Lisbon, Portugal – Mercado da Ribeira

by Sue on January 24, 2015

Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon, Portugal

Mercado da Ribeira (market near the river) is a Lisbon treasure, and the city’s largest open food market. Housed in a beautiful building topped with a Moorish-style dome, the food market sells everything from inky octopus and fresh seafood to fresh fruit, and funeral flowers. But, beginning in May 2014 the gastronomical area opened, representing the best restaurants and chefs of Lisbon. The area has about 30 spaces for food vendors and seating for around 750 in the center area. Being foodies and on vacation, this was the focus of our attention… thanks for the tasty tip Lisa and Jeff!

Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon, Portugal

The idea is brilliant: you grab the food and drinks from one or several restaurants of your choice (can be different than your family and friends), and find a seat in the food area where you’ll be able to interact with everyone there.

Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon, Portugal

Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon, Portugal

Spit roasted pork belly immediately caught our eye, as did the salads from another booth…

Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon, Portugal

With delicious results…

Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon, Portugal

And still room for a sweet or two from Arcadia…

Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon, Portugal

Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon, Portugal

We visited a second time on a Saturday night and the food area was overflowing. Seats were full, the most popular stands had lines and the atmosphere was dynamic. Having already eaten dinner, we tried some chocolate cake and stood at the end of a bar-like table. Conversation started flowing when one of the guys heard we were from Seattle – he had seen the recent Seahawks game leading up to to the Superbowl, and was very excited to compare notes with Americans, and Washingtonians at that! Turns out he and his friends are from Iceland, and two of his buddies are competing in the European Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Gotta love travel!

The Lisbon Connection is a great resource for travelers in Lisbon with articles and reviews on just about anything having to do with the city. Check it out next time you are traveling to Lisbon. Their article on Cervejaria ‘Ramiro‘ prompted us to check out this very popular seafood restaurant. Serving superb fresh seafood at a really good price, it’s always crowded with tables full of locals, all having a great time. The atmosphere is loud and exciting.

Cervejaria Ramiro

Cervejaria Ramiro

Sampling the seafood at Cervejaria Ramiro

Sampling the seafood at Cervejaria Ramiro

You may also enjoy our other posts on Lisbon:
Lisbon, Portugal – Arrival/Chegada
Lisbon, Portugal – Walkabout

Lisbon’s Rua Nova do Carvalho was cited in a New York Times travel article – Favorite Streets in 12 European Cities. Closed to traffic, painted a cheerful shade of pink it is Lisbon’s most bustling new party strip… and it is just a few blocks from Mercado da Ribeira.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay January 25, 2015 at 11:39 am

Portugal is such a sensuous city. Fado music playing in the background of the Mercado. The roasted pork belly was amazing, with a flavor note of fresh orange.

Lance January 26, 2015 at 8:53 am

Lisbon has been on our list of places to go … and now I know why. Love the description of Mercado da Ribeira. Looking forward to the next food stop you discover.

wendy@chezchloe January 27, 2015 at 7:25 pm

Looks like a super cool food court that actually has awesome food. My Favorite! I like seeing you in the mirror:)

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