I’m back! After a cross-Pacific move, attending a wedding, graduating, etc, I took a break from society and have been holed up at home for a good week. As I try to figure out my life, it’s time to wrap up my last couple of posts about Portugal! First up, a wrap-up on eats in Lisbon. Foodwise, I don’t think I had a single bad meal while I was in Portugal. Besides neighborhood bistro O Tachadas, Anthony Bourdain’s seafood heaven Cervejaria Ramiro, and Michelin starred wonder Belcanto, there are quite a few other places to eat at!
First up, pasteis! It is utterly inappropriate to leave Portugal without having pasteis de nata, even if you are not a fan of sweets. Pasteis de nata are Portuguese custard tarts that were apparently invented by monks prior to the 18th century at Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (a monastery), a short car ride away from downtown Lisbon. Fittingly, one of the best shops is right around the corner from the monastery. There were two locations that I really enjoyed:
Fabrica dos Pasteis de Belem
Address: R. Belém 84-92
Hours: 8am – 11pm/12am depending on time of year
Literally across the street from the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, it is almost impossible to miss – the line out the door should be more than enough of a giveaway! Open since 1837, this is perhaps one of the most authentic pasteis locations. Most people tend to buy the pasteis and leave, but there is also the option of staying in the store to try their other desserts, or enjoy the pasteis with tea or coffee. I preferred this one to the next option, because it’s less sweet and more creamy in my opinion. But unless you are making a trip to Belem, this is quite out of the way!
Address: Rua do Loreto 2
Hours: 8am – 12am
Located in the bustling Bairro-Alto neighborhood near many restaurants and shops, Manteigaria is a quick stop. With a small storefront that only has a standing counter stretching along the kitchen, they serve only pasteis de natas and drinks (coffee, tea, hot chocolate etc).
In Belem, where Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and the Pasteis shop are, the best option on a sunny day is to stop in at A Margem!
Address: Doca do Bom Sucesso
Hours: 10am – 12am/1am
Right by the waterfront, A Margem is one of those chic, simplistic shops with fantastic view. They serve coffee, tea, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, but also a wide variety of food options – sandwiches, entrees, salads, soups, etc. It’s a short walk from Belem Tower, and you can watch boats / kayakers go by!
Floresta do Salitre
Address: Rua do Salitre 42D
Hours: 12-3pm / 7-10pm
Similar in style to O Tachadas, Floresta do Salitre is tucked away in a small street near the fancy shopping street of Avenue da Liberdade. Pricing is very reasonable – house wine for 10 euros! There are also the classic dishes (best black pork we had in Portugal!), and bacalhau, etc etc. I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit this shop, but if you’re in the neighborhood, this is a good spot!
By the Wine
Address: De Terça a Domingo
I’m embarrassed to admit we were pretty much passed out by 11pm every night, so didn’t really get a chance to experience night life in Portugal at all haha. We did, on one occasion, stop by a wine bar while waiting for a table at Taberna (below). Next door to some buildings under construction, and with a small door, we weren’t sure we were in the right place after looking for it on yelp. The wine bar itself is pretty large, but very packed and busy inside. There is both bar seating and table seating, and there’s food and drink available. The interior has a cave shaped ceiling lined with wine bottles. The few appetizers we had (iberico ham, tartare, bread, etc) were all very delicious. Would return here for a longer stay next time!
Taberna da Rua das Flores
Address: Rua das Flores 103
Hours: 6pm – 11:30pm
A very small shop, prepare for a long wait (ours was 1.5 hours so we went to By the Wine). Tapas styled, the food is different from the classic Portuguese dishes. Definitely worth stopping by for a meal in the Bairro Alto neighborhood, especially before a night out!