Restaurante da Adraga, Sintra, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: The finest, freshest fish and seafood in a stunning setting right on the beach! You can choose your very own whole fish (and know deep in your food soul it is the freshest possible) for them to grill up for you. Great options are "robalo grelhado" (grilled sea bass) or "dorada grelhado" (grilled sea bream) Try the "sopa de peixe" (fish soup) to start. It is amazing. Or the peel and eat "camarao" (shrimp). Fish is served with steamed potatoes and a really nice green salad with tomatoes, onions, and roasted green peppers in a simple vinaigrette. The "merengue de morango" (meringue with strawberries) is a fab dessert. 

Wine: Excellent list of whites and reds that highlight some of the best producers from regions across Portugal.  Douro, Dao, Verde/Minho, Alentejo and Lisbon area are all well-represented. 

My take: Highest recommendation! This is one of my favorite places in the world! Family-owned for 4 generations with service like you are family too. To go for lunch and then nap on the beach "Praia da Adraga" afterward is an unforgettable experience. Be sure to reserve and ask for a seat near the window ("janela") to eat incredible grilled fish, sip crisp white wine and stare at the waves and people posing for photos in this magical, remote-feeling setting (but only one-hour drive from Lisbon with the last half on beautiful roads). More on Restaurante da Adraga

O Prego da Peixeria, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: A "prego" is a traditional Portuguese steak sandwich and is the best steak sandwich you will ever have! It is simple: Good quality, thinly sliced grilled sirloin on a garlic-buttered soft flat roll called "bolo do caco," a bread that hails from Madeira. O Prego da Peixeria has the traditional prego but also has other types of meat (including fish!) and other delicious, modern combos with vegetables and herb toppings. I love their fried sweet potatoes and ice cream too.

Wine: A small selection of crowd pleasers but I drink "uma imperial" (a beer) here.

My take: I love this place for lunch or dinner. It is quick and delicious and inexpensive and satisfying as hell. One of my favorites! More on O Prego da Peixeria

Esplanada Cafe do Principe Real, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: A favorite breakfast spot! Also decent salads, inexpensive sandwiches and crostini plus entrees that are an overview of Portuguese cuisine (from pregos to bacalhau). 

Wine: I always drink beer here. Cold and in big pints. And good coffee. Plus lots of spirits if that is your thing.

My take: This is a beautiful setting. A glass building in the Principe Real park on top of the "hill' above Bairro Alto. You can sit in the glass building (to feel like you're outside if it is raining) or outside under the gorgeous trees. I love it for breakfast. Tips: 1. You have to be persistent (in a friendly way) with the servers. 2. There are pigeons in the park and they will try to get your food if you don't make it clear it's yours and not theirs. 3. If you get the burger/steak and don't want it rare, you must tell the server. More about Esplanada Cafe do Principe Real. 

Bom Jardim, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: Roasted chicken piri piri!  Some of the best roasted chix you'll ever have. And it's cheap. 

Wine: They have a half bottle selection here so while the rest of the table is ordering a cold delicious beer, you can have wine. 

My take: It's a Lisbon institution for good reason. Sidewalk seating. Cranky but efficient waiters. Crispy fries. Vinegary mixed green salad. A must!

Chafariz do Vinho, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: Rustic, tasty small plates or "petiscos" inside the Aguas Livres Aqueduct! It's basically a massive holding tank for water that came into Lisbon via the almost 60-km-long 18th C. aqueduct, an engineering wonder that survived the 1755 earthquake. They actually store the wine in the tunnel that connects the tank to the aqueduct!

Wine: This is a wine bar with fun flight options to learn the regions of Portugal. A must for people who dig wine and/or architecture and engineering.

My take: It is very popular with tourists. But the setting is worth a trip. Go for a glass and enjoy a historic "watering" hole and with a great selection of Portuguese wines. More on Chafariz do Vinho

Castas e Pratos, Peso da Regua, Douro Valley, Portugal

Food: Very tasty food! Definitely a resto created for all the wine tourism in the area.

Wine: A super list of Douro producers with a by the glass selection to make you smile.

My take: A fancier option in a cool locale (2nd floor of an old warehouse right near the train station) with good food and a great wine selection! I really liked it. More on Castas e Pratos

Pharmacia, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: A satisfying, modernized take on classic Portuguese food inside the Pharmacy school. 

Wine: Thoughtful, short list of fine producers. Some international producers available too.

My take: Of the trendy places in Lisbon, this is one of my faves because of the fun setting. And the outdoor area (with great views on the Tejo and Jesus) is nice for a pre-dinner beverage. Try the tasting menu. You will not leave hungry (well, you won't leave hungry anywhere in Portugal!). More on Pharmacia

Sea Me Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: Creative Portuguese take on sushi! 

Wine: Small (it's the market) but good list by the glass.

My take: You can eat at the market location and have the Sea Me experience without spending as much. And they have some dishes specific to the market. More on Mercado da Riberia

Fabulas, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: Fresh, trendy take on Portuguese classics in a pretty, fully covered courtyard (shared with two other restaurants--but separate).  Just through a large door off of the busy Rua Garrett.  

Wine: Small, focused list of good wine producers.

My take: One of those places that's great for lunch with a friend but also for a date!  Recommended! More on Fabulas

Golfinho Azul, Ericeira, Portugal

Food: Fresh seafood and a varied menu on a cliff on the coast with a great view. The terrace is lovely. Every dish I've had here was good. 

Wine: Their house wine and wines by the glass are well chosen. The beer is chilled and tasty here too.

My take: It's a little bit of drive to the north of Ericeira, but I think it's worth it for the setting especially if you are leaving Ericeira to visit the beaches in that area. It's close to Praia Ribeira D'ilhas, the surfing beach that is one of four world surfing reserves in the world. 

Casa Matreno, Tomar, Portugal

Food: Taberna menu with several fresh, simple and very good staples, plus daily specials. I love it every time.

Wine: Try the house wines, which are local from near Tomar. Plus beer on tap. 

My take: Highly recommended. Go to Tomar. It was wonderful. The magnificent Convento do Cristo 12th C Knights Templar/Order of Christ fortress there blew my mind. Casa Matreno and Casa das Ratas are the same owner/kitchen and just across the street from one another. The sidewalk seating is lovely. More on Casa Matreno. More on Convento do Cristo.

L'AND VINEYARDS, Montemor-O-Novo, Alentejo

Food: It has 1 Michelin star. Meals are a tasting menu format. It is a modern take on traditional Alentejo/Portuguese cooking. There's a pretty, sleek patio where you can have coffee or a drink after dinner.

Wine: They have a small-ish but interesting list and have 3 whites and 3 reds by the glass, each from a different region. They also pour their nice L'AND red, which is Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet and Touriga Franca.

My take: It's a gorgeous property and a fun, fancy experience. If you're visiting the Èvora area of the Alentejo and want to do the Michelin thing for a night (or lunch), go for it. More on L'AND.