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Lisbon is the city we call home. And, as with any city popular with tourists, it's usually best to search out those places the locals spend their money in. For example, the world famous seafood restaurant, Ramiro's where its customary to eat a steak sandwich for desert, is more of a tourist attraction these days. The locals go to a place further up the street called Marisqueira do Lis.
So, with the help of our good friend, Justin MacMillan of Eat Drink Lisbon, here's a snapshot of our weekend, or how we spend 48 hours in Lisbon.
Rua de S. Paulo 256 a 258, 1200-430 Lisboa
The first question our friends ask us when visiting us here in Lisbon is, 'Who does the best Flat White?' In our view, Baobá ranks in the top 3. But a cup of coffee always tastes better when the service is just so friendly. And their Brazilian approach to life makes every sip even more special. If you know, you know. What makes Baobá stand out for us is that they own the coffee farms. And their classic beans serve up an aromatic and tasty drink. Surprisingly easy coffee to enjoy. Full-bodied and balanced, it has an elegant aroma with notes of caramel and chocolate. It certainly is a café you will revisit during your stay in Lisbon.
Tip: Try the brigadeiros - it's a Brazilian desert made of sweetened condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder. Great to accompany an espresso or 'uma bica', as a Lisboeta would call it.
R. da Alegria 41E, 1250-006 Lisboa
A reasonably new player in the ever-growing coffee scene in Lisbon is Dramático. The owner’s credentials in design and coffee have beautifully melded to create an intimate space to savour a quiet moment.
Tip: Try the cinnamon roll.
R. Maria 66B, 1170-213 Lisboa
If your all about sticking to the 'glitzy' tourist routes when traveling, it doesn't win on location. But, if great, locally roasted speciality coffee and high quality food using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients are your thing then this one might just do it for you. And if your missing your weekly dose of The New Yorker, rest assured, they've got every edition since it started in 1925. Well, almost but let's not let the Flat White cool off, though.
Tip: Try the cinnamon roll (again).
Largo Conde-Barão 25, 1200-163 Lisboa
If you ask the guys at the Aussie café Neighbourhood, they’re all about having a good time, enjoying incredible coffee, decent food, listening to music that they love and ending the day with a cold beer. This mantra is reflected in their relaxed, friendly vibe, speciality coffee and hearty brunch.
Tip: Try the breakfast burrito or Turkish eggs.
R. Gaivotas 17, 1200-163 Lisboa
Offering an “egg-centric” all-day breakfast, all three Dear Breakfast locations are always popular with the brunch crowd. Eggs done in every way possible but if not your thing, try pancakes, toast, fresh fruit, yoghurt or pastries.
Tip: Try the Eggs Benedict.
R. de São Bento 102, 1200-816 Lisboa
If your brunch tastes have more of a French twist, Café São will have your mouth watering. The wrought iron pillars, vast ceiling and stone floors provide a striking contrast to the clean, modern fixtures. Exquisite French delicacies served with a wide assortment of speciality coffee.
Tip: Try the vanilla cream-filled brioche.
R. dos Bacalhoeiros 113
The Folks was started not long after the pandemic by Nick (Nikita Pirogov) and a group of coffee-mad friends. Prior to the pandemic, Nick opened Bloom, a coffee shop and reseller not in the best location but the equipment, Nick's knowledge and the coffee more than made up for it.
Since then, The Folks was born, and we've seen it grow from one coffee shop to six in a very short time. It ranks in the top three Flat Whites in Lisbon for us and we hear their pour-over is pretty special, too.
Nick says, "At The Folks the idea is to complement the specialty coffee offering with a good menu...that brings together typical brunch options such as eggs Benedict, with grilled mushrooms, mashed potatoes, cream cheese and hollandaise sauce; avocado toast, with sourdough bread, crushed avocado, pickles, cauliflower, courgette, arugula and grilled tomato; or pancakes with mascarpone, orange, raspberries and almond flakes."
Tip: Go for the eggs Benedict and if you're into your coffee beans, buy the Friedhats beans sold there to take home and get a complimentary Americano.
R. Santos-O-Velho 2 e 4, 1200-109 Lisboa
Heim is our honorary mention. set in the 'French District' of Lisbon, if eggs and avocados are more important that your coffee then this is for you. This is a welcoming brunch spot with a small lane of seating outside on the cobblestoned corner. Inside you'll feel welcome and sit amongst the forna and flora.
Tip: Go for the brunch option. For fresh, creative, and abundant fare, it's well worth it.
R. Ivens 14, 1200-227 Lisboa
Maximalism at its finest. Rocco bar at The Ivens Hotel is a feast for the senses. A ceiling high bar takes centre stage where you can feel part of the action or casually lounge on the surrounding bench seating. Enjoy a light snack paired with a cocktail or wine from the extensive list.
Tip: Try the Negroni Sour.
R. da Condessa 45, 1200-302 Lisboa
Don’t expect a run-of-the-mill cocktail menu at Toca da Raposa. Behind the heavy curtains that welcome you on arrival, you'll feel like you have ventured underground from where some of the unique cocktail ingredients have been foraged, then distilled. Take a seat at the oversized marble slab and watch your quirky cocktail take shape.
Tip: leave your cocktail comfort zone.
Rua da Boavista 16, 1200-275 Lisboa
Boavista Social Club is our honourable mention. Restaurant by day, bar by night (from 11pm) it's a fusion of natural wines and vinyl records right near to Cais do Sodré. It'd be a perfect way to top off the night after eating at our favorite steak house in Lisbon, Sala de Corte. Very relaxing.
Praça Dom Luís I 7, 1200-148 Lisboa
Perhaps you're wondering why we've not included the TimeOut Market so far. Well, this steakhouse is as close to the market as you like but, is in no way touristy. This is where serious foodies go to be wowed. It's simply exceptional. Various steak cuts are sourced from around the Iberian peninsula, matured in the restaurant's maturation chamber and then cooked over charcoal in a Josper oven. It's a special occasion kind of place with prices to match. But every meal we've eaten there we haven't forgotten.
Tip: Order the pavlova. Or, take a walk across the green to the TimeOut Market and try our favourite Pastel de Nata at Manteigaria. If you forget the name just remember it's English for 'butter shop.' And then head onto Boavista Social Club for a cocktail.
Rua das Flores 103, 1200-194 Lisboa
With a perfectly balanced blend of classic and contemporary, it’s easy to see why A Taberna da Rua das Flores has consistently been a Lisbon favourite for many years. The handwritten menu board is ever changing and offers a twist on the traditional. Sharing is recommended.
Tip: try everything!!
Tv. Pedras Negras 2, 1100-404 Lisboa
The earthly tones and cascading vines provide a very appropriate introduction to Prado’s farm-to-table concept. World class dining in a modern yet casual environment, with a focus on seasonal and local produce. An extensive wine selection and knowledgeable staff round out a very satisfying culinary experience.
Tip: dishes are designed to share.
R. Nova da Trindade 18, 1200-303 Lisboa
This is our honourable mention. Why? Because this single expansive venue is a feast for the eyes. Opened by Michelin chef, José Avillez in Chiado during the summer of 2016, four distinct dining experiences come together. But this is no cheap buffet experience.The mansion, if you will, includes a tavern offering unique small plates; Páteo, which specialises in a blend of seafood and fish-centric dishes; Beco Cabaret Gourmet, a hidden tasting room where meals are paired with burlesque performances; and Cantina Peruana on the upper level, a collaborative venture between José Avillez and Peruvian chef Diego Muñoz.
Tip: Check out the grocery store on-site.
Praça Dom Luís I 30, 1200-275 Lisboa
Trendy rooftop with panoramic views of the city and the Tagus River. Enjoy a sunset cocktail on the terrace or feast on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors in the restaurant. Java Rooftop offers a generous selection of vegetarian dishes and serves brunch at the weekend.
Tip: Try the Baba Ghanoush.
If you prefer your rooftops to be elegant, Rossio Gastrobar at the five-star Altis Avenida Hotel will not disappoint. It’s difficult to compete with the views of Lisbon city and the castle, but the Art Deco-inspired interior and comfortable lounge chairs will most certainly demand your attention.
Tip: Try the Whiskey Sour.
Sky Bar is located inside the Tivoli Hotel on Avenida da Liberdade. It's a rooftop closest to home and so its our honourable mention. It's an extension of the renowned Restaurant SEEN by Jamie Olivier. Yes, Olivier. On offer is a blend of refreshing cocktails and delightful bites. The panoramic views, from St. Jorge’s Castle to the River Tagus, are simply breathtaking. Combined with the tunes from a resident DJ, it's a great honourable mention.