Coffee in Lisbon?
Obrigada, Vinhotinto75. I've been following your posts and plan to follow up on some of your restaurant suggestions on a six day stay in Lisbon in September. Are there any cafes, other than the famous ones you mentioned, that you particularly like? We are staying in the Chiado neighborhood but will be visiting other neighborhoods as well.
Yes there are tons of cafés aside from the famous ones (Nicola, Pastelaria Suiça, À Brasileira, Antiga Confeitaria de Belém (Pasteis de Belém), and Confeitaria Nacional). Likewise, there are some views such as the Miradouros of Santa Catarina, São Pedro da Alcântara, and from Chapitô in Alfama that warrant a sit-down with a beverage.
Since you will be in Chiado there are many cafés other than À Brasileira. Some of them include:
A very eclectic and new café with incredible chocolate cake in Chiado is Fabulas
Café no Chiado
As I referenced above, there are almost an infinite amount of cafés in Lisboa in the most hidden corners, so you will never be without coffee or a bica. Nonetheless, here are some other larger ones throughout the city.
Pastelaria Estrela da Graça *A personal favorite*
Avenida da Liberdade
Confeitaria Marquês de Pombal
Praça das Flores
Pastelaria Pão de Canela *Another Personal Favorite*
Casa de Chá da Lapa *very chic*
Avenida da República
Praça do Comércio
Café Martinho da Arcada
Off Avenida da Liberdade - Rua Barata Salgueiro
Miradouro de Santa Catarina - Amazing views
Noobai Café or another Kiosk nearby
Let me know if you have any questions.
The most ubiquitous type of coffee that we drink here in Lisboa is called the bica (bea-ka). It is a short and very powerful espresso and ideally has the proper amount of crema and served in a demitasse cup. If you wanted an even shorter and more potent one than a normal bica you can order an Italiana or café curto. There is also the "bica cheia" (shay-a) if you prefer a longer one with a bit of water added. Likewise, you can always ask for a café duplo (doop-loo) which would be a double espresso.
The bica is an institution in Lisboa and can be found in bars, cafés, pastelarias, restaurants, and in just about any place (subway stations) around the city. When I'm out during the day, I often stop and have at least 4 or 5. I know people that drink as many as 10 a day! A bica usually will cost less than 1 Euro which is VERY cheap compared to other places in Europe. Some places like the famous cafés such as À Brasileira (see below) will usually charge more and I've never been a fan despite the longstanding history of that particular café.
Other coffee options include:
Galão escuro = small cup of brewed coffee with a small drop of milk
Galão claro = the same as above but with more milk
Meia de Leite = half milk and half coffee commong for breakfast
Galão = mostly milk with just a bit of coffee which is usually served in a glass.
Carioca = strong brewed coffee with copious amount of water (similar to the Americano served in coffee bars/chains in the States, UK, and Ireland)
Most restaurants, bars, and pastelarias (bakeries and small cafés) will usually just serve the bica (bica normal, cheia, and café duplo). You can always ask if they will make or offer one of the above too. However you can always go to one of the more famous cafés such as Pastelaria Suiça, Café Nicola, Confeitaria Nacional, Pasteis do Belém, or À Brasileira if you wanted to order something more elaborate.
Some common brands of coffee in Lisboa and in Portugal include:
Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions of if I can help in any way.