I can’t believe that it’s been over a month since I’ve been back from Portugal. It was truly a magical trip. The vibe in Lisbon and beyond was so relaxed, effortless and comfortable. I’ve never felt as at home, so instantly, in any place I’ve been. I love the aging buildings covered in patterned tiles, the steep cobblestone streets, the kiosks in small parks and the friendly atmosphere. People were engaging with each other at parks, restaurants, on the bus and in cafes. NO ONE was glued to their phone, except tourists. It was so nice to be surrounded by people connecting with each other! If you are thinking about visiting, do it. I’ve collected a few of my favorite places around the incredible city of Lisbon below (organized roughly by neighborhood).
Castle St Jorge – unbelievable view from the top of the hill, plenty of tourists but big enough that you don’t feel crowded. Bonus, one of the two Wine with a View carts is stationed here. A truly brilliant idea and with some very delicious inexpensive wines. Who doesn’t want wine while they peruse a centuries old castle and the stunning clay tile rooftops of Lisbon?
Fiera De Ladra – A great flea market with a variety of old quirky vintage items as well as chintzy cheap bric a brac. Happens every Tuesday and Saturday from 8 am – 6 pm.
Tram 28 – everyone recommends it for a reason. It takes you through most of the main points of interest in Lisbon.
Santa Catarina/Bairro Alto
Pharmacia – A restaurant with outdoor bar attached to the pharmacy museum. Great view, cool cocktails.
Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara – Terraced park with another amazing view of Lisbon. You can see the Tagus, Alfama and Castle St Jorge. There are two kiosks for refreshments along with an outdoor bazaar.
Park – its a bar on the top of a parking garage. Very little signage so just make your way to the very top. Gorgeous view of the city, Tagus river and the 25 de Abril bridge.
Mercado da Ribeira – went here at least 4 times during my stay. So much food to choose from in a small space. I had squid ink risotto, octopus salad, croquettes, and the list goes on.
Paletaria – fresh fruit popsicles, very delicious and Instagram worthy (see photo above).
Cafe Carpe Diem – Part art gallery/installation, part cafe. Wander through to check out the current exhibitions and then grab some refreshment and sit outside in the old garden. A complete gem, not to be missed.
A Taberna da Rua das Flores – delicious. Modern take on some Portuguese classics without being pretentious at all. Menu changes daily. Lots of small plates for sharing. It was a long wait, go earlyish and prepare to drink wine on the sidewalk while you wait (we waited almost 2 hours, totally worth it).
Manteigaria – This place churns out a ridiculous quantity of Pasteis de Nata (the pastry of Portugal with egg custard and crispy shell). I ate at least one of these every day from a variety of places in Lisbon and these were my favorites. Slightly warm, creamy, crispy, sweet; the perfect companion for a rich espresso. I took a pack of six to go on our last day in Lisbon and ate almost all of them before we got back to San Francisco.
Nannarella – some of the best gellato I’ve ever had. I went twice in the span of three days and would have gone again if I wasn’t trying to hit up other food spots. A MUST visit.
Campo de Ourique
Jardim da Estrela – beautiful park with a couple of ponds, ducks, peacocks, occasional open air craft market, a playground, a cafe and a kiosk selling anything from Tosta Mistas (toasted cheese and ham sandwich) to Gin and Tonics.
Mercado de Campo de Ourique – more subdued food hall with a good selection of fresh produce, meat, fish and of course loads of food/wine options.
A Tentadora – great old school cafe with some solid pastries and a good vibe (plus they have lots of outdoor seating on the sidewalk)
Frangasqueira Nacional – classic, basic and ridiculously tasty Portuguese BBQ. Go early because they tend to sell out. Take out only.
Jardim do Príncipe Real – a quarter of the park is dominated by centuries-old Buçaco cedar, a perfect spot to read or eat some of your Frangasqueira BBQ.