Toma La Da Ca, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: Traditional, family-owned taberna (also a "tasca," a cheap eatery). Everything on the menu is good, meat and fish. Locals go here, plus tourists. This is a favorite in Bairro Alto and Lisbon in general!

Wine: Smallish mostly bold, fruit-driven selection from around Portugal but impossible to understand if you don't know the producers since the regions are not listed on the menu. Tip: Many bottles sit on the window sill on the hill side of the restaurant. Go over to pick a bottle that way. Red suggestions:  Casa de Santar or Quinta do Cabriz from Dao, Vale da Raposa or CARM from Douro or Vinha da Defesa or Herdade de Pombal from Alentejo.  

My take: Highly recommended. You won't feel like a tourist here. If you go after 7:45/8pm, you'll have to wait on the street for a table. No problem:  Ask them for a cold beer to sip outside and people watch. Tip: be sure to tell them how you want your steak cooked if you don't want it rare. More on Toma La Da Ca. More on Tascas. More on types of restaurants in Portugal. 

Taberna Dos Gordos, Lisbon, Portugal

Food: A focused menu of classic Portuguese dishes. It's like eating in your best friend's cool, rustic house and your best friend happens to be a fine chef!

Wine: A short, inexpensive list. 

My take: This is one of those places that feels like you're in on a secret. The food is great and it has a feeling of being at a dinner party that everyone else wishes they could get invited to. More on Taberna Dos Gordos