Rua da Horta Seca, 9
Pastries called “travesseiros” are to the town of Sintra what the famous custard tarts are to Lisbon. But now you no longer have to go outside the capital to enjoy them. In fact, they’re now in the very center of the city, just around the corner from Camões Square. This new café/pastry shop serves them together with another Sintra specialty, the cheese tarts, and a different kind of custard pastries — with chocolate added!
TABERNA DA RUA DAS FLORES
Rua das Flores, 103
There was a time when Lisbon was full of these types of “tabernas”, something like a mix of tavern and deli serving homestyle food. They’ve become nearly extinct but there’s recently been a revival. Instead of just catering to neighborhood patrons, they’re attracting locals and tourists, becoming destinations for doses of traditional meals with a certain modern twist. This one is next to Camões Square and uses old recipes in a menu of “petiscos” (tapas) available throughout the day.
THE OLD PHARMACY
Rua do Diário de Notícias, 73-83
The name remembers the old function of this space in Bairro Alto, a pharmacy that was in business for decades. Instead of medications, its cabinets are now filled with wine bottles, almost all from Portugal. Accompanying the glasses of wine are local cheeses and hams.
Rua das Gáveas, 38
Another recent wine bar in Bairro Alto, this one has a nice interior but best of all is the possibility of sitting outside people-watching. It lists a good variety of Portuguese wines, always to the sound of music.
MARIA DO CARMO RESTAURANT
Rua da Oliveira ao Carmo, 1
Carmo Square is one of Lisbon’s most charming, faced by the haunting ruins of the gothic Carmo Convent. Although it’s had terrace cafés for many years, they were essentially for tourists and of the quality expected for such places. Now a new spot has opened with tables on the square, of a quality that sets it apart from the others. The menu is limited and may be disappointing at first sight, but order a plate of Portuguese cheeses and sausages and enjoy the surrounding atmosphere.