Perfect pastéis at Confeitaria de Belém
Whiffs of vanilla curl around your nostrils at the vaulted Confeitaria de Belém. Here the pastéis de nata – caramelised pastry shells, filled with silky custard cream and dusted with cinnamon – have been tempting locals to ditch the diet since 1837. Enjoy them while they’re hot with a bica (espresso) at the counter.
Rua de Belém 84-92, 1300 Lisbon
Chicken piri-piri at Bonjardim
Competition is hot, but Lisbon’s vote for the crispiest, juiciest spit-roasted chicken goes to rustic Bonjardim. Spicy piri-piri sauce gives it that extra kick. Sit on the pavement terrace when the sun’s out.
Travessa de Santo Antão 12, 1200 Lisbon
Sunset shots at A Ginjinha
Love it or hate it, ginjinha is Libson’s must-try tipple. The drink’s 19th-century inventor, a friar named Espinheira, still watches over cupboard-sized A Ginjinha, where locals spill out on to the cobbles at sunset with shot glasses of the sour cherry liqueur.
Largo de São Domingos 8, 1100 Lisbon
Divine shellfish and beer at Cervejaria Trindade
The hum of chatter and garlicky aromas fill vaulted 13th-century monastery turned beer hall Cervejaria Trindade. Tuck into plump Algarve shrimp and bacalhau espiritual (salt cod soufflé) washed down with beer.
Rua Nova da Trindade 50-51, 1200 Lisbon
The art of conversing at Pois Café
Find a spot amid the bookshelves, newspapers and sofas at Austrian-run Pois Café and you won’t want to leave. Lisboetas from all walks of life meet at this gallery café for strong coffee, Viennese pastries, fresh salads and sandwiches.
Rua Sao Joao Praça 95, 1100 Lisbon
Portuguese wines at Chafariz do Vinho
Award-winning wine writer João Paulo Martins selects Chafariz do Vinho’s full-bodied Douro reds, Alentejo whites and tawny ports, served in the converted galleries of an 18th-century aqueduct. Accompany them with pesticos (tapas) like duck carpaccio and bacon-wrapped dates.
Rua da Mãe d’Água, 1250 Lisbon
Heartfelt fado and soul food at A Baîuca
The warble of fado vadio (amateur fado) drifts through Alfama’s lantern-lit lanes, drawing you to A Baîuca’s intimate glow. Squeeze inside this tiled fado club and you’re one of the family. Dine on simple home-cooking as lights dim and locals take it in turns to exercise their vocal cords with songs of lost love, fate and husbands drowned at sea.
Rua de São Miguel 20, 1100 Lisbon