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Midnight menus – late-night dining in Lisbon

Food, Nightlife — By Paul Bernhardt on September 30, 2011 at 10:31 am
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Lisbon likes to stay up late, especially at weekends. The Portuguese think nothing of eating out well into the evening, and the county’s capital serves up a fantastic choice of restaurants, many of which cater for lingering late-night appetites.

Restaurant front

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At Speakeasy they like to entertain diners with some pretty good live music, and this is an ideal place for youngsters in groups when an early night simply isn’t an option. This dockside venue can get crowded at times, and customers should note that this is one of the few places in town that allows smoking at tables.

The inventive menu mirrors the musical theme, with several dishes named after international singers and musicians. The selections err towards meat, with some cracking steaks complemented by fresh crispy salads on offer. There’s a good wine choice too. The music kicks in around 11pm and don’t expect to leave much before 4am! Dinner served until midnight; snacks till 3am.

The city is renowned for its fish and seafood and you can sample some of the best at Cervejaria Ribadouro. This smart restaurant is on Avenida da Liberdade and attracts late-night movie and theatregoers who fancy a bite to eat after the show. It’s rather pricy, but this is after all a place famous for dishes like king crab, jumbo shrimp and Cuban lobster. Dinner served until 1.30am.

Another late-night dining venue is Cervejaria Trindade that straddles the city’s Chiado and Bairro Alto districts. This historic beer hall positively heaves at weekends, and is pretty lively during the week. Its seafood menu is equally renowned, but there’s also a range of succulent meat dishes to tempt hungry insomniacs. Dinner served until midnight; 1am on Sat, Sun and bank holidays.

Galeto neon sign

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Away from the city centre, Galeto is the nearest thing to a genuine American diner, and the original mid-60s décor is a real eye opener. They’ve been feeding the sleepless here for nearly 50 years and it remains a hallowed Lisbon culinary institution. The service will never win any prizes for finesse, but dishes like the juicy burger and French fries will keep even the hungriest visitor fuelled till dawn. You can eat here until 3.30am, but prices increase by up to 2 euros per dish after 10pm.

Tags: cafe, Cervejaria, cuisine, diner, dining, eat, gastronomy, live music, restaurant

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