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Top 10 food and drink things to do in Lisbon

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Garlicky shellfish, fiery chicken piri-piri and cinnamon-dusted custard tarts all land on your plate in Lisbon. Loosen a belt notch, book a Lisbon hotel and plan your foodie trip with this guide to the top 10 food and drink things to do in Lisbon.

Perfect pastéis at Confeitaria de Belém

Whiffs of vanilla curl around your nostrils at the vaulted Confeitaria de Belém. Here the pastéis de nata – caramelised pastry shells, filled with silky custard cream and dusted with cinnamon – have been tempting locals to ditch the diet since 1837. Enjoy them while they’re hot with a bica (espresso) at the counter.

Rua de Belém 84-92, 1300 Lisbon

Chicken piri-piri at Bonjardim

Competition is hot, but Lisbon’s vote for the crispiest, juiciest spit-roasted chicken goes to rustic Bonjardim. Spicy piri-piri sauce gives it that extra kick. Sit on the pavement terrace when the sun’s out.

Travessa de Santo Antão 12, 1200 Lisbon

Sunset shots at A Ginjinha

Love it or hate it, ginjinha is Libson’s must-try tipple. The drink’s 19th-century inventor, a friar named Espinheira, still watches over cupboard-sized A Ginjinha, where locals spill out on to the cobbles at sunset with shot glasses of the sour cherry liqueur.

Largo de São Domingos 8, 1100 Lisbon

Divine shellfish and beer at Cervejaria Trindade

The hum of chatter and garlicky aromas fill vaulted 13th-century monastery turned beer hall Cervejaria Trindade. Tuck into plump Algarve shrimp and bacalhau espiritual (salt cod soufflé) washed down with beer.

Rua Nova da Trindade 50-51, 1200 Lisbon

The art of conversing at Pois Café

Find a spot amid the bookshelves, newspapers and sofas at Austrian-run Pois Café and you won’t want to leave. Lisboetas from all walks of life meet at this gallery café for strong coffee, Viennese pastries, fresh salads and sandwiches.

Rua Sao Joao Praça 95, 1100 Lisbon

Portuguese wines at Chafariz do Vinho

Award-winning wine writer João Paulo Martins selects Chafariz do Vinho’s full-bodied Douro reds, Alentejo whites and tawny ports, served in the converted galleries of an 18th-century aqueduct. Accompany them with pesticos (tapas) like duck carpaccio and bacon-wrapped dates.

Rua da Mãe d’Água, 1250 Lisbon

Heartfelt fado and soul food at A Baîuca

The warble of fado vadio (amateur fado) drifts through Alfama’s lantern-lit lanes, drawing you to A Baîuca’s intimate glow. Squeeze inside this tiled fado club and you’re one of the family. Dine on simple home-cooking as lights dim and locals take it in turns to exercise their vocal cords with songs of lost love, fate and husbands drowned at sea.

Rua de São Miguel 20, 1100 Lisbon 

Modern Portuguese at Olivier Avenida

Champagne cocktails at the oval bar precede modern Portuguese cuisine at chandelier-lit Olivier Avenida. Masterchef Olivier da Costa strikes perfect balance with fresh, Mediterranean-inspired dishes like wafer-thin octopus carpaccio with sweet peppers and meltingly tender Kobe beef with mango chutney. 

Rua Júlio César Machado 7, 1250 Lisbon 

A theatrical feast at Pap’Açorda

Some say service is snooty, but that detracts nothing from the food at Pap’Açorda, served in pearly pink surrounds lit by Murano chandeliers. Artists and celebrities flock here for the namesake açorda (garlicky bread and shellfish stew) and chocolate mousse. 

Rua da Atalaia 57-59, 1200 Lisbon 

Romance in a convent at A Travessa

If you’re seeking romance, look no further than the candlelit cloister of 17th-century convent A Travessa. Crusty wood-fired bread with olive oil is followed by flavours like sweet oysters, partridge in puff pastry and the signature roast pork. 

Travessa do Convento das Bernardas 12, 1200 Lisbon