It’s been three weeks already, but my trip to Lisbon is still stuck in my mind. The narrow crooked streets, the steep hills and so many cozy cafes and restaurants. I only spend three days in Lisbon, but I’m sure I could fill a couple more afternoons hopping from cafe to cafe. Curious where I’ve been and what I ate? Then keep on reading for my favorite spots in Lisbon.
Manteigaria Fábrica de Pastéis de Nata
Forget about Pastéis de Belem. The permanent line there is far too long for me. I’ve found a small-scale alternative where you can also taste some delicious Portuguese pastéis: Manteigaria Fábrica de Pastéis de Nata. Or actually I didn’t find it, but our Airbnb host brought us here on our very first day in Lisbon. ‘The best pastéis of Lisbon, just as good as those in Belém’, he told us. Well, that spiked our curiosity. When we arrived at the shop, we noticed that this wasn’t an ordinary shop. It looked more like a little factory. The baking and shaping goes on throughout the day and it all happens right in front of your eyes while you take a bite out of your fresh baked custard pastry. Delicious!
Rua do Loreto 2, Chiado
A little while ago I wrote an article about my afternoon stroll through the historical neighbourhood Alfama. A beautiful authentic area, but full with crazy stairs and mounting hills. My camera and my feet were in overtime and soon I needed a break. I was so happy when I spotted the giant livingroom of Pois Cafe. I sat myself down on one of those puffy couches and ordered a piece of vegetable quiche. Cakes and pies are the speciality of the Austrian ladies who own Pois. They bake throughout the day all sorts of pies. From a light and sweet lemon cake to a hearty carrot cake. I really recommend this cafe if you want to sit back and relax.
Rua Sao Joao da Praca 95, Sé / Alfama
Mercado da Ribeira
Always wondered where the creators of the Foodhallen in Amsterdam got their inspiration? Well, they might have been to the Mercado da Ribeira in Lisbon. The same black signs, the same high tables, only bigger. At this indoor food market thirty entrepreneurs present their culinary talents. From Japanese sushi and fresh salades to cupcakes and hamburgers. There are so many worldly dishes to choose from! And it doesn’t need to be that expensive. Some stands offer a wheel of discount. Spin the wheel and get some cents off the price.
Of course it’s tempting to sit down at one of the main tables in the room, but personally I found it too busy here. It’s more fun to sit at one of the stands in the side halls. Pick a high crutch and get a good look on how your dish is prepared. We sat down at A Cozinha da Felicidade where a female chef served a spicy chickpea potatoe salade with a glass of vinho verde (translation: green wine). The name of this wine is probably a bit confusing, because the wine itself isn’t green. The name refers to the ingredients: young ripe grapes.
Avenida 24 de Julho, Cais do Sodré
Noobai was our little gem in a busy Lisbon. And the best thing was, it was only a few blocks away from our apartment. We discovered this cafe on our second day in Lisbon, but we were immediately sold. I don’t know if it was the atmosphere, the good cheesecake or the spectacular view on the red Ponte 25 de Abril, but it felt good. Moreover, this cafe was right next to the Miradouro de Santa Catarina. A small viewpoint which gives a perfect view on the river Tagus.
Rua de Santa Catarina 2715-311, Chiado
Which cafe in Lisbon would you recommend?