National cuisine of Cape Verde Cachupa in traditional stone bowl. Closeup
Igor Tichonow
Food & Drink

8 Lisbon Restaurants for Discovering the City's African Diaspora

From Cape Verdean food in São Bento to Mozambican crab curry in the Mouraria neighborhood.

The landscape of Portuguese gastronomy isn’t complete without a certain sautéed, peanut-coated, and lovingly seasoned African touch. Colorful traces of Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) Africa—which includes Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, and São Tomé e Príncipe—can be found across the country, as people from the former colonies have migrated to Portugal with their culinary secrets in tow. As with most diasporic traditions around the world, these immigrants have created spaces where a sense of home could be accessed through food—and they range from street-food stands to stylish restaurants, with Ankara print in the place of table cloths, and Afrobeat and Amapiano music spilling out onto the city streets. 

But humble or extravagant, an African dining experience in Lisbon is a distinct reminder of the many African communities who call this place home. Read on to find the most delicious African meals in Lisbon, from Cape Verdean cachupa eaten over Creole conversations and blaring morna rhythms, to Mozambican crab curry from an award-winning chef in the Mouraria neighborhood.


The place to indulge in Fela Kuti-infused evenings while leaning over a plate of something tangy, Mambo is prettily perched on Green Street (Rua da Silva), one of the most scenic alleyways in Lisbon and offers modern twists on Senegalese and Angolan favorites. Though this trendy eatery is tucked in a neighborhood with a strong history of diaspora settlement, Mambo is one of the few African-owned restaurants in the Santos area—but owners Gil Silva, and Duda and Mamadou Faty hope there will be more in the future. Here you’ll find one of the city's most coveted plates of mafe (a stew with peanuts and tomatoes as the key flavors, absorbed by meat or vegetables), and an enviable record collection to match. There are also gluten-free and plant-based options, making the menu fresh and exciting while staying true to its African roots. 

Where to find it: Rua da Silva n8

Casa Mocambo

If your artsy, pan-African grandparents opened up their living room and turned it into a restaurant, it might look something like Casa Mocambo. Owner Mafalda Nunes created the space in the name of the first African neighborhood in Europe to honor the original mocambo (meaning “place of refuge” in Ubuntu). With African art all over the walls and a plethora of well-watered plants, the restaurant is easily one of Lisbon’s most choice eateries for a laidback Sunday dinner with Luso-Fusion staples. The menu includes fried fish with black beans, vegetables, and fried plantain; pork with shrimp and sweet potato; and the famous vegetarian mocambo (grilled sweet potato with black beans, vegetables, and mouth-wateringly good okra). Downstairs, local African and Afro-Brazilian artists play live samba. Consider this the ideal place to fill up after climbing the steep hill of Rua do Vale de Santo António.  

Where to find it: R. do Vale de Santo António 122A

Sofia’s Place

Let Sofia’s Place show you the best of Cape Verdean and Portuguese cuisine, with hints of Brazilian, Cuban, and other Caribbean flavors. Located in São Bento, it's a hit for the atmosphere as much as it is for the food. Since opening in early 2022, it has earned its place in the community as the spot to eat, drink, and dance. Ana Sofia Lopes’ desire to create a community where the African diaspora felt welcomed and well-represented manifested not only in the restaurant’s creative menu, but also on Diaspora Fridays when tables are moved aside for dancing to their top-tier music selection. Before hitting the dance floor, tuck into legumes à brás (vegatables cooked with a base of onions, garlic, and potatoes, and held together with scrambled eggs), bife de atum grelhado (grilled tuna), and the classically adored moamba de galinha (chicken stew).

Where to find it: R. de São Bento 67

Mimba’s African Cuisine

Bringing a bit of Cameroonian spice into the mix, Mimba’s African Cuisine is a must-visit when you’re in the Moscavide area. Enjoy beans and puff puff (fried dough), achu (a traditional yellow soup), kati kati (a distinctive chicken dish), and all the spicy grilled fish you could ask for in a port city. These African delicacies stand out from the food scene in the city because aromatic Cameroonian food is inspired by a mix of cultural groups and neighboring countries—Nigeria, Chad, and Equatorial Guinea, to name a few—which makes for a truly unique result. At Mimba’s African cuisine, the cozy interiors and the wooden crockery create a space that invites you to slowly savor the food while forgetting about the city bustle outside the restaurant walls. 

Where to find it: R. Francisco Marques Beato 48


Put all your trust in Tambarina to be your introduction to Cape Verdean food—or a guiltless indulgence in a plate full of nostalgia. Owner Domingos de Brito overcame discrimination from his neighbors and the police when opening Tambarina in 2011, and he did it all to bring a taste of his home country to Lisbon, where he has spent the majority of his life. Cape Verde is treasured not only for being the easy-going, musical archipelago of West Africa, but also for its flavorful corn- and bean-based dishes. Among them is cachupa, a classic dish—and the restaurant's most popular—made from a base of chickpeas, corn, cassava, sweet potato, and fish or meat. 

Tambarina’s presence in Lisbon's Poço dos Negros neighborhood, an area with a history as a mass grave site for enslaved Africans, represents an active history of overcoming a painful pasts with pride. Eat until your stomach is content, your body sways in its seat to the rhythms of the ever-present nostalgic tunes, and your cup is refilled with grogue (the national liquor of Cape Verde, made from distilled sugar cane).

Where to find it: R. do Poço dos Negros 94

Cantinho do Aziz is a beloved Lisbon institution known for Mozambican dishes like crab curry. 

Courtesy of Cantinho do Aziz

Cantinho do Aziz

Run by a two-time Gourmand Cookbook Award-winning chef, Cantinho do Aziz is regularly graced by famous faces—such as Alfred Enoch, Monica Bellucci, and Mayra Andrade—looking for that signature Cantinho do Aziz taste. It almost goes without saying that the food does Mozambique’s culinary reputation justice, bringing the country’s flavors to the streets of Portugal with humble brilliance and clean-the-bowl dishes. Owner Chef Jeny Sulemange knew that Lisbon simply wasn’t complete without a restaurant that inspired curiosity around the dishes of her birth country. Today, serving Mozambican classics like the crab curry is by far what keeps the restaurant's iconic yellow seating area packed. (The original Lisbon restaurant is in the historically African-occupied Mouraria neighborhood, but there are also Cantinho do Aziz eateries in NYC and the U.K.)

Where to find it: R. de São Lourenço 5


Turn up the sexta-feira vibes at Djairsound, where you’ll dine and sip to the beat of drums. The restaurant’s moqueca de camarão (a seafood stew hailing from Brazil) and cachupa (served the traditional way with egg, rice, and chili) draw in visitors looking for a traditional Lusophone plate that never disappoints. You’ll want to try as much of it as you can and then finish up with some pudim de queijo, a widely loved dessert also known as cheese flan. Dance your meal off afterwards with some of Lisbon’s finest Cape Verdean musicians who regularly perform at this treasure spot in the Santos area.

Where to find it: R. das Janelas Verdes 22

Roda Viva

Mozambique meets Portugal in full-flavor manner in the kitchens at Roda Viva. Owner Octávio Chamba celebrates what it means to be African and naturally creative in the kitchen when serving up some of his homeland’s dishes to the city. A Mozambican feast is guaranteed here—and the golden-hour lighting, earth-toned decor, and intimacy of this tiny corner of Lisbon means most visitors turn into faithful regulars. With Ankara table cloths as the backdrop to the riot of colors that define a Roda Viva plate, this is the kind of restaurant experience that’s hard to imitate. Make sure to try the matapa, a delicious green stew made from shrimp, peanut and cassava leaves. The crab stew and typical Mozambican samosas are also popular. 

Where to find it: Beco do Mexias 11 R/c