1 de Maio
One of the most popular restaurants in Lisbon, 1 de Maio is a traditional Bairro Alto adega (wine cellar), and consistently full with both tourists and locals. An inconspicuous entrance on Rua da Atalaia would be easily missed if it were not for the queues of hungry hopefuls who gather outside nightly.
The interior of 1 de Maio, a mixture of typical white-tiled walls and wooden tables illuminated by harsh 120 watt bulbs, is nothing to write home about. It’s also not for the claustrophobic: during busy times a trip to the loo can involve military planning. The food itself, mainly fish and meat dishes, is simple and delicious, and makes an ideal introduction to local cuisine.
Staff speak little English, but the menu is fairly straightforward so you shouldn’t go far wrong. Red-cheeked and rotund diners tend to fill 1 de Maio’s limited space, and conversation is a near-impossibility without bellowing. A well-priced, no-nonsense example of Portuguese cooking at its best, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.