Lisbon is fun, flirty and infatuating and if love is on the menu, these five romantic restaurants will put passion on your plate.
A Michelin star shines over Lisbon’s – and Portugal’s – oldest restaurant. Founded in 1784, this refined establishment impresses with a beautiful gilded wood interior and walls inlaid with huge Venetian mirrors. Crystal chandeliers further enhance the 18th-century ambiance. Highly regarded French chef Aimé Barroyer has masterfully reinterpreted traditional Portuguese cuisine while sommelier Arlindo Madeira perfectly matches the wine.
Considered one of the best fado restaurants in the city, “Mr Wine” marries fine dining with Portugal’s soulful and sentimental folk music. Some of the country’s most famous exponents of fado have performed here, singing to a hushed audience under low light between servings. This is one of the best ways to discover Lisbon culture – beautiful voices, melodic guitars that pull at the heartstrings, and mouth-watering cuisine.
American actor John Malkovich part owns this über cool eatery overlooking the River Tagus. The location adds to the aura of an already stylish and sophisticated venue that attracts a young and fashionable crowd. In summer, tables are set on the esplanade for an intimate waterfront aspect. The winter months sees an open fire lending the interior a warm, comfy glow. A first-floor sushi bar adds an exotic twist.
An interior design comprising of mismatched chairs and tables, (some of them purchased on eBay) and 1950s and ‘60s kitchenware lend this chic little bistro an authentic vintage look that oozes nostalgia. Celebrated Portuguese Chef José Avillez has designed a simple but inspiring menu of traditional Portuguese cuisine with a contemporary twist. Set the mood beforehand by ordering a cocktail at the funky bar and then soak in the chic, retro vibe.
Wedged between the narrow cobbled streets and alleyways in Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest and most picturesque neighbourhood, is this wonderfully unpretentious but utterly charming taberna. The picture-postcard setting is beguiling, the atmosphere snug and familiar. If it’s warm, dinner should be enjoyed on the outside terrace at candlelit tables set under a canopy of twisting vine.