The most important thing to know about Lisbon’s Bairro do Avillez is that it will be hard to snag a table—but that the wait will be worth it.
Alternatively, have your hotel concierge work his magic to set up a reservation (notably, one such wizard at Tivoli Avenida Liberdade managed to swing a same-day table for two) and arrive at the bustling restaurant ready to eat, and eat well.
Owner and chef José Avillez is one of Portugal’s most celebrated (his restaurant Belcanto has two Michelin stars), and a few bites at Bairro do Avillez make his place in the city unmistakably clear. Perhaps some spicy pork crackling “popcorn” and bean ceviche could start things off, paired with a fine bottle of Portuguese red wine. And don’t miss the “exploding olives” (which we won’t say anything else about, for fear of spoiling the surprising experience). After that, it might be time for some Portuguese pork sandwiches, or maybe some fresh fish—everything here is inventive and interesting.
Bairro do Avillez is part tavern, part fine dining restaurant, and part market, with various concept rooms flowing into one another and presenting new wonders. But any seat is a good seat, really, as long as wine is flowing and minds are open.
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