Eating at Ponto Final in Almada, Portugal

As a geriatric millennial and occasional crank about the state of travel, I’m not one for going to places that are huge on social media. I recently made an exception for Ponto Final in Almada, Portugal, which is located on the southern side of the Tagus river, just across from Lisbon. 

Was our trip to Ponto Final worth it? Read on for all the details.

Sunset at Ponto Final

Ponto Final

On the last day of our recent trip to São Miguel in the Azores, the weather grounded our flight to Lisbon. Strong winds meant that planes couldn’t land, so we ended up stuck on the island for an additional 12 hours.

This would have been fine in most circumstances, but I had planned each of our meals in Lisbon carefully, trying to mix old favorites from our last trip with new places. Unfortunately, we arrived in Lisbon at 10pm on a Sunday night instead of 8:30 in the morning, so we lost both a lunch and a dinner.

I did what anyone would do in these circumstances, going with the flow and not complaining at all whining like a giant baby and trying to figure out if there was a way to time travel so that I could tick all the boxes on my restaurant list.

This did not get me far.

In any case, I knew that I wanted to use our two dinners wisely, so we decided to go back to Cervejaria Ramiro one night (spoiler alert: she’s still got it), and the other, we’d venture to Ponto Final.

Pre-sunset view at Ponto Final in Lisbon Portugal

Why Ponto Final?

Ponto Final caught my eye ages ago on Instagram. A photo of happy diners overlooking sunset on the water and the lights of Lisbon gave me a what-iffy king of pang of longing for a city that I have daydreamed about living in since the first time I visited in 2017.  

At some point after that, I watched the episode of Somebody Feed Phil in which he goes to Lisbon and eats there, which made me want to go even more. 

If you haven’t seen Somebody Feed Phil, I recommend it. I love him. I think of him as a kind of Bizarro Bourdain – wide-eyed and sunny as opposed to worldly and cool, like Bourdain was. Although I think Bourdain knew how lucky he was to travel the world and do what he did, he stuck with his streetwise nonchalance until he passed. Phil, on the other hand, wanders around like Big Bird, exclaiming out loud, grinning constantly, and making dad jokes. I love Bourdain and his dry wit, like most travelers, but I’m here for Phil and his joy, too. He has the best job in the world, and he’s not afraid to show that he knows it.

Anyway, when we were planning our trip to Lisbon, I decided that I wanted to be one of those happy diners overlooking sunset on the water and the lights of Lisbon. A Phil, if I may. The other night, we’d go to Ramiro, a Bourdain favorite.

Booking at Ponto Final

Perhaps somewhat arrogantly and naively, I emailed Ponto Final a week before we wanted to eat there. I got a very kind response informing me that they were booked solid for two months, but that they accept walk-ins. We decided to go that route.

Smash cut to Monday night in Lisbon. We debated what to do – head to Ponto Final or make our way to Ramiro to relive our previous trip? After much hemming and hawing, we decided to go to Ramiro and save Ponto Final for dinner #2.

We walked there, taking in the busy streets and beautiful tiles…

…only to find it shuttered.

In my concern about where to eat, I had made a rookie mistake, neglecting to check that the restaurant was ACTUALLY OPEN. It wasn’t. They’re closed on Mondays (or at least they were at the time of writing – CONFIRM BEFORE YOU GO!).

It was 7 o’clock. Rush hour. And the time that Ponto Final opens.

I checked how long it would take us to get there in a taxi.

1 hour.

After more hemming and hawing, we got an Uber and crawled to Almada. It did indeed take us about an hour.

There are two lessons to be learned here – the first is to always check and make sure that the place you want to go is actually OPEN, and the second is to definitely book Ponto Final in advance. Like, as soon as you know you’re going to Lisbon.

Book by emailing pontofinalrest@gmail.com.

Getting to Ponto Final via Uber/Taxi

Cars can only get to a certain point – they can’t actually drop you right at the restaurant. If anyone in your party has mobility issues, this is something to consider.

When we arrived at the drop-off point, our driver instructed us to cross a small park – we’d find the restaurant on the other side.

The park is small but nice. Lots of people had brought picnics to watch the sunset. 

Getting to Ponto Final via public transport

To get to Ponto Final from Lisbon via public transport, you have to take a 15-minute ferry ride from the Cais do Sodré terminal to Cacilhas and walk about fifteen minutes from there.

Waiting for a table at Ponto Final

When we reached the restaurant just after 8pm, there was a long line. I’m going to guess there were maybe six parties in front of us. 

I was anticipating a long, boring wait, but it was the exact opposite – everyone was chitchatting and the host was basically a stand-up comedian, teasing everyone as he took their names and just generally lightening the mood.

We waited for probably 30 minutes before we got to the front, at which point, the host told us that we’d probably have to wait about another 45 minutes for our table. We told him we’d wait, and he suggested we go watch the rest of the sunset in the park, and then come back about twenty minutes later to check in and grab a drink at the bar (there was also a long line at the bar at that point), so we decided to take his advice.

Sure enough, about 40 minutes later, after we had returned from the park, he yelled “MOLLYMOLLYMOLLYMOLLYMOLLYYYYYYYYYY!” and led us to our table.

Eating at Ponto Final

There are a couple of signature dishes at Ponto Final: a fish stew for two, and slow-cooked veal. 

Of course, fish is the thing to get, but we didn’t want to both get the same thing, so we decided to get grilled sea bream and the veal and share.

Being a sucker for both fresh seafood and slow-cooked meat, I thought it was a very, very good meal. 

The lights of Lisbon sparkled on the water, and the antics of the waiters kept us entertained. 

It was freezing after the sunset – I was not prepared – and they even brought me a little blanket to put over my shoulders.

We went home full and happy.

Veal at Ponto Final

Grilled fish at Ponto Final in Lisbon, Portugal

So, is going to Ponto Final worth it?

Overall, I would say yes, going to Ponto Final was worth it. The food is great, the view is beautiful, and the overall atmosphere is fun and upbeat, thanks largely to the waitstaff, and maybe partially because most of the people there are on vacation.

If you’re looking for a place where only locals eat, this is not it. We saw one table of Portuguese people, and the host even commented on the fact that they get almost no local diners.

I asked our waiter what the crowd was typically like, and he said that more locals tend to come in wintertime, but in spring and summer, it’s mostly people who have seen the restaurant on TikTok.

As we Ubered back to Lisbon, I thought about what makes a “good restaurant.” Is it the food? The setting? The crowd? How “authentic” it is? How few tourists eat there? A combination of some or all of these?

I don’t know the answer, I’m afraid, but I do know that I really enjoyed the Ponto Final experience.

Have you been? What did you think? Share in the comments!

Ponto Final – location and contact

Rua do Ginjal, Almada Portugal

+351 936 869 031

pontofinalrest@gmail.com

Instagram & Facebook

Ponto Final pin

More Portugal tips and guides

Staying in Alfama, Lisbon

Eating at Cervejaria Ramiro

How to get to Praia da Ursa in Sintra

Restaurant recommendations for São Miguel

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