It’s been a busy few weeks since the start of the school year, hence the radio silence here on umlisboetaingles.
Living and working with people who have, in many cases, been here a fair number of years, it always surprises me how many gems I manage to find that no-one I know has ever heard of. Recently, I’ve happened upon three such places, which I really think anyone living in, or simply visiting Lisbon, could well do with adding to their to-do lists.
1 – 1300 Taberna
Located in the ultra-hip LX Factory, 1300 Taberna is a restaurant offering a range of Portuguese and International cuisine, with the accent on an haute cuisine approach. The restaurant is tucked away in one of the buildings in the middle of the old factory complex and, personally, I had never heard of it. I found myself in the area with some friends who were visiting from England and decided to check it out. I was so pleased that I had done, that I went back with my fiancée four days later. On both occasions all present were bowled over by the food, while the decor, ambience and service are also top. For more information, take a look at the trip advisor entry, here.
2 – Aromas e Temperos
The discovery of this one I owe to one of my favourite Lisbon instagrammers and foodies, a lad called Duarte. He seems to spend most of his time going to restaurants with the kind of food that makes me hungry even when I sleep and so, when he started visiting Aromas e Temperos every couple of weeks and posting pictures of sumptuous looking Portuguese Brazilian fusion food, I began following them and it was only a matter of time before I found myself there.
The food is delicious, plentiful and modestly priced, with a two-course lunch menu setting you back only 10 Euros, if you choose the prato do dia (dish of the day). I did just that on my first visit and found myself feeling well and truly stuffed with food that was delicious, substantial but also healthy (or not unhealthy, at least!) It’s also located very conveniently for most Lisboetas and visitors alike, just off Almirante Reis, near to the Arroios metro stop on the green line.
I’m told dinner is also great, so that’s next on my to do list. Learn more about the place here.
3 – Café da Garagem
Nestled in behind the castle of St George in Lisbon’s ancient Alfama district, Café da Garagem is the basement floor of an artistic exhibition space, known as Quinta da Garagem. The exhibition space always has something interesting going on, be it in the form of sculpture, collage or even fashion exhibits. The real reason I come here though is to find a quiet place, usually on the open terrace looking out to the sprawling mass of decay and rejuvenation that is the Mouraria district, all the way up to Graca’s recently remodelled park and the cathedral.
It helps, of course, that this place does what I think is one of the best cappucinos in town, as well as imaginative and delicious toasts and some really indulgent, homemade cakes. The staff are always super friendly and helpful and there’s usually some nice music playing in there, making it both a great place to go with friends, and on other occasions, to lose yourself in a good book. You can find out more about it here.