Lisbon’s Best Tea Houses

Lisbon's best tea housesThis summer we told you where to find Lisbon’s best ice cream, and earlier this month we told you where to go for the city’s best pastries. ‘Tis the season for them, and considering the colder temperatures, nothing washes them down better than a good cup of tea. You’ll probably end up looking for some tea in Lisbon when you remember that this is the city from where the tea tradition spread throughout Europe thanks to Queen Catherine of Bragança. And here’s an interesting fact: the Portuguese word for tea is “chá,” which has its origin in the Chinese word for the drink, resulting from the Portuguese trade and cultural contacts with the East and the colonization of Macao.
So what are the best places in Lisbon to find it? These are the top choices:

CULTURA DO CHÁ – Rua das Salgadeiras 38
Decorated with young artists’ paintings and old fashioned furnishings, this colorful tea house lists dozens of teas from around the world, meant to accompany one of its mouth-watering homemade cakes.

O CHÁ TEA ROOM – Rua Luis Augusto Palmeirim 18
Although tourists have no reason to go to the mostly residential Alvalade neighborhood, you should head in that direction if you love tea. O Chá Tea Room is a temple to tea, with more than 70 international flavors to be enjoyed together with a pastry. The Asian-inspired interior is an excellent place to relax and get warmed up on these colder winter months.

CHÁ DO CARMO – Largo do Carmo 21
You’ll find this cafe/tea house facing the ruins of Carmo Convent. It has a classic and very Lisbon interior, offering over 50 varieties of tea which go great with a freshly-baked scone.

O CHÁ DA LAPA – Rua do Olival 8–10
A stop at this cafe is a must when you visit the Ancient Art Museum. It’s a very charming and romantic neighborhood tea house, found on a small quiet street parallel to the side entrance of the museum. Many see it as the best tea house in the city, and although the limited choices of teas may be disappointing, it has quite an original décor, just what you picture a classic tea house should look like.

A OUTRA FACE DA LUA – Rua da Assunção, 22
This vintage shop in Baixa has an adjoining cafe that only lists just over half a dozen choices of tea, but they all sound quite special. About half of them are said to have aphrodisiac effects, while others are thought to stimulate and revitalize your mind and memory. Test them yourself along with one of the sandwiches or salads available.

LA TEA ROOM – Avenida da Liberdade 177A
The Lanidor shop in Avenida da Liberdade (recognized by a “LA” sign) has a popular café (“LA Caffé”) down the avenue, but that flagship store on number 177 is where you’ll find a sophisticated tea room appropriately called “LA Tea Room.” To match the elegance of the brand, you can sit in the well-designed space and enjoy your 5-o’clock tea with a view to the street.

TIVOLI CAFFÈ – Avenida da Liberdade 182-188
The restaurant of Tivoli Theater in Avenida da Liberdade only serves lunches but also stays open for afternoon tea, offering special snacks between 3 and 6PM. That’s when you can have your tea together with one of the excellent chocolates, as you admire the grand palatial interior.

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