Must-see restaurants in Portugal

  • Trás da Sé

    The Douro

    Congratulations to the chef line the walls at this adega-style place, where the atmosphere is friendly, the menu short and simple, the food good and the…

  • Pastelaria Gomes

    Trás-os-Montes

    Vila Real's most traditional bakery is a great place for a coffee, a covilhete (the meat pastries it is famous for) and a spot of people-watching. There's…

  • Jardins Botânicos Snack Bar

    Funchal

    If you're feeling peckish after exploring the botanical gardens, the only place to take a break on site is the snack bar on the northwest side. It's…

  • Bistrô Gato Pardo

    Alfama, Castelo & Graça

    One of Lisbon's coolest cats, Gato Pardo is a wonderfully chilled cafe, with a mishmash of vintage furniture, splashes of art on the wall and good vibes…

  • Luso Pizza

    Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela

    For a change from the traditional Portuguese fare served at most mountain eateries, this tiny place makes great pizza; perfect for a pre- or post-hike…

  • A Barquinha

    Tavira

    One of the better choices on this restaurant-heavy riverside strip, this cluttered, narrow place is hospitable and cosy. Simple salads and grilled local…

  • Arigato

    Parque das Nações

    Blond wood and clean lines define this gallery-style restaurant. If you like your sushi and sashimi to come from an all-you-can-eat buffet, you'll be…

  • Alto Monte

    Funchal

    Just off Largo da Fonte, this terrace restaurant serves everything from a quick pastel de nata to full-blown Madeiran meals. Has great views when the…

  • Xarez

    Monsaraz

    A tourist magnet for its views and reasonable petiscos (snacks) and mains. It gets mixed reviews for food, so we prefer to come in between mealtimes for a…

  • Pastelaria São Roque

    Príncipe Real, Santos & Estrela

    This wedding cake of a patisserie drips with exquisite azulejos, gold-topped columns and mirrors. Grab a seat in one of the alcoves to indulge in buttery…

  • Varanda do Lima

    The Minho

    This is one of Barca’s grandest options, with fresh fish and all the traditional meat dishes served on pressed tablecloths. If you want something lighter,…

  • Sentido do Mar

    Setúbal Peninsula

    This is the best of Costa de Caparica's seaside pavilion restaurants, and open year-round. Sentido do Mar draws locals for fresh, creative sushi and fresh…

  • Churrasqueira Vitória

    Estremadura & Ribatejo

    Neither outstanding nor terrible, this simple, friendly place serves tasty grilled meat and other Portuguese standards. Grab half a chicken for €7 and go…

  • Cafe do Parque

    Funchal

    This Monte cafe is situated on leafy Largo da Fonte and the outdoor is a lovely spot for a coffee and cake stop between the sights. Sadly the characterful…

  • Frigideiras do Cantinho

    Braga

    Set on a sweet, quiet plaza, with pleasant indoor and outdoor seating, this humble cafe is favoured by loyal locals for its frigideiras: meat pies with…

  • Pastelaria Clarinha

    Guimarães

    Since 1953 Guimarães’ best pastry shop has filled its window with fresh-baked tarts and cakes to tempt passers-by. There are a few pavement tables and a…

  • La Bella

    Tomar

    Locals enjoy this brightly lit, modern, mirror-walled pizzeria just behind Igreja de São João Baptista for excellent pasta, pizza and meat dishes. On…

  • Galliano

    The Minho

    Head to this popular spot just northwest of the market for delicious regional delicacies like barrosã grelhado (grilled steak), along with good-value all…

  • Tasquinha Alentejana

    Alto Alentejo

    In a lively dining room packed with rustic decor, this popular eatery has a huge menu of Alentejan specialities as well as a few Spanish classics (like…

  • O Brasileiro

    Mértola

    Set on a hill above Mértola, this pleasant spot serves traditional cuisine. Its known for its game dishes, including javali (wild pig) and migas (meat and…

  • A Toca

    Estremadura & Ribatejo

    Along this pedestrianised street are several traditional restaurants, including this friendly, no-nonsense spot with pretty tiled interior and a long menu…

  • Bar dos Pauzinhos

    The Douro

    This three-floor hotspot has daytime drinks and snacks, such as sandwiches and burgers, plus an alfresco terrace at the top. The crowd is young, the decor…

  • Restaurante O Parque

    Monchique

    In the village centre, this locals' haunt serves down-to-earth char-grilled fish and dishes at green-clad, unsteady tables. It's popular with workers in…

  • Restaurante Popular

    Peniche

    This harbourside spot serves up good seafood. The tasty daily specials reflect what's been caught locally – the five types of espetados (skewers) of mixed…

  • Sandwich Bar

    Setúbal Peninsula

    Opened in 1974 just after the demise of the military dictatorship, this nostalgic burger bar was Portugal's first. Nothing gourmet here; just beef or…

  • Sabores do Alvão

    Trás-os-Montes

    This simple family-run restaurant near the church in the heart of Ermelo village has nice valley views and hearty staples such as spare ribs cooked in…

  • Nosolo Italia

    Belém

    A great family choice, this bustling place with outdoor tables perched over the water has a big menu of pizzas, pastas, salads and omelettes; there's also…

  • Restaurante O Júlio

    Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela

    Run by local character Senhor Júlio, this modest backstreet eatery is known for its regional cuisine. House specialities include cabrito à serrana …

  • Muralha

    The Minho

    Tucked into an alcove behind one of the town’s old towers, this somewhat divey dining room serves tasty octopus and meat dishes. It brags about its…

  • Praia de Tamariz

    Portugal

    Overlooking the beach of the same name, this traditional restaurant serves decent, if unsurprising, traditional fare. More memorable are the ocean views…

  • Carvi

    Portimão

    Famous hereabouts for its seafood, Carvi has a tiled dining room with rows of communal tables dressed in white linen, a brimming live tank and a long list…

  • Adega Regional

    Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês

    Set behind Hotel Universal, and just above a roaring stream, this historic stone adega (wine tavern) serves tapas and wine. Saturday-night karaoke kicks…

  • Tik Tapas

    Ericeira

    Decked out with orange walls, colourful wooden tables and a glowing blue bar, this place sells really tasty meat, fish and vegie tapas, full meals,…

  • Copo e Meio

    Braga

    This swanky, gourmet tapas bar-restaurant with two cute upstairs stone dining rooms and a streetside deck gets packed with local moneyed types. Come for…

  • A Grelha

    Sagres

    More appealing on the inside than out, with bright paper tablecloths and terrazzo floors, this simple spot is a decent bet for budget-priced grilled…

  • O Moinho

    Trás-os-Montes

    Despite lacklustre service, this new-town spot serves up glorious Douro views along with a wide-ranging menu featuring pizza, pasta, salads and Portuguese…

  • A Merendeira

    Setúbal Peninsula

    This cafe on the main drag serves merendeiras (wood-fired oven-baked sandwiches with chorizo, beef or cod), and filling daily soups and desserts. Cash…

  • Restaurante Dallas

    The Douro

    This unpretentious restaurant south of town specialises in grilled lamb, veal and pork, with a few traditional Portuguese codfish dishes thrown in for…

  • Salão de Chá Lusitana

    Braga

    Next to sweet-smelling Jardim de Santa Bárbara, this sunny, well-preserved art deco tearoom is a local favourite with all, but especially ladies who lunch.

  • O Alentejano

    Alto Alentejo

    This pretty spot has the prime location above the Fonte do Montorinho. It is a reasonable choice, serving traditional, if slightly tourist-focused,…

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