After a late night Ryan Air flight from Porto, we landed in Lisbon. We rented a car from the airport and booked Hotel Mundial because it was a straight shot on the main road without any hills or side streets in old town, plus it had an underground garage (small) with secure parking. If we didn’t have a car, the area is still a great area to be in, but we would have stayed at a less “cruise-like”/tour group hotel, and gone for a smaller boutique that’s more our speed like last trip. That said, it was perfect for what we needed this short stay. We didn’t use the car while in Lisbon at all as you can reach everything by no more than 30 minutes by foot, or Uber is always an option for cheap.
The first stop of course is always for the famous Pastéis de Nata. Fábrica da Nata is around the corner though there are several to try throughout the city – don’t forget the cinnamon/sugar on top.
From there we made our way to Carmo Convent and museum that our free walking tour went to, but we didn’t get to go inside last trip. It is worth it on a clear day. The church was damaged by the great earthquake in Lisbon in 1755 and is now an archaeological museum for other religious and ancient artifacts including mummies. Tip: look out the window in the museum gift shop for a great view of Lisbon, the tourist elevator and castle on the hill.
From the convent we walked toward our next destination, the Time Out Market, but not without stopping for another Pastel de Nata at Pastelaria Alcôa. They also had a ton of different egg cream items that are typical for the area. This is the place to try them, they had every thing. The shop is also located on the famous shopping street with famous old book shops and cafes along the way leading to the square: Praca Largo de Camões. This is where the walking tour meets. From here we also stopped along the way to my favorite tile shop Santa’Anna and to see the famous Pink Street for a photo, though it still remains to be unimpressive to me compared to what you see on Instagram.
We made it to the Time Out Market and it was crowed again with no seats available in the center we could find. Definitely a pain. Fortunately, the restaurants with bar seating on the perimeter had some openings so after grabbing an ice cream starter at Santini (A-MA-ZING) we circled twice and landed at O Surf & Turf. It was actually the best thing because we had wanted to go to the same chef’s restaurant A Cevicheria for dinner, but you cannot make a reservation. We had no idea he (Chef Kiko) also had a spot at Time Out. It was the best lunch of the trip and so unique. Think seaweed and fruit mouse for dessert recommended by a fellow traveler at the bar. Get the spring rolls, get the octopus, get the fish, get the seaweed dessert. His other restaurants are A Cevicheria, O Talho, O Watt and O Asiático. Worth it.
From there, we wandered to grab a beer at a new bar, Crafty Corner. They also serve food but we were full from lunch still. They also sold a few of the local bottles we took home with us. It is a cute place with a loft and they also have music and open mic nights. The bar tender gave us some great tips on food, more specifically desert and pastry stops, in Lisbon and Sintra. As soon as she mentioned gelato, we knew what our next stop would be.
Gelato Davvero – Go there. True gelato, super fresh flavors for example, mint tastes like mint leaves. We went back for seconds.
For dinner, we had no reservations again, we walked back up hill for beer first to Cervejaria Artesanal Adamastor, a locals spot, super small, great music with mom in the kitchen if you want a snack. A good stop. Duque Brewpub is always good but has zero heat and is freezing so be prepared to wear layers inside.
We attempted the Restaurante Duque Lisboa for dinner, and it was odd because they actually lock the doors to the restaurant, it was us and three other couples trying to get in by the door and it wouldn’t open. We circled around the side twice till finally a waiter came to the door and said they are fully booked. Maybe sign would be better than locking the door, just a thought.
So we found a fish restaurant that was good but too expensive for what it was so no mention here. They also had a gigantic dessert cart, it was hilarious how bad it was. The food was good, but everything else not so much.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped at the Beer Station which is around the corner from the hotel to pick up a few more local bottles for the rest of the trip since we weren’t sure of the beer situation in Algrave. We are glad we did, it was good to pack a beverage or sit on the balcony at the beach without going to the tourist shop. More on Algrave soon.
The next morning, we were contemplating getting out early to do the famous tram line 28 street car through old town because the starting point is right outside of the hotel, however, if you don’t make it out there early, before 9 a.m. or so, the lines are crazy. So as another recommendation from our Crafty Corner bartender, we decided to just depart after breakfast to get to Sinatra earlier and have more time there. Boy, we are so glad we did. Stay tuned for details on Sintra soon!