Coffee culture and cafés in Portugal
Portugal’s vibrant capital Lisbon or Lisboa as the locals call it, is a perfect holiday destination for those who love coffee. There are plenty of fantastic, creative coffee shops and many of them also roast coffee. Baristas are very happy to tell you about their products plus the coffee is super tasty.
Few facts about The Portuguese coffee culture
Portuguese in general consume coffee outside their homes and mostly in coffee shops that can be found in every corner in cities and even in smallest little villages. Most of social encounters take place in cafes. Mostly people drink espressos or coffee with milk which is called "galão" by the locals. This is mostly consumed during morning hours. But on the other hand espressos are something people drink through the day also after dinner in the evening.
In Portugal most of the towns are built around "praças", meaning little squares, and these squares are crowded with coffee shops. Normally the coffee shops sell coffee, beer and local pastries, also often lunch. Locals spend time in these spots in regular bases and also kids are more than welcome. Normally the atmosphere is very relaxed and easy going even during the busiest hours.
We made a visit to the central Portugal and sipped our way through the many cafés in the area. Here are some of our favorites.
R. de São João da Praça 93-95, 1100-521 Lisboa
Pois café is situated in Alfama, the oldest part in Lisbon. This beautiful café has great espressos and the atmosphere in historical building is something very unique. Café serves cakes, sandwiches and cold drinks also brunch during weekend. Definitely this place is worth of a visit if you are around Alfama area, it's just around the corner from the Sé de Lisboa cathedral.
Rua da Escola Politécnica 4, 1250-096 Lisboa
This cute little café is really deep into to the coffee and chocolate scene. They even have their own mini roastery. The coffee shop is tiny with just few tables but there is really nice park just outside, so grab a coffee and some super tasty chocolate to go and enjoy them outdoors. The owners truly know their coffee business but the shop is maybe more known amongst the locals because of their sustainable produced chocolates, but I definitely encourage to try the coffee as well.
Rua das Portas de Santo Antao 136 Lisboa
Fábrica is situated right in the heart of the city, in the Bairro Alto district. Its on a little side street and can be little tricky to find. But when you find it it's really rewarding. They roast their own coffee and also sell it out. The espresso are medium to dark roast with mostly single origin beans. The interior is superb with murals on the walls and lots of comfy sofas to crawl to.
Sunset bamboo bar, Ericeira
Tv. do Jogo da Bola 3, 2655-297 Ericeira
This maybe isn’t the most traditional specialty coffee shop but, OH, they are so cool and their coffee is amazing! Situated in a small town of Ericeira, mostly known for surfing but the town holds lots of nice little cafe shops with great assortment. During peak season, the town can be quite packed especially during weekends when the Lisboans arrive to spend beach holidays.
Sunset bamboo bar can be found on the main praça in the town center. You will recognize it from the Hawaii style umbrellas and colourful décor. There are few seats out on the terrace but most of them are indoors. They serve espresso based drinks, lunch and sandwiches. And of course sweets such as cookies and ice cream. Great place before or after surfing!
R. Mendes Leal 24, 2655-305 Ericeira
The mill is in my opinion one the best and most beautiful cafes in Portugal. With very simple and clear décor combined with great coffee and delicious local pastries is a real success story. They have two locations (Lisbon and Ericeira) but the comfy feeling is in both of them. I tried some really nice espresso, cappuccinos and banana cake. It all was so good I just had to return every day during my holiday :) In Ericeira the Mill uses coffee from Fabrica coffee roasters so the coffee is guaranteed to be good. They also serve breakfast, lunch and snacks. I have to repeat that all their products are super tasty!