Drinking With Locals in Lisbon
As the day gets cooler and the sun begins its descend below the horizon, Lisbonites take to the streets, the rooftops and miradouros — public viewpoints — in search of a refreshing drink to start the evening.
Lisbon has always been charming; sprinkled over its seven hills on the bank of the River Tagus, the city oozes history at every step. But it’s only now after years of economic difficulties that we see Portugal bouncing back and Lisbon regenerating its poorer areas, supporting local businesses and attracting entrepreneurship. This renewed optimism is also drawing in a great deal of tourism and visitors keen to experience the (probably) most laid-back European capital.
But where to dine or drink? Amidst the recent explosion in bars and restaurants, it's easy to lose one’s bearings and follow the same old recommendations. So the question we asked was, “Where do the locals go?”. Read on to find out!
Pub Lisboeta:FOR THE YOUNG AND FREE
RUA DOM PEDRO V, 63
If the pub had been invented in Portugal, then we are sure it would look a lot like Pub Lisboeta. Small and beautiful, this quaint gastropub is where the locals flock on Fridays and Saturdays nights to get things started.
Whether you order one of the imaginative bar snacks or stick with drinks — their extensive list of craft beer is fantastic — you can’t go wrong. And if the place is too crowded, do as locals do and take your drink outside and enjoy the weather.
Casa Independente: FOR THE ARTSY
Largo do Intendente, 45
If there is a place that shows Lisbon’s diversity and open-mindedness, it's Casa Independente. This former hospital has housed all sorts of clubs and associations over the past century, but it’s this latest (and probably liveliest) incarnation that draws a younger, trendier crowd.
The large ‘Tiger Room’ hosts gigs and parties, while the several other small rooms throughout the maze-like extravagant building, invite the patrons to sit down for a chat, relax or read a book.
Topo: FOR THE HIP AND COSMOPOLITAN
Centro Comercial Martim Moniz, 6th Floor
A group of local entrepreneur friends, an abandoned top floor of a shopping center, and an up-and-coming part of town are the ingredients for a perfect new venue for end of the day drinks.
With unobstructed views of the old city and the castle, Topo in Martim Moniz is the place to be when you want to cool down with a G&T and brush shoulders with the hippest of locals.
A Ginjinha: A LOCALS’ FAVOURITE
Largo São Domingos 8
Taking up a tiny shop in Rossio square, A Ginjinha is one of those places that everyone loves. The bar only serves, well… Ginjinha, a typical Portuguese sour cherry liqueur that is both strong and sweet.
Granted that its location makes it a tourist attraction but this is not one to be sniffed at. For locals, the place is often the meeting place for a night out, the little aperitif before dinner or a cheeky drink after work to unwind. A Ginjinha is an institution of the Lisbon’s nightlife.