Restaurant São Cristóvão is a tiny place in Lisbon’s historical city center Mouraria, one of the oldest areas of Lisbon .
Owner Maria Levy in her restaurant São Cristóvão, Mouraria Lisbon
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 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).
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.
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 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, Rua de São Cristovão 28-30, Mouraria Lisbon. Phone (00351) 914752102. Open from 12:00 to 24:00, also on Sunday.
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!