In the past couple of weeks, five different friends have asked me for my favourite spots in Lisbon. So, I'm consolidating my bonnes addresses in Lisbon and around in this guide, some of which I've already gushed about in other posts. If you have suggestions for places for me to check out next time I'm there, please do share! Any excuse to go back and spend more time getting lost in the cobblestoned alleys of my spirit home. xx Mina
FOOD AND DRINK
A Cevicheria – Buzzy ceviche bar with its signature giant octopus sculpture hanging from the ceiling. Perfect for lunch or early dinner as its summery white and blue interiors are enjoyed best with the sun.
Cantinho do Aziz – If you’re in Portugal, I really recommend venturing past the central area of Lisbon and exploring Mouraria and Intendente, more diverse neighbourhoods where you'll find Bengali spice shops, Chinese markets and Mozambican delights. Try Mozambican food for lunch at this inexpensive but homey restaurant, especially their crab curry or moamba da galinha (chicken stew).
Cervejaria Ramiro – Famous Portuguese seafood restaurant with very long queues. A must-try when in Lisbon for its fresh seafood and lively atmosphere.
Copenhagen Coffee Lab – One of the first modern coffee houses where I’ve spent much time reading or catching up on emails. If you’re lucky, they might just give you one of their delicious Scandinavian cardamom buns with your coffee.
Dona Quitéria – Tiny tiny restaurant in a former grocery store founded in 1870. Pitch-perfect homey food and a few tables outside to enjoy the summer nights. My last meal in Lisbon was there and I can’t wait to go back.
Hello Kristof – Relatively new café for serious coffee lovers with its own cult following.
Manteigaria – My favourite shop for the classic Portugese pastel de nata. If only I could start every morning at their counter with an espresso and one of their tarts. Their original shop is in Chiado, and they now have a new shop in the Mercado da Ribeira.
Mercado da Ribeira (or the Time Out Market) – My dream is to build a food hall in Hong Kong where you could sample dishes from the country’s best chefs like this one in Lisbon. It’s slightly touristy, sure, but you can have a glass of wine and a bite either sitting at a bar of one of the stalls or at the communal tables in the center and have some fun. In the mornings, there is a farmer’s market that I always visit.
Nanarella Gelateria – Lisbon has delicious gelato, and this is one of the newer shops. There are long queues but so worth it.
Peixaria Centenária – A female-run fishmonger with beautiful fish and sundries if you’re self-catering or need a gourmet gift for a friend.
A Taberna da Rua das Flores – This cozy taberna has an interesting menu of small sharing plates that often mixes Asian flavours with classic Portuguese dishes. I highly recommend their raw fish dishes. Very popular and not a big space so you either have to get there right when they open or eat late.
A Vida Portuguesa – The one-stop shop for souvenirs and gifts. They have a well-curated selection of Portuguese goods and crafts, from soaps to classic Bordallo Pinheiro ceramics to retro notebooks and blankets. There is a shop in Chiado which is convenient, but it's worth it to go to the flagship in Intendente. The flagship store there is just gorgeous and has a huge selection.
Margarida Cerámica – For minimalist but earthy ceramics, I love the work of Margarida Fernandes. She has a private studio in LX Factory (more below) which is appointment only. Her husband also has a line of his own called The Potter’s Husband. Just a lovely couple with an even lovelier body of work. Gwyneth Paltrow has given her blessing it seems as some of Margarida's pieces are sold through the Goop online shop.
LX Factory – A converted industrial warehouse complex that houses artist studios, as well as a few cute shops and cafes. One is June Home Accessories which has a tiny space, but I always manage to find something there like Portuguese bowls or linen tea towels. There is also an organic beauty shop, cute bookstore and ice cream. A nice place to spend an afternoon.
Cavalo de Pau – A tastefully laid out antique shop across two spaces where I have picked up some vintage kitchen tools and coveted their furniture. It’s a close walk from Copenhagen Coffee Lab.
Lisbon Surf Connection – I took lessons from Antonio at Lisbon Surf Connection two years in a row. The LSC crew is knowledgeable, super friendly and can combine surf with a culinary and cultural tour in and around Lisbon if you want (I did want). And they will take you for a double scoop of Sabatini ice cream after a particularly hard surf.
MAAT – The newish Museum of Art Architecture Technology is worth a visit for the exterior architecture alone.
Hotel Bairro Alto – This stalwart of the Lisbon hotel scene has lovely staff, great views from their rooftop terrace if you can manage to get a seat, and the most central location, i.e. it’s one block away from my favourite pastéis at Manteigaria.
Hotel Memmo Principe Real – A relatively new outpost of Hotel Memmo in Alfama. This one in Principe Real has crazy views of the city from the rooms and terrace and is beautifully appointed.
Santa Clara 1728 – This boutique hotel looks stunning, and I’m waiting for them to have availability next time I’m in Lisbon, please please please.
Hotel Valverde – Discreetly located on the luxury shopping street of Avenida da Liberdade, this boutique hotel has lush, modern interiors, leaves handmade treats during turndown service and has a lovely breakfast spread.
Alentejo – The countryside around Lisbon that makes up Alentejo is so diverse from the coastline to desert-like interior expanses. Read about my two favourite spots in this region Cabeca da Cabra Guesthouse here and São Lourenço do Barrocal here.
Ericeira – Thanks to Lisbon Surf Connection, I’ve visited a number of surfing villages around Lisbon. Ericeira is probably my favourite, not only because it’s named after my favourite sea creature, the sea urchin (ouriço), but also because of it’s whitewashed homes and more elegant vibe. Try the local pastry also called ouriço at Casa da Fernanda.
Praia do Guincho – A particularly picturesque beach near Cascais.
Sintra – A magical, misty village spread over winding roads with the fantastical Pena palace and sweet farmer’s market nearby. Try to avoid weekend crowds and wear trousers rather than a skirt when visiting the Palace and its very windy terraces, just saying.