One thing to watch out for when dining in Lisbon are the 'free' tasters they place on the table when you first sit down - olives, bread, butter, salami slices, prawns, cheese, small empanadas, etc. None of it is free. However, if you don't want it, just ask for it to be taken away, but even just bread will not be free. In most places you will also pay for water, even if it comes from the tap in a pretty bottle, but this is the same in other countries as well. Unless you're looking for carbonated water, specify "no gas." And don't complain when you see it on your bill; you ordered it and perhaps may not have known it would cost.

A second important thing is to know when restaurants are open. Almost none with full service are open all day such as people from the US and UK are accustomed. Lunch should not present a problem, but "shoot" for between 1-3 PM for best selection. For dinner, however, learn to eat late as the Portugese insist on their own schedule, visitors or not to be served. Restaurant opening times vary from 7-8 PM, and few will serve you earlier even if their staff is there. To eat earlier, look for "cafeterias," which are not the type with which US and UK citizens are familiar. Cafeterias specialize in pastries but also have sandwiches, quiches, tortillas (egg and potato pie not corn or wheat flat breads), lots of desserts, and sometimes lasagna and salads. All patisseries have breads and pastries but some also have simple sandwiches. Sometimes one can find small neighborhood eateries which are more flexible about time, especially those which have a fixed menu that is likely already prepared. And, of course you will see McDonalds, but hopefully you can be more adventurous than that.

Overall the food in Lisbon is very good. You will find the same quality of food in small neighborhood restaurants as the ones on the "top 10" lists, and often for half the cost or less. Seafood is the featured item, and cod, especially salted cod (bacalhau), is the specialty (bacalhau is reconsititued and does not taste salty). Gambas or shrimp are also abundant but more expensive than other places you may have been. If you want vegetables other than just a salad, you need to ask as vegetables other than potatoes are seldom offered. Restaurants in famous places, plazas and squares are naturally going to be expensive; walk a few blocks away, and you'll find much lower prices.Hotels will refer you to the easy to find more expensive places; explore and ask the locals where to eat, especially taxi drivers.