I can smell the tarts before we’re inside. My mouth waters as the scents of cinnamon and powdered sugar drift into the street. The walk to Belem has been worth it, and now I’m ready for my reward: the renowned Pastéis de Belém. I’ve come all the way to Portugal to taste them, and no weekend in Lisbon would be complete without one. Or ten.
Weekend in Lisbon
Which is funny, because on my last trip to Lisbon I missed out. Nine years have elapsed since, and I haven’t stopped chastising myself. But that’s partly why I’ve traveled back this time. Not only do I want to see how much the city has changed, but also experience the things I didn’t get to last time.
I’m here with a friend for a girls’ weekend, and we start our visit the way we do best: with food. We walk into Barrio Alto and over to a restaurant called Cantinho do Avillez. It’s come highly recommended by several friends, and we enjoy an evening of great wine and good food as the city’s nightlife gets going around us.
The next day we have similar luck with morning coffee and croissants in the hip interior of Fabrica Coffee Roasters. The caffeine fuels our walk to the Time Out Market, a huge covered market with more food stalls and fresh vegetable stands than we could possibly get to in one trip. It’s an impressive feat, and we’re even more excited when we hear rumors that they’re opening in London later this year.
From the Time Out Market we meander along the waterfront to the LX Factory, another place that’s opened since my last visit. This reinvented industrial space is full of stylish boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.
We pop into a few shops before having lunch at A Praca. It’s a Portuguese restaurant with local vegetable and seafood dishes served in an eclectic dining room.
After lunch we stroll along a street bursting with colorful tiled facades and busy with Lisbon’s famous trams. It leads us to...