Lisbon, Portugal is one of those cities with excellent food, but the abundance of options (from take-away stands to Art Deco cafés to Michelin-starred restaurants…) can make it difficult to pick a restaurant. This difficulty is compounded if you are looking for a traditional Portuguese dish but want to avoid touristy spots, or if you have a group with varying tastes.
Enter: TimeOut Market Lisbon! TimeOut Market Lisbon is an AMAZING food hall serving all of Lisbon’s traditional foods, as well as foods that are not traditionally Portuguese but are enjoyed by Lisboas (think pizza and hamburgers!). I definitely recommend TimeOut Market Lisbon to anyone in Lisbon who does not know where to eat, or who is part of a group with varying food interests!
TimeOut Market Lisboa is a food hall inside the historic Mercado da Ribeira, which is located in the Cais do Sodré neighborhood (where the train leaves for Cascais). Side note – until 2011, Cais do Sodré was super shady, but its now been totally revamped and is completely safe! The traditional Mercado da Ribeira is still around, particularly in the early morning, selling produce, flowers, and fish!
However, the traditional wares are not what you come here for – you come for the food hall! TimeOut (yes, the magazine) completely reinvented the food hall portion of Mercado do Ribeira in 2014 and now is the #1 tourist attraction in Lisbon. That being said, when we visited in March we saw both visitors and locals, although I am sure it tends more toward visitors in the high season.
TimeOut Market Lisbon’s food hall has 30 mini restaurants serving high quality food out of small stalls in quick fashion! The stalls at TimeOut Market Lisbon sell everything from high-end seafood, to sandwiches, to Asian food, to pizza…the list goes on! You certainly will not be able to hit each one, so I recommend taking a lap before committing to one or two restaurants.
Long tables are set up in the center of the TimeOut Market and you can sit any where, which allows you to mix and match dishes and make new friends! When I visited, I opted for the not-exciting pizza, and Dan went with the above-pictured awesome seafood dish of octopus fried in squid ink. He definitely ordered better. We also ordered glasses of vino verde to cap off our meal!
In addition to food, TimeOut Market Lisbon also has a few shops (selling overpriced Portuguese products) and even a Portuguese cooking tutorial that you can join on the spot, called Chef’s Table Experience! On the day we visited, the chef’s experience was traditional lemon pudding for €12, 50.
Dan and I really enjoyed TimeOut Market Lisbon and would call it a “must do” in Lisbon, especially for foodies! When we visited in March 2017, there was really no wait at any of the stands and we did not have difficulty finding a table. However, if you are visiting in high season, I recommend preparing to wait a bit. Also, I have heard that a number of the stalls shut down before dinner, so lunch is probably your best bet!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Time Out Market Lisbon: Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-109 Lisboa, Portugal. T: +351 213 951 274. Open Sunday – Wednesday 10:00 – 0:00, Thursday – Saturday 10:00 – 2:00. No reservations. Most of the stalls (if not all) take credit card. To order, simply walk up to the stall and place your order. Almost all menus have English translations.
ON A BUDGET
Most of the stalls at TimeOut Market Lisbon are on the cheap side, although you will find exceptions, especially for fancy seafood or wine. Stalls clearly display their prices, so take a lap before committing if you are searching for the most budget option.