With its golden sunlight, sparkling river and many hilltops, Lisbon is full of beautiful views. Here’s where to enjoy them along with top-notch food.
Portugal’s capital is almost achingly lovely. After years of living here, we still find our breath taken away when we turn certain corners or come upon certain views. And the city’s miradouro (viewpoint) culture is thriving. Kiosks serve coffee, beer and simple snacks at many of the best lookout points. Popular as the miradouros are, no one goes to them for the food. If you want a good meal along with your scenery, you have to be pickier. Here are our favorite Lisbon restaurants with a view.
1. Café Príncipe Real
From the elegant dining room and the terrace at this restaurant within the Memmo Príncipe Real hotel, there are glorious views over the historic center of the city and Castelo São Jorge. Chef Vasco Lello’s cuisine references the former Portuguese colonies, from Brazil to Indonesia, while using ingredients from local producers. During cocktail hour on weekends, a DJ plays on the terrace.
The views at Epur are from less high up a hill, putting it closer to the central Praça do Comercio square, the river and iconic downtown buildings. The food, from previously Michelin-starred chef Vincent Farges, is an elemental, stripped-down celebration of Portuguese ingredients and flavors.
3. Lumi Rooftop
The restaurant atop the Lumiares hotel has a city view that is better from the one at the nearby Miradouro do São Pedro de Alcântara. It’s also much more quiet and sophisticated, and what’s on the plate is far better. Chef João Silva’s cooking highlights organic produce, and the casual, all-day menu has a refreshing number of vegetarian and vegetable-forward dishes.
The open-air Skybar at the Tivoli Avenida Liberdade hotel has one of the prettiest, most popular views of the city. But until recently, the restaurant inside was a rather dowdy affair. That changed when it got an Art Deco makeover and a new concept imported from São Paulo. While there’s an element of “see and be…” the sights out the windows are pretty impressive as well.
5. Pizzaria ZeroZero
The pies at this Príncipe Real pizzeria are among the best in the city. They are made only with products of Italian origin, mainly from the Veneto, most of them Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). But the other reason this place is so popular is its shady garden terrace. There are green leaves and bright flowers in the foreground, with the colorful hillsides of Lisbon rise up in the distance.
6. Topo Martim Moniz
The first of three Topo bar-restaurants on hilltops around the city, the Martim Moniz location stands out for its exceptionally good view of Castelo São Jorge. The food, whether it’s served at the long bar in the center of the room or at one of the tables for two or four, is better than it has to be. The menu ranges from guacamole to spring rolls to burrata.
7. Chapitô à Mesa
Both the indoor dining room and the terrace of the restaurant in the nonprofit Chapitô circus school have one of the iconic views of old Lisbon. You can see Sé Cathedral, the basilica, the streets of Alfama, and the shining river. The menu is luxuriant, with dishes like steak tartare, octopus carpaccio and prosciutto ravioli.
8. Via Graça
A great date-night restaurant, Via Graça is a sophisticated place to watch the sun set over the city, the April 25 bridge and the Tagus. For 30 years, it’s been known for its romantic atmosphere, traditional Portuguese cooking (bacalhau à brás and crispy piglet) and deep wine list—more than 4,000 bottles from 300 references.
While the nearby Santa Catarina miradouro is packed and rowdy from midday until late, the Noobai restaurant that’s tucked away on a slightly lower level, is more calm. They enjoy the same views over the river and Christ the Redeemer, but the experience here is more grown-up. The food is also much better, with a menu that spans from brunch to snacks to hot main dishes.
10. Faz Figura
At Faz Figura, an institution near the Santa Apolónia train station since the ’70s, the promise is a panoramic view. That view is not only of the river but also of Portuguese gastronomy and Portuguese wines. The menu consists in part of playful, modern takes on typical Portuguese ingredients, as well as the classic standbys.
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Ann Abel came to Lisbon on assignment for Forbes in 2016 and fell in love with the quality of life, fantastic light, endless sunshine, friendly people and, of course, the delectable food and wine. When not eating her way through the capital (and coasts) she travels and writes for Conde Nast Traveller, Departures, Afar, Robb Report and other publications.