Olá Lisboa! Eating in Lisbon.

August 29, 2014

Topshop shorts / Givenchy bag / vintage sunglasses / H&M slider sandals

When shopping for a city break which itinerary reads something like 'Eat. Sleep. Eat. Repeat' it is recommended that one buys clothing at least two sizes up. Belt and knot tightly when needed ie. when taking outfit photos such as above, and let out after one decadent meal too many.

I've already covered touristy must-dos in Lisbonan off the beaten track-journey south to nudist beach Praia do Meco, and a couple of restaurants; John Malkovich's sleek three floor riverside warehouse behemoth Bica do Sapato and the colourfully cozy hidden gem that is Casa de Pasto. So as far as Lisbon restaurants reviews go I've presented two very different places rather on opposite ends of the gastronomical spectrum. But what about everything in between? Here, I offer all of Lisbon's edible delights that Henry and I got to sample during our three (four?) day stay. Our diet consisted mostly of seafood---I read somewhere that the key to the Portuguese's contentment is hot evenings whiled away with friends and huge pans of clams swimming in garlic white wine sauce---and of pudding, blitzing our way through tarts and ice-cream.

SEAFOOD

1) CERVEJARIA RAMIRO


This no-frills family run beer and seafood restaurant is a hit with the locals, as evidenced by the always full tables of bib-clad Portuguese enthusiastically tearing apart plates of prawns over animated (and quite 'musical', I love the melodious lilt of the Portuguese accent) conversation. People come here and eat for hours, getting stuck in the choices of fresh tiger prawns, scarlet prawns, crabs, clams, and even goose barnacles for the more intrepid. The seafood is excellent, so fresh that it's still swimming in the aquariums, and all at affordable prices. Henry and I ordered a whole lobster, and our waiter (a gruff older man whose nationality, the people at the next table jokingly said, is not known because he has never opened his mouth to utter a word of any language) came up behind me and presented for our approval a huge, still kicking lobster and raised an eyebrow. I screamed, the whole restaurant laughed, and our waiter took my reaction as a resounding yes. The lobster came to €80 I believe, but it was chock full of eggs (lobster caviar!) so money well spent.




Lobster caviar and lobster on buttery bread that somehow keeps magically replenishing itself on the table.




A typically tiny Portuguese beer.


The exterior of Cervejaria Ramiro. You can't miss it. Avenida Almirante Reis, 7 1150 Lisboa, Portugal.

2) BICA DO SAPATO

Lisbon's "scene-savvy, design obsessed jet se"' flock to this fashionable in Lisbon for their evening fix of people-watching, gossip, and pre gaming of before a night out at Lux next door. A former boat factory in the riverside warehouse district, Bica do Sapato is now three restaurants under one roof; a minimal sushi bar upstairs, the more formal restaurant on the ground floor, and the 'cafeteria' outside where we dined and enjoyed views of the harbour. Read my Bica do Sapato review in full, here


Avenida Infante Dom Henrique Armazém B, Cais da Pedra, Santa Apolónia, 1900-436 Lisboa, Portugal

3) Bar do Peixe


Strictly speaking this isn't Lisbon. We stumbled into this beachside bar for a break between sunning ourselves on the hot Portuguese sand and freezing our tails off in the cold Atlantic waters. Bar do Peixe is like any other beachside bar but for platters of extra-fresh seafood (it must be a Portuguese thing), tiny beers (another national treasure), and a killer kebab. I misunderstood it to be a grilled octopus skewer, but it turned out to be a meal in itself. This.



Read more about Bar do Peixe and Meco Beach in this blog post here.

4) TABERNA DA RUA DAS FLORES


Now this is the sort of 'in the know' place that I love stumbling upon. Blink and you'll miss it, the  entrance to Taberna Da Rua Das Flores is a door on a narrow, sloping one-way street (an alley really) on Rua Das Flores beside the fire station. The place is small but the inevitable wait for a table to be free isn't at all painful. Henry grabbed another tiny Portuguese pint of beer and we stood outside, propped up on a giant barrel as a makeshift bar and waited to be seated. Inside, the place is narrow and cozy, with patrons sitting on mismatched furniture or if you're lucky, what I call 'lover's corner'---cushions propped up on the shortest set of steps I've ever seen, with the steps themselves the table (You'll see).  The menu is ever changing and you can't go wrong with whatever you order, the seafood is excellent, as per Portugal, and the friendly staff gave us schnapps (strong, fiery kick to the throat!) on the house.







Razor clams with freshly squeezed lemon juice.


Seared, glazed fish (very helpful) with sesame seeds.

Rua das Flores 103, 1200-194 Lisboa, Portugal

5) CASA DE PASTO

No snippet I post here nor lengthy blog post can do justice to the ocular overload that is Casa de Pasto. But I certainly tried, and you can read that blog post, here


Chewy octopus---Henry: "Four legs for us each!"---with kale. 

Cais do Sodé, first floor. Rua de São Paulo 20, 1200 Lisboa, Portugal.

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Henry doing his signature sexy squint. 

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SWEET THINGS

1) SANTINI'S

In the heart of Lisbon's shopping district, just around the corner from Zara (in every city I go to I use Zara as a landmark, it is my Trafalgar Square), there is always a queue for Santini Chiado gelato spilling out of the gelataria and out onto the cobblestoned streets. Believe me when I say, yet again, that the queue is worth the wait. Seating was scarce so Henry and I perched ourselves on a stoop outside beside the shop windowwatched a jazz band busk right outside, and the occasional skateboarder sitting on his board and zooming past, downhill. A perfect pit stop after a day of shopping in Lisbon. Be sure to check out nearby A Vida Portuguesa on Rua Anchieta for handicrafts by local artisans.








Raspberry and chocolate for him, melon and pear for me. I enjoyed mine so much that I came back for seconds.


Rua do Carmo 9 1200-093 Lisboa, Portugal

2) TARTINE



Another pastry pit stop in the city centre, perfect for after a visit to nearby Chiado National Museum of Contemporary Art.

Rua Serpa Pinto 15A - Chiado, Lisbon 1200-443, Portugal

3) CASA DE PASTO


Just take my advice and order the nut cake. You'll thank me later. 

Cais do Sodé, first floor. Rua de São Paulo 20, 1200 Lisboa, Portugal.

And finally, the iconic...

4) PASTEIS DE BELEM

This is a pastry shop steeped in history as much as the air in the kitchen is steeped with the scent of egg custard. Pasteis de Belem was born out of a fight for survival after the liberal revolution of 1820 shut down the convents and monasteries of Portugal, hence displacing clergies and labourers. An enterprising soul from the Heironymite Monastery offered sweet pastries for sale in the shop which quickly became known as 'pasteis de belem' the pastries of Belem. Even today the pastries in the shop follow the same secret recipe of the early nineteenth century. Surely that means that every bite counts as a slice of history? As with all things worth waiting for in Lisbon, there is an epic queue that trails all the way down Rua de Belem, but it moves quickly. Admire the windows displays of own brand tea sets, jams, and chocolates to bring home in pretty blue and white boxes. Order, like I did, at least six egg custard tarts at once and take it to the nearby park for a little picnic.









Oh my God I miss this so much...the creamy custard, the rich sweet flavours, the flaky pastry... 

Rua Belém 84-92, 1300-085 Lisboa, Portugal

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Those are my gastronomical recommendations for Lisbon. It's very easy to overindulge, like Henry and I did, and end up with such food comas that one ends every evening sprawled out across the bed like a python. When confronted with the product of your gluttony, you can do two things, either say 'I have no regrets' or take this piece of advice--- 


Yes.

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed my Lisbon blog posts.


x

2 comments:

  1. ERM. You went to a place called LUX and didn't take a photo of it for me!? You, lady, are a totally shit friend! Hmph.

    Love you really x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We DIDN'T go to Lux! Why would we go to some club named after you when I have the real deal all to myself? ;) Love you more hehe. x

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