Posts About 'Bairro Alto'

10 Ethnic Restaurants to Try in Lisbon

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Gemelli Restaurant, LisbonEvery time you travel you naturally want to experience the local cuisine and you often mix that with the familiar food you have at home. But when you’re in a big city you also have the option of trying the other flavors of the world. When looking for something different to eat in Lisbon, check out these ten ethnic restaurants:

A TAPADINHA (Russian) – Eastern Europeans are Lisbon’s third-largest community after Brazilians and Africans from Portugal’s former colonies. Yet this is the only restaurant in the city offering the flavors of the other side of Europe. It serves mostly Russian cuisine and allows you to book online.

ALI-A-PAPA (Moroccan) – This small restaurant in Bairro Alto is a trip to Morocco not just through the food but also in the decor.

BRASSERIE FLO (French) – This sophisticated restaurant in Avenida da Liberdade is known for its oysters and refined French-inspired cuisine. You may book it online.

DERVIXE (Turkish) – Owned by a Turkish family, here you’ll find authentic Turkish food in a very informal ambience and at very inviting prices.

FENICIO’S (Lebanese) – The Lebanese owner presents the food from his homeland (including some intriguing desserts) at this restaurant not far from Avenida da Liberdade.

GEMELLI (Italian) – More than just pastas and pizzas, this is Italian cuisine at its finest. Online booking available.

IBO (Mozambican) – Facing the riverfront, this attractive restaurant offers food from Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony in southern Africa.

LA PAPARRUCHA (Argentinean) – Juicy Argentian steaks are served at this restaurant with one of the best panoramic views in the city. Online booking available.

SUKHOTHAI (Thai) – There’s a little of Portugal in Thai cuisine (the Portuguese introduced the use of eggs and that’s how Thailand first created its first sweets). You can sample it here at this small restaurant in Bairro Alto.

ZAAFRAN (Indian) – There are many Indian restaurants in Lisbon, but this is the most refined. It’s perfect for a dinner for two.

5 Spots to Literally Spend the Night Out in Lisbon

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

When you say you’re going out at night, you often mean spend the night sitting in a movie theater or at a bar, or dancing at a club. “Out” simply means out of the house, but in such an outdoors city like Lisbon, “out” really means outside. Most people gather around the streets of Bairro Alto by the doors of the multitude of bars, but there are other spots for a relaxed evening in the open air. These are the five best choices:

Portas do Sol, Lisbon

In the city’s biggest and most beautiful terrace is this café-bar overlooking the river. It’s more of a café during the day, but at night it’s a cocktail bar that stays open until midnight on weekdays and 2AM on Fridays and Saturdays. The lively ambience is often enhanced by DJs.

This iconic viewpoint competes with Portas do Sol for the best views in town. It has two kiosks (one on each of the two levels), and on the lower terrace we can recommend a bowl of açaí that was introduced this summer for a healthy dessert before you go for the drinks as you look out to the moonlit city.

This riverfront café is a great spot to sunbathe during the day, but it’s also perfect at night for cocktails and upbeat sounds (this summer it also hosted live bands). On the warmer nights it has a certain beach bar vibe, especially with its palm trees and wooden decks.

Most bars and restaurants of the docks are a little touristy and lack any real personality, but one of the exceptions is this glass rectangle on the water’s edge. Throughout the week it’s open until 2AM (it closes on Mondays), and on weekends you’ll hear DJs spinning house and chill-out sounds until 6AM as you watch the sunrise.

It’s much smaller than Portas do Sol and São Pedro de Alcântara but this terrace-viewpoint is just as popular and attracts a variety of people of all ages. You can sit there drinking and chatting (often to the sound of music) until 3AM as you admire the castle and 25 de Abril Bridge in the distance.

5 New Restaurants in Lisbon

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Sushi Café Avenida, Lisbon

Found within walking distance from the many hotels in Avenida da Liberdade, this is an excellent choice for a healthy lunch (dinners are only served on Fridays and Saturdays). It serves contemporary macrobiotic cuisine, most of it vegetarian and with some gluten-free options, using fresh and mostly-organic ingredients. The dining area has an attractive minimalist décor, and the prices are just as inviting.
Address: Rua Rodrigo Sampaio, 94C
Phone: 213546234

The fourth restaurant of local chef-restaurateur Olivier focuses on “guilty pleasures.” Instead of presenting his usual contemporary/Mediterranean cuisine, here the options are pizzas, burgers, pastas and salads. The décor follows the same inspiration as the other three spaces — a mix of comfort, elegance and sophistication.
Address: Rua Barata Salgueiro, 28A
Phone: 211 913 590

It replaced a Moroccan restaurant, and instead of tagines the specialty is now fondues of exotic meats. That includes crocodile, kangaroo or ostrich, but if you’re not that open-minded to new culinary experiences, you can always go for the grilled fish or even a veggie option. As in many other restaurants in Bairro Alto, the dining area is not very big, so booking ahead is recommended.
Address: Rua da Atalaia, 70
Phone: 213 468 494

The name derives from the fact that it’s found in the same building as the Pharmacy Museum. It faces the Santa Catarina viewpoint, and has tables placed outside. The interior is inspired by classic old pharmacies, and the cuisine is traditional Portuguese “petiscos” (which you may call “tapas”). Perfect for groups, many of the dishes are meant to be shared by everyone at the table.
Address: Rua Marechal Saldanha, 1
Phone: 213 462 146

Is this yet another sushi restaurant? Yes, but this one differs in ambience and the standards of quality are aimed higher. It has a very attractive contemporary interior, divided into several areas, for more formal or casual experiences. The traditional sushi can also be enjoyed at the bar, while in a more elegant room you can also go for other lesser-known Japanese dishes.
Address: Rua Barata Salgueiro, 28
Phone: 211 928 158

“Grapes & Bites” – The Newest Wine Bar in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Grapes & Bites, Lisbon

Most of the bars in Bairro Alto are known for their cheap beer and caipirinhas, but the newest openings seem to all be devoted to wine. The latest one is called “Grapes & Bites,” and despite the English name it only serves Portuguese wines and “petiscos” (snacks).
There are close to 200 choices, many from the bottles on display, others presented on the wine list. They can be served by the glass or bottle.
There are also cocktails, but all made with national wines. To accompany the drinks there are cold cuts, Portuguese cheeses, bread and jams.
It took over the space of a former streetwear boutique, now decorated with big wine barrels standing as tables under the arched interior.
It surprisingly opens every day, even on Sundays, from 2PM to 2AM.
It’s located in the neighborhood’s trendiest shopping street, Rua do Norte, number 81.

5 Lisbon Cafes for Rainy Days

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

If you happen to be in Lisbon on a rainy day, here is where to seek refuge. These are cafés that could also be destinations themselves, either for their ambience, décor or simply for the food and refreshments they offer.

Your day will be brightened as soon as you enter and see the inviting interior where everyone enjoys an excellent piece of cake and a good drink. The cakes are the first temptations you see, and then you’re given a long list of teas to choose from. Because you’re in Portugal, look for the only tea produced in Europe, in Portugal’s Azores, the Gorreana green tea.
Address: Rua das Salgadeiras 38

Café Fabulas, Lisbon

It’s big but cozy thanks to a very charming décor made up of old furnishings. Not much light comes in from outside, so no matter how gloomy it is on the street, here it’s a wonderful escape where you can eat, drink, and spend some time relaxing, perhaps carefully planning your itinerary. It’s found in Chiado, and a metro station is nearby, where an underground train on the blue line can take you to your next destination — perhaps the Gulbenkian Museum.

Esplanada Café Portas do Sol, Lisbon

Lisbon’s favorite summertime terrace can also be the place to be on rainy and colder days. That’s because there is also a nice interior with large windows that still allow you to look out to the city. Relax as you watch the rain fall over Alfama‘s rooftops and church towers, have a drink and a light meal, and then hop into tram 28 just a few feet away to get to the following attraction on your sightseeing list.

This historic café is known for its monumental interior and as a pastry shop offering some of the city’s most sugary confections.
Dating from the 1920s, its name comes from the obvious inspiration for the mirrored walls and stucco ceiling decorations, and is easy to reach on the yellow line of the metro, the best way to get around the city on rainy days.
Address: Avenida da República 15A

Pois Café, Lisbon

This is one of the favorite cafés in the city to stay sitting with friends, or reading a book and periodicals. It’s found close to the cathedral where tram 28 stops, and it serves daily specials that combine Portuguese and Austrian dishes. It’s also a good place for brunch on a rainy weekend. The best spots, if you are lucky to find them unoccupied, are the ones with sofas and not the less-comfortable wooden chairs.

Making Your Lisbon Shopping List? Put Cork In It

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Cork & Co., Lisbon

Portugal’s biggest export is not wine or shoes, it’s cork. This is the world’s biggest cork-producing country, supplying around 70% of it. That all-natural material comes mostly from the Alentejo region, and can be molded into a variety of products. A new shop in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto shows that this fully recyclable material is quickly becoming one of Portugal’s trademarks, especially in the design world. New York’s MoMA recently presented some of the best of Portuguese design, and many of the selected pieces were made with cork. You can now see many of those examples at the new “Cork & Co.” shop, offering fashion accessories and furniture all made with that very Portuguese material. These are all products with unique and exceptional characteristics, and entirely made in Portugal. On a trip to Lisbon this is a place to include in your itinerary if you’re looking for local creativity, high-quality eco-friendly products, and distinctive design.

The address is number 10 of Rua das Salgadeiras, just around the corner from Camões Square. This being Bairro Alto, it opens late and stays open at night — 2PM-10PM Monday to Wednesday, and 2PM to 11PM Thursday to Saturday. The phone number is (+351) 216 090 231

Cork & Co., Lisbon

Cork & Co., Lisbon

Lisbon’s Latest “Tease” – A New Café and Cupcake Shop in Bairro Alto

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Tease cupcakes, Lisbon

The world’s first cupcake bakery was born in Los Angeles, but soon others spread across the United States. The most famous of all is Magnolia in New York, thanks to the “Sex and the City” series. The current trend of cupcake shops around the world is also thanks to that TV show, and it has reached Lisbon. Despite this being a city with its own long tradition of pastries (including, of course, its famous custard tarts), cupcakes are being proven to be a success here as well. Although there are now a couple of places where you can find them in the city, the best one is “Tease“, a new café in Bairro Alto.
That neighborhood of restaurants and bars that only open at night (leaving the daytime for trendy boutiques down Rua do Norte) is therefore now also a destination for a drink, tea, and a sugar rush throughout the day. You can’t go for a cupcake breakfast as it only opens at noon, but you can have that specialty for dinner dessert, with doors remaining open until 11PM.
Every time you go you’ll find different cupcakes, in different colors, flavors, and designs at €2.40 each. They all look very tempting, and the space is quite inviting for a stay although you can grab a few to go. The interior is decorated with big comfy chairs, perfect for indulgence in one more guilty pleasure in the city.

Address: Rua do Norte, 31-33

Tease cupcakes, Lisbon

Discover Hidden Lisbon in a Photowalk this Month

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Mae D'Agua Amoreiras, Lisbon

On the 24th of this month you can join a group of “photowalkers” who will be going through the “secret” underground tunnels of Lisbon’s extraordinary reservoirs, and end in one of the city’s most beautiful viewpoints. These tunnels and reservoirs are curated by the city’s award-winning Water Museum, and the starting point for their exploration will be the Amoreiras Garden at 2PM.
The first stop will be the Mãe D’Água reservoir (pictured above) which is now a space used for temporary exhibitions. That is followed by a short walk to the just-renovated Principe Real garden which has another stunning reservoir underneath it. To end the tour the destination is the beautiful São Pedro de Alcântara terrace for the most picture-perfect views of Lisbon.
If you don’t want your tour to end there, you have the option of continuing with other photowalkers to a restaurant in the neighborhood (Bairro Alto).
To join this walk, see its website here: Worldwide Photowalk

Lisbon’s Newest Hostel Offers the “Royal” Treatment

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Royak Lisbon Hostel

It’s been widely reported that Lisbon has the world’s best hostels and just a couple of days ago a new one opened as a strong contender to one of the top spots in the “world’s best” list. It has the rather pompous name of “Royal Lisbon Hostel” and it does automatically score points for its location on Largo do Camões, one of the city’s most central squares connecting its two most popular neighborhoods, Chiado and Bairro Alto.
Inside you’ll find everything you expect from a modern hostel, from spacious lockers for your belongings to comfortable beds. As at most other hostels, the bathrooms are shared but divided by gender. Prices are of course quite affordable, and it also allows you to save further by letting you prepare your own meals in the kitchen. You can enjoy them in the dining room before moving to the lounge area with views over the square, watching over the cafés and busy life of the surroundings. That’s also where you can access the wireless internet before stepping right into Lisbon’s vibrant street life.
This is no 5-star accommodation, but its privileged location, brand-new facilities, relaxed ambience, and affordability make it a luxury option for budget travelers.
Complete details and booking information here: Royal Lisbon Hostel

Meet “Maria,” Last Name “Bairro Alto” – A Cool New Restaurant and Bar in Lisbon

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Maria B.A., Lisbon

UPDATE: This restaurant has closed.

“Maria B.A.” is the new kid on one of Bairro Alto‘s quietest blocks, just steps from but not at the center of the neighborhood’s nightlife for which it is famous. It’s part bar, part loungy café and restaurant. It’s a space that allows you to go for lunch, show up for a drink late in the afternoon, or stay for dinner and drinks all night long. Food can be served until midnight, all traditional Portuguese cuisine, with fish, meat, and vegetarian options. As you can tell from these photos, the space is divided into two levels, with the restaurant downstairs and the “chill out” area upstairs. The bar serves good-old crowd favorites like beer, shots, and caipirinhas but is also strong on cocktails.
Opening times are from 12 to 3PM for lunch, then again at 7:30PM until closing time which is 2AM on weekdays and 3AM on Fridays and Saturdays. It closes on Sundays.
You’ll see it on number 48-50 of Travessa dos Inglesinhos.

Maria B.A., Lisbon

Maria B.A., Lisbon