Lisbon Dining on a Budget: 5 spots that locals love

Lovely Lisbon. Photo: Journey Around the Globe

The capital city of Portugal has become one of the world’s top tourist destinations in recent years.

This fact has driven the traditionally low prices up, but despite this boom, eating well in the city has stayed very affordable compared to other European capitals.

With these tips by Lisbon locals, you’ll be sure to find really cheap eats whether you want classic Portuguese bites or cuisine of an international variety.

More Lisbon tips:
• When is the best time to visit Lisbon?
• The top budget hotels in Lisbon for 2018
• Lisbon: The best free attractions and things to do

We’ve written about how to save on dining in Lisbon, and now our friends at Spotted By Locals have come up with five restaurants where you can always eat for cheap.

Eat like a local at As Bifanas Do Afonso. Photo: Alexandre Cotovio

As Bifanas do Afonso

Rua da Madalena 146

Having a bifana is part of experiencing Lisbon, and while there are plenty of places that offer this beloved Portuguese sandwich, many agree that As Bifanas do Afonso has some of the best, with pork tenderloin cooked in a sauce of white wine, garlic, laurel, and red pepper powder. Bifanas go perfectly with “imperial” beer — a 250ml glass and a sandwich together won’t set you back more than €5.

Accommodations: Search for hotels under $100 per night in Lisbon

The treats waiting for you at Pastelaria Aloma. Photo: Nuno Lopes de Paula

Pastelaria Aloma

Rua Francisco Metrass 67

Another supremely Portuguese classic is the emblematic pastel de nata, or egg custard tart. It’s virtually impossible to walk through Lisbon without running into multiple ‘cakeshops’ that sell this pastry, but local Nuno swears that you won’t know a real one before you try Pastelaria Aloma‘s, which by the way, won the award for the town’s best natas in 2012, ’13 and ’15. Served warm straight from the oven and going for a modest €1.20 a piece, make sure you never refuse cinnamon when asked.

Savor a taste of Brazil at Feel Rio. Photo: Claudio Carneiro

Feel Rio

Rua do Crucifixo 108

One of the exciting aspects of Lisbon is that it serves up the cuisines of countries that used to be Portuguese colonies and still have cultural ties with the former motherland. Enjoy food from Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique, and of course Brazil. Feel Rio has typical ‘Carioca’ snacks and fast food, such as chicken croquettes, empanadas with mince and egg (€2.30) and also serves the legendary sugarcane juice. It makes Brazilian-born local Claudio homesick — what more can one ask for?

The view from the rooftop bar at Topo. Photo: Get10Things


Cc Martim Moniz, 6th floor

Rooftop bar Topo is best known for its hip cocktails and amazing views over the castle, Alfama and the Old Quarters. Chicken satay and gyoza are not typical Portuguese dishes of course, but when’s the last time you had good, inexpensive food with such views? Dishes here go for about €5 each. And if you like cocktails,  don’t forget to try the gin, black pepper, and basil cocktail.

Related: Affordable hotels in Alfama, Lisbon’s castle district

Get your meat fix at Carvoaria Jacto. Photo: Nuno Lopes de Paula

Carvoaria Jacto

Rua Maria Andrade 6 B

Carvoaria Jacto is a carnivore’s paradise — just like Portugal as a whole. Get a red wine from Alentejo, pick your kind of meat, the cut (local Nuno recommends the perfect round steak) and the weight of the portion (300g or 500g), choose your favorite garnish (fries, rice and/or spinach mash, etc), perhaps add a salad from the salad bar, and you’re good to go. Just make sure you save some space for the chocolate mousse! The daily menu here costs around €7.50.