From Indian and Peruvian to Italian and classic Po...

From Indian and Peruvian to Italian and classic Portuguese, Lisbon has a world of new flavours to discover

By: Alexandra Stilwell 

Photo: Black Trumpet Restaurant

Cosmopolitan dining

Contributing to Lisbon’s ever-growing gastronomic scene with new flavours and traditions, locals and newcomers are making the most of the city’s wave of popularity to create new concepts and restaurants. With new openings every other week, it is hard to keep up. So, we did a roundup of the novelties you won’t want to miss.

Canalha: Traditional tasca

Canalha is chef João Rodrigues’ first permanent project after 13 years at the helm of the Michelin-starred Feitoria.

Between Alcântara and Belém, this new tasca is the place to go for a beer and a snack, to watch a football game and taste some of the country’s most iconic dishes. A place the chef wants to be noisy and messy, democratic, where the customer sets the billanywhere between €20 and €200 – where you can either have a pastel de bacalhau and a beer at the window, scarlet shrimps with sparkling wine at a table, or the day’s special at the counter.

Canalha Restaurant ©Joana Freitas

The main room features a long pink limestone marble counter with a direct kitchen view. Tables are distributed in three clusters of different sizes and layouts, divided by carpentry partitions with fluted glass and mirrors, evoking traditional cafés.

Canalha Restaurant ©Joana Freitas

Starters include Iberian Charcuterie, Fresh Goat Cheese, Pastéis de Bacalhau, i.e. codfish cakes (€3.20), and Russian Salad with Anchovies (€4.50). For main course there is a Tartar of Simmental Beef Chuck (€16.10), Grilled Lamb Sweetbreads from the Alentejo (€9.20), Wild Mushrooms with Egg Yolk and Pork Jowl (€24), Scarlet Prawns in Garlic, Fried Egg and Chips (€29.50), and Line-Caught  Squid and Sheep’s Butter (€25), and more. In addition to the menu, Canalha serves fresh seafood, fish and meat, and dishes of the day, such as feijoada and cozido à portuguesa stews, and stuffed squid.

Terrazza: Extravagantly Italian

Inside The Ivens Hotel, Lisbon’s coveted Italian restaurant Rocco is the gift that keeps on giving. Its popular Gastrobar, Crudo Bar and Ristorante are now adjoined by the new Terrazza, a 50-seat indoor patio inspired by typically Italian conservatories.

The Ristorante’s new outdoor extension is a colourful and intimate space – brightly lit, thanks to its glass roof – designed for a refined atmosphere throughout the year.


The extravagant decoration was done by Spanish designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, also responsible for the restaurant’s interior, and mirrors the Ristorante’s busy design. This colourful oasis is filled with organic designs, symmetrical patterns and bright colourings, featuring pistachio-green wood panelling, hand-painted floral tiles, stripy mustard and white designer shading, natural plants and a trickling fountain.


Focusing on Italian gastronomy, the menu is the same as the Ristorante’s. Dishes include classics such as Tagliatelle ai Funghi e Tartufo (€36), Lobster Linguine (€38), Rigatoni al Ragù (€26), and Scarlet Shrimp Risotto (€36), paired with an exquisite selection of Portuguese and international wines. And, until the end of February, seasonal game and truffle dishes, such as Partridge Risotto (€35) and Wild Boar Loin alla Griglia (€38), are also on the menu.

Gunpowder: Contemporary Indian

Bringing a whole new dimension of Indian gastronomy to the Portuguese capital, Gunpowder is a modern Bistro. It is the fourth restaurant opened by Kolkata-born Harneet Baweja and his wife Devina, whose childhood memories inspired the project, born in London in 2015.

Gunpowder Restaurant – ©Joana Freitas

Located in Chiado, Gunpowder is spread over two floors and an outdoor terrace. The warm and trendy atmosphere comprises pinewood and teak panels, mirrors, and diamond-shaped pink Portuguese marble paired with beautiful 70s-inspired lamps.

The restaurant’s creative and vibrant cuisine features different interpretations of authentic Indian recipes prepared using a progressive approach. Its selection of small and sharing plates is a veritable explosion of flavours, which inevitably inspired the restaurant’s name.

Gunpowder Restaurant – ©Joana Freitas

The spicy dishes can be enjoyed at the counter, while catching the action in the kitchen, or at a laidback table, and aromatic cocktails can be ordered from the bar to even out the intense flavours. Starters include Oysters from the Algarve served with Kachumber (€3,50) or grilled with Moilee Curry (€4), Gunpowder’s famous “Calcutta Punjab Club” Prawn Toast (€8), and Crispy Karwari Soft Shell Crab (€18). Sharing plates feature slow-cooked Steak Strips with Curry Leaf, Coconut and Onions (€18,50), Grilled Lamb served with Mint Chutney and Pickled Radish (€28), and Kalimirch Grilled Turbot (€27p.p).

Ponja Nikkei: Peru meets Japan

Known for its vibrant Peruvian fusion restaurants, the Madrid-based Quispe Group has ventured into the Portuguese capital with Ponja Nikkei. This haute cuisine experience reflects Peru’s gastronomic history, dating back to the late 19th century when the ponjas – as the Japanese are affectionately called in Peru – arrived in South America and combined elements of both cuisines, giving rise to this surprising fusion cuisine.

Ponja Nikkei

Bringing the traditional nikkei concept to Lisbon, Ponja Nikkei is set in a multi-coloured suede cocoon at the heart of the Chiado neighbourhood. Spread across two rooms under tall ceilings, it features an essential and very alluring all-day Pisco Bar where Peruvian head-barman Julio Gallegos serves a variety of drinks from sakes to traditional Piscos (€12).

Ponja Nikkei – ©Henrique P Isidoro

Mixing fresh Portuguese fish and succulent meat with products imported from Peru, the menu highlights dishes such as a Classic Cebiche (€22) and Red Tuna Cebiche Nikkei (€25), complemented by other suggestions such as Usuzukuri de Hamachi al Ají Amarillo (€18), Maki Ponja (€13), Maki Acebichado (€13), Red Tuna Nigiri With Foie Gras (€5,50), Spider Crab Achupetada Gyozas (€10), Anticuchero Octopus Bao (€12), and Wild Seabass Shiromi (€26). And for dessert, Limeño de Chirimoya Meringue (€9).

Guelra: Signature seafood

Following the success of the popular O Frade in Ajuda, owner Sérgio Frade created this nautical-themed project in Belém’s busy historical centre. With a straightforward “ocean-to-table” motto, Guelra offers a contemporary fish and seafood-based menu combining international techniques and flavours, using the freshest Portuguese ingredients.

Guelra ©Henrique P Isidoro

A stone’s throw from the Presidential Palace, Guelra invites guests to step into a retro-style, blue and white universe.

In the front room, a large elbow-shaped counter, above which the restaurant’s motto is written in XL lettering, is the perfect spot to sip a cocktail or crack open a bottle of Champagne paired with a plate of oysters as you watch the chef in action or wait for a table on the large plush outdoor terrace.

Guelra ©Henrique P Isidoro

Upstairs, the dining room calls for lengthier meals. Around the room, stone wave motifs and designer lighting complement bursts of deep blue to create an atmosphere reminiscent of a tranquil sea.

Signature snacks and dishes to share feature Shrimp Tostada (€5), Tuna Tartar (€18), Codfish Carpaccio (€12), Maguro Sando featuring bluefin tuna, Sriracha and coleslaw (€18), Puntinillas (€8) and Takoyakis made with octopus, Sriracha and katsuobushi (€8), as well as the catch of the day. To finish, there are sweet treats like Salted Caramel Churros (€4.50) and Guelra Cheesecake (€6). The extensive international wine selection includes the owner’s own production of Alentejo amphora and Burgundy wines.

Black Trumpet: Mushroom madness

More than a mushroom-themed restaurant, Black Trumpet is a social hub where mushroom and music lovers gather to experience nourishing food, funky soundtracks and a cosmopolitan vibe.

Black Trumpet Restaurant

Down in Santos, this “down-to-earth” brunch, lunch and dinner venue has opened a doorway into the fascinating world of mushrooms. Every dish, served in a dramatic setting, features seasonal Portuguese mushrooms. On the walls, extra-large mirrors add depth to interiors in shades of sand, earth and moss, punctuated with leather banquettes and coffee-hued wood surfaces and chairs.

During the day, the tall windows let the sunlight in and spread across while at night, the space benefits from a cosy, low-lit atmosphere, becoming an avant-garde restaurant where an international crowd sips cocktails to the sound of live jazz performances.

Portobello ©Mariana Alegra, Black Trumpet Restaurant

On the menu, starters include Chawanmushi Japanese Stew (€12), Enoki Mush and Chips (€16) and Vegetable Carpaccio (€15). Main courses range from Fresh Cheese Gnocchi with Peas, White Port Wine Beurre Blanc and Cantharellus (€24) to Veal Cheeks with Couscous, Lemon Verbena, Paris Marron Soubise Sauce and Potato Purée (€27), followed by Fennel Ice Cream with Mushroom Crème Anglaise (€9) for dessert.

But there is more. Black Trumpet also features “the Mush Room”, a small courtyard showcasing mushrooms, a menu of coffees and lattes for those curious to discover adaptogenic and medicinal mushrooms, and a series of workshops and immersive experiences.


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