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“Hidden Gem”
Review of Madragoa Cafe

Madragoa Cafe
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Ranked #115 of 4,187 Restaurants in Lisbon
Price range: US$12 - US$29
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Description: The Madragoa Cafe is a place where you can find a traditional Portuguese cuisine, where the products used are fresh and Portuguese. The predominant wines are from the Douro region, however it is possible to find wines from other regions. The dishes are a selection of some of the best that each region of Portugal has to offer. The desserts are traditional and some are made at the restaurant. The affection with which clients are received, that comes from the heart. See you soon!
Plymouth, England, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem”
Reviewed 14 August 2014 via mobile

We would never have found this place if it hasn't been recommended to us by family. Hidden in Lisbon's maze of backstreets, this family run restaurant was the perfect ending to an amazing day trip to Lisbon. We shared the fish stew which came in a huge oyster dish and was full of beautiful, fresh shellfish and white fish. It was a challenge to get through it all and made it a long leisurely meal with great wine too. The owner is really friendly and although the food took a long time to come out, it was definitely worth it. Dessert was really unusual too, worth squeezing in! Would definitely come back.

Thank KFlo42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Phoenix, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“Absolutely funky - absolutely delightful”
Reviewed 12 August 2014

When in Lisbon, you must visit Café Madragoa. It is about as far from being a haute cuisine “establishment” as you can imagine, but you will find it delightful. It is not exactly in the center of town, although not too far from the Baixa neighborhood. Its street, Rue de Esperanca [No.136] is short and narrow, barely wide enough for two small European cars, and with no real sidewalks. Typically there is both an inside and an outside dining area. The outside, where we ate, is a sort of wooden deck built up from the street, and squeezing the traffic, when there was any, into one lane. This deck holds only four or five small tables. The inside is not much larger. The street is so narrow, and the buildings so tall, four or five stories, that the deck would be shaded except at high noon. There is one waiter, and one cook. You will meet them both.

The menu is not large, but has reasonable variety, including a delightful vegetarian dish for my wife, and a wonderful fish concoction for me. The waiter is truly fluent in English, and happy to discuss your choices with you in as much detail as you ask for or need. The entire meal was relaxed, extremely tasty and a very satisfying experience. The cook, Christina, came out afterwards and chatted with us about her cooking style and methods .The only slight glitch came when I paid the bill, again less than 50 Euros, with a 100 Euro bill. There was not enough change in the till and we had to wait ten minutes or so while they were paid by other customers. We had arrived shortly before 8:30 and were of course, among the earliest diners. It was full by the time we left. They do take most credit cards.

We would definitely return here, and highly recommend Café Madragoa!

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Citylaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vilnius, Lithuania
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 August 2014

It was the last evening in Lisbon and our company of four people decided to spend it in Madragoa. It was perfect decision! We had a great time! Absolutely delicious meal! I ordered bacalhau - it was the top of all bacalhaus i tried during our holiday in Portugal! Wine, we ordered, perfectly accompanied our meals. And on the top of this - unmeasured hospitality of the owners! Regardless busy night, Kristina and Antonio managed to talk to us, unveild some mysterious moments of portuguese culture and history.
For people who like to be served as at Macdonald it is not the right place, but I would definitely recommend Madragoa for everybody and especially for my friends from Lithuania who are eager for unforgettable moments for the stomach and for the soul as well!

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Neringa N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Solihull, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“One word...AMAZING!!”
Reviewed 8 August 2014 via mobile

I have just returned from a holiday in the Algarve in Portugal during which my husband and I travelled to Lisbon for a few days for his birthday. I did a lot of research of restaurants in Lisbon for his birthday meal and settled on this restaurant given it's reviews on TA and the fact you could book online.

On arrival we were given a warm welcome by the owners and were seated at a lovely table by the door in this small restaurant. The menu is all in Portuguese and I did my best with my phrase book to work it out but the owners kindly went through the whole menu with us. We settled on the meat and cheese board to start and then the Portuguese steak and Fish cataplana for our mains. The food was exceptional. It was really authentic Portuguese food cooked to perfection. We ended the meal with a pumpkin, egg and almond cake which was also out of this world!

The owners of the restaurant are very friendly and despite it being a busy night they took the time to talk to us and find out a little more about us and our travels. They knew it was my husbands birthday so presented him with a slice of cake with a candle and champagne which they shared with us. The owners really go out of their way to give the personal touch which is why I think this restaurant stands out from any others. My husband said it was the best birthday he has ever had.

I really cannot recommend this restaurant enough. Some reviewers have said how they waited ages for a table or for their food to arrive. If you want quick food go to McDonalds but if you want fantastic authentic Portuguese food in an atmospheric restaurant with the warmest hosts then this restaurant is for you. This restaurant is an experience so you should spend the time to enjoy it. During our visit people were queuing to get in but not once did the owners make us feel like they wanted us to leave so they could have the table. We stayed 2 and a half hours and it was perfect.

If you are in Lisbon you must visit this restaurant!

We will be back with the new addition next year!

1 Thank walsall115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Disappointing... Long wait for decent food.”
Reviewed 6 August 2014 via mobile

To sum up: decent goods, good chef, long wait.

We were recommended this place from our planned dinner restaurant, and when finding it at top ten on TripAdvisor, our hopes were quite high. The restaurant was originally full, and we got a table after a 30 minutes long wait, as promised. After we were seated it took 25 minutes before we got the chance to order, and a total of 45 minutes before we got anything to drink. The food arrived after 1,5 hours of waiting. I ordered a decent cod dish, and my girlfriend a somewhat far-from-tender steak. The dishes were nicely prepared, but did not seem to be based on the best goods/produce. This should not be amongst the top ten of Lisbon restaurants!

Thank Knut K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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