I signed up for “7 Wonders of Lisbon” and spent the week preparing for my virtual journey to Portugal. After visiting Fine Wine & Good Spirits, placing an order on Amazon, and swinging by Trader Joe’s, I declared myself officially ready with a bottle of vinho verde, a can of sardines, and the ingredients to make pastéis de nata. I followed this recipe for Portugal’s famous custard tart but had to convert the measurements from metric to USCS. It took me two days to bring the tart to fruition, but the effort was worthwhile. The description of the experience instructed participants to bring a bottle of their favorite wine, a tin of fish, and something sweet to eat, but I took this a step further by acquiring authentic Portuguese products. I wanted to get as close to Lisbon as possible.
When the time came (5:00 PM EDT / 10:00 PM GMT+1) to join the virtual session, I picked out an outfit (long navy skirt, white button-up shirt, and sandals) that would have been suitable for Lisbon’s temperature (66 °F) that night. As the Zoom session loaded on my computer’s screen, I imagined my husband and I leaving our nonexistent Lisbon accommodation to meet up with the group in person. Maybe I’d bring my pashmina, I thought.
The group was composed of six participants and an engaging host named Andrea, who waisted no time getting the session started. We began with a round of introductions and briefly discussed our personal experiences as they related to the current state of things. Then, we traveled virtually to the spot where the in-person version of the tour begins, Estação de Rossio. Andrea led us through the history, culture, and cuisine of the city she calls home in the seven segments of her presentation. Her personal stories and recommendations made me look forward to visiting Lisbon even more. Here’s a list of fifteen places that have piqued my interest during the course of my online exploration of Portugal’s capital city.
- LX Factory / An artsy village of sorts with shops and eateries. I’d especially like to browse the books at Livraria Ler Devagar. Here’s some footage of the complex.
- Embaixada / A gallery of shops located in the architectural gem Palacete Ribeiro da Cunha. Take it all in (00:35).
- Charcutaria Moy / A provisions store selling a wide variety of tea. They also carry chocolate, sauces, spices, coffee, and more. Have a look around.
- Conserveira de Lisboa / I’ll be buying canned sardines from this shop that was founded in 1930 as a grocery store. Although canned fish was at the core of the company’s business from its inception, today it specializes solely in this type of product. It has three in-house brands: Tricana, Minor, and Prato do Mar. Here’s an interview with Tiago Ferreira, one of the shop’s partners.
- Bettina & Niccolo Corallo / This family-run coffee and chocolate cafe doesn’t seem to have a website beyond its Facebook page. As you can see (11.16), the establishment is small…not somewhere you’d sit for an extended period of time. I’ve heard the chocolate here is the best in Lisbon.
- Pastéis de Belém / Although pastéis de Belém and pastéis de nata are similar, but you can only find authentic pastéis de Belém at this establishment. The guarded recipe originated in the monastery next door, but the business started making these tarts under their own roof in 1837. Here’s an in-depth look at the tart’s history and a comparison between pastel de nata and pastel de Belém.
- Time Out Market / The best food in Portugal under one roof. Manteigaria is an alternative to the popular Pastéis de Belém.
- Landeau Chocolate / Chocolate cake that can’t be missed.
- Bairro do Avillez / A tavern, patio, bar, and pizzeria all in one.
- Casanova Pizzeria / Pizzas made in a wood oven.
- Museum Medeiros e Almeida / I love house museums, and I’d live here if they’d let me. Here’s a downloadable brochure.
- Museu Do Aljube / Dedicated to resistance against the dictatorship.
- Museu Nacional do Azulejo / Azulejos are everywhere in Lisbon. I’m interested in learning more about these beautiful tiles.
- Fundacao Amalia Rodrigues Casa Museu / A house museum that encapsulates the spirit of Amália Rodrigues, the Queen of Fado.
- Museu Caloust Gulbenkian / A museum dedicated to Fado, Portugal’s signature sound.