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Best mezze (tapas) this side of Damascus

Mercado de Arroios, Rua Ângela Pinto, 12

no phone, website
Tue – Sat, 12h30 – 15h; 19h – 22h30

The selection of Middle Eastern cuisine in Lisbon is somewhat limited, but as this restaurant in Arroios demonstrates, you don’t really need very much to satisfy the residents’ cravings for the unique smells, spices, and textures of the region. Here, you can select Middle Eastern mezzes (the area’s equivalent of tapas), such as hummus, baba ganoush (roasted aubergines) and meshawi (lamb kebabs with yoghurt sauce), or, to try a few things you haven’t yet, go for one of the combination mezze platters, including vegetarian options. On our visit, everything we tasted reminded us of the tastiest small restaurants in Damascus and Beirut, and for good reason. When you’re dining here, you’re not just filling your beautiful belly with perfectly prepared Middle Eastern cuisine, you’re also supporting a project that employs Syrian refugees. Mezze serves a varied selection of well-priced wines, and wonderful non-alcoholic options, including tamarind juice. And the restaurant is halal, which means you’re getting some of the best-quality meat you can find.

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