When you sign up for a Portuguese cooking experience at Cooking Lisbon, you can choose between a traditional Portuguese food class, or a Michelin secrets cooking class. When we prepare typical dishes, we follow recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation, and which make the repository of Portugal’s most iconic foods. But when we approach things like a Michelin starred restaurant would, we focus more on transforming ingredients in original ways and platting them in spectacular ways.
As devote food lovers, we believe Portuguese food is great in its traditional manner, but we’re also big fans of modern and creative approaches to our cuisine, such as those by some of the most celebrated chefs who have in some cases been highlighted by the Michelin guide.
As of 2022, there are 33 Michelin starred restaurants across Portugal, amounting to a total of 40 stars. Today we focus on the Michelin star dining experiences which you can have in and around Lisbon, and which include vanguard contemporary Portuguese food, as well as global cuisines, by local and international chefs who have decided to open the doors to their kitchens in the Portuguese capital.
These are all the restaurants with Michelin stars in Lisbon, Cascais and Sintra:
Double Michelin starred restaurants in Lisbon
Hands down one of Portugal’s most popular chefs, Henrique Sá Pessoa is the creative mastermind of double Michelin-starred Alma, but also a celebrity chef known for his cooking shows on TV. The name of Sá Pessoa’s restaurant in Lisbon translates as “soul”, and there’s no arguing that the food here has a lot of essence and personality. The foundations of Alma’s menu are rooted in traditional Portuguese cooking, while embracing influences of the wider world. Chef Henrique Sá Pessoa is a reference of Portuguese traditional cooking (as we can see on his TV show Comtradição) but doesn’t shy away from incorporating flavors and ingredient combinations that have been inspired by his travels, namely to Asia.
In the chef’s own words “at Alma we serve much more than a meal: we serve emotions, identity, knowledge.” When you make a booking to dine at Alma, you can choose dishes a la carte, or select one of their tasting menus. Costa a Costa is a five dish fish and seafood tasting menu, which pays tribute to Portugal’s relationship with the ocean, only making use of sustainable catches. On the other hand, Alma tasting menu is a sort of best of chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, and it may be a very good introduction to his dishes if you’ve never had the luck to try his food. If you prefer to explore Alma’s menu, make your own selection of dishes. Get acquainted with Portuguese fine dining in a relaxed and distinguished atmosphere.
🍴 Alma, by chef Henrique Sá Pessoa
📷 "Cobblestreet" salted cod, samos, onion purée, egg yolk
📍Rua Anchieta 15, 1200-224 Lisbon
Chef José Avillez has sometimes been referred to as “the father of Portuguese contemporary cooking”. Along with Henrique Sá Pessoa above, he is the only Lisbon based chef with two Michelin stars. Labels aside, there’s no doubt that Avillez has done a lot to popularize modern and fine dining interpretations of Portuguese cooking not only inside our country, but also internationally. In fact, during the summer of 2022, Avillez’s restaurant Tasca by José Avillez in Dubai has just won its first Michelin star as well. Even though the chef has about a dozen different restaurants in Lisbon, ranging from more affordable eateries to more upscale establishments, Belcanto is the award-winning place where Avillez presents his most refined dishes, and which has also been highlighted as one “of The World's 50 Best Restaurants”.
Belcanto’s food is avant-garde, creative and even fun. In fact, the names of the dishes translate that spirit, taking quintessential Portuguese ingredients and transforming them in such imaginative ways. What starts in Avillez’s mind as a simple egg, ends up being served on the plate as “the garden of the goose that laid the golden eggs”, featuring egg, crunchy bread and mushrooms in a remarkable combination of flavors and textures. Beside the revisited Portuguese cuisine dishes you can try a Belcanto a la carte, the restaurant also offers three tasting menus including The Chef’s Table Menu, with special and unique moments that are not on the a la carte menu. Besides the incredible food, choosing this menu gives you the opportunity to sit at the exclusive chef’s table inside Belcanto’s kitchen, to see magic happen from the first row.
🍴 Belcanto, by chef José Avillez
📷 Skate Jackson Pollock
📍Rua Serpa Pinto 10A, 1200-026 Lisbon
Restaurants with one Michelin star in Lisbon
Even though chef Pedro Pena Bastos is only in his early 30s, his Michelin star has been a long time coming and has finally been awarded to him and his restaurant CURA in 2022. After being responsible for the restaurant at the Esporão winery in the Alentejo, and delighting diners for a couple of years at one common table only Ceia in Lisbon, Pena Bastos opened CURA at the Four Seasons Hotel little before the pandemic hit. Amidst all the social chaos which had a massive impact in the hospitality industry, chef Pena Bastos and the team at CURA still managed to pull through and the chef had the chance to shine like never before!
The Portuguese terms “cura” comes from curatorship, and this is what Pena Bastos has set out to do with the very best Portuguese ingredients (some of them, like the olives, from his family’s very own farm!), which he highlights in four different tasting menus, including a vegetarian one called Raízes (Portuguese for roots). Chef Pedro Pena Bastos’ food is extremely elegant and, in spite of being very technical, it’s also uncomplicated and approachable, letting the products speak for themselves. CURA at the Four Seasons Hotel has an open kitchen, so taking a sneak peek into the cooking and plating process has the potential to make your dining experience even more delightful.
🍴 CURA, by chef Pedro Pena Bastos
📷 squid | hazelnut | bergamot | roasted seaweed butter | Ossetra caviar
📍Four Seasons Hotel, Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca 88, 1070-051 Lisbon
At Eleven, chef Joachim Koerper’s Mediterranean cuisine is enhanced by the incredible views of Lisbon you can enjoy from the restaurant. Sitting atop Eduardo XVII park in central Lisbon, Eleven serves modern and creative dishes elegantly crafted with locally grown ingredients of the highest quality. The German chef’s philosophy is rooted in keeping things simple, transforming southern European ingredients (mostly from Portugal, but also from Spain and Italy) in “luminous and elegant” ways. Eleven’s delivery is flawless and this was actually the very first restaurant in Lisbon to ever receive a Michelin star, raising the standards and changing the local gastronomic scene forever!
Besides business lunches and a la carte dishes, Eleven serves six themed tasting menus, including the most recent Joachim Koerper’s 50 Years of Career Menu, which is a voyage through five decades and the chef’s trajectory in kitchens from Germany, Switzerland, France and Singapore to finally Portugal. As the chef puts it “this menu is a voyage through that life route, with culinary creations, based on the places that meant the most to me.”
🍴 Eleven, by chef Joachim Koerper
🎥 Overview of Joachim Loerper’s 50 years of career menu
📍Rua Marquês Fronteira Jardim Amália Rodrigues, Parque Eduardo VII, 1070-051 Lisbon
The famous Vasco de Gama tower houses Fifty Seconds on its panoramic top level, as part of the Myriad by SANA Hotel. Visiting this restaurant is a feast for the senses - it starts with the visuals (thanks to the stunning views to the south bank of Lisbon and urban Parque das Nações, but also because of the impeccable plating of the dishes), and it carries on inspiring your scent and palate.
Across his several restaurants, Spanish chef Martín Berasategui has gathered a total of twelve Michelin stars, including three at his namesake restaurant in San Sebastián, and the one Fifty Seconds in Lisbon was awarded not even a year after its opening. This unique dining experience at 120m of height can be approached by selecting from the a la carte menu, or opting for a seven or ten course menu, prepared by Berasategui’s Portuguese kitchen team. Chef Martín Berasategui’s signature cuisine translates in luxurious cooking with exotic touches, prepared in a meticulous way. Expect “a combination of cosmopolitan and sophisticated flavors from around the world that lead us towards unknown sensations.”
🍴 Fifty Seconds, by chef Martín Berasategui
📷 Fifty Second’s dining room, overlooking the Tagus river
📍Rua Cais das Naus Lote 2.21.01, 1990-173 Lisbon
Loco’s kitchen is larger than the restaurant’s actual dining space, and that’s because big things happen there! Not to be mistaken with the Spanish word for crazy, the restaurant’s name comes from Latin “in loco” and it means “to be there”, referring to the open kitchen which allows you to be present and looking and what’s happening before the food arrives to your plate, at what is one of Lisbon’s very best fine-dining experiences. Chef Alenxandre Silva’s rise to fame happened back in 2012, when he won the TV competition Top Chef in Portugal. From then onwards, the chef’s career hasn’t stopped evolving, and the numerous awards and accolades he’s gathered (including the first Michelin star for Loco in 2018) are a proof of that!
Loco’s Portuguese cuisine is up to date, sophisticated and experimental, working with local organic ingredients during what chef Alexandre Silva refers to as “micro seasons”, when the freshness of the products is at its peak. The best raw elements allied with innovative techniques are compiled in no more no less than a seventeen moments tasting menu inspired by the tradition of Portuguese flavors. When it comes to drinks, Loco focuses exclusively on Portuguese wines which aren’t at all well known, allowing small producers with amazing quality to be showcased at this stellar Lisbon restaurant in the neighborhood of Estrela.
🍴 Loco, by chef Alexandre Silva
📷 Chef Alexandre Silva’s interpretation of a pastel de bacalhau codfish cake
📍Rua Navegantes nº53-B, 1200-731 Lisbon
No matter where in the world we may be, the Michelin guide (and the world of gastronomy in general) loves to put the spotlight on French haute cuisine. Even though this restaurant doesn’t focus on traditional French cuisine, it makes very good use of French fine dining techniques. At EPUR, chef Vincent Farges delights diners with a single surprise menu, which appears simple at a first glance but is highly creative. Chef Farges’ cooking breathes inspiration from cuisines a little all over the world, most pronouncedly French, Portuguese and Asian.