Where to eat in Lisbon - Damas
When I hear (or ask myself) a question: where to eat in Lisbon, only two places come to my mind - Damas and Cantinho de Aziz. I bet there are more than 2 restaurants in Lisbon worth a visit (I’ve yet to explore Lisbonese food scene), but because I discovered these too I can’t go anywhere else until I try everything from their menu (the fact that they change the menu either every day or every month doesn’t help here.)
So let's talk about, I guess, my current favourite place - Damas, a lovely bar - restaurant situated in Largo da Graca. It's a pain to get there. No metro station close by, the famous 28 tram passes by, but honestly, taking the tram is a pain too. So I would say, the best way to get there is simply on foot (either from the Baixa Chiado, Alfama, or Intendente).
The bar opens during lunch time (13-17) and in the evening (19 - 4am).
During lunch hours, Damas is a typical restaurant. You've got a lunch menu (always fish, meat or vegan/vegetarian version) but also tapas. An advice from me for those thinking of going for a lunch menu. Get early to Damas. No later than one hour after they open. Otherwise the lunch will have been sold out (at least I find that's always the case with fish version, as this is the one I always go for).
When it comes to tapas, you will always find something for you. Doesn't matter if you're vegan, vegetarian, love fish or can't imagine food that doesn't include meat. My favourite one is salmon ceviche (tuna is delicious too).
The thing I like most about Damas is that they really get creative with food.Having lived over a year in Portugal, I kind of got bored with grilled fished, boiled potatoes and salad. Of course I still love this food but it's nice to have a change sometimes. And here comes Damas. The menu changes every day (tapas pretty much stay the same). They use so many ingredients that I don't know or haven't seen in other restaurants. And the food is so delicious. I know that whatever I order there I will be happy.
When it comes to prices, I feel it's pretty good. The lunch menu is never more than 10 eur (depending on if you go for meat, fish or vegan/vegetarian it might be cheaper). The tapas are around 5 - 10 eur.
Another reason why I love Damas is how this place transforms at night. Gigs, dj sets that take place there are awesome. Exactly the kind of music I want to listen to or dance to. If you're not a fan of Bairro Alto, I'm pretty sure you will like Damas at night.
The only thing you need to be aware of if you decide to go to Damas on Friday or Saturday night is that this place gets incredibly crowdy. (Probably this shows how much this place is awesome). So be prepared for a lot of smoke, sweat and forget about space for dance. You really need to value those 20 cm around you if any.
For more information, here is Damas facebook page.