Grilo 54, 1900-706 Lisboa
Rare to find but if you see it on the menu : go for it. This is what those awful squid rings should really taste like, crispy on the outside and juicy tender on the inside. If not available go for the "Lulas Grelhadas", especially in "bad looking" tascas they are deliciously grilled. You can take a boat ride from Cais do Sodre to Cacillas and taste a lot more sea food and fish.
Favorite? Solar Beirao, R. Cândido dos Reis 17, 2800-270 Cacilhas
A classic dessert, rice pudding. Or try the chocolate mousse or pudim flan, in general home made and tasty.
Favorite? In all traditional tascas, check for old fashioned places with (too much) white light like O Satelite, Largo Graça 40 or O Piteu da Graça, Largo da Graça 95
Vegetarian & Vegan
Lisbon has excellent vegetarian options. The city might look old and classic tascas will only serve fish & meat but there is a good offer of veg restaurants.
Favorite? The Food Temple, Beco do Jasmim 18
Portuguese love porc and they prepare it really well. Our favorite is "Porco Alentejano" that mixes small pieces of pickled vegetables, clams, small cube shaped fried potatoes with pieces of porc meat.
Favorite? Zé da Mouraria 2, Rua Gomes Freire 60
Taste Portuguese wine
Try the "Vinho Verde". Muralhas is a good option in the lower price range. Douro is a region in Portugal with excellent wines. But how to choose when there is also Alentejo? Take them both to visit the north and south of the country in one night.
Favorites? Graça do Vinho, Calçada da Graça 10 A B or Vino Vero, Tv. do Monte 30
Coffee & cake
It was the Portuguese bringing coffee to Europe so they know how to make a good one. Order a "bica" , the Lisbon version of the espresso. There is tons of old coffee&tea shops, buy it as a souvenir, the price too is excellent.
Favorite cake? Confeitaria Nacional, Praça da Figueira 18B
Favorite coffee? Casa Macario, Rua Augusta 272