The secret’s out! After my last post, we all now know how I fell head-over-heels in love with dear old Lisbon. And of course, true to Casiedilla character…a lot of that love is thanks to THE FOOD. Yea. Girl’s gotta eat! And in Lisbon, eat you will. And drink! After a weekend jam packed with hungry research, here are the best of the best food & drink places I dug up in Lisbon, including the best F* hostel in the city! Oh…and the best crab I’ve ever had IN MY LIFE. Ready…set…BOM APETITE!
Bota Alta: An Authentic Dinner
It’s tucked away on a little skinny cobblestone street corner in Bairro Alto, with a tiny sign out the door to signal you’ve found it. If you didn’t already know about the place, the only way you’d notice it is by the smell. And baby, lemme tell ya’…you will smell it! As all the yummiest places come to me, I found this hidden gem by talking to a Lisbonian-local. The place is packed with dedicated food-lovin’ locals who have been eating there their whole lives. And the most charming part of it all? It’s a family run place, which has been a neighborhood staple for local artists for years! Since its opening, artists have donated their works of art to the restaurant as a form of gratitude. Hence, all the artistic chatckies covering every inch of the walls. Talk about getting a taste of local flava’! This is the perfect place to try authentic Portuguese staples, like Bacalhau á Brás, a fab glass of wine, and some bangin’ Portuguese quejo or goat cheese.
Find it: Tv. da Queimada 35-37
Ramiro: The Best Seafood You’ll Ever Have
Well, it’s at least the best seafood I’ve ever had! I must say. I’ve been around the seafood block; from famous crab joints in Maryland, to coastal seafood havens in south Florida. This spot straight blew me off my rocker! It’s pretty well known around the block in Lisbon, frequented by locals, tourists, and famous chefs alike. It might not be a hidden discovery, but there’s a reason why it’s so famous! It’s a MUST MUST GO. However, great seafood doesn’t come cheap! It’s a bit on the pricier end, but so entirely worth it. Warning: Don’t go with someone who you’re not comfortable to lick your fingers in front of. I HIGHLY recommend the crab. It’s seriously the best darn crab you’ll ever eat. And crabby’s friends, of course! The garlic shrimp and clams are finger-lickin’ good also.
Find it: Av. Almirante Reis nº1
The Markets: A Quick Lunch
The Mercado de Baixa was in town over the weekend, and it was the perrrrfect mid-day lunch. However, if this not available during the time you are there, there are plenty of other markets to choose from! Going to these foodie havens is really the best way to get a sampling of the local cuisine. Choose from ham sandwiches smothered in Portuguese goat cheese, suckling pig sandwiches or some grilled Portuguese sausages. And of course, finish it off with some Pastéis de Nata…
Pastéis de Nata: A Hunt for the Best.
As any good, hungry lil’ Casiedilla should, I went on a hunt to find the best Pastéis de Nata. Now, the most classically famous spot is Pastéis de Belem. They allegedly had the first recipe, dated all the back to 1837. The story has it, that every other bakery in Lisbon has tried to replicate the recipe since. However, there is a secret that the bakers of Belem have not divulged, which makes the Pastéis de Belem “different” from the rest. So, it’s naturally a must try. And a must-wait-in-line…
However, I wasn’t going to stop there. I was determined to find other bakeries around Lisbon who have better (if not the best) Pasteís de Nata. Eight…yes 8… Pastéis de Nata later, I found two runners-up worth drooling over.
- Confeitaria Nacional: Founded in 1829, one of the oldest bakeries with a book full of history. They allegedly have the first “Pastéis de Nata” (remember, which is considered a different thang than the Pastéis de Belem.) These creamy little pastries go to show, years of practice makes perfect! (Find it: Praça da Figueira 18B)
- Cafetaria S. Nicolau: It looks like a random diner-esque cafeteria. It ain’t fancy, and it blends in with every other cafeteria on the street. However, it’s got the best Pastéis de Nata I’ve tried! It’s something magical, about the euphoric marriage between the creamy custard and filling and flaky pastry crust. Mmmmm. (Find it: 110 Rua Augusta)
Navegadoors: The Perfect “Grab a Drink” Spot
I pretty much became obsessed with this bar. So much so, that I went twice! It’s decked out in super retro-artsy decor, complete with groovy music of every genre…and even live music nights! The waiters and bartenders are as friendly as can be, and they make a meaaaan cocktail. And yes, they’ve even got great Portuguese tapas! It’s the perfect go-to spot to get yo’ drank on.
Find it: -207, Rua Augusta 205, Lisboa
Park Bar: A Jaw-Droppin’ View
If that ain’t a view, IDK what is! My wonderful Portuguese friend took me to this one, and I must say…I’ve never been more confused in my life. We drove into a big, industrial parking garage and he says: “Ok, we’re here!” I look around. We are in a cement parking lot, with no outlet. He then lead me into the elevator, we head to the top floor, and the door opens; what’s staring back? A super chic bar decked out with plush couches, and the entire city of Lisbon lit up for as far as the eye can see. Oh. And some really bumpin’ ’90’s rap music.
Find it: Calçada do Combro, 58
The Best Hostel…Ever
If you’re a hostel-stayer like me, you will absolutely love We Love F* Tourists (lol…yes, the name is as cool as the people who work there). In the smack-deb center of the city, it’s got everything and more I look for in a fabulous hostel: Super social atmosphere, super-dee-duper spotlessly clean, great group activities, super cool decor, and most importantly…a f** awesome local staff who knows the city inside and out. My stay in Lisbon wouldn’t have been the same without these guys!
Where are some of the best places you’ve been to in Lisbon? Have you been to any of these spots?! Share with us your foodventure!
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