Lisbon’s New Kiosk Cafes

Kiosk cafe, Lisbon
They’re new but they’re quite old. Three new kiosks were placed a couple of weeks ago in three of Lisbon’s squares, serving traditional refreshments to passers-by. These used to be found all over the city in the 19th century but died out over time, only to be brought back to life now, much to nostalgic Lisboeta’s joy. They serve revived versions of traditional drinks using long-forgotten recipes, and are found in Camões Square, Jardim do Principe Real, and Praça das Flores. Others will open in the next few months, and many of them will be renovated stands from the 19th century. That’s the case of the one pictured above, standing behind the monument of Camões. It’s been cleaned up and given a fresh coat of paint, now serving sandwiches and refreshing drinks, but no sodas or beer. The drinks are orchata (made with almonds), lemonade, iced tea, Port wine, and capilé which is perhaps the most “exotic” of all, made with spleenwort. As for the sandwiches, how about one with cod or olives?! No, there are no coca-colas or cheese sandwiches here.

Now that globalization brought the brands and habits from pretty much everywhere else, Lisbon seems to be feeling a little nostalgic for its own traditions. Vintage shops have become success stories, and while Starbucks may have “finally” opened in the city a few months ago, Lisbon seems to be making the effort to revive or keep its own flavors. These charming kiosks do that job quite well, serving locals and curious tourists from 7:30AM to 11PM (the one in Camões Square serves until midnight).

Comments are closed.