9 lovely hotspots in Lisbon (where the locals love to go)
Are you searching for some nice food and some fancy drinks in Lisbon? Then this blog is for you! I have been in Lisbon multiple times, for work and visiting friends. In this blog I share my favourite hotspots in Lisbon. With a lot of vegetarian and vegan options!
Important to know about hotspots in Lisbon
On Monday most restaurants are closed in Lisbon. Keep in mind Portuguese restaurants usually open their doors late for dinner, mostly after 6 in the evening. Portuguese people love to eat around 8 – 9 in the evening. So be aware that the most busy time in the restaurants is around these hours. Good thing is that most restaurants are open late: you can easily stay until midnight.
Most Portuguese people already have a warm meal for lunch. So expect a lot of hot dishes at the lunch menu. Do you not want a warm dish for lunch? Then you should check out a pastelaria, where you can get some coffee with a pastry. The most famous one is the Portuguese Pastel de Nata. In almost every bakery you can find these ones. Another great snack to try is Salame de Chocolate. It’s a cake made with egg, cookies and cacao. Some bakeries add some wine or rum to their recipe as well. Yum!
My favourite hotspots in Lisbon
1. Hip hotspot for lunch: Nicolau Lisboa
If you’re looking for an Instagram proof place in the city center of Lisbon then Nicolau Lisboa is the place to be. It’s popular among tourists and locals. They have a lot of vegetarian and vegan options. I had the vegan pancakes and a salty caramel latte with almond milk, and it was delicious. There are lots of tables inside, but there is a small outside terrace as well. Between 1 – 3 in the afternoon it can be busy: Portuguese people lunch a bit late (Dutch people are not used to that).
Address: Rua de São Nicolau 17 (in the district Baixa)
2. Urban jungle: Fauna & Flora
Fauna & Flora is a lovely place with lots of delicious lunch options. Most of them are vegetarian or vegan. It feel like you’re in an urban jungle, in the middle of Lisbon, because of the many plants around you. In the mood for pancakes? Then this is your place. And for vegans I would recommend the Fauna Toast. There are also delicious smoothies and good options for tea and coffee. There is WiFi in Fauna & Flora, although I don’t think it’s a great working place. Especially around lunchtime it can be super busy and there are almost no outlets to charge your laptop. But as a lunch hotspot in Lisbon Fauna & Flora is great!
Address: Rua de Esperanca 33 (in Estrela, west of Bairro Alto/Baixa)
3. Delicious Israeli food: Tantura
I’ve lived for a while in Israel and as some of you guys know it’s one of my favorite places in the world. One of the reasons is the amazing food. Really, Israel made a foodie out of me. This is also why I always want to try Israeli food in other countries. One of the best Israeli restaurants outside of Israel is definitely Tantura. Their hummus mixed with cauliflower is a speciality and one of my favorite hummus EVER. The owners are such sweet and welcoming people that run their restaurant with passion. It’s also not expensive to eat here: €10 – 15 euros per person for food and some wine. The restaurant is not super big, but it’s always busy here. Especially in the weekends you either have to wait or make a reservation beforehand.
Address: Rua do Trombeta 1 (in Bairro Alto)
4. Mexican food: Pistola y Corazon
If you’re in the mood for taco’s or a good cocktail you have to go to Pistola y Corazon, in the neighbourhood Baixa. It’s ALWAYS busy here, so keep that in mind. You probably have to wait a while. Luckily they give you some free nachos while waiting, so it ain’t that bad to wait, right? My favorite dish is the vegetarian taco’s with beans, cheese and chipotle sauce (but only take this one if you love spicy food!). They have a nice cocktail menu, so it’s also a great place to have a drink before going out.
Address: Rua da Boavista 16 (Baixa)
5. Vegan pizzas: Vizza New Age Pizzabar
It’s tough to find a good pizza as a vegan, because most pizzas do have cheese. But not at Vizza New Age Pizzabar. The mozzarella cheese that is used for the pizzas is made of rice! The restaurant is pretty new (October 2019) and it’s a bit outside of the city center, so expect mainly locals here. You don’t have a lot of choices; about 8 different pizzas. But they are all really delicious!
Address: Praca das Flores 57 (Misericórdia, north west of Bairro Alto)
6. Vegan kitchen: Princesa do Castelo
Are you in the neighbourhood Alfama and do you fancy some vegan lunch or dinner? Then you should go to Princesa do Castelo. It’s a small vegan restaurant, not far away from the castle. It’s one of the only places I’ve found so far where you can get a vegan pastel de nata (€2,50). The menu is not extensive, but they offer delicious meals. For example: I saw bean burgers, nachos and vegetarian goulash soup on the menu. The dishes change daily. Starters are €3-5 euros, main dishes €8-11 euros.
Address: Rua do Salvador 64A (in Alfama)
7. Interesting cocktails: Toca da Raposa
Toca da Raposa is a nice cocktail bar with an informal, domestic atmosphere. The bartenders are friendly and prepare the drink at the big table, in the middle of the room. You won’t see the ordinary cocktails like mojito and daiquiri here, but extraordinary drinks with a twist. For example a drink with a croissant liqueur and exotic fruit. The cocktails can be expensive for Portuguese terms (€11 euros), but during happy hour at Friday night you get the cocktails for half the price.
Address: Rua da Condessa 45 (in Bairro Alto)
8. Lovely rooftop bar: Lost In
Lisbon is known for the many hills and viewpoints, in Portuguese called miradouros. Do you fancy a drink with a nice view over the city? Then you should go to the rooftop bar Lost In. You can sit both inside (in the cold winter months) and outside. I love the relaxed atmosphere and the decoration is really bright and colourful. It’s a lovely place to have a glass of wine with friends and it’s not expensive (€4 euros for a glass of wine).
Address: Rua Dom Pedro V 56D (in Bairro Alto)
9. Best pastéis de nata in town: Pastéis de Belém
You can’t leave Lisbon without trying a pastel de nata. A pastel de nata is a Portuguese custard tart. You can find this snack in almost every bakery – pastelaria – in Lisbon. But if you only wish to have one you should go to Pastéis de Belém, in the neighbourhood Belém. No bakery knows the exact recipe of the original pastel de nata, except for this pastelaria. The first pastéis were made by nuns in the nearby Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. The nuns used the protein as starch for their clothes. In order not to lose the egg yolks they made tarts with the egg yolks. The nuns and the bakery then worked together to make more people try the pastéis de nata. It is said that only this bakery in Belém knows the original recipe.
A pastel de nata at Pastéis de Belém is €1,10 euros. Don’t be scared if you see a huge queue. It’s always busy here, but they help people pretty fast and efficient. It’s also possible to sit inside, but I would recommend you to order them and sit at the boulevard to eat them, while enjoying the sun and a sea breeze.
Address: Rua de Belém 84 (in Belém)
These were my favorite hotspots in Lisbon for good food and some fancy drinks. Do you know other places in Lisbon where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks? Let me and other travellers know in the comments below!