Travel

Lisbon's Food Circus for Foodies

04/18/2016 04:22pm ET | Updated April 19, 2017

My favorite new eating place in Lisbon is a market turned into a food circus for foodies. The venerable Mercado da Ribeira hosts the Time Out Market. Here's a quick stroll through a fun selection of fine places for a budget meal. You can enjoy €10 plates here with enthusiastic locals.

For a sneak peek at the 2017 edition of Rick Steves Portugal, here's my guidebook writeup:

Gourmet Food Circus Mercado da Ribeira (a.k.a. Time Out Market): The big news on Lisbon's eating scene is the transformation of the traditional farmers market at Cais do Sodré into a gourmet food circus. The boisterous and venerable market survives in one half of the industrial-age, iron-and-glass market hall, while the other half has been taken over by Time Out Magazine, which has invited a couple dozen quality restaurants to open stalls here. The produce and fish market is open from 7:00 to 13:00 (closed Sunday and no fish Monday), and the restaurants are open daily from 12:00 to 24:00. Join the young, trendy, hungry, and thirsty crowd grazing among a wide variety of options. Groups can split up to order and then share a table in the center -- food-circus style. The north wall is a row of stalls run by five big-name Lisbon chefs (well worth consideration -- enticing dinner plates for €10) but enjoy surveying the entire market: Honorato (fine burgers), O Prego da Peixaria (fish and steak sandwiches), Sea Me (famous for seafood), Aloma (in the west outer aisle for the best pastries), and Santini (the venerable Portuguese Italian ice cream). Get wine and beer from separate stalls in the center. You may find affordable percebes (barnacles) at several seafood stalls. Eating here on disposable plates and at long, noisy picnic tables is far from romantic, but the quality and prices are great. Mercado da Ribeira (like many locals, I resist calling this historic market by its new "Time Out" name) is conveniently served by the Metro (Cais do Sodré stop), tram 15E, and a ten-minute walk from Praça do Comércio. If heading to Belém, it's a convenient stop before or after. If here for dinner, the crazy Pink Street lined with clubs and bars is lively late and just two blocks inland.

This is Day 5 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I'm reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.

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