Eat and sleep in Lisbon, a few tips
You might have realized, I am in love with Lisbon… Here are a few tips that can be helpful if you plan a trip to this lovely town shortly.
Restaurant prices are still surprising me at each visit. Obviously I compare to Swiss prices which makes one feel like you are getting scr* each time you pay a restaurant bill, but I trust that you will agree with me if you try the following restaurant tips. If you are on a budget you can still enjoy good food without ruining yourself.
Start with a breakfast at the coffee place Pastelaria-Padaria São Roque on top of the road Rua da Rosa. Their Galão, coffee with milk or rather milk with coffee, their bread and butter (don’t hesitate to ask them to put a little less than the usual butter if you don’t want to have cholesterol issues) and their fruit salad will give you enough energy to walk the street’s of Lisbon. To add to their attraction: they have a good WiFi.
One day I felt like sardines. It is impossible to cook these lovely things yourself without having to deal with their smell for days…worse than raclette maybe ;-)?!? We passed in front of a restaurant that had laminated pictures of the plates plastered outside. Not really inviting, but we decided to give it a try. It was 3:00 pm. Walking into the restaurant, the lady behind the stove told us that she was closed already. Getting the same “estamos fechados” reply in the next restaurant as well made us realize that Portuguese are having an earlier meal schedule than Spaniards. Lucky us that the bakeries sell their “pasteis de nata” without any interruption.
Anyhow I wanted my sardines at THAT restaurant and so at 7pm we came back to find a queue already on the steps in front of that restaurant. The Italian couple with their son got their table first, but we were lucky that the French family of four did not fit for the next table freed. The formica tables did not look so exciting but the fact that you can watch the chef (mother) cooking is interesting. And if you give it a hard try, I am sure you also get the very busy waitress (daughter) to smile. While finishing our “sardinas” and “lomo” next to the Italian family, a young couple walked in and the answer of cook triggered serious disappointment: “Sorry, we are closed, I have no food left, not even rice anymore.” It was 9pm and the restaurant had opened at 6pm, in 3 hours everything was sold out. Their success is simple, honest food, a restricted choice, very well served plates and unbeatable prices. We had a bill of EUR 16.– for two plates with bread, butter, olives and soft drinks!!! Not that they need my publicity but maybe you need to know the name of this place: El Rei d’Frango, behind Rossio station, up the steps of the Calçada do Duque.
After all this food you need to sleep somewhere. I have the place for you in the historical Bairro Alto. The area is one big party at night and quiet places are rare. I have always been happy to choose this area to stay but I have rented flats where you had the feeling that the party happened right in your bed room. This time I found the gem, two steps from the bar scene but totally quiet, for two persons, tiny, so probably more suited for couples, with lovely views to the South – you see the Cristo Rei on the other side of the river Tejo – West and North. Like so often in this area, no elevator for the studio is on the 4th floor, but worth the effort. Look for the Studio Viewpoint on airbnb. Drop me a word if you want the exact link.
Enjoy Lisbon and let me know how you liked it!