We have nothing against visitors – just the opposite, you’re very much welcome! – but you may want to enjoy the city without bumping into the fellow that sat next to you on the plane.
How to disappear completely in Lisbon
It is located in the Pombal Palace, at the Rua do Século; the courtyard of this contemporary art centre has a beautiful,quiet cafeteria. The good news get even better when you check the prices: 50 cents for an espresso, 1€ for a half-pint of beer. Don't tell anybody, ok?
Rua de O Século 79
Bairro de Marvila
You don’t see that many map-carrying foreigners in the Marvila and Beato area. That might not last. Warehouses in Lisbon’s eastern riverside area are being converted into cowork spaces, art galleries or restaurants. There you will find some of the city’s most unusual offerings, such as a parkour school, a climbing centre or a beer factory.
One of the city’s best vegetarian spots, but you need a map, schematics, a GPS tracker and a divining rod to get there. You need to get to the basement of a temple, after working your way through a winding parking garage, until you reach the dining hall. No alcohol, no meat, no menu; but there is a buffet loaded with spicy dishes. Look for it in the Telheiras area.
Alameda Mahatma Gandhi.
Too far from the centre to be much frequented by tourists – it is on the part of the map with less detail – the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian has a great museum, a lovely garden, a nice café and a very nice ice cream vendor.
Avenida de Berna 45, Praça de Espanha.
Medrosa de Alfama
A snack bar in the Largo de São Rafael, right at the heart of Lisbon’s most typical/touristy district in Lisbon. The same square has a fado restaurant, with plenty of outdoor tables; in warm weather, there is live music. The trick is to take a seat at the Medrosa terrace, order something to eat and drink, and listen to the neighbouring establishment’s music. Free fado, how cool is that?
Largo de São Rafael 6.
Popular do Capelo
It’s the panda bear of Lisbon’s restaurants: charming and endangered. The venue endures and should be cherished and protected as a unique specimen. Here you will find good grilled food, an excellent “cozido”, fine black pork strips and a wonderful crème brûlée, all at affordable prices: 7,50€ to 8€ per plate.
Rua do Capelo 8.
Cantina das Freiras
It looks like a canteen, works like a canteen and has the prices of a canteen (€6.50 for a meal). It also has one of the best terraces on which to lunch in the city centre.
Travessa do Ferragial 1, Chiado.