Portugal has a strong coffee culture and you will often see locals ordering a small espresso (bica) at one of those many little coffee shops with the metal chairs outside. These still exist all over the country, but with the large expat communities, especially in Lisbon, there emerged another type of coffee shop culture, where people spend hours reading at a little cozy café, socialising, or working on their laptop.
Below is a curated list of where to find some of the best hang-out cafés in Lisbon that don’t include Starbucks and the likes.
Open every day til 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tease is undoubtedly a favourite among those who know of it. Aside from baking some of the best cupcakes in Lisbon with flavours that change regularly to satisfy all taste buds, they have a healthy brunch menu and a relaxing vibe, perfect for meeting up with friends or spending some alone time.
You can find a communal long table, but also private areas and some couches or lounge chairs. There’s outdoor seating in front of the restaurant for summer days, in the shade under some trees to shield you from the sun.
Address: Rua da Quintinha 70 B, Lisbon, Portugal 1200-297G
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Sunday when it’s open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
TripAdvisor rating: 4.5 star out of 5 – 362 reviews
The Coffee Library
The Coffee Library only sells donuts and coffee (and tea) drinks, but the donuts are delicious and varied in flavour. It has a “university-like, bookish” look to it, but welcomes people of all ages.
It is a cute and cozy cafe to read and hang out, despite its small size. The long window seat adorned with pillows is a nice spot to relax. They have a selection of books that you can read there, or perhaps even exchange yours with, and the service is very friendly and warm.
Address: Avenida de Paris 22A, 1000-229 Lisboa
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day
Google rating: 4.4 stars out of 5 – 318 reviews
Copenhagen Coffee Lab
There are a few Copenhagen Coffee Labs all over the city (and Europe for that matter), but each city has their own production lab where they produce fresh bread and pastries daily.
Each location offers different types of coffees, bread, and a selection of cakes for those with a sweet tooth. In some locations you can have real privacy if you’re working, with a meeting room available to you. Their bread is a must-try, although their service in some of the locations does have a bit of a bad rep.
Address: Various locations in Lisbon and Europe
Hours: Weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
TripAdvisor rating: 4 stars out of 5 – 374 reviews
Located right in the middle of the city near Marques de Pombal, Manifest.Lisbon is an excellent cafe for brunch. Their service and menu are both highly rated, although it can get crowded during peak lunch hour.
During quieter hours, it’s a good place to sit and relax. The indoor deco gives off an old-school vibe with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and velvety lounge chairs, and the small outdoor seating area is great for the warmer seasons.
Address: Rua da Sociedade Farmacêutica 31, 1150-103 Lisboa
Hours: Every day 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
TripAdvisor rating: 5 stars out of 5 – 2055 reviews
Heavily influenced by the Danish and Norwegian concept of “hygge”, meaning coziness and comfortable conviviality mixed with feelings of contentment and warmth, Hygge Kaffe is very well located near metro stops in the heart of Lisbon. It tends to get crowded during lunch hours due to its friendly service, tasty sweet treats, and delicious dishes.
The owner is often there working and helping out her staff with their tasks, even serving the customers when needed. When things quiet down at Hygge, it’s a good spot to sit in a corner and read peacefully while sipping on coffee and treating yourself to one of their delicious cakes.
Address: R. Tomás Ribeiro 95, 1050-227 Lisboa
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, closed Monday
TripAdvisor rating: 4 stars out of 5 – 26 reviews
This one is usually stumbled upon by tourists when visiting Parque Eduardo VII since it’s located right above the famous park on a small hilltop, surrounded by trees and a small fountain area where nearby residents like to bring their dog to play.
At first glance, Linha d’Água looks like a fancy restaurant with a beautiful view but it is in fact a very relaxing and affordable place. Many enjoy the sun lounge chairs right in front of the fountain, while others prefer the shaded areas on each side of the restaurant.
The menu varies and is usually a mixture of Portuguese and “international” fusion, ranging from grilled salmon served over rice to a vegetarian quiche, to samosas as snacks, chocolate cake for dessert, and fresh lemonade or juice for drinks.
Address: Jardim Amália Rodrigues, Rua Marquês de Fronteira, 1070-099 Lisboa
Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day
TripAdvisor rating: 4 stars out of 5 – 187 reviews
Biblioteca Palácio Galveias cafe
This is a public library built into a 17th century palace, and is one of the earliest municipal libraries in Lisbon. The typical blue tiles are very reflective of the Portuguese culture, and it is a beautiful and quiet place, despite the number of students and residents who go there looking for some peaceful down time.
The garden offers outdoor seating as well as a cafe. It is really one of the best places to sit down and read, work, and enjoy the beauty and history that Lisbon has to offer.
Address: Biblioteca Palácio Galveias, Campo Pequeno, 1049-046 Lisboa
TripAdvisor rating: N/A
Choupana Caffé Saldanha
Choupana Caffé is known for its red croissant, which is essentially a regular croissant but red, and extra delicious. It’s a cozy cafe located in Saldanha, the business neighbourhood of Lisbon, and tends to get filled up with customers, so patience is required.
However, during the quieter periods, it’s a great place to sit and enjoy some treats and a coffee, and even get some work done. It’s also an excellent restaurant for brunch, perfect for those lazy weekend days.
Address: Av. da República 25A, 1050-186 Lisboa
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday thru Friday; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
TripAdvisor rating: 4 stars out of 5 – 431 reviews
There you have it, an extensive list of some of the best cafes to eat, chill, read, or work in Portugal’s capital city.
About the author:
A graduate of Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif., Liina Edun has a background in psychology and a career in writing and content management.
Having lived most of her life as an expat, she is currently located in Lisbon.
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