Príncipe Real, just behind Lisbon’s Bairro Alto, is one of the hippest neighborhoods in the Portuguese capital. It’s home to regal 19th-century homes, the Botanical Garden, Museum of Natural History, and even a British Embassy. It’s better known for its Príncipe Real Park, which hosts markets with stalls selling food and artisanal crafts throughout the year, and its hip clothing stores, quirky shops, and happening restaurants. It has some of the most hopping restaurants in Lisbon. Here are our favorites.
Zero Zero Pizzeria
ZeroZero is great if you’re craving authentic Italian food, a family friendly atmosphere, or a lovely outdoor meal. During the day you will find a good mix of groups of professional adults and families all there to enjoy flavorful, cheesy pizza with a thin, crispy crust. The restaurant’s pastas and salads are also tasty. The pancetta and avocado salad perfectly balances the healthy feeling of eating a light salad, while also leaving you satisfied with generous amounts of pancetta and creamy, ripe avocado.
If you’re in Lisbon in fall or winter and you don’t want to brave the cooler nights, the restaurant features a warm, cozy interior. A portion of the kitchen, including the pizza oven, is in the same room where you dine — so you can watch the cooks prepare fresh pizza and pasta. If you like the outdoors, ZeroZero’s back garden is a relaxing place to enjoy either lunch or dinner alongside leafy vines and bougainvilleas, and it has heat lamps set up, too.
If it’s a hearty bowl of ramen you want, Koppu Ramen has you covered. And if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll be happy to find lots of plant-based options on the menu. Off a steep side street, the compact space within dark wood walls can be hard to find — but it’s well worth the effort. It’ll be tough to choose from the loads of delicious starters, desserts, and ramen dishes. If you do want ramen, though, you might want to skip the starters as one bowl will probably be more than enough food.
Try the shoyu vegetarian ramen. Its flavorful broth is jam-packed with toppings and plenty of rich umami flavors that will satisfy even die-hard carnivores. It’s also light enough that you might actually finish your bowl. However, if you really are in the mood for some perfectly fried gyoza with thin crispy bottoms and flavorful insides, a meal of just Japanese starters is an equally appetizing option. Make sure you reserve a table in advance or arrive when it opens — this place is popular.
Sumaya — Mesa Libanesa
Sumaya feels both modern and traditional. The menu offers delicious mezzes and all of the classic Lebanese dishes, served in a hip, cleanly decorated setting. If you love Middle Eastern food and want to enjoy a nice but affordable meal, this restaurant is perfect. On Sundays, Sumaya serves a brunch buffet, so you don’t have to decide what dishes to order. Also, the restaurant’s falafel salad is arguably one of the best salads in the world. The fresh lemon-dressed salad pairs perfectly with the crisply fried, warm falafel, drizzled in a silky tahini sauce.
Lisbon has quite a few excellent Peruvian restaurants, and A Cevicheria is among the best. With a vibrant atmosphere, reasonable prices, and friendly service, this restaurant stands out. Don’t come here expecting a calm meal; the atmosphere inside is boisterous. A Cevicheria is often full, the music is thumping, and the bartender will be busy mixing up tangy Pisco Sours. The fantastic food makes up for the noise. In addition to ceviche, the restaurant serves Peruvian classics like causas, similar to a potato terrine, and quinoa plates. The restaurant’s tasting menu offers six courses so you can sample several dishes.
Esplanada Cafe is located in a glass building in the center of Príncipe Real’s main park, Jardim do Príncipe Real, so it’s perfect for people-watching and taking in the scene. Esplanada is completely shaded by trees, so it’s a good choice if it’s hot outside but you still want to eat outdoors. The best way to enjoy Esplanada Cafe is to be there mid-afternoon. You can order a cheese menu, a dessert, and even a couple of drinks. The waiters won’t rush you out, so feel free to sip on coffee for a couple of hours in the sun.
If you’re someone who genuinely loves superfoods, avocado toast, and açaí bowls, Naked is your spot. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you can also choose from three plant-based burgers. Naked serves all of those options, inside an adorable light-filled cafe located close to thoughtfully curated shops right on Príncipe Real’s main shopping avenue. You may not find as many locals here. This cafe seems to draw more northern European and Californian travelers hankering for a break from the tasty, but rich, Portuguese cuisine.