Where to Eat on Christmas Day in Lisbon


Christmas dinner codfish

Christmas dinner codfish – by Flavio Ensiki – by Wikimedia commons

Portugal has a very strong tradition: when it’s Christmas, every family gathers for dinner, and usually, we eat homemade dishes, we trade gifts, and we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s a beautiful time of the year, as there’s lots of joy and happiness in the air.

Portugal has very different typical dishes, depending on the region.

In the north, people usually eat either cooked octopus, with potatoes cooked in the same pot so, the octopus shares its natural colour with the potatoes, and they become coloured with the same colour as the octopus. 

In the central region, the tradition is eating roasted lamb with baked potatoes.

In the south region, the tradition is eating roasted rooster.

And in every region, there’s the tradition to eat cooked codfish, with potatoes and cabbage (just like in the photo above). 

Fortunately, we live in Lisbon and here there are lots of places to eat out, and have a nice cooked meal, without having to clean dishes after.

If you’re either not willing to cook nor to eat at home, here are some places where you can have the traditional without having to get your hands dirty.

1. Sacramento do Chiado

Lisbon Christmas lights Chiado

Lisbon Christmas lights Chiado – by Heather Cowper – by Wikimedia commons

Located in one of the most typical neighbourhoods of Lisbon, between arches and walls from the Parede Fernandina, a place with charm and luxury was born, and that place is Sacramento do Chiado.

Sacramento consists of 3 types of places, for different occasions: a great confectionery for quick meals, a charming restaurant, with lots of luxury, background music and candle lighting, and a bar/lounge to taste delicious cocktails and famous mojitos.

At the restaurant, you can taste typical Portuguese dishes. From the beloved typical codfish to the roasted lamb, Sacramento has all the dishes you could want for the perfect Christmas night. There are two special menus planned to the occasion, with a special cost for the Christmas night.

Transports: Bus, Metro (Baixa Chiado)
Address: Calçada do Sacramento, 40-46, Chiado, Lisboa
Schedule: Monday to Saturday, from 12:30 to 23:30. Sunday, from 19:00 to 23:30.

2. Bastardo

Rua da Betesga

Rua da Betesga – by Berthold Werner – by Wikimedia commons

Bastardo is a place located in the Downtown area, and it’s open on Christmas Eve as well as Christmas day.  With alternative decoration and a nice view, it has everything from Portuguese dishes to mixes of cultures.

It has been rated as one of the most fun restaurants to go and with the best decoration. It is located inside an hotel, and it is full of colour, and has a beautiful design, with cheerful colours and alternative materials. A good example is the bread chest, that’s made of Legos! 

Dishes at Bastardo Restaurant in Lisbon, images sourced from their website

The menu is in the same style as the restaurant: a mix of ingredients turned into works of art. The creativity is clearly the main focus of this restaurant, and because of that, you can have a really good experience tasting the boldest dishes.

The desserts are also very good, and they have lots of options, from sweet rice to fruit salad.

Transports: Metro (Baixa-Chiado)
Address: Rua da Betesga, 1100-422 Lisboa
Schedule:  Everyday from 12h00 to 23h00

3. Cervejaria Trindade

Cervejaria Trindade

Cervejaria Trindade – by Maria Eklind – by Wikimedia commons

In this former convent, ‘’Convento da Santíssima Trindade’’, that goes all the way back to 1294, there lived friars, whose mission was to release Catholics from the hands of Muslims. It’s important to say, this restaurant is located in the dining hall of the old convent.

This is also one of the oldest breweries of Lisbon, if not the oldest, according to some historians. The decoration is really classic: with tiles all around with masonic symbology, and really classic benches and tables, you’ll feel like you’re actually eating at a convent. The decoration deeply resembles the classics of Portuguese decoration, and reminds us of ‘’Pastéis de Belém’’.

There’s really so much to say about this place, its cultural importance is so deeply rooted in today’s story and culture, it’s a must-visit in Lisbon. 

About the food, it has a special beef with a secret sauce that’s one of the best in Lisbon, the seafood is also very good there, and the beer is very good there.

It’s really a must go! 

Transports: Metro (Baixa-Chiado)
Address: Rua Nova da Trindade, 20C Chiado, Lisboa
Schedule: Everyday from 12h00 to 01:00.

4. Cervejaria Ribadouro

Here we have also one of the most historic restaurants in town…

It is located in a typical building with a very good location, and it witnessed some of the most important events of Portugal, from the civilian revolution to the marches of 1st of May. Some families have been booking the same table every time they go there, for more than 3 generations!

Some great artists and performers used to go there, as it was really close to one of the most important theatres of Lisbon: Parque Mayer.

 It has been considered one of the best seafood restaurants in Lisbon, but they serve typical Portuguese dishes as well.

Transports: Bus and Metro (Avenida)
Address: Av. da Liberdade 155, 1250-144 Lisboa
Schedule: Everyday from 12h00 to 1h30.

5. Zé da Mouraria 2

Portuguese food, full dishes and lots of flavour are the key phrases to this place. It’s a simple typical ‘’tasca’’, the typical tavern in Portugal. Located in an old neighbourhood of Lisbon, this place surely will make you feel the complete portuguese package.

From lots of olive oil to garlic flavored sauce, this is the absolute best place to eat a portuguese meal and have a typical christmas with your family, or by yourself, if that’s what you’re into 

Transports: There’s metro nearby (Intendente) but you’ll have to walk.
Address: R. Gomes Freire 60, 1150-175 Lisboa
Schedule: 12h00 to 16h00, and 19h30 to 23h30

And these are the restaurants I recommend if you want to have a nice dinner/lunch on the Christmas day. I hope you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Enjoy the food!