Bar do Peixe/Praia do Meco, Alfarim (Lisbon Area), Portugal

Food: Insanely fresh fish and seafood in a trendy setting on the beach with magnificent views. Reservations are essential. Ask to be seated on the deck. You can go inside to inspect the fish/seafood on ice and select what you would like. The offerings vary based on what was recently caught.

Wine: A short, great list with many of the best and most famous producers in the Alentejo and Lisbon area (closest wine regions). There are also a few options from Vinho Verde/Minho that are all good. Since this is a beach party place too, they have a plentiful spirits and cocktails selection. 

My take: One of my favorite places in the world. After a short 45 minute drive from Lisbon (by crossing the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge!), you get to have a fabulous lunch of local seafood and delicious drink while admiring the beach and the beautiful people. Then make a buzzed barefoot hike up the huge sand dune to marvel at the panoramic vista over this stretch of the Atlantic coast. Then run-glide back down the dune in the pillowy sunken footsteps made by those who have done the same before you. Then take a nap or read a book on the beach and end with a dip in the cool ocean (with strong waves so be cautious). More on Bar do Peixe (FB says it is closed - it is not. Party central since '92).

Cafe Sao Bento, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: Best steaks in Lisbon! They serve a perfect version of "Bife à Marrare" steak fried in butter and served with a wonderful simple cream sauce. Great fries too. Small menu with some classic steakhouse salads to start or nata negra. Meat and potatoes place for sure! One of my favorites! 

Wine: Small-ish list with many of the big names and definitely tailored for red meat with big, bold choices. Mostly from Douro and Alentejo with a few from Dao and Lisbon areas. In general Portuguese wines are MADE for steak! Plus cocktails to start the meal...

My take: A top choice in Lisbon especially for a celebration or your last night of a trip! The vibe is speakeasy and cool and even romantic (but doesn't have to be). Really fun and great service. More on Cafe Sao Bento

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

Cervejaria Ramiro, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: Seafood institution in Lisbon for 60 years. Famous for great shellfish. Fresh and delicious. A favorite. And for dessert you have a steak sandwich!

Wine: It's a beer hall that also serves some of the best seafood in town. So beer is popular (and ice cold deeelish) here. They have a solid, short wine list too.

My take: This is a must for any trip to Lisbon. It's bustling and fun. There is always a wait so plan for off-hours if you can or just wait. It's worth it. More on Ramiro

A Cevicheria, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: Top-notch little plates based around seafood. Fun textures!

Wine: Great, short list with whites mostly from the Douro (Douro whites and alvarinhos from Melgaco/Moncao are my go-tos). Get the CARM, which I love, if you can't decide. They also have a house white made for the restaurant that is by the glass and really good.

My take: One of my faves. A perfect night is to have an aperitif nearby at the kiosk at the Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara, dinner at A Cevicheria and then a Port flight at Chafariz do Vinho.  All within 5 mins walk of each other! 

Sommelier, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: Excellent, upscale take on Portuguese/Mediterranean. It is more expensive than most Lisbon restaurants. Even though it's fancy, it's relaxed at the same time and the servers are attentive and friendly.  

Wine: The mostly Portuguese wine list is fantastic. They have 80 wines by the glass. There is a wine preservation system lining one entire wall of the restaurant (that somehow isn't ugly!). A server will accompany you to the "wine wall" and you can taste to your heart's content. If you love wine or want to discover Portuguese wine, I highly recommend this. They also offer wine pairings, such as "classic," "premium" and "deluxe." I did the "premium" with a tasting menu. It was one of my favorite recent organized wine pairings because it forced me to try regions and grape varieties I normally avoid. I was happy to learn I've been missing out on some good wines due to my biases. 

My Take: This is a splurge experience, and if you are looking for that, then it's totally worth it. And if you don't want to break the bank, you can still go! Just be ready to restrain yourself, try a couple of wines and have a couple of "Starters" or "Nibbles." You don't have to do the tasting menu and can order a la carte too. More on Sommelier

Darwin's Cafe, Belem (Lisbon), Portugal

Food:  Good, new-fashioned Portuguese food in a stylish, grand setting with views of the Tejo and the tower of Belem.

Wine:  A serious wine list to go with a wide variety of food.

My take:  If you're going to the tower, head here for lunch or dinner.  Reserve in advance and in nice weather ask to be on the terrace. More on Darwin's Cafe

Tasca da Esquina, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: Creative, sorta fancy, newfangled style of petiscos. The chef's choice tasting menu is very good! (This is what Pharmacia wants to be...)

Wine: Great rotating selection by the glass.

My take: If you're in Estrella or Campo Ourique or want to adventure outside the main tourist center of Lisbon, this should be one of your dinners!

Largo Restaurante, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: This is what I'd call a "power lunch" place. The setting is stunning. A former convent turned into luxurious dining spaces with giant aquariums filled with jellyfish as the artwork. The food stands up to the setting too. It's upscale Portuguese.

Wine: They have a menu for gin cocktails--so it's calling itself more of a cocktail joint but has a nice wine list of all the right regions and good producers.

My take: It's one of the trendy, more expensive spots. You can get a great deal on the lunch menu so that's when I prefer to go. More on Largo

Alexandre Silva, Lisbon, Portugal (Mercado da Ribeira)

My take: One of my go-tos when I'm in the market for lunch. Fresh and satisfying tour of Portuguese food. More on Mercado da Ribeira

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

Bica do Sapato, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: First-class food in a chic setting.

Wine: Great list of fine producers both by the glass and bottle. They offer several by the glass which is unusual in Lisbon. Tasting time!

My take: Of the higher end/more pricey spots, this is a fave because of the location at the base of Alfama on the water. Take a nice walk along the river and head to brunch there! More on Bica do Sapato.