I found some great restaurants in Lisbon. One of my favorites recently closed, but I highly recommend the following:
Orpheu Caffe, Praca do Principe Real 5A: I climbed up from Las Restauradores to the Praca do Principe Real near the Botanic Gardens. Thanks to Seth Sherwood at the NY Times for the great tip! It is a modern version of a traditional Lisbon café. I had their brunch buffet which had some good salad selections, jamon, great breads, and dessert items. I also had some scrambled eggs with fresh asparagus. It has a comfortable, eclectic décor that is conducive to sitting there and reading.
SeaMe, Peixaria Moderna, Rua do Loreto 21: I heard about this bar, restaurant, sushi bar and fish market from my hotel. I later saw that it was listed as one of the places to go in an article, in the NY Times, on food in Lisbon. I had another great restaurant experience here. The restaurant is very sleek with a minimalist feel. I was taken to the back where there was an entire cooler of fish and shell fish from scallops, lobsters and clams to tuna. It was so fresh and there were misters keeping it cool. I was told what was fresh and what they could do in the preparation. I had the scallops with a mango sauce and the razor clams which were cooked in olive oil and garlic. They were both excellent. I also enjoyed their bread with a crab spread that they brought out at the beginning. This and a glass of great wine was the perfect meal! I highly recommend it, but don’t go if you want something very traditional. Check out their website to see for yourself!
While in Belem, don’t stop at Starbucks, but run fast a few doors east to Pasteis de Belem. This is a bakery and cafe that opened in 1837. You have to try their specialty, the pasteis de Belem which is a sweet pastry with a custard filling and served with powered sugar and cinnamon. It is one the best things I ate on my entire trip! They are at Rua de Belem #84.
LX Factory, Rua Rodrigues de Faria 103: As part of my attempt to see the new Lisbon, this visit to the LX Factory was one of the most interesting and fun stops on my agenda. It is a former factory that has been totally transformed and is now home to boutiques, cafes and restaurants, an organic market, galleries and some offices for architecture and design firms and internet start-ups. I had lunch at Cantina which was a wonderfully designed, eclectic space using industrial furnishings where you sit at long tables. I had a great vegetarian pasta and salad from the salad bar. It had a very young clientele. I also loved the look of the 1300 Taberna. I saw the sleek Landeau Chocolate and had my dessert which was a wonderfully decadent chocolate cake.
Tasca da Esquina, Rua Domingos Sequeira 41X, Campo de Ourique: On my last night in Lisbon, I had a great meal at Tasca da Esquina. The restaurant was opened by the well-known Portuguese chef, Victor Sobral in 2009. I opted not to do the tasting menus where the chef makes the choices as I wanted the tomato salad and the tuna steak with sweet potatoes. The soft cheese that they brought out first was really creamy and delicious. I did enjoy the tuna and would definitely go back!! The crowd consisted of more upscale locals who live in the area.
There are many old world cafes to explore. Check out La Brasileira, Rua Garrett 120. It has been there since 1905. The Cafe at the Chiado Museum is a perfect spot for a cup of tea following your visit to this contemporary art museum. In Baixa, stop in at the Confeitaria Nacional at Praca de Figueira 18B, a two story pastry shop which opened in 1829.
Tavares, Rua da Misericordia: Jose Avillez is the hot chef of this long time restaurant. This restaurant recently received its first Michelin Star. Founded in 1784, it has a wonderful mirrored dining room that is right out of the past. I was going to go but decided it was too formal and too much food for me having just done Spain for three full weeks. It is supposed to be one of the best restaurants in Lisbon so you should definitely add it to your list.
A good article in Architectural Digest recommends the following bars and restaurants: For seafood in Almada A Cabrinha and Amarra O Tejo, Agui Ha Peize, Bica do Sapato in a onetime boat factory, Cafe Lisboa from Michelin-starred chef Jose Avillez, Clube de Facio to hear Fado music, Pavilhao Cines and Senhor Vinho also for Fado music.