A Typical Treat: Tasquinhas around old Lisbon

View of Alfama and São Jorge Castle

he capital city of the great Age of Discoveries has become a place to be discovered itself. Many of its secrets are still hidden around the winding and cobbled streets of the Alfama district, one of the oldest bairros of the city. Certainly one of the best hidden secrets of the city, are its tasquinhas, small cosy restaurants that serve typical homemade dishes.

There is no better morning than a sunny Lisbon one. The ever-changing light of the morning hours is reflected by the houses perched on the city’s hills. Make sure you enjoy a good breakfast (there are plenty of excellent pastelarias to choose from) because, ironically, the best way to get to know Lisbon is by walking around its steep cobbled streets.

Half way up the hill towards Alfama, you will come across the Sé, the great Romantic cathedral with two towers that watch over the city centre. Recover your breath and sit down in one of the cafés around here. This is the first step to finding little typical treats around this Bairro. The coffee in Lisbon is delicious and the pastries found in most places are mouthwatering.

Lunch is the most important meal for Lisboetas. Most tasquinhas will have a lunch menu which includes bread and butter at the table for starters, a main dish, dessert, coffee and a drink starting at 10€. Apart from being affordable, you are guaranteed a tasty, typical Portuguese meal. 

At the Sé try the Restaurante Tasca da Sé.

Address: Rua Augusto Rosa, 62
Telephone: +351 218 875 551

On your way up, following the tram’s rails, you will get to the first miradouro, or viewpoint, of Santa Luzía. Over its walls tiled with azulejos you may see the Santa Engrácia dome, the Santo Estevão Church and the two white towers of the São Miguel Church with the Tagus river and the blue sky as a backdrop. 

Following the steep streets up to the São Jorge Castle look for a square, Largo Contador-mor. Outside a little tasca called Comidas de Santiago there is a small inviting terrace – a great spot for a drink. Why not stop here for lunch and enjoy also a wonderfully prepared bacalhau dish accompanied by homemade bread and a glass of Portuguese red wine?

Address: Largo Contador-mor, 21
Telephone: +351 218 875 805

Situated right in the heart of Alfama, the Lautasco restaurant is always a good bet to get to know the city’s hospitality, great service and wonderful traditional food.Lautasco

Address Beco do Azinhal, 7A 1100 - 067 Lisboa
Telephone: +351 21 886 01 73

To reach the Graça neighbourhood you have two options. Continue uphill by foot or take the nº 28 tram. Choose the tram to enjoy a truly different experience as this traditional form of transport meanders uphill through the busy narrow streets. In the busy street, Rua da Graça, in between the several mini-markets, shops and cafés, you will find one of Lisbon’s well kept secrets. The Cantinho de Fátima is a great restaurant to enjoy a mid-day meal, with various traditional dishes at a very low price. Enjoy a traditional Portuguese meal including soup as a starter, “cozido á Portuguesa” for a main dish, a drink, coffee and endless amounts of freshly baked bread. 

Address: Calçada da Graça, 20A
Telephone: +351 281 862 255

Finish off your evening with a drink at the Miradouro da Graçaclose to the São Jorge Castle, where you can admire the whole city. If you’re lucky, there will be some sort of performance, most probably someone singing Fado.

For a place to stay in Lisbon, visit our hotel guide: www.lisboa-live.com


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