Portugal has recently surged on the international market as one of THE countries to visit, due to a lot of factors, that we've unconsciously known for ages. Lisbon, amongst our other cities, has become the go-to city for tourists and/or foreigners to live. So it's no surprise to find a slew of different shops, restaurants and experiences on offer, from the traditoinal to the new.
Sometimes I make it a point to be a tourist in my own town, walk through neighbourhoods I've never been to or don't go often, and just get a feel of it. I've even taken a tuk-tuk ride, and also take friends from abroad around, and I'm always pleasantly surprised. To narrow down my favourite stores to just 5 is an art form, but this is my shortlist.
Conserveira de Lisboa
Around for more than 80 years, since 1930, I first came upon this shop on my walks quite a few years ago. It's in downtown Lisbon, with the most stunning tin cans filled with delicious fishy contents. The drawings on the canned goods are reminiscent of the way the fishermen's wives used to dress, very traditional, as is the shop. From makerel, and cod to tuna and sardine, this is where you'll find customary, colourful and delicious gifts, or better yet, for a yummy aperitivo at home.
Rua dos Bacalhoeiros, 34,
Tel: +351 218 864 009
If you follow my blog, by now you've realised that I love to cook, everything!! Never buy anything from a jar I cannot make myself, and especially ready made food. BUT, with this chocolate cake I have to make an exception. It's superior to, greater than anything I've tried, and exceedingly good. It propels one heavenwards, all my problems disappear with the second bite and it warms my body, from top to toe. It's that good. I've served it once at a dinner at home, owning up to the real maker with no shame. I dare you to try it!!
LX Factory, Rua Rodrigues Faria, 103 and Chiado, Rua das Flores, 70
A Vida Portuguesa
It's no secret too that I love goods that are handmade. Form a simple jam, to a pair of shoes or a sweater, I really appreciate the traditional. Pieces made with love and attention, that unique to place, to a people, that reflect their customs and way of life. So it's no wonder I'm such a fan of A Vida Portuguesa since its inception. The brainwave of Catarina Portas, a journalist, her critical eye has brought together the best of what was, in food products, homewares, decor, stationary, cosmetics, all super well curated. Since I didn't grow up here, some of the goods I 've never seen, but the graphics are so cool, and beautiful, that they stand the test of time. All the stores are charming and cozy, and I never leave without buying something!
Mercado da Riberia, Avenida 24 de Julho. Chiado, Rua Ivens 2; Rua Anchieta 11. Intendente, Largo do Intendente Pina Manique 23.
One of my favourite foods is cheese. Love it, day or night, in any shape or form. So I've found my Holy Grail at the Queijaria. Cheeses, regional, national and foreign, all vie for a place on a crunchy piece of toast or on a soft,fresh slice of bread, accompanied by a glass of wine. If you love the smelly or the delicate, whatever your delight, the patient owners will explain eachtype of cheese so you'll get exactly want your tastebuds desire.
Chiado, Rua das Flores, 64
This teeny, tiny shop, in existence since 1925, has long been a favourite of mine. Along with another shop nearby, long gone, these are real relics of the past but secure in the present and hopefully, a part of our future. The makers of handmade gloves, it's been catering to the artistic, cultural and political elite of the city, as well as its locals, for years, who prize quality gloves. The store has kept its original furniture, since its opening, and continues to offer a specialized service.
Chiado, Rua do Carmo, 87-A.
Enjoy the weekend, go shopping,