Lisbon’s secret and illegal Chinese restaurants??!!!

The best Chinese food in Lisbon is only 5 min from Tings

Have you heard about the illegal restaurants our guest asked me

If he had asked me about a legal restaurant I would have been surprised.

The Chinese ones. the guest continued and showed me his tablet with a story from Munchies last year.

Secret and illegal…  was the theme of the story about our Chinese restaurants down in China Town 5 minutes walk from Tings. If there is something these restaurants are not then its secret. And I doubt they are more illegal than most other restaurants on this planet.


Exellent food. Very local, very tasty, very cheap and very different. With Blue Hmongs in China, 2001

We have travelled a lot in China – we have even been lost there (it’s a huge country) in places where guidebooks are useless, English doesn’t exist and the only way to find a place to sleep and eat is using your intuition.

So one of the first evenings we walked around China Town and looked up – we recognized them right away. The eateries where the Chinese community eats. Not secret at all – just very basic and modest and very authentic with the colorful Chinese Lamps outside the windows and Chinese signs. First time we went there 4 years ago there were no menus – all items were written on the walls in Chinese. Just like in China. Today all of them have menus with colorful photos.


Chinese Families in Lisbon Are Running Secret Restaurants Out of Their Apartments

Chinese Families in Lisbon Are Running Secret Restaurants Out of Their Apartments

Lucy Bryson in Munchies, 9 March, 2017


We eat ‘illegal’ Chinese at least once a month

If you have traveled in China – especially in the countryside – you probably get as frustrated as we do when we – desperate to get the Chinese Treat – find ourselves in the so-called Chines Restaurants that are highlighted in Guide Books and online communities like Zomato and The Fork. Most of these restaurant have nothing to do with Chinese food.

Unlike the Indians, the Nepalese, the Malaysian and the other non-European  communities the Chinese insist of having their own micro universe wherever the settle. In Lisbon its only 5 minutes from us. Here you find our local China Town (between Martim Moniz, Almirente Reis and Intendente) where you get everything you need if you want to cook yourself. All kinds of sauces, herbs, spices, pastas etc., and super fresh vegetables and fruit that are brought in every day all kinds of dried mushrooms and noodles and all the kitchen utensils.

But most important – you can buy Chinese delicacies for take away such as fermented cabbage, pigs feet, Duck, Pigs ear, strange smelling intestines and a lot of other goodies – all to take a way with a bag of rise and/or Baos…

The menus are more or less the same in all the restaurants – BUT one of them make their own noodles when you order your soup. And another serve the very local take-away dishes you can buy in the grocery store on the corner below (they probably make the dishes in their kitchen)

We eat illegal Chinese at least once every month. The food is cheap, tasty and unpretentious. And like in China the dishes are served within a few minutes after you order.

Remember – only 5 minutes walk from Tings Lisbon 🙂

One thought on “Lisbon’s secret and illegal Chinese restaurants??!!!

  1. Hi! Could you indicate which address the Chinese with the “self-made” noodles is? 🙂 great blog! thank you 🙂

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