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Bairro do Avillez, Chiado

This is the latest restaurant in chef José Avillez’s stable, which now stands at seven in Lisbon. Skip the chaotic front bar and head to the restaurant at the rear. Set under huge roof lights, it’s bright, open and surprisingly tranquil for such a large space. Avillez sources Portuguese ingredients, including a must-try blue lobster, serving them with reference to traditional approaches and a much-refined palate. Seafood and fish dominate – the lobster-and-crab rice is exemplary – but meat is also available.

18 Rua Nova da Trindade, 1200-303
+351 21 583 0290
bairrodoavillez.pt
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Tapisco, Bairro Alto

This latest offering from Michelin-starred chef Henrique Sá Pessoa is an informal dining space on the edge of Bairro Alto. Set in a former bakery, the long room offers table and bar seats and is reminiscent of a (very fine) railway lounge, with industrial lighting and red-leather upholstery. The name is a play on tapas and petiscos (the Portuguese word for snacks taken with drinks) and the menu offers a mix of Spanish and Portuguese dishes, ranging from a very good marinated octopus salad and a sophisticated take on bacalhau à Brás to jamón ibérico croquettes and squid-ink paella. Designed for sharing, the dishes work especially well when they’re paired with the signature Yzaguirre vermouth.

81 Rua Dom Pedro V, 1250-093
+351 21 342 0681
tapisco.pt

La Boulangerie, Prazeres

This is the place to come for the best croissants in Lisbon – and possibly Portugal. Flaky, buttery and baked fresh on the premises all day long, they’re worth the visit by themselves. The pains au chocolat are also dangerously addictive. La Boulangerie offers continental breakfasts – freshly baked rolls with jam and butter – and brunch that includes scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and those croissants again, this time with unusual fillings such as fresh figs and soft cheese. The setting is pleasant but arrive early on weekends for a table on the terrace.

42 Rua Olival, 1200-739
+351 21 395 1208
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Hello, Kristof, Santa Catarina

This cosy space on Rua do Poço dos Negros – one of the streets that reflects Lisbon’s rapid gentrification – bills itself as dedicated to coffee and magazines, reflecting the fact that founder Ricardo Galésio is also a magazine art director. Along with coffee you’ll find breakfast offerings, a selection of homemade cakes and a range of toasts topped with ingredients such as avocado and smoked salmon. There’s also a back wall dedicated to international magazines, which patrons are welcome to read. 

103 Rua do Poço dos Negros, 1200-336
hellokristof.com
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Pavilhão Chinês, Bairro Alto

This five-room bar was founded in 1986 and is a Lisbon institution. It’s easy to miss, set behind a simple double door that looks more like it belongs to the warehouse that the space once was. Inside, you enter another world, with the walls and ceilings of each room decorated with all manner of ephemera, from toy soldiers and model aircraft in one to diving helmets, mannequins and an entire cabinet dedicated to military caps and hats in another. Staff wearing red-velvet waistcoats and bow ties serve drinks from a long but traditional cocktail list – the gin fizz is excellent – while tea, coffee and hot chocolate are also available. The back room has a pool table and the whole experience is a little like visiting a wealthy, eccentric uncle’s home.

89-91 Rua Dom Pedro V,  1250-093
+351 21 342 4729

Images: Pedro Guimarães, Sanda Vuckovic Pagaimo

Go back: Lisbon

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  • The Foreign Desk