With all eyes on Portugal as the first quarantine-free destination for UK travellers, we’ve found five of the best restaurants worth writing home about. After all, dining out is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and if ever there was a time to ensure every meal is carefully chosen and mouthwateringly-marvellous, this is it.
Casa de Chá
Casa de Chá Boa Nova, 4450-705 Leça da Palmeira
Every restaurant meal is a special occasion these days, and none more so than here — you’ll find Casa de Chá in a western suburb of Porto. A beacon of architectural excellence and with two Michelin stars, it’s got the gastronomic kudos to match. Built on the rocks to honour the beauty of nature, this is one of architect’s Pritzker Siza Vieira’s most exceptional works. The tasting menus of 6, 12 or 21 cantos are worth lingering over.
Sublime Comporta Beach Club
Sublime Comporta Beach Club, Praia do, 7570-782
Open for lunch and dinner from June to December, this spot is an extension of the divine Sublime Comporta hotel, just 10 minutes down the road. Right on Carvalhal beach, the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming. Book to dine in the restaurant but there's also a beach bar, as well as a beach area with sun loungers, shades and a beach bar, so it’s easily worth making a day of it. The menu features international options as well as grilled meats and of course, superlative seafood.
Faz Frio Restaurant and Bar
Faz Frio, R. Dom Pedro V 96, 1250-092, 1250-094 Lisboa
With more than 150 years of history under its belt, this recently restored restaurant is an absolute must visit and feels like you’ve unearthed a much-loved favourite amongst the locals. In the heart of the Principe Real district, spare a thought for what these walls will have born witness to — whispers of revolution, intellectual debate, literary discussions and tales from the sea. Its history is immortalised in tiles on the walls, whilst the menu honours times gone by, with a contemporary twist.
Porto Santa Maria Restaurant
Porto Santa Maria, Guincho Road, 2750-640, Lisbon
Plenty of Portuguese restaurants serve heaven-sent seafood, but Porto Santa Maria is best-in-class for simple but perfectly prepared dishes that delight. Committed to using only the freshest ingredients, you can visit the nurseries the restaurant runs for fish and seafood — lobsters have their own lobster spa here, where they enjoy temperature controlled tanks (until well... you know). Book a table by the window for the best sea views.
O Paparico, Rua de Costa Cabral 2343, 4200-232 Porto
Another for those keen to pay homage to Portuguese tradition, this is a charming but sophisticated tavern. Low-level lighting highlights crisp white tablecloths set against ancient, cave-like walls. Local specialities and seasonal ingredients are brought up to date with experimental and playful creativity. Naturally, there’s an accompanying wine list packed with the best of Portugal.
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