Top 6 Hidden Lisbon Restaurants Where Locals Eat

Searching for Lisbon restaurants where locals eat? Finding the right place to eat while traveling is difficult and frustrating at times. If you’re coming to Portugal soon and want to eat like a local, follow our tips to discover Lisbon restaurants where locals eat.

You could jump into any restaurant, but we’re going off the beaten path to experience the authentic local cuisine. From grilled fish to barbecued chicken, we’ll show you where and what to eat in the Portuguese capital. So, avoid the tourist traps and join us on this culinary tour of Lisbon.

Seating outside of a Hidden Lisbon Restaurant where locals eat.
Lisbon is full of restaurants, but if you want to eat like a local, you’ll want to check out our top six picks. Photo credit: Clifford

Casa do Alentejo

Food isn’t the only thing that draws locals to Casa do Alentejo. At first sight, it seems like an ordinary building, but trust us, you’ll want to try out this Lisbon restaurant where locals eat. This former casino venue makes us feel like we’re in a Moroccan riad, yet it’s hiding right in the heart of Lisbon.

There are two restaurants inside, both serving traditional dishes from the Alentejo region. For a light meal, visit the small tavern on the ground floor and try the Portuguese sausagefarinheira–on bread. You can get bigger meals at the restaurant upstairs. We here at Devour Lisbon love the carne de porco à alentejana (grilled pork with clams). And, of course, you have to try the Alentejo wine.

Inside patio of a Lisbon restaurant where locals eat in a moroccan style eatery.
Casa do Alentejo is a hidden food haven in busy Lisbon. Photo credit: Pedro Cambra

Zé da Mouraria

They say it takes two to tango, well it takes just as many, if not more, to eat the massive food portions that come out of Zé da Mouraria’s kitchen (Rua João do Outeiro, 24). Tucked away in Mouraria, the home of Fado music, this restaurant is one of our favorite spots in Lisbon. Here, you can taste authentic Portuguese food served in huge steel pots.

The restaurant is only open for lunch and always offers a choice of meat and fish. From fresh cuttlefish to pepper steak, the menu varies every day, but the quality is guaranteed. Oh, and if you can’t manage to eat it all, do as the locals do, and ask for a takeaway box.

Insider’s Tip: Make sure to arrive early to get a seat or book in advance, to avoid the wait. There’s also a Zé da Mouraria 2 (Rua Gomes Freire, 60), which is open for dinner.

close up of a Arroz de Camarão in Lisbon eatery.
You can’t go wrong with ordering arroz de camarão in Lisbon. Photo credit: bm.iphone

Taberna Anti-Dantas

Taberna Anti-Dantas is close enough to the city center but still hidden from most tourists. This small tavern serves traditional Portuguese dishes with a twist.

As you sit down, you’ll see waiters rushing around with fish soup inside a big piece of bread. They also have their own version of pastéis de nata (custard tarts), with a codfish filling. Another worthy mention is the polvo à aljezur, a delicious octopus served with sweet potato.

Dessert at Taberna Anti-Dantas is a must. We recommend ordering a shot of Port wine which is served inside an edible chocolate cup.

A plate of Bacalhau in secret Lisbon diner.
Bacalhau in Lisbon is a must, but only the local spots serve the best. Photo credit: tomasz przechlewski

Bruta Flor

Let’s be honest, Portuguese food is not the most veggie-friendly. Bruta Flor is here to change that. This family-run restaurant serves delicious vegetarian meals that appeal to the local crowd. Once a typography house, the space has been converted into a cozy dining area.

On the menu, there are biological wines, veggie, and vegan snacks. The highlight, however, are the freshly baked cakes, so make sure to save some room for them.

Occasionally they host live gigs, so check their Facebook page before you go.

row of tasty empanadas in Lisbon.
Try out the empanadas for the perfect sized snack on the go. Photo credit: Lucas Oriogun

Restaurante Primavera

Londoners have their curry, New Yorkers have their pizza. For Portuguese, it’s all about the takeaway chicken. In Lisbon, you’ll find at least one takeaway per neighborhood. We love the Restaurante Primavera in Arroios, a local’s favorite. They offer two options: the traditional barbecue chicken or the chicken on a spit, both equally delicious. You can sit down at the restaurant, but we recommend the takeaway experience—that’s how locals do it.

Insider’s Tip: Bring cash, as they don’t accept cards.

chickens roasting at a top secret spot in Lisbon.
Locals know that rotisserie chicken is a must in Lisbon. Photo credit: Erich Ferdinand

Último Porto

Locals-in-the-know head to Último Porto for a taste of grilled fish. Finding the restaurant is an adventure on its own, as it hides among shipping containers. Don’t lose hope though, the smell of grilled fish will get you there in the end.

They cook the fish on coal which makes the skin super crispy. We recommend getting the grouper or the sea bass. The restaurant is only open for lunch so make sure to get there early. If the weather allows, you can grab a seat outside and enjoy the river view.

To find the restaurant, walk down rua Cintura Porto Lisboa, turn left, and then head straight to the end of the dock.

Fish being cooked over an open flame.
Treat yourself to delicious grilled fish in Lisbon. Photo credit: Julia Filirovska

Update Notice: This post was updated on December 8, 2023.

Even more Lisbon restaurants where locals eat

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but if you want to discover Lisbon restaurants where locals eat, join us on our Tastes & Traditions of Lisbon Tour. We’ll take you inside the family-run places that real Lisboetas know and love, some of which have been going strong for 100+ years!

7 Comment

  1. Fernando Taborda says
    November 12, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    I have visited the first two places and tasted very pleasant flavors together with family and old friends.
    I will try the others and come back with news

  2. Karen says
    July 20, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Hi love favorite is crab, sea bass, lobster, shrimp, and others..Lol..can you recommend a good restaurant that serve these. I can travel to any town near by, also I would like some really good grill chicken I will be in Lisbon in August for 6 days..Thank you

    1. Devour Tours says
      July 23, 2019 at 6:10 am

      Here are our favorite seafood spots!
      Head to Bomjardin for chicken. Enjoy!

  3. camilla says
    August 25, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Hi we are two couples that are staying in Lisboa up coming weekend – Is there a restaurant/place that is an experience it self and also serves great food?

    1. Devour Tours says
      August 26, 2019 at 11:36 am

      So many! Of those on this list, Zé da Mouraria is a typical tasca known for serving most dishes to share in big frying pans and at Último Porto you can often find the owner Maria out on the terrace grilling fish!

  4. Andrea says
    October 16, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Hi , where can we eat the best BIFANA in city center ? CHIADO or around , not far … thanks !

    1. Devour Tours says
      October 21, 2019 at 7:26 am

      Hi Andrea—you can’t go wrong with O Trevo for a great bifana in Chiado!

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