Famous Cafe ‘A Brasileira’: wonderful Art Deco style & poet Pessoa’s table

Elegant shopping street Rua Garrett,  lIsbon, that leads from the Baixa to Chiado, is named after the author and poet Joao Almeida Garrett (1799-1854). The area is also an important cultural area, with several museums and theatres.

winkelen Rua Garrett2
Rua Garett, June 2008.

On the background cafe ‘A Brasileira’ s terrace. You will see young locals here just socialising or window shopping.

Lisbon shopping Rua Garrett building

Rua Garrett, Lisbon

The most famous street of Lisbon, that mixes traditional chic and modern commercial shops, is also beloved by tourists.

Pessoa statue Cafe A Brasileira tourists

Cafe ‘A Brasileira’ (Rua Garrett 120) is famous for having had the enigmatic poet Fernando Pessoa  (1888-1935) among his customers.

Pessoa still has his table in bronze on the terrace (the work of sculptor Lagoa Henriques).

Portugal’s famous writer has no idea he’s mobbed by lots of tourists, all day long!

The downstairs seating area is a favourite with locals for a set lunch of traditional Portuguese specialties. The cafe once was the setting for tertulías literárias (lively discussion groups) in which debate would often culminate in chair throwing, cup smashing and brawls.

Lisbon shopping: Rua Garett cafe a Brasileira outside

‘A Brasileira’ (‘The Brazilian woman’), opened in 1905 as a shop selling genuine Brazilian coffee.

It was the first shop to sell the ‘bica’, a small cup of strong coffee, similar to espresso.

Lisbon shopping Rua Garrett cafe A Brasileira inside

The interior of ‘A Brasileira’ is grandiose: decorated in Art Deco style, with a green-and-gold entrance, mirrored walls, brass fittings, and a long oak bar.

However: bad service and inattentive staff  for tourists. It’s a very popular tourist destination, and prices are high.

‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon: popular Vintage Shop & delicious sandwiches

Opened in October 2005, the ‘A Outra Face da Lua’ (‘the other side of the moon’) shop has an exclusive selection of vintage clothing and accessories, recycled clothing by Carla Belchior, wallpaper, tin toys, Melissa shoes and traditional Portuguese products like Clarim soap and Bordalo Pinheiro products. You can find true bargains, unique and original items, especially in the sales season.

Outra face de lua 1

‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon Vintage Shop

Amidst all these special products you can sit down and have something to eat. The cafe is famous for the sandwiches, salads and teas. Opened from Monday till Saturday (10h00 – 20h00).

A Outre face da lua 4

‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon Vintage Shop

The shop is located in downtown Lisbon (Baixa) at Rua da Assunção 22, and is open from Monday till Saturday (10h.00 – 20h00). New outlet store  just around the corner, Rua Douradores 119

Outra face de lua 2

‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon Vintage Shop

The terrace outside the shop is very popular, located right in the center of the city.

Lisbon A outre Faca da Lua new collection

‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon Vintage Shop

Visit their website

Outra face de lua 3

‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon Vintage Shop

SNOB bar restaurant Lisbon: elegant British sixties style & best steak in town

In Bairro Alto, near Principe Real square, you will find bar/restaurant SNOB.

Restaurant SNOB Lisbon Rua do Seculo 178

Restaurant ‘SNOB’ Rua do Seculo 178 , Lisbon

Ring the doorbell

If you are looking for this restaurant, don’t walk away thinking it’s closed. You have to ring the doorbell, like in many other Portuguese places. ‘SNOB’ is not a club, however. The reason for the closed doors is that the owners want to welcome you personally. Many foreigners are unaware of this and miss out on a great experience!

SNOB restaurant is a favourite of politicians, journalists, actors and artists. The restaurant is decorated elegantly in a British sixties style.

SNOB-Restaurant-Lisbon-Bairro Alto

Bar/restaurant SNOB Lisbon

The traditional Portuguese kitchen serves the best steak in town (according to many experts): the bife à SNOB. We can recommend the carne estufada (beef stew) and the feijoada a transmontana (a traditional dish of beans and pig meat).

SNOB-Restaurant-Lisbon-Bairro Alto-Owner

Bar/restaurant SNOB Lisbon: senhor Albina Oliveira

Clock without hands

Senhor Albina Oliveira and his brother are the proud owners for already 43 years. And they have every right to be proud to! The restaurant is open every day of the year, except December 24. The clock in this restaurant is famous, because it doesn’t have any hands. In other words: time is completely unimportant when you are enjoying a good meal…

Klok-SNOB-Restaurant-Bairro Alto-Lisbon

Restaurant ‘SNOB’ Rua do Seculo 178 , Lisbon.

Website

Restaurant Portugalia Lisbon: ‘beerhouse’ (Cervejaria), history & delicious seafood

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

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio, popular in Lisbon to taste a Ginja liqueur & spit the pit

Try a typical Portuguese liqueur! Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ is a city center tourist attraction. When walking to ‘Restauradores’ or ‘Rossio’ in Lisbon’s city center, be sure to stop at the ‘A Ginjinha’ cafe, Largo de São Domingos 

Lisbon Rossio Ginja

Cafe A Ginjinha’ Rossio Lisbon near Teatro Theater Nacional Doña Maria II

This is a very tiny bar where a maximum of three people can go in at a time and order a Ginja.

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

Lisbon A Ginjinha’ cafe Lisbon tourist attraction 1

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio Lisbon. Next door: famous traditional hat shop

Ginja or Ginjinha as most people call it, is a liqueur made of a cherry-like berry called (not surprisingly) Ginja. The berries are fermented into a brandy that’s slightly bitter, slightly sweet and very sticky.

Students in September drinking ginja

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio Lisbon in September

Lisbon students in September, a brand new school year…

You can order a Ginja for little money and with or without a cherry in it. The Ginja’s are on the bottom of the bottle and it requires a fair bit of skill to get just one berry into a glass. Most Portuguese people like to have their Ginjinhacom Ginja’, with a cherry in the glass. If you don’t want it, ask for one ‘sem Ginja’ (without a Ginja).

A Ginjinha near Restauradores Lisbon Portugal

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio Lisbon

Spit the pit

The older Portuguese men drink their Ginja in one time. After this, they suck on the berry for a while and spit the pit onto the streets. Take care: if you approach this square, the pavement can become quite sticky 😉 😉

Lisbon A Ginjinha’ cafe Lisbon tourist attraction 3 Rossio city center

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio Lisbon

There’s no specific time for drinking a Ginja, the Portuguese tend to drink all day. Where to buy a bottle of Ginja in Lisbon (or order via the website?

Lisbon A Ginjinha’ cafe Lisbon tourist attraction 2

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio Lisbon

Nearby small Ginja café ´Os Amigos da Severa

Nearby in historical área Mouraria: small café ´Os Amigos da Severa´: also really worth a visit for tasting Ginja liqeur: 1 euro! 🙂

Saude! (cheers)