Coffee-drinking is something that is deeply ingrained in Portuguese culture. But in recent years, Lisbon has witnessed a notable coffee shop boom, with each new café offering a unique concept, a greater variety of coffee specialties, and a welcoming environment.
To showcase the budding shops across the city, I’m taking you a coffee crawl through the Portuguese capital. Here are a few of the hidden gems scattered throughout the streets of Lisbon.
WISH SLOW COFFEE HOUSE
Wish Slow is one of the most Instagrammable coffee shops in Lisbon. It has a strong Nordic inspiration and was originally founded as a simple decoration store, though it quickly grew into a brewing venture as well. It’s clean and minimal, with soft tones and a delicious aroma of two things I love: freshly brewed coffee and cookies. Does it get any better than that?
The coffee they serve is perfect for those who like a certain acidity, which is a characteristic of the type of Arabica beans from Ethiopia that they grind on the spot. They serve Brazilian coffee (which is more caramelized and has more body to it), non-lactose drinks, and a variety of pastries.
My suggestion: Visit the location that still features the home decoration products.
Address: Rua Rodrigues de Faria 103, Espaço G.02ª (LX Factory), Largo da Trindade 17
FÁBRICA COFFEE ROASTERS
Fábrica was the first specialty coffee shop in Lisbon. Not only was it different in the kind of coffee served, but also in its decor, which makes customers feel as though they’ve traveled elsewhere and are no longer in Portugal — which is nice because it breaks up the routine a bit. Their house coffee blends are Brazilian and Ethiopian and they have a whole slew of drinks waiting for you, as well as the option of coffee to-go. It’s also possible to buy coffee (which is roasted right on the premises) for espresso or filter for those who like to be their own baristas at home.
My suggestion: Enjoy their terrace with a homemade brownie.
Address: Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 136, Rua das Flores 63, Gare do Oriente, Parque das Nações
Make sure you charge your phones and cameras for this one. Hello, Kristof boasts a minimalist vibe with Scandinavian-inspired decor and one of the best gluten-free carrot cakes I’ve ever had. And the coffee doesn’t disappoint either, as it’s roasted and ground on site for your enjoyment. One of the main things I love about this space is its immense variety of magazines, from Kinfolk to Cereal and Ambrosia. So take your pick and kick back with a cup of joe!
My suggestion: Order a cappuccino or matcha latte and a slice of carrot cake, and grab a magazine of your choice.
Address: Rua do Poço dos Negros 103
MONTANA CAFÉ LISBOA
The concept and decor of Montana are influenced by a more urban style, which is great for those who love street art. One of the things I like most about the café (apart from its coffee) is the way the drinks are served — espressos, cappuccinos, chai lattes, and the like are presented on a wooden board with a glass of water. It is perhaps the only space in Lisbon to do so. In addition to quality coffee, they also serve gluten-free pastries and are best-known for their colorful bagels.
My suggestion: Enjoy the view by the sea — it can be quite relaxing.
Address: Rua da Cintura do Porto de Lisboa, armazém A, nº 20, Cais do Sodré
COPENHAGEN COFFEE LAB
Copenhagen Coffee Lab is perfect for anyone who likes to study or work at a coffee shop. It’s clean, their staff is friendly, and (as you can tell from the name) it’s entirely inspired by Denmark. In fact, all of their coffee is roasted and prepared in the northern European country, and the flour used to make all of their pastries comes right from Denmark as well. This year, they even opened two new locations in the heart of Alfama that undoubtedly deserve a visit.
My suggestion: Besides the coffee, try their famous cinnamon rolls.
Address: Rua Nova da Piedade 10, Campo Santa Clara 136, Escola Gerais 34
This place is a beautiful partnership between Portuguese and Australian offerings. Here, you can find great food served in ceramics that are as beautiful as the space you’re sitting in. Want to know the best part? You can buy them as gifts or keep them for yourself.
The place itself is open and clean with a prominent contrast between marble and cork accents, and offers a friendly environment for those who wish to use laptops as they sip their coffee. And, speaking of coffee, Arabica beans are used here, and customers can choose between the “house blend” (Guatemala, Colombia, and Brazil) and the “single origin” (which varies every month).
My suggestion: Get a slice of coconut cake with your coffee. Believe me — it’s worth it.
Address: Rua do Poço dos Negros 1
BETTINA & NICOLLÓ CORALLO
You know that smell of coffee and toast reminiscent of weekend breakfasts? That’s what will hit you as you enter Bettina & Nicolló, since they roast and grind their own coffee beans from São Tomé and Príncipe right in front of you, every day of the week. And, it’s impossible not to drool when your eyes meet the incredible showcase of homemade chocolates that are baked with cocoa from the same country.
You can tell everything is done with love and dedication at Bettina & Nicolló, and you’re better off for it. Although it’s a small, simple space, it’s perfect for anyone looking for a bit of comfort while they enjoy their coffee and chocolate bar.
My suggestion: Chocolates. Lots and lots of chocolates. There is simply no way to resist.
Address: Rua da Escola Politécnica 4