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

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

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

Tambarina, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: No-frills Cape Verdean restaurant with friendly, lively atmosphere. The food is hearty, filling and good. You can get a meal and a drink that will leave you happy and satisfied for less than 10 euros! They serve traditional foods from Cape Verde (chef and staff are from Cape Verde), such as cachupa, a stew of beans and meat or fish. 

Wine: I always drink the cold draft beers here! They go great with the hearty, sometimes spicy food.

My take: These kinds of restaurants are a reason to visit Lisbon! In one long weekend you can sample the cuisines of former Portuguese colonies. Good food at great prices with friendly service! They often have live music too. More on Tambarina

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

Park Bar, Lisbon, Portugal

My take: This is a bar with fab views of central Lisbon and the river on top of a parking garage on Calcada do Combro in the heart of Bairro Alto. Part of the fun is going is the surprise of its location--you enter the parking garage on the street level and take an elevator up as far as it will go. Then you walk up the ramp for one level. Cocktails, wine and beer. They also have food if you decide not to leave! Perfect sunset spot for pre-dinner drinks. More on Park Bar

O Ponto Final, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: Seafood plus other Portuguese classics. It's hit or miss. When it hits, it's pretty good.

Wine: Drink here! Good list. You could go to drink a bottle of wine early in the evening to enjoy the sunset and wonderful views.

My take: This is a magical (but touristy) place because of the boat journey there and the view across the river to Lisbon as you are sitting at an outdoor table getting misted by the waves. To get there take the ferry from Cais do Sodre to Cacilhas. It's around 1 euro and takes 10 minutes. And then it's a 10 min walk going west along the river to the restaurant. It gets chilly at night but the waiter will bring blankets.

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.