I love traveling for the sake of travel, getting out of my comfort zone and discovering new places but the real reason I go away is the food. I think in many places food is not only an integral part of the culture but also the central part of it. Think big family dinners late at night in Spain, Hygge-style Smørrebrød in Denmark or big feast with la nonna in Italy. I think the Portuguese have a similar approach to it: genuine, no-nonsense cuisine. I was lucky enough to experience this on a trip to Porto last year. Lisbon therefore was more of a go with the flow and see what you feel like trip. And it did not disappoint.
Full disclosure you will be able to fit all of these in one day, I did not, however all of them are worth the visit.
It is no secret anymore that Portugal and Coffee goes together like Cheese and Baguette. So you will see loads of trendy coffee shops popping up at every corner, the classic clean interior and all. What makes this place special? The staff! It was one of the friendliest teams in a long time. It is of course worth coming here for the coffee which tastes great and will satisfy your morning or afternoon caffeine needs to the fullest.
There are multiple outlets across the city and every one has their own bakery where you can see them make fresh pastèis de nata while you munch on the fresh-out-the-oven ones. My favourite is by far the one right next to Praça Luís de Camões, super small with only a couple of places to stand and eat your treasure but this makes it feel somehow more authentic. Plus their box of six makes the best souvenir for everyone. Pro tip: Heat it up before eating it at home and it will taste just like in the little store in Lisbon.
Located right at the beginning of trendy LxFactory under the Ponte 25 do Abril, this spot is unique in it’s interior with changing authentic Portuguese dishes. Making it the perfect lunch or dinner spot. Judging solely on portion size my recommendation is dinner, but you do you. I had cod with turnip sprouts and chickpeas. Simple yet delicious, especially given that I’ve never had these sprouts before and the might be a new fave. Pair it with a glass of white wine (generously poured until the very top of the glass) and your good to go.
Small, intimate and delicious is all I have to say about this. There is a constant stream of people wanting in but the only have space for about 15 – 20 people. However at no point will they pressure you to eat faster or hurry up. It is a tapas bar ideal for sharing with friends. Highly recommend the shrimp, roasted chorizo and the homemade white sangria. Don’t forget to order bread so you get every last bit of the delicious sauce form the shrimp!
I couldn’t end this list with another wonderful coffee shop. Right in the heart of LxFactory with loads of light and great magazines is Wish Slow Coffee House. The relaxes atmosphere is perfect for your afternoon coffee and some blogging, reading or just people watching. Their coffee is obviously just as good as the interior. They have multiple specialties on the menu which I encourage you to try. I had the cinnamon cappuccino and it was glorious.
Hungry for Lisbon? Go ahead and book your next adventure. You’re not gonna regret it in any way shape or form. Plus you won’t starve (or have to go to McDo) while there with this post guiding you through the jungle of restaurants and coffee shops.