Penha de França travel guide for food lovers
Penha de França is a neighborhood in Lisbon with lots of personality. It is often overshadowed by Graça, the more popular parish which borders it, but we’re firm believers that it should also be on the map for those seeking to experience a side of Lisbon which mixes local characteristics with a certain international flair, something that translates into the existence of several establishments which we could easily label of hidden gems. Pro tip: ditch the super crowded viewpoint of Graça and head to Miradouro da Penha de França (Rua Marques da Silva) for equally stunning views with way less tourists around.
Even though Penha de França breathes in some alternative and even slightly hipster vibes from the adjacent areas of Beato and Marvila, it still retains a lot of typical Portuguese identity – something that is, for example, very evident when you visit the local farmer’s market, Mercado de Sapadores (Av. Gen. Roçadas 3).
It is quite probably this confluence of worlds apart that somehow seem to co-exist so nicely that makes this area of Lisbon special. Resident projects such as A Avó Veio Trabalhar, which translates as “Grandma came to work”, an organization which gathers older ladies to do textile work and teach younger generations as a way of empowerment of the elderly, is a clear example of this.
Platforms for artistic expression are something there’s no shortage of in Penha de França. Here you’ll find the art cooperative Penha Sco, and cultural events and recreational association Clube Lusitano da Penha de França, amongst several others.
If Penha de França has drawn our attention, it is also because this part of town has several restaurants, cafes and bars which we like visiting. Because the inhabitants of the area are a mix of locals and expats, this is a great place to try food from different parts of the world (don’t miss PATUÁ.lisboa for exquisite food inspired by Portugal’s former colonies around the world; A’Paranza, a seafood-focused Italian tasca; or Pentagon LX for vegetarian food and visual arts). But today, we’re focusing on the establishments which serve typical meals from Portugal.
These are the best places for Portuguese food in Penha de França:
Best Portuguese food restaurants in Penha de França
This typical Portuguese tasca is what we’d locally refer to as BBB – bom, bonito e barato – that is, good, pretty and cheap. It may sound a little reductive if you are not used to this expression but, trust us, it’s a big compliment to give a restaurant, particularly in a fairly central location of Lisbon, where this type of establishment is becoming increasingly rare. Solar Minhoto (not to be mistaken with Adega do Solar Minhoto, in the neighborhood of Alvalade), serves homely traditional Portuguese fare in generous portions and at very fair prices – we love it!
📍Rua Penha de França 151, 1170-302 Lisbon
Portuguese home style food in a family-like atmosphere is what A Tabanca offers its regular and new diners. The value for money you get when you eat at A Tabanca is unbeatable in Lisbon, plus you get to sample what some of our traditional recipes are like, in a similar manner as if you were to eat at home with a local. Expect robust dishes like cozido à Portuguesa or feijoada à Transmontana, as well as salted cod classics and other typical recipes such as those prepared with octopus as the main protein.
📍Rua Angelina Vidal 88B, 1170-375 Lisbon
Listriglo is a hybrid between a restaurant and a pastelaria, that is, Portuguese for cafe and pastry shop. As they are open between 7AM and 8PM you can visit them for breakfast, lunch, an early dinner, or simply for a cup of coffee and a quick snack any time of the day. At lunch hours during weekdays they offer a great value for money combo which includes a dish of the day, a drink, dessert and an espresso coffee for less than 8 euros. A perfect spot for a no-frills week lunch in Penha de França!
📍Av. Afonso III 69A, 1900-041 Lisbon
Sabores da Penha
Similarly to Listriglo above, Sabores da Penha serves main meals as well as pastries and snacks ideal for a coffee break. They also do daily specials for lunch, which a lot of locals living or working in the neighborhood take advantage of during the week. Their menu is essentially Portuguese but, because of the Brazilian management, don’t be surprised if some recipes from across the Atlantic make it to the table as well. No matter what you get, the food is super well seasoned and the friendliness of the staff will make it taste even better.
📍Rua da Penha de França 193B, 1170-299 Lisbon
Rui do Barrote
This iconic eatery used to be located close by in Marvila, but in early 2023 moved to Penha de França. Rui do Barrote has gained a great reputation for its grilled food, which easily attracts at least one hundred hungry diners on any given day. Folks come here for meat with a side of carbs, not necessarily for the most balanced of meals out there. But we ought to give it to Rui do Barrote because its food tastes just divine. If you are a lover of charcoal grilled meats, BBQ chicken, smokey salted cod, fries and little else, that is, if you can easily live without vegetables, you are going to love Rui do Barrote. But first, make sure you come early or be ready to wait in line – you’re certainly not the only one eager to feast on Rui do Barrote’s grills!
📍Rua Castelo Branco Saraiva 95A, 1170-085 Lisbon
Don’t let the name Velha Leitaria, which translates from Portuguese as “the old milk shop”, deceive you. This is a fairly elegant restaurant, where wine seems to be as important as food. They specialize in Portuguese food, including sharing platters with cheese and charcuterie, appetizers, heavier dishes and, of course, good representations of Portugal’s wine regions to pair with the food. In the neighborhood of Penha de França, where most restaurants are down-to-earth and with a rather typical fare, Velha Leitaria stands out.
📍Rua Castelo Branco Saraiva 51 A B, 1170-081 Lisbon
This unassuming restaurant sure delivers when it comes to classics of the traditional Portuguese food repertoire! This is the kind of neighborhood eatery that Lisbon locals tend to love, as this is a place with good honest food, fair prices and a welcoming familiar vibe. If you’d like to enjoy a very Lisbon-like feel in Penha de França, simply go for lunch at Pica-Pau. Eat iconic Portuguese dishes like bitoque, grilled sardines (only available during warmer months) bacalhau à Brás or, when in season, dare to try the braised snails, aka caracóis, one of Lisbon’s favorite summer snacks.
📍Praça Paiva Couceiro 6, 1170-008 Lisbon
“O Isidro” Solar do Gerês
If you’d like to enjoy a typical Portuguese food experience away from the tourist crowds, come to Penha de França and visit O Isidro. This is a seriously good restaurant which does a wonderful job at representing our national cuisine – something which will feel quite evident when you notice that the place is full of local folks. The menu of meat and fish dishes keeps changing and it is advertised every single day on their Facebook page. The names of the dishes might not sound like much (steak, stewed squid, grilled sea bass, and others) but their flavor certainly denotes the know-how which only many years of experience behind the stove can bring to the table.
📍Rua Lucinda do Carmo 13D, 1900-015 Lisbon
Restaurant Augusto in Penha de França is not to be mistaken with Augusto Lisboa, a brunch spot near S. Jorge’s castle. There are no avocados or pancakes in Penha de França’s very own Augusto. On the contrary, this establishment is all about traditional Portuguese food, from appetizers and petiscos perfect for sharing (think cheese and charcuterie boards or tiny fried fish which you can eat whole), to more filling recipes like fava beans and cured meats stew (favas com entrecosto), codfish fritters with “naughty rice”, açorda with prawns, or stewed squid (lulas estufadas), pictured above.
📍Rua Sebastião Saraiva Lima nº19 & 21, 1170-343 Lisbon
In their own words, Porta 17 serves “the best tapas, cheeses and wines”. If you ask us, there can never be too many places for a nice glass of wine, and a bite of local cheese, Portuguese charcuterie known as enchidos, alongside a well composed bread basket. But at Porta 17 there’s so much more than this! They have a breakfast menu, light meals featuring sandwiches, salads and burgers all day long, and one of their particularities is that they can make a vegan version of all the traditional things they serve. As if this wasn’t enough, from Wednesday to Friday between 3PM and 8PM they also have a happy hour with cocktails and other drinks.
📍Rua Cesário Verde 17A, 1170-283 Lisbon
Café Tati became a popular name of Lisbon’s dining scene when years ago they used to be located right behind the central Time Out Market (Av. 24 de Julho 49). Since 2020 Tati found a new home in Penha de França, amidst establishments that have little to do with those that used to neighbor this cafe which became popular for its food and jazz nights back in Cais do Sodré. Tati serves creative food paired with natural wines, in a very relaxed and unique atmosphere. Run by a foreign duo, Tati doesn’t serve 100% Portuguese food, but rather a clever mix of local ingredients and international flavors, which come together beautifully.
📍Rua Carrilho Videira 20B, 1170-079 Lisbon
We can’t say that Tasca Pete is the most Portuguese establishment out there. But just like Tati above, we ought to include it in our recommendations for Penha de França, as it’s just such a cool spot that surely deserves your visit when in town. The space used to be a typical Portuguese eatery (notice the azulejos) and the daily menu is still advertised hand-written on a paper table cloth, tasca style. The food is more elevated and eclectic than what you’d expect in a tasca though and, as British owner Peter Templeton explains, they basically “cook what we like to eat”. The menu changes often, but dishes that are usually available include focaccia with blue cheese and blueberries; potato terrine; and fried chicken with honey, jalapeños and pickles. Wash it all down with a nice selection of natural wines, but keep in mind that Tasca Pete is only open for dinner and seats just about 18 people. As thus, reservations are recommended, especially as we feel this is not going to be a “hidden spot” for much longer.
📍Rua Angelina Vidal 24A, 1170-113 Lisbon
Where to have breakfast or coffee in Penha de França
A typical neighborhood in our city ought to include a handful of pastelarias, coffee shops which sell pastries and other commonplace Portuguese savory snacks, which locals munch on any time of the day. Pastelaria Tebas is a perfect spot for a Portuguese style breakfast in Penha de França, where you can start the day with a strong cup of coffee, a ham & cheese filled pão de deus or, like many of us do, indulge in a freshly baked pastel de nata.
📍Rua Heliodoro Salgado 2A, 1170-174 Lisbon
Copacabana Café specializes in breakfast and brunch Portuguese style, which has little to do with scrambled eggs, avocado toast or foamy cappuccinos. Here in Portugal, morning meals rely on fruit juices, coffee (espresso or with milk), fairly straight forward sandwiches, such as those featuring ham and cheese, and lots of sweet options. The counter at Copacabana features an irresistible range of these treats, which on any given day include croissants, milky brioche style buns, little baked tarts prepared with soft cheese (queijadas), creations with puff pastry such as mil folhas and others, Portuguese style muffins (queques), and so much more. It can be a little hard to choose!
📍Praça António Sardinha, 1170-240 Lisbon
Forno de Sapadores
Forno de Sapadores is one of the best bakeries in Penha de França. Their range of in-house baked products includes many of Portugal’s most typical breads, from every day buns to robust countrystyle loaves. You can come here to purchase bread to take home, but also to have breakfast (for instance to enjoy a grilled sandwich) or enjoy a sweet treat with a cup of coffee as a pick-me-up any time of the day. During the week they also offer an ever-changing menu of daily specials with great value for money home style Portuguese dishes.
📍Rua dos Sapadores 97, 1170-339 Lisbon
Drinking in Penha de França: best wine bars and breweries
Bom Bom Bom
Petiscos, natural wines and good [and often live] music – this is indeed Bom Bom Bom, which is Portuguese for good, good, good. French duo Cassandra Moreira and Antoine Bisquerra left their country to start this business in the Portuguese capital, after having fallen in love with our city on a trip back in 2016. Bom Bom Bom’s space is simple but very inviting to spend some quality time hanging out with friends. When it comes to drinks, they’re all about natural wines, which Antoine curates in an effort to reflect a variety of European terroirs. Cassandra is in charge of the kitchen, where she prepares signature appetizers with influences from several corners of the world. They also have a little record shop on the premises.
📍Rua Angelina Vidal 5, 1170-166 Lisbon
Flor de Lúpulo
This is a great spot to drink Portuguese craft beer in Lisbon, but their range of brews, which are sold both bottled, in cans and draft, also includes many references from around the world. No matter what style of beer you may be into, or if you’re simply open to trying new beverages, Flor de Lúpulo has plenty to keep you engaged. And we’re not just talking about beers, but also about flavorful snacks to go along with the drinks, in a relaxed and lively atmosphere. From meats stuffed sandwiches to vegan bifanas prepared with seitan, everyone can have a drink and a bite at Flor de Lúpulo
📍Rua Passos Manuel 102C, 1150-053 Lisbon
100 Razões is a wine brand from the region of Setúbal which has recently opened its own flagship store in Penha de França. Their space is both a wine store and a wine bar, where you can buy a bottle of wine to take home or order by the glass, alongside with something to munch on. Their range of snacks focuses on cured ham and Azeitão cheese, from the same area where 100 Razões wine is produced. Even though you can only find their own brand of wine here, it comes in several varieties, including white, red, rosé, sparkling, blend or single grape variety.
📍Rua Sabino de Sousa 71B, 1900-086 Lisbon
Thank God (or should we say Baco?) that there are really many cool places to grab a drink in the neighborhood of Penha de França. We’re talking about establishments that not only serve good quality drinks in a nice ambiance, but that also have an engaging cultural program that acts as a great excuse to get out of the house. Valsa (which is the Portuguese word for waltz) hosts live performances and movie screenings almost every night. Drinks and snacks are served all night long, and even though there isn’t a broad choice, the products are highly curated, showcasing Lisbon food and beverage brands in a way that translates into serving good quality products but that also potentiates the local economy.
📍Rua Angelina Vidal 13 25, 1170-166 Lisbon
Are you planning a trip to Lisbon soon? We’d love to help you design your itinerary focusing on things to see and do for food lovers. Keep following our tips on Instagram and join one of our food and cultural walks for one of the greatest introductions to Lisbon you’re bound to experience. Please tag us when sharing your posts: @tasteoflisboa #tasteoflisboa
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