Restaurant São Cristóvão Lisbon: cheap Cape Verdean African dishes & owner Maria Levy

Restaurant São Cristóvão  is a tiny place in Lisbon’s historical city center Mouraria, one of the oldest areas of Lisbon .

Tiny Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon Owner Maria Levy

Owner Maria Levy in her restaurant São CristóvãoMouraria Lisbon

Short term rentals: my 3bedroom authentic apartment (110 m2) in the historical part of Lisbon with a lovely patio, 10 minutes walk from this place

This small family-run restaurant is famous for its Cape Verdean- and other African dishes. The menu also includes typical Portuguese cuisine such as codfish (bacalhau) and sardines (sardinhas)

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Moamba de Galinha (Angolan chicken stew), a very popular dish: € 6

Restaurant São Cristóvão is a favorite place among locals, with great food. You never pay more than € 7 for a dish. Mufete, a typical dish from Angola with fried fish, sweet potatoes, beans, peppers and cassava: € 6. Drinks: Super bock beer € 1.  Ginja , liqueur made by infusing ginja berries, a  favourite liqueur of many Portuguese: € 1,50.

Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon3 owner Maria Levy

Restaurant São Cristóvão in Lisbon owner Maria do Livramento Levy

Maria Levy: ” I was born in Cape Verde , Santiago,  the largest, greenest, most African island of Cabo Verde, one of Portugal’s former African colonies. 43 years ago I moved to Portugal and around 30 years ago I opened this restaurant in Alfama”. “We can provide seating space for up to 32 people”. And, after dinner: “You must try a ponche (punch) de Cabo Verde” (€ 2).

Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon pastel starter

Pastel de Milho (corn), starter 1.80 euro, originally from Cape Verde

History: the Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited when the Portuguese discovered it in 1456. African slaves were brought to the Cape Verdian islands to work on Portuguese plantations. As a result, Cape Verdeans are mulattos (mestiços in Portuguese), who have mixed African and European origins.

Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon Maria Levy grandchildren

Maria Levy and her grandchildren. The walls in the restaurant are covered with paraphernalia from the Cape Verdian Islands and pictures.

Cape Verde split away from Portugal in 1975, nowadays Lisbon is home to most of the Cape Verdean diaspora, although large communities are also to be found in Senegal, the north-east United States, Holland, France and Italy.

Restaurant Sao Cristovao Lisbon Febr 2013 dancing

Restaurant São Cristóvão: Ans de Graaf, a friend and owner Maria Levy

Maria loves the Afro-Portuguese music that fills her eatery and she invites people to dance after their dinner.

Popular singer Cesária Évora, “the Barefoot Diva’, has made Cape Verde famous all over the world. She generally performed in bare feet, as a sign of solidarity for the large number of women and children back home in the Cape Verdean Islands who cannot afford shoes. Cesária Évora: ‘Saudade’  (youtube).  More (wikipedia)

Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon street

Restaurant São CristóvãoRua de São Cristovão 28-30,  Mouraria Lisbon. Phone (00351) 914752102. Open from 12:00 to 24:00, also on Sunday.

In case you visit Lisbon for the first time: this restaurant is not easy to find. From the city center walk to Rua da Madalena and climb the stairs from Escadinhas de São Cristóvão

Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon how toreach

Stairs to restaurant São Cristóvão from Rua da Madalena, Mouraria Lisbon

District Mouraria ( ‘where the Moors live’) is one of the oldest areas in Lisbon. Nowadays the Moorish influence is still present, like the tiny streets and stairs. You feel like walking in a kasbah in the Middle Ages!

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Rua de São Cristovão  Lisbon, wall picture of Joaquim, a man who lived in this street. Created by British photographer Camilla Watson , who has been living in this area for 6 years.

Restaurant ‘Adega de São Roque’ Lisbon, football-fan favorite & hanging scarves

Football is the most popular sport in Portugal and also in Lisbon. There ‘s a lot of very good seafood restaurants, but a big TV-screen is also very important….! The Portuguese even watch football (futebol) while enjoying a dinner at a restaurant!

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Lisbon, Pastelaria Suíça, Rossio, a cafe/restaurant very popular with tourists

But this afternoon the city center was filled with blue skirts and blue jackets, just arrived in Lisbon, waiting for the match. The football supporters kill the time by drinking Cola 😉   . FC Schalke vs Benfica, Uefa Champions League.

Football lovers in Lisbon WK 2010

Restaurant 'Adega de São Roque' Lisbon tiles and football scarfs

Restaurant Cervejaria ‘Adega de São Roque’ , Rua da Misericordia, 120, Lisbon

Near the heart of the Bairro Alto area,  there’s an excellent (seafood) and unique decorated restaurant. The walls and the ceiling are covered with European football team scarves and with a mix of remarkable photos of public figures who are passing through there over time.

Restaurant 'Adega de São Roque' Lisbon European football team scarfs ceiling

The ceiling in this restaurant is totally covered with European football scarves

Here you will find not only an excellent restaurant but also a nice pub and the most diverse and traditional Portuguese snacks. The seafood cataplana and the grilled fish plate are delicious, but if you prefer pork or a steak, it’s also on the menu.

Restaurant 'Adega de São Roque' Lisbon European football team scarfs 4

Restaurant/Cervejaria ‘Adega (Cellar) de São Roque’ Lisbon in the afternoon. They are open every day from 12:00 – 24:00, so if you like to come in at 17:00 you’re welcome!

Cervejaria means ‘beerhouse’, where beer is produced (or used to be produced) and where you can eat as well. There are many Cervejaria’s in Lisbon. Most Cervejaria’s have a restaurant and a bar where you can stand and drink beer and eat snacks like a ‘prego’ which is a steak sandwich.

Lisbon Adega Sao Roque Bairro Alto football scarves Carne de porco à Alentejana

Carne de porco à Alentejana, 11,50 euro, glass of wine 1.50, bread 0,50

Pork stew with clams, potatoes, coriander and garlic is a traditional Portuguese dish, particularly near the Atlantic coast, where clams are easily found. It is called alentejana as being in the manner of the Alentejo, a province of Portugal. Delicious! Recipe YouTube

Lisbon Adega Sao Roque Bairro Alto 3

Senhor Albano Matos (l). Nice people, excellent food and good service.

Restaurant/Cervejaria ‘Adega (Cellar) de São Roque’ Lisbon, Rua da Misericordia, 120, Lisbon, tel. (+351) 213 432 167

Lisbon Adega Sao Roque Bairro Alto toilet 2

The toilet in the restaurant: Um de nós é gay (one of us is gay….)

Traditional fado Lisbon: taverna ‘Tasca do Jaime’ (Fado Vadio), close to famous fleamarket ‘Feira da Ladra’

Enjoy the real fado while munching on freshly-fried cod pastries in the late afternoon in Tasca do Jaime, one of the most intriguing of Lisbon’s ‘tavernas’. Traditionally, the Fado houses are popular and a meeting spot for families and friends. Close to Lisbon’s legendary flea market ‘Feira da Ladra’

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon: real fado music

You won’t always find the best fadistas, but don’t let that scare you off. This is real traditional fado, out of the tourist circle, where the fado singers can enter spontaneously and improvise.

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon, Saturday afternoon

As soon as somebody gets up to sing the audience stops talking and all the attention is on the singer. The Portuguese have a lot of respect for the performers and it is of utmost importance that the singers can concentrate and express their emotions in their singing. When the song is about to finish the audience starts applauding and cheering.

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon

Fado Vadio on Saturdays, Sundays and public Holidays from 16:00 to 20:00, Rua da Graça 91, Lisbon.

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon

Fadistas, as fado singers are known, often wear a black shawl of mourning, as one of Maria Severa did after her heartbreak. Her story epitomizes fado’s connection with saudade, “a feeling of longing or nostalgia”.

UPDATE 2015

Restaurant Portugalia Lisbon & Cervejaria’s, beer houses & seafood restaurants in Lisbon

A Cervejaria is a ‘beerhouse’, where beer is produced (or used to be produced) and where you can eat as well. There are many cervejaria’s around Lisbon and the quality of the food is normally very good.

Portugalia cervejaria Lisbon Avenida Almirante Reis

‘Portugalia’ restaurant on Avenida Almirante Reis (near Praça do Chile). Most Cervejaria’s have restaurant and a bar where you can stand and drink beer and eat snacks like a ‘prego’ which is a steak sandwich. The steak is grilled on the plate and comes with garlic in a white roll. The Portugese eat the prego’s (literally: nails, referring to the full stomach after eating one) with mustard or piri-piri. A popular snack as well is a small plate of cooked shrimps (camarão) served with sea salt and a part of lemon. You can ask for camarão grande (big ones), camarão medio (medium) or camarão pequeno (baby shrimps).

Portugalia cervejaria Lisbon Avenida Almirante Reis 3

Portugese love there seafood with beer (or with ice cold vinho verde). So on the restaurant menu in a Cervejaria, you will find a lot of seafood (marisco). You can have big shrimps (gambas or camarão tigre), scampi (lagostim) and crab (sapateira). Cooked fresh seafood tastes fantastic with mayonaise, grilled seafood goes very well with ‘molho de limão’. This is a sauce of butter, lemon and a bit of piri-piri. If they don’t bring it, ask for it. Like in all Portugese restaurants, it’s not strange to be specific about how your food is prepared or accompanied.

The crab, sapateira, is cooked and the body is open and filled with a mixture of (among others) crab meat, vinagre, onion, pickles, tomates, eggs, parsley and port wine.

Then there’s the steaks. The steaks can be grilled or fried in a pan with butter. Ask for a steak in ‘molho de cerveja’, ‘beersauce’. It comes with a fried egg on top.

Famous cervejaria’s are restaurants Portugalia and Trindade. Trindade, situated on Rua de Trindade (near Bairro Alto), is a massive restaurant which has a beautiful garden where you can sit during summertime. Prices are a bit above average, but the decoration makes it worthwhile.

Trindade website

Cervejaria Portugalia has become a brand over the years (There are even Portugalia restaurants in shopping centers and outside of Lisbon). You will find many families with children and it’s a bit touristy. The original 80 year old Portugalia restaurant on Avenida Almirante Reis (near Praça do Chile) is certainly the best one you can choose. This is the most traditional Portugalia you can find. Before entering the restaurant you will pass the messy bar where many men hang out, eat pregos and drink beer.

Don’t get us wrong, Portugalia is certainly worth a visit. The shrimps in garlic and olive oil (below) are a treat. Fans can order merchandising on the Portugalia website.

Portugalia cervejaria Lisbon Avenida Almirante Reis Shrimps Garlic