This blog post was originally posted on November 21, 2018 and was updated on October 28, 2020.
No need to dig deep into your pockets to eat well—we’re here to share the best cheap eats Lisbon has to offer!
On the whole, Lisbon is a cheap city. But like most European capitals, it’s also packed with tourist traps. And in a city with so many fantastic options for food, you don’t want to waste a single precious meal at an overpriced, low-quality spot.
Eating well—and authentically—in the Portuguese capital doesn’t have to break the bank. In this guide to the best cheap eats in Lisbon, we’ve rounded up the best budget-friendly bites—because dining out on a budget doesn’t have to mean resorting to McDonald’s.
Lesson number one: skip the olives and bread you’ll find on your table at typical Portuguese restaurants. As tempting as they may be—and contrary to what you may think—they’re not free.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get right into it with some of our favorite cheap eats in Lisbon.
The best cheap eats in Lisbon
1. Zé da Mouraria — Big portions to share
Don’t let the prices fool you: at Zé da Mouraria one portion feeds at least two, if not more, so bring a buddy!
This local favorite has two locations, one in Mouraria (Rua João do Outeiro, 24) and the other at Campo Mártires da Pátria (Rua Gomes Freire, 60). The only difference is that the first one is only open for lunch, and the second just for dinner.
The menu changes every day, but there’s always a good selection of meat and fish. If you need help narrowing it down, you can’t go wrong with their pepper steak and the roasted codfish.
If there are leftovers at the end, there’s no shame in asking for a takeaway box! Whichever restaurant you pick, make sure to arrive early to guarantee a table or book it in advance.
2. A Provinciana — A budget-friendly menu
Come lunchtime, locals head to Provinciana for their daily special, or the prato do dia—the plate of the day!
This family-run restaurant is a hidden gem in an area full of tourist traps. Américo and his daughter manage the front-of-house service, while mom Judite is in charge of the kitchen.
Every day, Judite cooks a classic Portuguese dish. On Mondays, there’s arroz de cabidela (chicken with blood rice); on Tuesdays, chanfana (goat stew). Wednesdays are for feijoada (a bean and meat stew from Brazil that’s become popular in Portugal as well); Thursdays, the cozido à portuguesa (traditional stew with meat and vegetables), and so on.
Even at dinner, €10 will go a long way here!
Insider’s tip: For lunch, be sure to arrive before 1 p.m. or you might need to wait in line.
3. Taberna da Casa do Alentejo — Affordable petiscos
There are technically two restaurants inside this former casino, both of which are excellent. But if you’re eating on a budget, the small tavern downstairs will do just fine.
Here, you can order traditional petiscos from south-central Portugal’s stunning Alentejo region at affordable prices. The soup of the day is only €2, and you can pair it with a sandwich for less than €5 total. For larger portions, you can order the daily special that costs between €6 and €7.
We recommend going on Tuesdays for the pica-pau de vitela (little chunks of veal) or Wednesdays for the choco frito (fried cuttlefish).
4. Rosa da Rua — All-you-can-eat buffet
If you want a verifiable feast at a low cost, Rosa da Rua is the place to go! This restaurant serves an all-you-can-eat buffet nearly every day for lunch and dinner.
On Wednesdays, it’s cozido day—a traditional Portuguese dish made with a mix of vegetables, meat, and smoked sausage. Keep in mind that it is quite the hearty feast, so come hungry if you’re in the mood to try it.
The lunch buffet costs €11 or €14 if it’s Wednesday. For dinner, it’s always €14.50.
5. Cantinho do Aziz – A taste of Mozambique
Cantinho do Aziz has brought the flavors of Mozambique to the heart of Mouraria. Aziz set up the restaurant back in the 80s, and it’s still in the family today, run by chef Jeny Sulemange.
Simple food with a touch of spice draws locals and tourists to this small eatery every day. You must try their delicious samosas and the bakra piripiri, a spicy lamb dish with vegetables and coconut rice. To save money, come here at lunch and order the menu of the day!
6. The Food Temple — A treat for vegetarians
Ordering vegetarian food in Portugal hasn’t always been easy. You could probably manage to get a meat-free salad at most places, but that was pretty much it.
Luckily, things have changed, and today, Lisbon is full of veggie-friendly spots.
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where to eat in Lisbon!
One of our favorite vegetarian restaurants in Lisbon is The Food Temple. Behind the restaurant is Alice Ming, a Canadian with Chinese heritage who brings a mix of Asian and Portuguese flavors to the table.
It’s hard to recommend a single dish because the menu is always changing—but trust us, it’s worth the visit!
Insider’s tip: The restaurant is small, so make sure to book in advance.
Bonus: Sample Lisbon’s street food
Eating on the go is the best way to spare your budget in Lisbon. Try the prego (beef sandwich) or the bifana (pork sandwich) from a local café, and you’ll have a hearty local bite for less than €3!
Check out our Lisbon street food guide so you know where to get both of the above, as well as other delicious Portuguese treats for cheap.Want our insider’s guide to eating in Lisbon? Just add your email address in the form below!
Joana is a Portuguese travel writer based in Lisbon. On her blog City Odes, she writes about the hidden gems of Portugal, fun road trips and train rides worth taking. When she’s not typing away on her laptop, you can find her drinking an IPA on one of Lisbon’s latest craft beer bars.