Travel

Bairro Alto

Establishment neighborhood
Time Out Market
49 Av. 24 de Julho, Bairro Alto
This renovated market, part of Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon's biggest fresh food market, has all the trappings of your typical food court—picnic-style community tables, food stalls, and large crowds—except the food itself is exceptional. It's a way to try a variety of dishes from a bunch of different top Portuguese chefs at once; there are thirty-five kiosks, with a not-to-be-missed spot from Henrique Sá Pessoa of Alma among them. Plus, there's ample outdoor seating on their adjacent terraces.
Palácio Chiado
70 Rua do Alecrim, Bairro Alto
Entrepreneurs and brothers Duarte Cardoso Pinto and Gustavo and António Paulo Duarte bought Palácio Chiado in 2014, when the 18th-century palace sat in empty disrepair. Over the course of almost two years, they carefully restored the place, breathing new life into the gold-leaf chandeliers, elaborate frescoes and stucco work, and stained glass windows to make a home for their upscale food court program: A series of restaurants and bars spread out over the full two floors of the space. It's worth visiting for the building alone, but the food is deserving of the setting—we like Delisbon for exhaustively sourced charcuterie and cheese, and Local Chiado for locally sourced, veggie-forward quinoa bowls and sugar-free desserts. If you like fish, try Bacalhau Lisboa, a Portuguese spot that serves traditional iterations of codfish the same way it's been cooked here for generations. There's also a bar and a more formal restaurant for a sit-down dining experience.
The Mill
1 Rua do Poço dos Negros, Bairro Alto
The owners of this cozy modern café are Portuguese and Australian—and you can count on The Mill both for a great wine list, which rotates every few months, and also healthy breakfast fare like bircher muesli and avocado toast with poached eggs. The menu is designed around seasonal produce—and you can always stop by for fresh bagels, pastries, and excellent coffee. The staff is warm and helpful; it’s the kind of place you could stop in for a quick breakfast, or easily kill an entire afternoon.
The Independente Hotel
83 Rua Sao Pedro de Alcantara, Bairro Alto
Part hotel, part hostel, the Independente feels a little bit like Portugal's version of the Ace. While we wouldn't recommend the hostel rooms unless you're on a tight budget, the suites are lovely, with memorable design quirks like vintage colored leather chairs, bedside lamps made from plumping pipes, and the coolest tile floors in the bathrooms. Be prepared, though, that rooms this reasonable come at the expense of a few amenities—there's no room service, and no mini bar. Not that you'd need one, though, as the food scene is unsurprisingly a huge part of the draw—The Decadente is one of Lisbon's coolest restaurants, and the rooftop bar, The Insólito, is perpetually full of locals grabbing post-work drinks.
Pensão Amor
19 Rua do Alecrim, Bairro Alto
The name of this eclectic spot translates roughly into “Love House”, a reference to its provocative past: The intimate little bar was built inside an 18-century bordello. Elaborate décor reflects this heritage, with furniture upholstered in rich red velvet, frescos spread across the ceiling, and walls adorned with mirrors, vintage paintings, and posters of burlesque women. (The club also features live burlesque shows, in a room appropriately decorated in gold and leopard print.)
Park Bar
58 Calçada do Combro, Bairro Alto
Park Bar was once a rooftop parking lot (and it's still perched on top of one), to which it owes its ample space and concrete floor, but little else: This sleek, hip spot is completely transformed with wood furniture, nice evening lighting, and—like many others of Lisbon's best—a great view of the Tagus River. While a drink with this view is enough of a reason to stop by, Park also has a steady rotation of live music, good DJs, and outdoor movie screenings.
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