I hope you noticed the cafes where I shot the coffee post. They are my favourite cafes of Lisbon. All old, full of history and intrigue.
Café Versailles. avenida da república 15, at sardanha. Café meia de leite €1.20
Surely the grandest dame of them all, the Versailles is pure blue-rinse glamour. Mirrored, chandeliered and bejewelled, and with a pastelaria counter running the entire length of the interior, well… ’tis positively palacial. Good place to take visiting royals.
Padaria Sao Roque, rua dom pedro v, between sao roque and principe real. Bica 55c:
Say you’re down on Avenida Liberdade, at Restauradores, hungry and needing coffee. You could take the Elevador da Gloria up to Bairro Alto. At the top you take a few pics at the big lookout, keep walking up the road, past some antique shops. Cross the road, on a little corner of a laneway called rua da rosa is this little character-filled gem. Their bread, pastries and baked savouries are great, but you might have to divert your eyes from the confectionery delight of the interior design to order. Some seriously nice tiles with your bica.
Leitaria A Camponeza, rua dos sapateiros, baixa. Cafés garoto & carioca 55c:
This blue-tiled marvel is hard to miss on time-warp classic rua sapateiros, through the archway off Praça Dom Pedro IV (Rossio).
It has a lovely art nouveau interior. Opened in 1908. Somewhere to stop after visiting the art nouveau peep show place a few doors up.
A Brasileira, rua garret 120, chiado. Um Abatando €1.80
No doubt the most touristy on this list, and possibly the most expensive coffee in Portugal, the Brasileira is nonetheless a landmark with a fabulously neo-baroque ceiling. I know the Brasileiras in Porto and Braga and they are also standouts for interior design and bespoke furniture.
Confeitaria Naçional, praça da figueira 18B/C. Um Galão €1.10
I don’t go to Lisbon without visiting the Naçional. Spectacular design inside and out but more importantly the most mouth-watering window selection of pastries in the country. No, make that the world. If heaven is like this I’d better start saying my prayers.
Café Martinho Da Arcada, praça do comerçio. Um Bica/italiana/cortado 75c
The Martinho is homage to the idea that a café is far more than a place that serves coffee. If you are drinking coffee in Lisbon, you should have already met the poet Fernando Pessoa. Here he is at the Martinho, where coffee is poetry.