Posts About 'Bairro Alto'

“Artis” – Lisbon’s Newest Wine Bar is One of Its Oldest

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Bar Artis, Bairro Alto, Lisboa

“B’Artis” was one of Bairro Alto‘s trendiest bars in the 1980s, and after closing for renovation last year, it’s back with a new look and name. It has dropped the B and is now simply called “Artis,” while also concentrating more on wine — all Portuguese wines. The wooden interior has been maintained, and decorating the walls are some classic/vintage objects and a few musical instruments. It has always been known for its jazz soundtrack, and that continues to be heard along with chill-out sounds. The wine can be served by the glass starting at 3 euros, but if you prefer beer that’s just 2 euros. It also serves “petiscos” (snacks or Portuguese-style “tapas”), with the toasted chicken sandwich being the most popular over the years. Those “petiscos” range in price between €4.90 and €9.90, and according to the chalkboard list placed outside, they include the traditional Portuguese “caldo verde” (known in English as “green soup”).  You may also order a cheese or hams plate and sample some Portuguese liquors such as port and ginginha.
The bar closes at 2AM except on Fridays and Saturdays when it stays open until 3AM along with all the other bars in the neighborhood. The address is Rua do Diário de Noticias, 95.

Lisbon: From Fado to Fashion

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Lisboa - El Pais

Spain is naturally one of the countries that most visits Lisbon, as it’s just across a border that’s essentially imaginary, with the open borders policy set by the European Union’s Schengen agreement. At around Christmas time, New Year’s, and Easter, it’s quite common to hear as much Castilian in Lisbon’s Chiado as Portuguese. So perhaps anticipating a large Spanish migration to Lisbon at this time of the year, Spain’s “El Pais” just published a 24-hour guide to the Portuguese capital.
Entitled “From Fado to Fashion,” the article focuses on the city’s trendier side, from its alternative shops in the Principe Real and Bairro Alto districts, to the new Design and Fashion Museum. That’s not the only recent museum to get special mention, as the Orient Museum and Berardo Museum are also considered unmissable.
Overall, this is a list of recommendations that show how Lisbon has become much more of a globalized city while also managing to reinvent itself as a continuously authentic place.
You may read the entire article at the El País website. It’s in Spanish but you may always use the Google translator to read it in your native language: Del Fado a lo ‘Fashion’

Lisbon’s Street Art Gallery

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

The graffiti you see on the photos below are not acts of vandalism (well, with the exception of that on the funicular). The graffiti on five large panels down Calçada da Gloria which descends the hill from Bairro Alto to Restauradores Square is all legal, and are works of street art that make up Lisbon’s Street Art Gallery. They’re creations of local graffiti artists and change from time to time to new colorful and often amusing images. The first works were created last October and this outdoor “gallery” will remain on display until the end of 2010.

Lisbon Street Art Gallery

Lisbon Street Art Gallery

Lisbon Street Art Gallery

Old is the New New in Lisbon

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Taberna do Chiado, LisbonWe’ve told you about Lisbon’s new kiosk cafes serving long-forgotten drinks, but that’s just one example of how the city is nostalgic for what it has always done best over time. The same owner of those kiosks is also responsible for “A Vida Portuguesa,” a shop selling Portuguese products that every Lisboeta remembers from their grandmother’s house and tourists love for their authenticity. In fact, shops bringing the traditional to modern times are a new trend, as in the case of the new Jimmy Portuguese Styleshop that we also told you about recently.
Then there are the restaurants which are bringing back the “taberna” and “tasca” spirit. Those roughly translate to “tavern” and a traditional, very informal, usually family-owned neighborhood restaurant serving home-style cooking. The new tabernas and tascas place traditional touches in contemporary spaces and serve slightly more refined versions of classic Portuguese dishes. One of them is Taberna Ideal in the Santos district (Rua da Esperança 112-114), only a few months old but that is packed every night by crowds sharing traditional dishes and some excellent desserts. It has a very welcoming and relaxed ambience, which is also what Taberna do Chiado is hoping for. Also a few months old, this restaurant is located in the city’s trendiest neighborhood (Calçada Nova de São Francisco 2A), but instead of fusion cuisine it serves time-tested Portuguese dishes in a very contemporary-designed space. That formula apparently works, and the same owner has taken over an old “tasca” in Bairro Alto, transforming it into a new bar serving tapas-sized food as you drink. The name is “Tendinha da Atalaia” (Rua da Atalaia, 4), and you can listen to loungy sounds as you take bites of cheeses, prawns, or sausages, and have a beer, wiskey, or a wide range of alcoholic beverages. The decor was kept simple, adding only the names of Lisbon’s poets throughout much of the walls.
Yet another new old-is-new space is Tasca da Esquina, a restaurant in the Campo de Ourique neighborhood, on a corner where the popular “tourist tram 28” passes by towards the end of its journey. The man behind it is Vitor Sobral, a well-known chef who’s been at the acclaimed Terreiro do Paço restaurant downtown which is temporarily closed due to the construction works in Comercio Square. At this new restaurant, Sobral transforms “petiscos” (a Portuguese equivalent of the Spanish tapas) into full-blown dishes and serves them in a sophisticated yet informal environment.
While contemporary spaces offering fusion cuisine or the biggest international fashion labels quickly become favorites among the city’s hippest and youngest crowds, these new businesses offering a taste of a more authentic past are gaining an equal number of fans. And for tourists they are even more attractive, as they can be the quintessential Lisbon experiences.

Le Marais Café-Bar: A Piece of Paris Arrives in Lisbon

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Le Marais Cafe-Bar, Lisbon
A slice of one of Paris’ most charming neighborhoods has just opened in one of the most charming Lisbon districts. Found down the street from the Santa Catarina viewpoint, Le Marais Cafe-Bar opened this weekend as a hangout for the afternoon, and a place to relax in the evening. It offers comfortable sofas and chill-out music to invite you to stay and drink, or even have something to eat. It serves French specialties such as croque-monsieur (a grilled cheese and ham sandwich), French cheese plates, salads, and desserts, as well as wine by the glass although you may also order a bottle (and yes, champagne is one of the options). If you’re showing up for drinks after dinner you may also go for the cocktails and the one to try is the “Le Marais” made with champagne.
Try it as an alternative to the bars nearby in Bairro Alto and Bica and it will likely become a favorite.

Rua de Santa Catarina, 28
12PM-2AM (4AM on Fridays and Saturdays)

560 Restaurant: Traditional Meets Contemporary Lisbon in Bairro Alto

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Restaurante 560, Bairro Alto, Lisbon

The number 560 on a bar code lets customers know they’re buying a Portuguese product, and that has inspired a new restaurant in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto which serves contemporary Portuguese dishes made with traditional flavors. Restaurant 560 offers a variety of appetizers before an even number of meat and fish choices, as well as a vegetarian option. Only the dessert choices disappoint, with less than a handful to choose from, but if you want to skip that you also have the option of a selection of cheeses or cold cuts to finish your meal.

There are two entrances, one for each dining room. They both look very much the same, with large windows and covered in wood. That wood is on the floor, walls, and even the ceiling, only interrupted by square holes used for the lighting. The wall behind which stands the kitchen is covered in black tiles, again showing a modern or unconventional twist to a Portuguese tradition.

This is the work of Lisbon-based architects, transforming what used to be an internet cafe. It is now one of the most inspired and stylish restaurants in the neighborhood, and an excellent choice for those looking for a perfect balance between traditional and contemporary Lisbon in both flavor and atmosphere.

Go Lisbon’s 5 Newest Hostels

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Shiado Hostel, Lisbon

If you’ve been searching for a hostel in Lisbon, you probably have already read that the city has the world’s best hostels. The Lisbon hostel phenomenon started a couple of years ago and doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon, judging from the number of new choices opening practically every couple of months. Below are the five latest ones to be added to the list:

Not only is this the best one of the five new choices, but also one of the best in the city. The location alone (in the middle of Chiado) makes it one of the best options, but then there are the excellent facilities and services. It’s been furnished in a simple, comfortable, modern style, and offers free internet, breakfast, and a kitchen. In case you’re wondering, yes, that’s Shiado with “S.”

You’ll understand the name when you step inside. You’ll see a fun, colorful kitsch décor at this hostel facing Restauradores Square, meaning a unique place in an excellent location. You’ll be in a cool, relaxed space within walking distance to most of the city’s attractions and public transport, and can take advantage of the hostel’s internet and laundry services.

Young travelers who do their research before they arrive in Lisbon, know that the place to be in Lisbon at night is Bairro Alto. If you don’t want to have to worry about how to get back to your hotel after a night of drinking, the choice is Bairro Alto Travellers, a hostel located in quiet(er) Rua da Rosa. And here’s a special offer: You won’t find this hostel cheaper at any other hostel booking service online.

The interior of a 17th century building has been renovated to become this hostel decorated in a style that combines contemporary furnishings and classic details, supposedly to create the “ambiance of the modern Fado movement.” It’s an attractive place to lounge after a day of sight-seeing, with internet and laundry service.

Located uptown but in an excellent location with easy access to the center down Avenida da Liberdade, this guesthouse is for those budget travelers who still demand some level of quality service. So here they find a bright, tastefully-decorated space, a fully equipped kitchen, a TV lounge, and two cozy patios to start your day with a refreshing breakfast. And of course, there is free internet and wireless service.


Lisbon Shopping: The 10 Newest Shops in Bairro Alto

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Zeppelin Vintage shop in Bairro Alto, LisbonGo Lisbon Blog has recently told you about Bairro Alto’s new Bubbly and 100 Maneiras restaurants, but that neighborhood has been receiving a number of other new residents in the last few months. As Lisbon’s alternative to the shopping malls and chain stores downtown, Bairro Alto is the place for the quirkiest, most unique shops in the city. The fact that many of them stay open until midnight further helps make the neighborhood an increasingly popular shopping area. Now, joining the streetwear boutiques, the music stores, and the interior design shops are a number of new businesses worth checking out. Here are ten of them:

1. PorConceito
Travessa da Espera,18
Three of Portugal’s top fashion designers have gotten together to open a shop entirely dedicated to Portuguese creations. The idea is to promote and expand Portuguese fashion, and at this new Bairro Alto boutique you’ll find accessories such as sunglasses, belts, and purses, as well as perfumes, ceramics, and other products at reasonable prices to reach a market that can’t always afford designer items.

2. GDE Galeria de Exclusivos – Matéria Prima
Rua da Rosa, 195/197
This is really a space shared by two shops. It’s a fashion and accessories boutique offering pieces by Portuguese designers, but also a music, books, and magazine shop. On the boutique section you’ll find designer pieces using recycled materials, meaning everything you see is unique, special, and of a limited edition. As for the music shop, the books, DVD, and magazines you find next to the musical selections are also mostly music-related, much of it about electronic sounds.

3. Onitsuka Tiger – Sneakers Delight
Rua do Norte, 32
The Japanese brand’s first shop in Portugal opened in Bairro Alto so that it could better reach the market that wears its slightly alternative clothing and footwear. Although it’s been in existence for six decades now, this brand’s styles are very much contemporary and youthful, which is just what the typical Bairro Alto shopper looks for.

4. The Hood
Rua do Norte, 65
Exclusive and limited editions of Nike footwear is all that you’ll find at this new shop. When you get a pair of sneakers here, chances are very few other people you meet will be wearing the same, as everything sold here will not be found at any other shop in the country.

5. A Fabrica dos Chapeus
Rua da Rosa, 118
Except for baseball caps, hats have pretty much gone out of style since the 1950s. Maybe they’ll make a comeback with shops like Bairro Alto’s new A Fabrica dos Chapeus (“The Hat Factory”) which offers more than 300 styles. There’s one for every personality and wallet, as they can cost as little as 5 to as much as 50 euros.

6. Antes e Depois
Travessa da Espera, 47
The name of the shop means “Before and After,” and what you’ll find in it is really a trip to the past and back to the present. There are vintage toys that used to bring much joy to children before the era of the video games, most of them traditional Portuguese toys. They’re recreations of 1950s to 90s originals, so don’t expect to find children at the shop. This is really for adults looking to relive their childhood through their kids, or really for the child in all of us.

7. Cineccitá
Rua de O Século, 19
It used to be located uptown, but it moved to Bairro Alto because that’s where its typical customer usually hangs out at. That’s someone who’s a movie buff or pop culture geek, who enjoys collecting movie posters, postcards, t-shirts, and pretty much anything related to the world of cinema.

8. Zeppelin Vintage
Rua da Rosa, 40
As you can tell by the name, this is a vintage shop. It offers original furniture, mostly from the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and the United States, dating from the 1950s to 80s. And they’re no ordinary pieces – these are designer creations.

9. Pérola das Gaveas
Rua das Gáveas 44-46
Opened last December, this is a modern gourmet shop with a traditional/retro look (it used to be a neighborhood grocery shop). It offers Portuguese wines, jams, olive oils, cheeses, teas, and regional specialties from around Portugal.

10. Bairru’s Bodega
Rua da Barroca, 3
It’s not a shop, but it’s new. OK, so it’s been open for a few months now, but many still don’t know that this is one of the best daytime bars in the city, the perfect place for a glass of Portuguese wine at the end of the work day. There isn’t much room inside, but that’s actually perfect, since that may force you to stand outside and watch the Bairro Alto day get started (meaning night in this neighborhood). To be soaked up by the alcohol there are cheeses and hams, and everything is accompanied by an all-Portuguese soundtrack playing in the background.

100 Maneiras Restaurant, the Lisbon Way

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

100 Maneiras Restaurant, Lisbon
100 Maneiras Restaurant used to be one of Cascais‘ top dining choices, so it was sad news when it closed late last year. The good news is that it has reopened in the capital, and is now one of Lisbon’s most exciting new restaurants. It took over the space left empty by Olivier when that restaurant moved to Avenida da Liberdade, and has returned gastronomic excellence to that address in Bairro Alto.

What have also changed are the average prices, as the tasting menu that used to cost 68 euros is now between 25 and 30 euros (and here you can only get the tasting menu). The chef is Ljubomir Stanisic, a Yugoslavian (now Bosnian) who’s been living in Portugal for over a decade, and will continue to assure quality and creativity in the new Lisbon incarnation. What’s on the menu changes daily as only the freshest ingredients found that day at the Ribeira Market are used. Stanisic then spends the afternoon looking for several ways to come up with the most interesting dishes to surprise you at the table (“100 Maneiras” means “100 ways”). His preference goes to fish and lots of fresh vegetables, and everything is Portuguese-inspired.

The wine list is also outstanding, offering more than 100 carefully-selected labels that are priced at between 12 and 60 euros.
In the well-lit dining room you’ll only be accompanied by about 30 other people, as it’s a small but ideal place to try such an intimate dining experience.

Address: Rua do Teixeira, 35
Open from 8PM to 2AM (closed Sundays)

“Bubbly”: Lisbon’s Sparkling New Restaurant

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

UPDATE: This restaurant has closed.

Bubbly Restaurant, LisbonDespite the apparent economic crisis that you hear about on the news all the time, new businesses keep trying their luck. In Lisbon, the Bairro Alto district is still the place for that, and recently there was a new restaurant opening offering something special to make you relax and forget your troubles: in addition to being an attractive eatery, “Bubbly” is also a sparkling wine bar. You can have champagne or sparkling wine on your glass, but you’ll also see it listed as part of the sauce in a couple of the main dishes.

The space is small with an intimate atmosphere enhanced by low lighting and red tones, and because there are only about two dozen seats, it is recommended that you book a table in advance if you go on a weekend (phone: +351   21 155 6042).

If you choose to order some starters, note that they are a little expensive at € 8,60 to 13,80 each, while the entrees go from average to above-average-priced. There are pastas and risottos (from 10 to about 17 euros each), fish and seafood (from 14 to 19 euros) and meat dishes (from 15 to 19 euros) to choose from, and about a handful of pleasing desserts, with a couple of them including a few drops of champagne or sparkling wine, of course. Almost everything is Mediterranean-inspired, and the wine list will offer those “espumantes” (sparkling wines) to go along with it.

If you’re looking for a place to unwind in the afternoon, it also serves Spanish-style tapas starting at 5PM until 7:30PM, while for dinner you can stay until 2AM.
(For more restaurant options in the city, see GoLisbon’s Lisbon restaurant guide.)

Address: Rua da Barroca, 106 (Bairro Alto)
Closed on Sundays