Lisbon has always been somewhere I’ve wanted to visit, but for some reason never got around to going. I have zero excuses for this, but let’s just say that now I’ve been, I’m wondering why I never did it sooner!
In mid-September, a group of us jetted off from rainy Manchester to sunny Portugal to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of one of our faves. Yep, we were there on a hen do (my first as well, so I wasn’t sure what to expect!). Touching down late at night, we were hit by that amazing wave of warmth you get when you step off the plane in a hot country and I honestly think it may be one of the best feelings ever, who’s with me?
Food & Drink
Oh my gosh, the food in Lisbon. There are no words. Anyone who knows me will know that I tend to base my love for a travel destination on the food. Good food = great trip. We were so lucky to eat at only amazing places, which I think is quite rare when you visit a new place and don’t really know where to go. Thankfully, we had plenty of great recommendations from our hostel and stumbled upon a few lovely little cafes along the way.
Time Out Market Lisboa, Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-479, Lisboa
Whenever we told anyone we were headed for Lisbon, the first place they told us we absolutely had to visit was the Time Out Market Lisboa. Located in the Mercado da Ribeira, this is truly a food lover’s paradise. Food and drink stalls line a large hall dotted with long communal tables in the centre; the idea is that you pick what you want from whichever stall you want, before taking your feast back to your table to enjoy. Burgers, asian cuisine, fresh seafood, pizza, veggie options…there’s so much to choose from here. We went at lunch time and it was fairly busy and a challenge to find space to sit, but I’d imagine it’s a bit quieter outside of the main meal times. It also opens late every day, closing between 12am – 2am, which makes it perfect for late night snacks!
Lost In, R. Dom Pedro V 56-D, 1250-094, Lisboa
On our first night, we ate at a lovely little restaurant with a gorgeous terrace for drinks beforehand. Lost In describes itself as “an oasis in the centre of Lisbon” and I couldn’t agree more. The decor has an Indian vibe, with the terrace dotted with day-beds and comfy seats to relax on and enjoy a moment of peace and quiet, away from the bustling streets of the city. After drinks outside, we headed indoors for a delicious meal of fresh seafood and flavour-packed dishes. The menu is a fusion of Mediterranean and Indian, which worked really well – honestly can’t recommend this place enough.
The Insólito, R. de São Pedro de Alcântara 83, 1250-238, Lisboa
The Insólito is a rooftop restaurant and bar which was also a part of the hostel we stayed in. With stunning views over Lisbon and the river, it’s a pretty spectacular location for dinner and drinks. The outside terrace is small and intimate, with quirky decorations and an industrial feel, literally an Instagrammers paradise. The food was fresh and well cooked, the service friendly and casual. We were a big group so made a reservation, but I would say that even for smaller groups reservations would still be a good idea as it is quite small.
Zenith – Brunch & Cocktails, R. Telhal 4A, 1150-346, Lisboa
Sunday was our last day and, with a flight that evening, a relaxed day of brunch and a little sightseeing was on the agenda. Zenith is a very popular little place and there was a queue when we visited on Sunday morning, but don’t let this put you off – it moves incredibly quickly and as a large group of around 10, we were still seated within 15 minutes which I was really impressed with. If there are fewer of you, I can’t see there being a long wait at all.
We started with the most delicious acai bowls, followed by ‘Eggs Zenith’ – breaded poached eggs (yes, you read that right) on sourdough toast, topped with avocado, crispy serrano ham, cherry tomatoes and hollandaise. I also had major food envy when I saw the pancakes come out! The coffee was good, the acai bowls were great and the setting was brilliant. The brunch itself was nothing to write home about but I’d still recommend this place, and it set us up perfectly for a day exploring beautiful Lisbon.
You can probably tell that I loved the food in Lisbon and would highly recommend all of these places! Have you been to Lisbon? Leave me your recommendations in the comments. Next post: Pasteis de Nata!