This is one of my favorite cities in the world. You'll fall in love with the winding cobblestone streets, orange roof tops, and all the tiled doorways your little heart desires. None of these recommendations are sponsored -- just little gems I've discovered during my travels.
Food & Beverages
A Cevicheria | Delicious, fresh seafood with a more modern aesthetic. They don't take reservations, but put your name in and grab a gin cocktail down the street at Atalho Real (they have a nice garden in the back). Pro Tip: Go right when they open at noon for lunch and sit at the bar so that you can watch the chefs prepare the dishes in front of you.
Moma | If you find yourself hungry in the downtown touristy part of town, you can't go wrong here. A white tablecloth establishment without beings stuffy. The most tender grilled octopus I've ever had, and don't skip the almond tart dessert!
Taberna Bairro do Avillez | Slightly more mainstream, but delicious food and bright atmosphere with a famous local chef. The exploding olives were UNREAL.
Taberna da Rua das Flores | A very tiny place with 8 tables, so get there early (6:30 PM ish) to put your name in (they don't take reservations but it's worth the wait). It's traditional Portuguese tapas, and the lunch and dinner menu is written on a chalkboard and changes daily based upon the local catch.
Time Out Market Lisboa | Great spot for lunch -- it's a enormous food hall with stalls run by some of the city's best chefs. It's an experience!
Atalho Real | Nice outdoor space for gin cocktails (the food is also supposed to be pretty good).
By The Wine | A wine cave by a local family winery, José Maria da Fonseca. Grabbed a glass at their stunning bar while waiting for a table at Taberna da Rua das Flores. Their lunch menu also looked tasty.
Pharmacia | Beautiful outdoor space, particularly at sunset. Located just above the Viewpoint of Santa Catarina.
COFFEE + BRUNCH + CO-WORKING
COMOBA | I wish I had found this gem earlier in my stay. They use organic, seasonal produce from Portuguese farmers and fishermen. Coupled with a calming, chic vibe and a friendly staff, this is worth a stop in.
Copenhagen Coffee Lab | They get brownie points for having the best chai latte I've ever had, but they don't have a single outlet available to the public! I ended up taking my drink to go and sat in a cute park at the end of their street.
Dear Breakfast | Ended up here after the line at The Mill was too long. You queue up on the street (be sure to order a coffee from their street counter while you wait for your table). Healthy, fresh food -- loved my fruit smoothie.
FÁBRICA COFFEE ROASTERS | Despite not having WiFi or outlets, this is one of my favorite spots for an ice coffee with milk and banana bread to start my day. I did most of my offline writing from here
Fauna & Flora | If you like avocado toast and green plants, you're in luck. I ate outside at a picnic table and then came inside to work. Great spot with good vibes.
Hello, Kristof | A quaint little coffee shop (very Instagrammable, if that's your thing). Double-check their hours before heading there -- they aren't open all the time.
Le Petit Prince Culture Cafe | The narrowest, cutest coffee shop I worked from. The owner was a gem and it has a very local vibe to it.
Tartine | This was my go-to spot if I needed to be productive. Very quiet and minimalist. When the weather gets hot, enjoy a fresh lemonade in their outdoor garden area.
The Mill | Extremely popular -- there is always a wait, but the brunch and coffee were both delicious. The crowds emptied out in the afternoon and I posted up at the window counter to get some work done.
Viewpoint of Santa Catarina | Grab a beer at the bar and listen to live music with locals while you enjoy a sunset overlooking the water and Ponte 25 de Abril bridge.
Miradouro das Portas do Sol | Overlooks some stunning building and the water in Alfama. It's exceptionally pretty at sunset!
Fado music (you can definitely find this at bars and restaurants in the Alfama neighborhood).
SINTRA: A fairytale town and Unesco World Heritage Site, which is 40 minutes by train from the Rossio station. I recommend an early morning train -- you can easily spend the full day wandering around.
CASCAIS: A tiny coastal beach town 30 minutes by train from Cais do Sodre train station (2.20 Euro each way).
Taberna Clandestina | The best meat and cheese plate I've ever had. There's only about 10 tables, so make a reservation in advance.
You can easily get from the airport to downtown Lisbon for 1.95 Euro (it took me approx. 40 minutes with one easy transfer). Cabs should run you approx. 12-15 Euros and takes 20 minutes to downtown.
Currency is the Euro and most people accept credit cards.
This is a VERY hilly city. Bring comfortable walking shoes!
Favorite neighborhoods: Alfama, Baixa / Chiado, and Principe Real.
Local beverages: Vihno Verde (a personal favorite), Porto (sweet after-dinner wine), and Ginja (sweet fruit liquor served in shot form).
Check out The500HiddenSecrets.com for a beautifully designed guide to the city's local gems.