International Coffee Day – the historic cafés of Lisbon
Known as the city of the 7 hills and for its centuries of history, Lisbon has several cafes that are worth a visit.
It is already a habit of any Portuguese, to go to a café to drink an espresso (or bica, as it is known in Lisbon), either alone or accompanied. To celebrate International Coffee Day on April 14, we will tell you about some of the most emblematic cafes in the Portuguese capital.
Martinho da Arcada
Located in Praça do Comércio, it is the oldest café in Lisbon, giving life and aromas to those who pass or visit this historic point of the city. Initially a liquor store, it was at its opening on January 7, 1782, that it became a pub, and only in 1845 was it given the current name. For decades it was a place of choice for tertulias, meeting of illustrious artists, political figures and rulers. It is worth noting, this emblematic space was chosen as the second house of Fernando Pessoa, where he spent countless hours sitting writing, inspired by the hustle and bustle, as well as the conversations of the tables next door. A place of obligatory passage on your visit to Lisbon.
Famous for the house’s most sought-after specialty, its king cake, made from a recipe brought from Paris in 1850, the National Confectionery remains one of Lisbon’s cafes of choice. It was founded in 1829, continuing to be owned by the family that founded it and which keeps the space faithful to its origin. Other traditional delicacies are highly appreciated in this space, such as custard pastries. A quality space to sweeten the appetite of those who frequent it.
Currently on Garret Street since 1902, this pastry shop, founded by Élie Benard in 1868, was originally located on Rua do Loreto. It began as a famous aristocratic tea house, being sold in the 1980s. The new owner continued the business and it continues to be one of the most emblematic cafes in Lisbon. The space stands out for some memorable events, such as a dinner for Queen Elizabeth II in 1957, during her visit to Portugal. The specialty of the house, remains the appreciated croissants.
Situated on Rua Garret, in chiado, the Brazileira is probably the most famous and iconic café in Lisbon, being a mandatory stop for anyone, if nothing else but to pose next to the statue of Fernando Pessoa. Since its inauguration in 1905, and with the intention of serving authentic Brazilian coffee, it was frequented by several illustrious figures of Portuguese culture such as Almada Negreiros and of course, Fernando Pessoa. Its decoration is also a cause of admiration, modernist and Art Deco, no visit to Lisbon is completed without knowing this space.
Located on Avenida da República, it was the first major café of Avenidas Novas, inaugurated in 1922. No one is indifferent to its name, like the famous French palace, and its delicacies, from the famous croquettes to its pastry. Its décor is also a highlight and delights anyone, as well as the true atmosphere of a classic European cafe.
Founded by The Italian Nicola Breteiro, it is one of the most famous historical cafes in Lisbon, were it not also for its location, in the emblematic rossio square. Inaugurated in 1929, initially as a pub and with some renovations, it became a place of choice for the intellectual and social elite of the time. Among its usual clients stands out the poet Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage, who frequented this space often, having been immortalized with a statue. From its decoration, as is already the heritage in this type of spaces, to its menu, we highlight the steak with coffee sauce or the Nicole steak.
These are the suggestions of emblematic cafes that we leave you, although there are others in Lisbon that are also very interesting and worth knowing.
When you stay at The Portuense Hotel, you certainly won’t lack for things to do or visit in Lisbon.