10 best Portuguese restaurants London has to offer

Where to find the best pastel de nata, punchy piri piri, and fresh grilled octopus amongst London's best Portuguese restaurants.

Updated on • Written By Aoife Silke

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10 best Portuguese restaurants London has to offer

When it comes to the best Portuguese restaurants London has to offer, it's fair to say that the cuisine of this popular European holiday hotspot is not as well represented in the capital as the likes of, say, India or China.

It is also true that a lot of people conflate Spanish food with that of Portugal, although it is important to remember that there are subtle differences between the two cuisines. Although London may not have too many Portuguese restaurants to choose from, the ones that it is home to are real gems – ranging from casual grab-and-go spots or family-owned haunts where the food is served sharing-style, to more high-end propositions and trendy openings, where the dishes will look as good on your Instagram feed as they do on your plate.

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If you have ever visited Portugal before, or you used to live there before moving to London, you will know that the country is home to some truly beautiful food. Among Portugal’s most famous exports are fresh seafood and tapas dishes which are designed to share, although in recent years the classic Portuguese dessert of a pastel de nata has also achieved cult status in the capital, thanks to its flaky crust and dusting of cinnamon which has seen people flock to Instagram in their droves to post pictures of the sweet treat.

We don’t blame you if you have ever found yourself with a craving for grilled sardines or Bifanas (traditional pork sandwiches), and ended up thinking, 'if only I could find a Portuguese restaurant near me?'. You're in luck, because we have taken it upon ourselves to round up all the best Portuguese restaurants in London, suited to any and every budget, style and occasion – check out our top picks below.

Casa do Frango, Various Locations

sliced steak on red sauce base, mussels in background

What: Often thought of as a posh alternative to everybody’s favourite cheeky chicken chain Nando’s, hip Casa do Frango specialises in flame-licked free-range chicken which has been brushed with piri piri sauce. Although the chicken is the star of the show, we’ve also got a lot of time for the sides, which include golden fries plus brown rice that’s pepped up with chorizo and chicken skins.
Where: Various Locations
Book now: Casa do Frango London Bridge, Casa do Frango Piccadilly, Casa do Frango Shoreditch, Casa do Frango Victoria

Volta do Mar, Chelsea

wood table with wine and plate of sliced chicken

What: This charming independent restaurant in the heart of Chelsea takes its cues from Portuguese cuisine, along with myriad culinary influences from across South America, Africa and Asia. Co-founder and head chef Isabel Almeida da Silva is the driving force behind its boundary-pushing plates, with dishes ranging from Iberico ham, chorizo and ham hock croquettes, to fish and prawn moqueca, and piri piri chicken with chips. There's a Portuguese wine list featuring fine bottles, vintage ports and madeiras, or choose something from the vibrant cocktail menu instead. The restaurant features a bar counter and open kitchen, but during the summer months, we recommend bagging a spot on the outdoor terrace which is bathed in west-facing sunlight. 
Where: 100 Draycott Avenue, SW3 3AD
Book now: Volta do Mar

JOIA, Battersea

plates of vibrant seafood and orange sauces

What: Crafted by the twice Michelin-starred Portuguese chef Henrique Sa Pessoa, JOIA offers a brilliant modern take on traditional Portuguese fare. Set on the 15th floor of the new art’otel development, guests take in unparalleled views of the South London skyline and dine on artful creations like bacalhau a bras and octopus salad all the while sipping on white port cocktails and world-class wines. Don’t forget to check out the JOIA Bar, it’s the best spot for taking in the view.
Where: 1 Electric Boulevard, SW11 8BJ
Book now: JOIA

Lisboeta, Fitzrovia

white plate with red prawn in chunky orange sauce

What: Considered by many as the number one authority on Portuguese food, Nuno Mendes’ Fitzrovia restaurant is best classed as an education in the memory of Lisbon’s culinary tradition. The restaurant mirrors the trend, with counter dining in the style of Portuguese bars, homely design features and whitewashed walls. It’s best to come as a group to sample the selection of petiscos, pots and platters all alive with flavour and colour. Just be sure to ask for advice with the wine list so you can get the most out of the available Portuguese labels.
Where: 30 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NG
Book now: Lisboeta

Estrela Bar, Stockwell

bread roll with portuguese pork filling

What: Having been around for more than 20 years, family-run Estrela is often populated with Portuguese natives (always a good sign), but all are welcome at this warm and thoroughly traditional restaurant. Specialising in classic Portuguese fare, the menu here is made up of tapas dishes to share, as well as larger plates such as bifanas (a traditional sandwich stuffed with pork). Look out for daily specials too, which are written up on a chalkboard.
Where: 111-115 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1UZ
Book now: Estrela Bar

Bar Douro, London Bridge and City

plate of prawns with blue detail around the edge

What: With a site in foodie hub Flat Iron Square and another in the City, Bar Douro has quickly become one of the most loved Portuguese restaurants in the capital. Expect a concise menu of small plates which might include the likes of salt cod fritters and prawns swimming in garlic sauce, all served alongside Portuguese wines by the glass. The classic Portuguese dessert of pastel de nata (custard tart with cinnamon) is not to be missed either.
Where: Arch 35B, Union Street, SE1 1TD; 1 Finsbury Avenue, EC2M 2PA
Book now: Bar Douro London Bridge, Bar Douro City

Pedro's Wine Bar, Bermondsey

cast iron pan with fish, and sausage in flames

What: Set under a railway arch in Bermondsey, Pedro’s Wine Bar might not initially seem full of Portuguese charm, but once you step through the doors into the rustic dining room, you’ll be in for a tour of traditional flavours and petiscos. It’s a small plates menu with bar snacks and larger more elaborate dishes ideal for Portuguese wine pairings. Think bifana especial (a toasted white bun with pork slow cooked in white wine), Beira Alta chourico that arrives still aflame to the table, and Pata Negra, one of the most expensive (and delicious) hams in the world.
Where: 108 Druid Street, SE1 2HH
Book now: Pedro's Wine Bar

Santa Nata, Covent Garden

left, cream store front with tables. Right custart tarts

What: The traditional Portuguese dessert of pastel da nata, a golden custard tart dusted with cinnamon, is now a staple of London’s dining scene and has gained somewhat of a cult status on Instagram. It’s widely accepted that Santa Nata is among the best places to find the dessert in London, where you can watch a family of second-generation Portuguese bakers whip up your tarts right in front of your eyes before you take them away.
Where: 17 Russell Street, WC2B 5HP
Book now: Santa Nata

Grelha D'Ouro, Stockwell

red plate with potato and salt cod

What: Less than 10 minutes’ walk from Stockwell tube, Grelha D’Ouro is often considered the most traditional Portuguese restaurant in London to those in the know. The minimalist dining room has a relaxed vibe, while food is served family style; tuck into the likes of grilled chorizo, sardines topped with chopped peppers and prawns in a garlic and white wine sauce. Speaking of wine, Grelha D'Ouro is home to quite an impressive list of Portuguese varieties.
Where: 151 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1XN
Book now: Grelha D'Ouro

Casa Madeira, Vauxhall

left, chicken and pine nuts. Right, custard tart

What: Given Vauxhall is so close to Little Portugal, it’s hardly surprising that it also has its fair share of exceptional Portuguese plates. The menu at Casa Madeira offers a blended take on traditional dishes such as roast beef traditional of the Madeira region and more unusual plates like a Bloody Mary linguine. There’s also a stellar selection of petiscos and large sharing plates including the much-lauded arroz de marisco - Portugal’s answer to paella.
Where: 46b Albert Embankment, SE1 7TL
Book now: Casa Madeira

Does your love of chicken go beyond piri piri? Check out our pick of the best fried chicken you can find in London.

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