I often go to Tágide for lunch. One wall is all glass, so you have a view of the whole city. The octopus, served with caramelised onions and smashed twice-roasted potatoes, is delicious. The chef also makes incredible empada da lampreia, a typical eel pie with a sauce made from its blood. Largo da Academia Nacional de Belas Artes 18-20 (+351213-404 010; www.restaurantetagide.com).
Another great place for lunch is A Cevicheria – it has a beautiful old tiled floor and huge octopus hanging overhead. The young chef weaves local flavours into international dishes. The lobster ceviche with Madeiran avocados is like a tropical paradise, and there’s a really special cuttlefish and pork belly sandwich on sweet-potato bread. Rua Dom Pedro V 129 (+35121-8038815).
For a traditional custard tart, I like modern Manteigaria, where you can see the tarts being made step by step and you eat at the counter. Pastéis de Belém is the opposite; it’s like a museum with rooms decorated in typical Portuguese tiles. It’s home to the original custard tart,served still warm, but here the process is secret. Manteigaria Fábrica de Pastéis de Nata, Rua do Loreto (+35121-3471492). Pastéis de Belém, Rua Belém 84-92 (+35121-363 7423; www.pasteisdebelem.pt).
Dinner starts late in Lisbon, so I go for cocktails first. Pharmacia in Santa Caterina is where my father studied medicine, but the building is now a restaurant and has retained a medical vibe.The cocktails here have names like Morphine and Benzine and I can easily hang out on the lawn until sunset. Rua Marechal Saldanha 1 (+35121-346 2146).
100 Maneiras is a fun bistro. I start with cocktails at the bar – it does an amazing Amarguinha [almond liqueur] Sour –and lots of friends come by. We share prawn turnovers, veal croquettes and rice with clams. Rua do Teixeira 35 (+351910-307 575; www.restaurante100maneiras.com).
For more of Mendes’ Lisbon loves, click here.