Discovering Portugal's culinary landscape is an adventure that never gets old and, for food lovers, it's a journey that continually unfolds with exciting surprises. In this article, we embark on a culinary exploration of the "New restaurants in Portugal you really must visit". While the heart of Portuguese cuisine lies in its rich tradition and timeless classics, it also beats with innovation and creativity as new culinary havens pop up all over the country. Whether you're a seasoned foodie or an adventurous traveler looking to savor the latest flavors, join us as we reveal the freshest and most enticing gastronomic destinations that have emerged on Portugal's culinary map.0
From the bustling streets of Lisbon to the picturesque corners of Porto and beyond, get ready to tantalize your taste buds and embark on a delicious journey through the latest gems of Portuguese gastronomy.
Cosmopolitan, classic, or international, these new restaurants show that Portugal's gastronomic vitality is on the rise.
Cav 86, Lisbon
© TIMEOUT - Joana Freitas
After trying to establish Cavalariça in Lisbon, Bruno Caseiro changed his plans, taking advantage of the new partners, with Bruno Contreras, from the Harvest Cotton Tale hotel group, at the head. Cavalariça will remain in stone in Comporta, where it all began, and in Évora, where it arrived in 2022, but in Lisbon, it will become something else, an even more relaxed restaurant, in the image of the area where it is located, Cais do Sodré. Here, not only the concept but also the atmosphere has evolved. The once subdued tones have given way to a riot of colors, with bold blues and sunny yellows taking center stage, creating a vivid contrast to the restaurant's former, more understated identity. Change has indeed proven to be a refreshing and colorful journey for Cav 86, promising a dining experience that resonates with the spirit of its dynamic neighborhood.
Art Restaurante, Lisbon
Inside the boutique hotel Artsy, the Art Restaurant is open to everyone - guests and non-guests alike. Daniel Estriga, from the fine-dining restaurant Conceito in Bicesse, is the gastronomic director and has two main objectives. The first is to show that "not only the traditional is good": "We'll always have a lot of fish and seafood, but I want to have some freedom to do our own thing with the influence of our travels and the culture of the world we have."
The name couldn't be happier. There really is a certain charm to Encanto (I can for sure guarantee that this joke sounded better in Portuguese, since for us, charm translates into Encanto - Language and culture can certainly add unique nuances to humor and wordplay). It starts with the location, Largo de São Carlos, in the heart of Chiado, close to its successful older brother, Belcanto. Then there's the space, neither large nor small, but just right for the 40 seats that live in the interior architecture designed by Studio Astolfi. Encanto presents itself as the enchanted vegetable world of Chef José Avillez, a haute-cuisine space where the stars are solely and exclusively vegetables.
Francisco Romão Pereira | Grilled carrot hummus
The restaurant is spacious and bright, inspired by a Parisian grand café. You can enter through the hotel lobby, which is also spacious and elegant, but there is a direct entrance into a completely renovated area, between the Congress Center and the Hyatt Regency, which for a long time was thought to be apartments. It's a hotel, the brand's first in Portugal, with services designed to appeal to locals too, such as the gym, spa, and Viseversa. The inspiration is admittedly Parisian, but the kitchen is run by chef Ricardo Leite, who was previously at Alma Nómada in Porto Côvo.
This is the latest baby from star chef Avillez. Located on Guincho Road, this restaurant promises to bring the flavors of his travels and Portuguese tradition to the table.
Chef David Abreu, a culinary maestro with a diverse international training background, leads the charge at the enchanting restaurant known as Xtian - reads Christian, an abbreviation of the mastermind behind the hotel - Christian Louboutin. With a culinary journey that has taken him through the kitchens of Macau, Lisbon, and the United Kingdom, Abreu has honed his skills to craft a delectable menu that pays homage to the rich tapestry of local Portuguese cuisine. At Xtian, diners can expect to embark on a gastronomic adventure that showcases the essence of Portuguese flavors. The menu boasts tantalizing dishes like "porco à alentejana" (pork with clams), a savory octopus salad, heartwarming chicken broth inspired by Abreu's grandmother, the flavorful wild boar stew courtesy of Aunt Fátima, and mouthwatering options like fried red mullet with squid and rice or the beloved "bacalhau" (cod stew). The restaurant's dedication to local ingredients and traditional recipes ensures that each dish is a journey through Portugal's culinary heritage.
The new project at the Convento do Espinheiro, in Évora, is very different from the classic hotel that once served the monks of the Order of St. Jerome - having also hosted the kings and queens of other centuries. A kilometer away, it's in Quinta do Santo and its main protagonist is Cenoura-Brava, a restaurant run by the young chef João Figueiredo, who, before a season of travel (from Asia to Estonia), worked at the starred Feitoria, in the days when the restaurant at Altis Belém Hoel & Spa was still in the hands of João Rodrigues.
At O Palco, the products and producers from the region are the stars. This is what Marco Almeida and Ana Vinagre, who met at the Quinta das Lágrimas hotel, wanted. He was sous-chef at the fine dining restaurant Arcadas, she was the commercial director. Until they decided to create their own business, which would allow them to have direct contact with suppliers and other people around them. In their space, which opened in November, there is no shortage of open kitchens, from which tasting menus are served in a relaxed atmosphere. Palco, which chef Marco Almeida and Ana Vinagre conceived as a kilometer zero restaurant in Coimbra, shines a new light on regional products, including some considered less noble. There are tasting menus for adults and children.
Seixo by Vasco Coelho Santos, Douro Valley
The award-winning chef from Porto, Vasco Coelho Santos, arrives in the Douro to serve traditional and comfort food, more precisely at the emblematic Quinta do Seixo. Even in the harshest Douro autumn and winter, the living room, overlooking the fire kitchen, equipped with a wood-fired grill, oven, and stove, is the ideal place to smell the aroma and warmth of the fire, listen to the crackling and enjoy this sensory cuisine in comfort. Both inside, decorated in wood and Bordeaux tones in an allusion to wine and punctuated by various decorative elements from Sandeman's history, and outside, where green dominates in dialog with the landscape, the architecture, and decoration were designed by Paulo Lobo. Between the spaciousness of the terrace and the coziness of the dining room, Seixo by Vasco Coelho Santos can accommodate around one hundred people.
Imagine yourself taking a dip in the ocean. That's how many of the dishes at Escama - Sea Cuisine, the new restaurant on Rua de Mouzinho da Silveira in Porto, taste like the sea. The decor sets an industrial Amazon tone. Metal structures hold a wine cellar with around 108 wine references - wines from small producers predominate here, mainly organic and fresh, with little human intervention, and some from limited series, of which only around 2,000 or 2,500 bottles are produced.
You can taste some of the dishes from the classic seafood restaurants in a contemporary and creative version. Fire is a signature feature and gives each creation a touch of smoke that makes it unique.
Cozinha das Flores, Porto
Chef Nuno Mendes is back in Portugal and is making his debut for the first time in the city of Porto. With a career in London, chef Nuno Mendes is now making his debut in Invicta with Cozinha das Flores, a relaxed restaurant that pays homage to the flavors of the North.
It has just 16 seats and embodies Vasco Coelho Santos' vision of what a tavern that is both Portuguese and Japanese could be like. The restaurant is based on the Nikkei concept, presenting itself as an izakaya - a Japanese tavern. The idea, explains Vasco Coelho Santos, was to get away from the classic Japanese concepts that already exist, with quality, in the city, and offer something different that respects both Portuguese and Japanese cuisines.
Mira Mira, by Ricardo Costa, Porto
Renowned chef Ricardo Costa, winner of two Michelin stars has a new project that reveals the chef's more relaxed side, without ever losing his essence. To sit at the table of Mira Mira restaurant - the seventh to open in the cultural complex World of Wine (WoW), in Vila Nova de Gaia, you have to go up to the second floor of the new Museum of Fashion and Textiles. The location is not by chance.
The Mira Mira restaurant is part of the Fashion & Design experience. It is a haute cuisine restaurant, whose menu is prepared with rigorous nutritional care and meticulous choice of ingredients. In addition, for the parade of flavors to be more fun, the concept is based on sharing.
Casa da Companhia, Porto
The childhood memories we retain are often linked to smells and tastes, especially the dishes lovingly prepared by our mothers and grandmothers. This being so present in almost everyone's life, it is also the motto for the cuisine of the new restaurant at the Casa da Companhia Hotel.
Culto ao Bacalhau, Porto
Copyright: Luis Ferraz
The cod served from the beginning to the end of the meal at Culto ao Bacalhau, the new project of the Prumo Group, located in the Bolhão Market and inaugurating a new brand after Brasão, comes from Iceland and has been cured for two years.
Copyright: JOSE MONICA
With "out of the box" proposals and plenty of provocation, the menus at the recent Ilícito restaurant in Porto are a showcase for chef André Silva's creativity. Unusual combinations in an exuberant and fun atmosphere. The restaurant is part of the Editory Boulevard Aliados hotel, open to everyone and with its own entrance.
Terroir Brasserie, Porto
Time Out Lisbon
Terroir Brasserie: the new restaurant in Gaia with Henrique Sá Pessoa at the helm. More relaxed and informal, but following the classic line that characterizes him, the chef with two Michelin stars serves Portugal at the table.
In a culinary landscape where tradition blends seamlessly with innovation, Portugal's newest restaurants are a testament to the country's ever-evolving gastronomic scene. From the enchanting flavors of Xtian, where Chef David Abreu weaves tales of Portuguese heritage onto the plate, to the vibrant transformation of Cav 86 in Lisbon's Cais do Sodré, each dining experience promises a journey through Portugal's rich culinary tapestry. Whether you're a traveler looking for the latest gastronomic gems or a connoisseur of Portuguese cuisine, these new restaurants beckon with their culinary prowess, inviting you to taste the essence of Portugal, one unforgettable bite at a time.
Don't miss the opportunity to explore these vibrant additions to Portugal's gastronomic scene; they are sure to leave an indelible mark on your culinary memory.