I live to eat. Most of everything I do in life, especially my travels, is based around the food I’ll eat while I’m there. I watch shows like My 600lb. Life and The Biggest Loser and while some scream, “how did they get like that?” at the screen, I simply nod, fully understanding exactly how they got like that. Food is comfort, food is love, food is life. That said, if you love food as much as I do, that’s reason enough to book your flight immediately to Lisbon.
When Pep hit me to ask if I’d join him in Lisbon, a place we knew very little about, having never been, I jumped on the site and booked my flight because (1) I hadn’t seen him in years and (2) for some strange reason, folks I know haven’t been or just don’t speak about it, and I wanted to find out why. Oh, and (3) I was already on my Colonizing Counties Tour and Portugal certainly needed to see my face. What Pep didn’t tell me is that while he was researching Lisbon, he discovered that there would be a million hills we’d have to climb to get to the bars, gelato spots, parks, trains, restaurants, and markets. My poor, now beautiful legs.
So yeah, my one complaint about Lisbon (that wasn’t a complaint about day 2): The inclines!
Listen Linda! Listen Linda! Thank you, Time Out Portugal for creating the Food Market. Never have I ever had food so good. Ever! And we ate their each night. My recommendations at the Food Market:
1. O Surf & Turf
3. Marisqueira Azul
4. Cozinha Da Felicidade
5. Sea Me
6. Miguel Castro E Silva
7. Marlene Vieira
8. Miguel Laffan
9. Crème De La Crème
10. Santini Gelato
As much as I hate clichés and work hard to avoid them, I must say this: Words cannot express how deeply grateful I am for the people who’ve taken time to learn the art of cooking and prepared each meal I had at each of these restaurants. As you see, I declined to review them separately. That’s because they all fall under these words: The Best Foods I’ve Ever Had In My Life.
“How is it possible that all the food in this town is good,” Pep asked. “Maybe it’s just the food at this market,” I said. Wrong.
Cape Verdeans are throughout the city, and if you know me, you know I went on the hunt for a Cape Verdean food spot, because there’s one thing I know to be true: Africans (read: diaspora) are the best cooks on this planet.
We wandered into Tambarina (R. do Poço dos Negros 94, 1200-109 Lisboa, Portugal): “Traditional African dishes & imported beer offered in no-nonsense, compact quarters.” After looking at the menu and attempting to make sense of Portuguese words with no knowledge of the language whatsoever, we told the server to surprise us with something delicious. My only request was no pork (13 years and still counting). He delivered the Cachupa.
My review: GO & GO NOW to Tambarina. I know I’ve said this before, but The Best Food I’ve Ever Had In My Life.
For more information on Cape Verdean Food in Lisbon, here’s a great site I found: Cape Verde In Lisbon: Taste
Other Amazing Food Spots You Must Try:
12. Rio Maravilha
13.Peixaria da Esquina
15. The Food Temple: For the Vegan
Now that the food is out of the way, more about the city:
Lisbon is indeed as beautiful and amazing as I hoped it’d be. The hills, though sometimes hard to climb, were perfect for catching views of the water, the Jesus statue far away, and the lights from houses I plan to be invited into for dinner parties the next time I’m in the city. The people were awesome, answering any questions I had about their culture, their history, and their nightlife.
Through Couchsurfing, we met up with André who hosts Monday=Funday, a weekly bar crawl that invites all fun locals and travelers to come together and converse, laugh, and drink in some of the coolest neighborhoods in the city. By being amazing travelers ourselves, we connected with folks we’d randomly speak to and tour parts of the region with them, exchanging information to connect on future visits.
Places we went:
1. Belém Tower
2. Jeronimos Monastery
5. Castelo de S Jorge
6. Cristo Rei Christ Statue
7. Padrao Dos Descobrimentos
Should you go to Lisbon? Of course. For the food!