Lisbon’s Best Rooftop Bars & Restaurants

Courtesy of Topo

When it comes to drinking and dining with a view, visitors to Lisbon are spoilt for choice. The Portuguese capital is famously built on seven hills, and every steep ascent rewards visitors with sweeping vistas across red-roofed houses, handsome historic monuments, and the shimmering river Tagus. Whether you want to sip a coffee and nibble a custard tart at one of Lisbon’s famous viewpoint miradouros, hang out with hipsters at a rooftop bar, or feast on superior seafood as boats glide along the water, you can do it with ease in Lisbon. Throw in one of Lisbon’s dramatic sunsets and you’re in for a truly magical experience. From simple seafood snack bars to high-end dining, here are our picks for the best places to enjoy fine food, delicious drinks, and glorious views in one of Europe's prettiest—and sunniest—capitals.—Lucy Bryson

Courtesy of Topo

Topo

The top floor of a less-than-fashionable commercial center might sound not sound like a compelling destination, but this 2016 addition to Lisbon’s already impressive ranks of quality rooftop bars has quickly established itself as a firm favorite with fashionable Lisbonites. It’s located six floors above Martim Moniz square—a formerly somewhat run-down plaza that’s recently smartened up (regular street food gatherings amid the multi-ethnic grocery stores are evidence of the area’s gentrification). The bar and terrace have slick decor thanks to highly-regarded designers José Botelho and Miguel Oliveira. If the location seems questionable, one glance at the view and it becomes clear why the owners chose this unassuming spot—sweeping cityscapes expand below the bar and over the hills to the castle. The small plates, including a delicious chicken satay, make ideal companions to the imaginative cocktails. Prices are more than fair, starting at around $5 for small plates and $7 for cocktails.

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Courtesy of Wine with a View

Wine with a View

A truly inspired idea, Wine With a View offers visitors to Lisbon a chance to enjoy a glass of good Portuguese wine as they stroll around the city’s tourist hotspots. The first Wine With a View cart popped up in front of Lisbon’s hilltop castle in 2014 and has since rolled out—literally—to other beauty spots such as Belem. The “glasses” are disposable, but you maywant to keep yours as a memento of your visit. The red, white, espumante, moscatel, and port wines are all carefully chosen, but it’s hard to beat a glass of light vinho verde on a sunny Lisbon afternoon.

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Tagide

Tagide’s formal dining restaurant and more informal tapas bar occupy different floors of the same historic building in buzzing Chiado, and both offer sumptuous views over the old town. Both are very fairly priced given the upmarket ambiance, with the five-course taster menu at the restaurant taking in dishes such as lobster bisque and roast pig for not much over $50. For something more casual, you can snack on olives, creamy goat cheese, and squid salad over a glass or two of wine—there are certainly plenty to choose from.

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Memmo Alfama

On the first floor of the fashionable Memmo Alfama hotel, this poolside wine bar is perched at the top of Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood and the home of fado music. You don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to come and soak up the view over the red tile roofs and enjoy plates of tapas and fine Portuguese wines. The food here is more about light bites to accompany your wine or cocktail than hearty booze-soaking fare, but ordering a few small plates is a tasty way to spend your time on the terrace. The salads are more interesting than the Lisbon norm, too, featuring smoked ham, pomegranate, and fig, among other fresh and colorful ingredients. Come as the sun sets for added magic, and don’t miss the chocolate mousse with port wine foam—it’s deliciously decadent, and a steal at $6.

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Courtesy of Tivoli Lisboa

Sky Bar

Lisboetas current love affair with roof bars shows no signs of abating any time soon, and with funky hangouts such as Sky Bar offering a chance to drink the night away against beautiful city views, who can blame them? On the 9th floor of the grand Tivoli Lisboa Hotel on well-heeled Avenida da Liberdade, the bar has a vast wooden deck on which young and fashionable locals gather to sip sangria and cocktails and nibble small eats during the city’s sunnier months (the bar is only open from April through September). With cinema screens and DJ sets adding to mood, this is one of Lisbon’s most buzzing places to hang out during the summer, and has emerged as a tourist attraction in its own right. Higher than average prices reflect its super-trendy status, but if you want to see Lisbon’s summer nightlife scene at its best, this is a good place to do it.

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Terraco BA

The terrace bar at Lisbon’s chic Bairro Alto hotel might not be the biggest in the city, but it does offer arguably the best views. The pillow-strewn sofas, comfy chairs, and chill background music create a suitably relaxed ambience for pre- or post-dinner drinks. The cocktail list is impressive; enjoy a caipirinha or a glass of white port on a balmy evening, or come during the daytime for reviving coffee and delicious pastries as you enjoy the views over the rooftops and down to the river. This small terrace gets packed during the summer.

Insider Tip: Arrive before 7 p.m. if you want a chance of claiming one of the sofas.

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Rio Maravilha

This funky gastropub at the top of the fashionable LX Factory complex of shops, boutiques, and cafe-bars is the 2016 hipster hangout of choice, not least because of the dramatic views over the river and the 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Chef Diogo Noronha is one of Lisbon’s rising culinary talents, and here he fuses Brazilian and Portuguese culinary traditions to create an interesting array of small plates and mains such as marinated quail with char-grilled eggplant. Board games and multimedia projections add to the hipster vibe, and after dark (it’s open until 2 a.m.), DJs add a lively nightlife spark to the place.

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Courtesy of Restaurante Eleven

Restaurante 11

Fine dining and fine views come together at this Michelin-starred eatery. The kitchen is manned by esteemed chef Joachim Koerper, who turns out immaculately-plated renderings of Mediterranean dishes made using locally-sourced ingredients. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer amazing views across the old city to the Tagus. The vast wine list jostles for attention with the food menu, which includes excellent lobster and Alentejano pork dishes (mains from $40, taster menus from $150). At the heart of the business district, it’s popular with a sharp-suited crowd during the week, but a vast weekend brunch buffet offers a more relaxed ambiance.

Rua Marquês de Fronteira, Jardim Amália Rodrigues

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Courtesy of Monte Mar

Monte Mar

This 2016 opening is a sister restaurant to the much-lauded eatery of the same name in nearby Cascais, which has been known to attract everybody from rock stars to visiting heads of state. The owners chose the setting for the new restaurant—an industrial-chic space right on the river Tagus—because of the stellar views over the bridge to the Cristo Rei . While the vibe here is more casual than the Cascais branch, the fresh seafood is prepared with the same great care (note that it’s closed on Mondays, as fishermen don’t go out on Sundays). Opt for a window table inside during the cooler months when things can get breezy along the waterfront. The arroz de berbigao (rich, seasoned rice laced with cockles) is an enduring house favorite; it usually comes with hake fillets, but you can opt to have it with the catch of the day.

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Courtesy of Panorama Restaurant

Restaurante Panorama

This eatery at the top of the city’s tallest building, the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel and Spa, offers stunning panoramic views. The gastronomic experience plays second fiddle to the vistas themselves, but the seafood dishes are reliably good. It’s a little off the beaten tourist track but easily reached by metro and worth heading here for a light snack and drink at sunset—the views alone are worth the trip.

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The Insólito

The name means “The Unusual”, and it’s an apt one. From the moment you enter the antique elevator that cranks patrons up to this trendy bar-restaurant at the top of an 1800s building, you know you’re in for a unique experience. From the dangling chandeliers and cool vintage knick-knacks (hello, dicky-bowed stag’s head) that are artfully strewn around to the unusual takes on classic Portuguese dishes, The Insólito offers surprises at every turn. But it’s the sunset view from the spacious covered terrace that really steals the show. Whether you come to dine, snack, or just sip a delicious cocktail, this trendy spot is unlikely to disappoint. The location between the buzzing Bairro Alto, Chiado, and Principe Real districts makes it the ideal place to begin a night out in Lisbon.

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Entretanto

Amid the buzz of crowds in one of downtown Lisbon’s busiest districts, the terrace bar at Hotel Chiado offers a chance to catch your breath and lose it again at the sight of the city views spreading out below you. The bar is open to non-guests and serves small plates, petiscos (the Portuguese version of tapas), and light meals such as soups and salads, along with good caipirinhas and mojitos. The drinks list here isn’t as extensive as some Lisbon hot spots, but the city’s favorite spirit, gin, is present.

Insider Trip: It gets busy after dark but is a great escape from the crowds in the afternoon—the location at the top of the hotel makes it a little hidden from the tourist hordes.

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Courtesy of Silk

Silk

This is Lisbon’s fanciest bar—an upscale joint that is very proud to be a member of the exclusive World’s Finest Clubs group. While this ambiance may appeal to some visitors more than others, there’s no arguing with the view. From the rooftop of one of the tallest buildings in Chiado, it has one of the best panoramic vistas in town. Grab a seat on the terrace to enjoy well-prepared sushi, sashimi, and temaki before the DJ gets the well-heeled crowd busy on the dance floor.

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Courtesy of Via Graca

Via Graca

This spot hidden away on a hillside in the picturesque neighborhood of Graca is a good option for a romantic dinner, not least because of the gorgeous views that take in the castle, the glowing form of the Basilica da Estrela, and the river. Service is attentive without being overbearing, and there’s a good wine list along with solid, if not spectacular, renderings of dishes such as cod with an herb crust. Start with the couvert of breads, olives, pates, and cheeses before taking your pick from meat and seafood focused mains (from $18). The mushroom risotto is among a limited vegetarian selection, while the moscatel wines make a good pairing for indulgent desserts.

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