Here are a few of my favourite watering holes in Lisbon. You’ll find them all, and many more I haven’t yet been to, on my Google map.
Foxtrot, 28 Traversa Santa Teresa, www.barfoxtrot.pt
Foxtrot in the São Bento neighbourhood opened in the 70s, making it one of the oldest bars in Lisbon. They’re open from 6pm till 2am most nights and 3am at the weekend, but the later you go, the busier it gets. Modelled on the concept of a typical English Pub, there are four atmospheric, dimly-lit rooms decorated in Art Deco style. One contains a roaring fire, particularly popular in the winter, while another has a large pool table. There’s a terrace out back for when the weather is warmer.
The cocktail list has lots of interesting suggestions but I was on the Pisco Sours having been to a Peruvian restaurant earlier. They were well-made and slightly cheaper than the other places I went to that evening.
And on a similar vein in neighbouring Principe Real there is another old institution…
Pavilhão Chinês, 89 Rua Dom Pedro V
Opened in 1986 this is also one of the oldest bars in Lisbon. To get in you have to ring the bell to be let in by a formally dressed waiter, giving the impression of a private members club.
Once inside it feels more like a museum as the five rooms house a huge private collection of toy soldiers, minature dolls and other curios, mainly military, displayed in glass cases and hanging from the walls and ceiling. Again there’s a pool room which is very popular.
There’s table service but personally I like to sit at the bar and chat with the friendly old bartender who mixes a mean Negroni. They’re also open from 6pm till 2am.
And for the beer hounds…
Cervejaria Trindade, 20C Rua Nova da Trindade, www.cervejariatrindade.pt
Cervejaria Trindade, in the Chiado district, is located in the same building as Mini Bar in my fine dining post. The beer hall was once the refectory of a 13th century monastery. After the dissolution of the monasteries in Portugal in 1834, the space was purchased by Manuel Garcia, a Spanish businessman, who opened Lisbon’s first commercial beer hall here with beer brewed on the premises. As monasteries also brewed their own beer, the Cervejaria Trindade claims to be the oldest continuous brewery in Portugal.
The building itself is a national monument but the beer hall also has valuable tile panels by the renowned ceramacist Luís António Ferreira aka “ferreira das tabuletas” (see coming post).
The hall is brewery owned and showcases an extensive range of top quality beers, served up by a friendly, knowledgable staff. Not had it myself but I’m told the thing to eat here is the Bitoque, a fried minute steak on a bed of chips, topped with a fried egg.
Some rooftop bars next…