a little bit of lisbon.
as promised in yesterday’s post about our charming apartment in lisbon, i wanted to share a few ‘must-visit’ spots around the city if you happen to be headed that way — which i most certainly recommend. lisbon is a beautiful seaside city, full of colorful pastel architecture. it reminds me a little bit of a much older san francisco — it’s hilly (and there’s trams), and even has a bridge — the 25 de Abril Bridge that closely resembles SF’s golden gate. we only had a short time in lisbon, but what i prized most was just aimlessly wandering the narrow streets and staircases, taking in all the colors and breathtaking views. oh, and you can’t go wrong with one of the many local bakeries serving the traditional Portuguese custard tarts or pasteis de nata — i brought two home on the plane with me! here are a few of our favorite places to eat and shop in lisbon and for more of lisbon, visit my instagram.
a vida portuguesa — hands down favorite shop (we went there twice!). it has a few locations, but we visited Chiado I which will have you lingering for a long visit, so give yourself plenty of time to peruse their shelves. Occupying a centuries-old David & David warehouse and perfume factory, they’ve preserved the historical interiors and have displayed the most beautiful and judicious of selections of jewelry, soaps, stationery, books, cookware and food products including the most divine selection of tinned seafood of which i took home a ton of. they also carry a beautiful selection of bordallo pinheiro ceramics — had i not feared breaking them all in my suitcase, i would have loaded up, but i did bring home a single black swallow — which has become a true Portuguese symbol.
LX factory — this place also gave me san francisco vibes! it’s housed on the grounds of a historical old fabric factory dating back to 1846 located just underneath the aforementioned 25 de Abril Bridge and houses a multitude of independent design shops and cafes. think pop-up shops galore with tons of handmade goods from ceramics, to leather goods and textiles. the place was hopping with good energy and interesting food options and also host loads of events from fashion shows to music and the arts.
embaixada — Embaixada is located in Ribeiro da Cunha Palace, one of the most iconic buildings in the trendy neighborhood of Príncipe Real. This XIX century new-Arabian Palace has been transformed into a unique shopping gallery with lots of unique national brands and artists focused on Portuguese design, craftsmanship, fashion, gastronomy, and culture. the architectural alone is enough reason to visit and be sure and drop into the gin lover’s bar in back — the views and the bartenders are both quite eye catching!
a cevicheria — also located in the Príncipe Real neighborhood just a stone’s throw from embaixada, you’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the giant octopus (made from sponge) hanging from the ceiling above the prettiest blue tiled floor. this is some of the best and most unique ceviches i’ve ever tasted (try the salmon ceviche with an orange foam!) and the tartar tacos and sandwiches (like the surf & turf) are amazing. the wine they serve is delicious and they also specialize in a pisco sour, a yummy drink from Peru. they don’t accept reservations, but there’s a walk-up bar outside that you can order something cold from while you wait.
pharmacia — one of our favorite meals! and, in one of the cleverest locations. chef Susana Felicidade has opened her very wes anderson-ish pharmacy-themed restaurant inside the Museu de Farmacia in the Santa Catarina district of Lisbon and decorated it in the most charming decor inspired by vintage pharmaceuticals — fancy a shot from a laboratory vile? sure you do! the views from the front terrace are heavenly, so be sure to have a cocktail on the ‘front lawn’ before you dine. think comfort food with a Portuguese twist — the lemon risotto with Razorfish was my favorite. it was a bit tricky for our cab driver to find, but it’s located at Rua Marechal Saldanha 1 and just tell them it’s in the old Museu de Farmacia.