Ok, so I know it’s been a hot minute since I showed my face on here. Truth of it is, I’ve been caught up on the job front, and 2018 has been fairly quiet for trips. Earlier in June, we headed back to Lisbon for a few days, and focused on food and drink in Lisbon. I’d previously visited before, so if you want to read a more where to visit, etc – then i’ll link it here.
This time around, was a chance for us to visit while it was actually sunny! Yes, previously we did visit in June – however, the heavens decided to open up and it rained 90% of the time which did see some plans come to a halt. We weren’t going to let anything stop us this time. I packed everything from cute summer dresses, to a mac and umbrella.
Firstly, shoutout to our great airbnb pad. We decided to stay a little further afield this time around. Closest tram stop was Arroios. The apartment was huge, had a pool table, balcony terrace and a great host (he waited to let us in at 1am after our flight was delayed!).
Anyway, back to it. Lisbon’s gotten a lot busier in two years. With that – has come a large influx of street food markets, health-conscious, diet specific, hipster bars and parties in awkward spaces. But hey, we’re not complaining – for us – it was a chance to cram in as much as we could.
Here’s my top picks:
I spotted this gem on Instagram (as you do with most insta-worthy cafes these days) and it lived up to the hype. It’s not all neon lights and perfectly plated food. It’s wholesome, damn right tasty and reasonably priced amongst other places we visited for brunch.
I went for the Ovos Nicolau – which essentially was poached eggs, avocado and toast topped with jazzy tumeric nutty granola. Simple, but with a wee twist. Drinks – power smoothie and latte. Simple.
Brunch/Cocktails – Zenith
No research went into this place. It was our last day, and we went in search of breakfast somewhere different. We walked to the next neighborhood and realised we were getting further into the unknown. Then hopped on google maps and looked for cafe’s nearby. I liked the look of Zenith – so we had a 15 min mooch down some quiet roads and grabbed a seat.
The place is easy on the eye and has an upstairs for when it gets busy – and it did get busy!
We had shakshuka and an Açaí bowl to share. Food was delicious. Only downside – friendly waiter, but we had a fairly long wait from ordering to getting the food. When you’re hangry – it can turn into a small problem!
This is more of the Lisbon we ended up seeing on this trip – which was what it was all about. Once you’ve seen a landmark, you don’t need to go visit it again, so finding good hangouts was high on this list. Cue – Casa Independente, a little shabby-chic building, rooms filled with a mismatch of furniture from different decades, neon and local artist prints. Each room is a little different, and the outdoor terrace is where it all kicks off in the evening. We got there early, so live music wasn’t on but we had some of the DJ’s set-up and play a set for the first hour.
It also came highly recommended by locals for their tapas, all home-cooked by the chef who we saw dancing and grilling up meats at the same time! We had food elsewhere or we’d definitely have got a few small plates. Drinks on the other hand, I can comment on though – and they were free flowing due to the super friendly bar staff.
Whenever we visit a different country, region – we always love to eat the local food and get a sense of the flavours / dishes around. But as I said, Lisbon has come on leaps and bounds since our last visit – and mix cuisine is on the rise.
Enter – Lost In Lisbon. An Asian-Portuguese fusion restaurant, bar and gardens. It’s fairly central, located just up from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. The outdoor terrace is worth a visit alone, it’s all set up to feel like a Moroccon-Asian cafe with blankets, sheesha and drinks and bar snacks on hand. We didn’t book beforehand, so popped in as there was just the two of us, said it wouldn’t be too long to wait for a table (we went on the weekend)! We got to sit outside, which was great as we got to watch the sun-setting across the rooftops of Lisbon.
Inside, the mix decor continues with bright colors, lanterns and a super cosy feel. We got a window seat which meant we got to see the city all lit up as the sun went in whilst eating our food. The food is on the more pricier side from some of the places we visited – but we also did go all out and have 3 courses. As much as I love, it’s something we don’t do too often!
A bit of everything
A large complex that’s easily accessible by all means of transport! Closest tram stop is Alcantara-Mar (Cascais line). It is literally a place that has a bit of everything, but probably trendier than your average. We walked in and popped in and out of the independent shops, it’s difficult when only travelling with hand-luggage, because more than often I wanted to leave with a vintage lamp or giant wall clock of something – which just couldn’t happen.
We had a unexpected sun all day, so headed to the bar with the roof terrace, Rio Maravilha and just soaked up the rays. View’s more of a downgrade then the viewpoints in Alfama and the likes, but still – it’s a nice place to spend an afternoon or evening.
Food for All
And for the one well-known spot, (you must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of it!). A huge market, made famous by the whole media around it. Essentially, multiple eateries from around the world, under one-roof. Here I had a mix of everything, from tuna steak with thai green vegetables to a mushroom risotto which was oh-so dreamy!
I don’t need to say more, if you’re a solo traveler, couples or a huge group – visit. As you’ll probably find something to satisfy everyone!
Right, so that’s my round-up, like I mentioned at the start – this is more of a focus on food and drink in Lisbon and less of what to see/do. I
f you’d like to mini-guide on Lisbon, then I’ve linked above.