The Best Bars in Lisbon
From refined and stylish hotel bars to rustic neighborhood tascas popular with students and workers, we’ve rounded up Lisbon’s best places for sipping port, beer, tea, coffee, and vinho. We’ve found the best bars, cafés, and terraces to drink in this hilly Portuguese capital.
R. da Rosa 107, 1200-382 Lisboa, Portugal
Wine-and-cheese bars are ubiquitous in Lisbon and most follow the same formula: Taste a few wines, order your favorite by the glass, and pair it with a plate of snacks. The beloved BA Wine Bar do Bairro Alto is no different in that regard, but its similarities end there. Its intimate, friendly service doesn’t feel touristy at all—a rare thing in otherwise nightlife-heavy Bairro Alto—and its discerningly sourced wines, cheeses, and charcuterie (black-pork presunto, a tasty ham), all of which come from artisanal producers, will floor you. For these reasons and more, this place is always packed; don’t even think about showing up without a reservation. In fact, you should consider making a reservation two weeks before you plan to go.
Calçada do Combro 58, 1200-123 Lisboa, Portugal
Much of Lisbon’s appeal lies in its sheer beauty. From the rust-toned rooftops across the whitewashed Alfama district to the Pombaline architecture of Baixa, the city is very easy on the eyes. For the very best views, head skyward to Park Bar, located on the rooftop of a Bairro Alto parking garage. There, you’ll find a just-trendy-enough mix of scenester residents and tourists, sipping on white-port-and-tonics while enjoying expansive vistas from the Tagus River to the bell towers of Santa Catarina Church.
Rua da Escola Politécnica 4, 1250-096 Lisboa, Portugal
A Lisbon favorite, this family-run chocolate-and-coffee café is continually showered by locals with love and devotion. Here, both the coffee and cocoa beans come from São Tomé and Príncipe. The former are roasted in-house and perfectly executed in one of Lisbon’s best espressos, while the latter are churned into artisan chocolate bars in outstanding flavors like ginger, orange, sea-salt-and-pepper, and toffee. If you order an espresso, you’ll get a free sample of chocolate so you can suss out your favorite before committing to a pricier piece of heaven.
83, R. do Diário de Notícias 73, 1200-365 Lisboa, Portugal
Who doesn’t need a pain killer once in a while? Take it in the form of a glass of wine from a pharmacy that is more than 100 years old, where the drugs were replaced by wine bottles in the glass-door cabinets. To accompany the wine, you can taste different Portuguese products or you can choose a plate with several types of sausage and cheese. The tables are made of old wine barrels and you can sit on some wooden benches.
41 Travessa Henrique Cardoso
True to its name, this is an old bar, with Victorian-style décor, stained glass, art nouveau lamps, and red velvet sofas. You can find a long list of cocktails, as the manager has history in the Miami cruise ship industry. From the food menu, try the Old Vic steak—or some toast or a sandwich, if you want something lighter. There is a button to call the waiter and another one to regulate the light intensity.
Alto de São Francisco 21, 1250-228 Lisboa, Portugal
Decorated by Luís Pinto Coelho, who also decorated “A Paródia” and “Pavilhão Chinês,” this historic bar is 40 years old. With an art nouveau décor, the space is very cozy. A piano serves as a table, and shelves are full of sculptures and busts. Journalists and people with connections to politics used to frequent this place, but that was some years ago. Nowadays, it’s a good choice for a conversation with friends, without the chaos of bigger bars like the ones in Bairro Alto.
6th floor, sala I, Commercial Center Martim Moniz, Praca Martim Moniz, 1100-341 Lisboa, Portugal
The big advantage of Topo, on the sixth floor of a shopping center on Martim Moniz Square, is its top-level location with views of the castle, Mouraria neighborhood, and more. Outside on the terrace, grab one of the wooden benches and linger over a cocktail accompanied by tasty Portuguese appetizers.
120 Rua Garrett
Open since 1905, A Brasileira was once the choice of Fernando Pessoa, the great Portuguese poet. You can sit beside him just outside, next to his bronze statue. Back in the day, this place was a hangout for writers, artists, and journalists. The location, in Garret Street, is great—just a step from the popular meet-up spot Largo de Camões. You can get there by subway (Baixa/Chiado Station), tram (Nº28), or on foot (go down Misericórdia Street, up Alecrim Street, or up Garret Street)—or come from one of the many streets of Bairro Alto).
Rua da Mãe d'Água à Praça da Alegria, 1250-000 Lisboa, Portugal
This stone building, called the Mother-of-Water Fountain, is an old cistern where Lisbon locals used to fetch the water that flowed to the city along the monumental Águas Livres Aqueduct. Now, inside the cool walls, a wine bar has been constructed. Journalist and wine critic João Paulo Martins has selected the 300 labels stocked in the wine cellar (some stored in bottles along the stone chutes that used to rush with water). Small plate selections like carpaccio, seafood, cheeses, and different kinds of cold cuts can be ordered to accompany your wine. During happy hour, between 6 and 8:30 p.m., several wines are available by the glass or in curated flights.
Largo São Domingos 8, 1100-201 Lisboa, Portugal
A Ginjinha was the first establishment in Lisbon to commercialize the drink called Ginjinha. Ginjinha is a liqueur made with ginja berries, aguardiente (Portuguese brandy), sugar, water, and cinnamon. Francisco Espinheira, a Galician friar of the Church of Santo Antonio, put together all these ingredients, and the result was this sweet and very good liqueur. In Óbidos, the drink is served in chocolate cups, about the size of shot glasses. (They make a very nice gift.) You can eat the cup after drinking the liqueur, or just pour more into the cup. Before having a drink, visit São Domingos Church. It’s worthwhile.
Praça das Flores 62, 1200-192 Lisboa, Portugal
American sommelier Brian Patterson, his wife, Jenn, and their massive Leonberger-Retriever mix, Bear (the Beartender!) are the consummate hosts at Lisbon’s newest, most interesting, and surely smallest wine bar. Located on pretty Praça das Flores in Principe Real, Patterson curates his all-natural wine list with a laser focus on small producers from around Portugal. He sources his finds on reconnaissance drinking missions around the country, including some of Portugal’s more underdog wine regions. His updated-daily chalkboard menu includes a half dozen or so offerings by the glass (€3.50-7) along with two batch cocktails, as well as intriguing bar snacks to accompany (his hummus is destination-worthy in and of itself). The bar doubles as a bottle shop; rightfully so, there is only room at the bar for about 11 provided everyone is sucking in their wine guts. File under: Wine Revelation.