Botequim da Graça
79 Largo Graça, Graça
First opened in the late '60s by Portuguese writer Natália Correia—and then closed after her death—Botequim da Graça re-opened in 2010: a quirky bar/café serving food, wine, and cocktails to locals through the late evening. Portions are hearty, and you can expect items like prago, a baked steak sandwich in cream mustard sauce, on the menu; the space often hosts music and poetry gatherings, so don’t be surprised if you stumble into one in the evening.
Copenhagen Coffee Lab
10 Rua Nova da Piedade, Príncipe Real
With its white stools, white walls, and decidedly minimalist interiors, this coffee shop is what you might expect from Danish owners. Pleasant and unassuming, you’ll find some serious coffee nerds behind the bar, where you can get your fix by V60, Chemex, aeropress, or French press. Good music, decadent cake, various pastries, and a nearby outdoor square make this a great stop—whether you’re in it for the excellent coffee, or not.
Av. Brasília, Ala B, Belém
As a part of the Champalimaud Foundation’s medical science research center, Darwin’s Café shares the fabulous architecture and waterfront views of their new building. Mod leather seating, floor-to-ceiling windows, and cool artwork (inspired by Charles Darwin's original drawings) look out onto the terrace, which takes full advantage of the location and panoramic scene. The food is great, too—be sure to try one of their inventive risottos.
103 Rua do Poço dos Negros, Bairro Alto
Opened by a freelance graphic designer who felt too isolated doing work from home, this welcoming café is the perfect place to set up shop for the afternoon with a laptop or a book. Quality coffee, fresh pastries, and a wall of independent magazines all contribute to its cozy, comfortable vibes.
Pastéis de Belém
84-92 Rua Belém, Belém
No trip to Lisbon would be complete without a visit to its world-renowned confectionary shop, the Pastéis de Belem. The bakery serves delicate custard-filled tarts (pastel de nata) with a storied history: The recipe—conceived by the monks of Jeronimo's Monastery in 1837, and unchanged to this day—remains a carefully guarded secret, passed down from generation to generation, so you won't find them anywhere else. There may be a line, but it’s worth the wait—don’t forget to top it off with cinnamon and powdered sugar.
1/18 Rua das Padarias, Sintra
Not exactly a well-kept secret, this wonderful bakery was founded in Sintra in 1862, and has been known for its pastries ever since. Come for the queijadas, small, crispy pies filled with cheese, sugar, and a little cinnamon, and travesseiros, the famous pillow-like cake (made with egg cream, almond, and other amazing stuff) that was invented here.
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.
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