I wrote this up a few months ago because several work colleagues were headed to the gorgeous city of Lisbon. But since we all have the attention span of mice these days, I thought I’d keep this one short and sweet. Enjoy!
Because on holiday, diets don’t exist….
For Pastéis de Nata (egg tarts):
- Manteigaria fabrica: You’re telling yourself that you’re only going to eat one. You’re a big fat liar. You’re going to have five. Shut up.
- Pasteis de Belém: Really close to the Monastero dos Jeronimos. They’re supposed to be the best in Portugal. I say liar liar pants on fire. They’re really hyped here, but I’m fairly sure anything with that much butter in it will taste delicious (see: croissants), but they’re no better than the ones at Manteigaria fabrica.
Lunch while you’re at the Monastery (Monastero dos Jeronimos):
- Pão Pão Queijo Queijo: There will always be a huge queue because it’s also really popular with the locals. Wraps are great, kebabs are also great—if you’re feeling adventurous and ‘yolo’ go for the sardine sandwich (cue breath mint afterwards). The lady who takes your order is singularly terrifying but like a troll under a bridge, you’ll get over it… not that I’m calling her a troll.
The monastery itself is worth a visit. Gorgeous architecture and if you’re a history nerd + culture vulture like me, you’ll dig it.
- Il decadente: Awesome food. Owned by the same people who own Il Independente. Don’t fill up on bread like I did—rookie mistake. Get the vino verde (think white wine with a pleasing sparkle) and literally everything on the menu will make you foodgasm.
- Mercado de Campo de Ourique: Indoor market with different food stalls. Kind of out of the way of the central parts of Lisbon, but nice to sit down with a meat board and sangria. There’s also a nice park nearby for romantic walks with… each other.
- Clube das Jornalistas: Best dinner I’ve ever had ever ever ever… or close. Kind of hard to get to though, so I’d recommend a taxi or Uber and definitely recommend making a reservation. It’s a bit expensive (for Portuguese standards) but absolutely worth the money. Prosecco when you walk in, fantastic service, really enthusiastic maître d’. I recommend the octopus and the dessert platter. It’ll change your life.
- Fumeiro de Santa Catarina: Awesome food for cheap. Really small place though and can be difficult to find so of course, I always recommend a taxi.
Because we drink like fish….
- Il Independente: Head to the rooftop bar. I think that says it all? There are also a boatload of rooftop bars in Lisbon, so if you miss it don’t sweat it.
- Pink Street: The street is actually painted pink… The actual street name is Rua Nova do Carvalho. Pretty much anywhere you go on this street (look for Pensão Amor), you will see bars and people being happy and drinking. Join them. Stay there until 2am (I kid you not) and then head to…
- Urban Beach, Lux, or Main: All clubs. 2:30am entrance is standard. Besides that… it’s a club….? So do what you do in a club and get down wit your bad self.
Because you’re tourists:
- LX Factory: Lots of cool shops, huge library with wall to wall books, bars, etc.
- São Jorge Castle: Beware of the peacocks running around, they are evil. Again, history nerd’s delight.
- Belem Tower: Chess piece in the river, cool views from the top. Wasn’t too fussed but hey, that’s me. Great view of the bridge (don’t kid yourself, it’s not the Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate is so much better and prettier. I’m not biased or from California).
- Miraduoro da Graça: BEST. SUNSET. VIEWING. GO. I BEG YOU. GO. Très romantique, grab a few beers or some wine from the vendors and settle in for a gorgeous view of the aforementioned 25 de Abril Bridge
- Praça do Comércio: Like Trafalgar Square… only not. Beautiful open space that opens out onto the beach, nice place just to kick back and relax and chat with friends.
Have fun. Portuguese men all have beards… so there’s that. Rush hour for work is around 10:00/10:30am… and people wonder why Portugal’s economy needs help. JOKING… kind of, please don’t be offended Portuguese readers! Trams are unpredictable so take a taxi or Uber. Don’t forget sunscreen, this isn’t England.