There are two branches of El Gordo, a Spanish-style tapas bar, in Lisbon, both within close proximity. The original premises is more spacious, whereas a newer restaurant in the heart of Bairro Alto enjoys outdoor seating and a larger slice of the nightlife action.
El Gordo’s menu (a mix of vegetable, fish and meat dishes) is broad and can accommodate even the fussiest of eaters. It’s the ideal choice for large groups who like to pick and mix their meals. But don’t get too carried away: the bill quickly adds up and there have been complaints that prices are too steep. In spite of this, tables are always full and you’ll have to be quick to bag a space outdoors.
The décor in both restaurants is elegantly bohemian and instantly comforting; delicate light spills from paper lanterns onto woven wall hangings, carved wooden screens and colourful glass tables. It’s an Aladdin’s den of knick-knacks and treasures. While the restaurant is suitable for small groups and couples, the sister premises will kick-start the night for greater gangs of revellers.