Although we had some phenomenal sit-down meals, at Cervejaria Ramiro and Cervajeria Baleal, most of our eating in Lisbon, Portugal, experiences involved wandering around the seven hills (or at least a few of them) and eating standing up. We ate several of our bifanas at O Trevo while standing. We ate a lot on our feet.
The bakeries, or pastelerias, in Portugal are different from those I associate with New Jersey or New York, where you go in, buy some bread or cookies and take them to go, hopefully in a white, cardboard box with red and white striped string.
The pastelerias also are not like cafes – do not look for many tables with people sitting inside, sipping coffee. Some may have a few tables outside, but be careful if you sit there – they will charge you more to sit down. Otherwise, eat and drink at the barra, standing, and do like the locals do in Lisbon.
Whether a bifana, soup, a quick beer, a coffee, or a pastry – we ate standing up. In most countries, we stop for a coffee to watch the passersby and to rest our feet, but not so in Lisbon. Eating in Lisbon is an active experience.
I enjoyed popping in and eating, particularly the pastries. The pasties de nata became a quick favorite – a creme filled tart, flamed on the top. Some of the best were at Folar de Chaves in Chiada.
We had several other pastries that I have no name for:
A turnover with an entire apple inside
A holeless donut type pastry with cinnamon
Rice pudding with nutmeg.
And, it was not just the pastries that we ate standing up, but we drank standing up too – beer, wine and, Ginja, a cherry liquor, we saw Anthony Bourdain drinking on No Reservations.
We checked out A Ginja, where Tony drank and also another Ginja shop place nearby that stayed open late. We popped in for a small, white cup of cherry liquor, with liquor soaked cherries in the bottom. We stood around in the street with our baby cup, chatting it up with different people.
All this, while standing.
My feet needed a rest. . . .eating in Lisbon is exhausting!
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And, for more Portuguese culinary travel inspiration, check out our Portugal food travel guide.[table id=6 /]
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For more tips on traveling Lisbon and exploring Portugal through food, check out our Portugal Food Travel Guide.
Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new food and drink destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together they have traveled to over 70 countries.