Lifestyle & Culture

Mónica Da Silva: New restaurants and cafés in Lisbon that are must-tries

Just Velvet

If you have read any of my previous posts, you probably know that I have a very expensive hobby: visiting as many restaurants and cafés as I can in every city I visit. Coming back after spending one year out of Lisbon, I realized that there were many new places to visit in town. And so, my journey started to find the best new places and create a curated list of my favorite must-try cafés and restaurants in Lisbon.

Plus, writing this post was very exciting as I even had the chance to talk to some of the people behind these tasty projects. 

Just Velvet

Website I Follow them: @justvelvetlisboa I Visit them: Rua dos Jerónimos, 14C

I found this café by chance while I was scrolling through Instagram and decided to check it out because their concept is totally unique. Yes, I have heard of shops specialized in chocolate products or in French or Italian patisserie, but I had never heard of a shop specialized in red velvet products. I must confess that this type of cake wasn’t among my favorites because the cream of the ones that I had tried before felt very heavy and full of fat. However, after trying mostly every product that they offer in Just Velvet, this cake just made it to my top three.  

As soon as I arrived, I was fascinated by how beautifully decorated the café was. Every little detail gives you a luxurious vibe that the owner later explained to me was inspired by the time period in which red velvet cake was created, the 1920s. When the moment came to decide what I was going to order, it was very hard because everything looked amazing. So, I tried the red velvet brownie and original red velvet cake there, and ordered some red velvet brigadeiros and cinnamon rolls to take away. 

After the life-changing experience of trying the cakes, I also had the pleasure of speaking with the creator of this project, Paola Giannone who told me that her first idea was to open a café specialized in chocolate products. But, as she started creating the menu, she realized that she was adding way too many of the red velvet options that she had spent years perfecting.

So, she decided to focus on developing all of her products around the red velvet concept. Paola also shared a little secret with me: she is working on new red velvet recipes to add to the menu, so you can expect this year to be full of surprises in Just Velvet! 


Website I Follow them: @burgavision I Visit them: Rua dos Lusíadas, 118

Another burger restaurant in Lisbon? Yes, but with a twist. Expats Mike Scrimshaw and Gerardo Salazar met in 2017 in Buenos Aires, each one with their own culinary projects, and decided to join their creativity and passion in Lisbon in this project called Burgavision.

Mike is Canadian and Gerardo Venezuelan, so the amazing combination of flavors and great number of options you have to choose from in their menu doesn’t come as a surprise. So, trust me it isn’t “just another” burger restaurant. 

Although the main character in Burgavision is, of course, the smashed burger, there are over six combinations that include goat cheese, jalapenos, caramelized onions, bacon, cheddar and many others. Furthermore, if you are a vegetarian, you can have any of their burgers with a veggie patty or you can try one of their amazing sandwiches. The starters are a mix of Venezuelan, Korean and north-American finger food that I can’t recommend enough. Pro tip: if you want even more options, do check their secret menu scanning the QR code on the menu. 

Despite having a full house and all the non-stopping delivery requests they were receiving while I was there, Mike was kind enough to approach me and was able to talk to me about the project. I was curious about the location because the restaurant isn’t in the typical hype touristy area of Lisbon. But, he explained to me that their choice of location wasn’t an accident; they didn’t want to have a restaurant that felt as an outsider to the locals. So, they chose a quite local neighborhood that still receives some tourists, and you can see this balance in their clientele. 

O Passo

Website I Follow them: I Visit them: Rua Costa Pinto, 158

One of the things that I love the most is seeing how cities change according to the needs of the people that live there and this place is the perfect example of that. O Passo used to be a local bakery called Padaria da Praceta and now it has grown and evolved into a wonderful kid-friendly co-working café. And, when they say “kid-friendly” it isn’t just that kids are accepted, there is a whole dedicated area for kids to play, run, explore and interact with other children. Although I don’t have children, I believe it is a wonderful idea to have a space where kids can be kids while their parents have some coffee or check their work emails.  

I found this place one day after I had just finished eating around the area and, as I passed by, and saw the beautiful decoration I had to stop to check it out. Since I hadn’t had dessert, I ordered a piece of chocolate cake that was amazing, and an affogato. But I saw that their menu also includes a wide range of baked products, sandwiches, wraps, salads, crepes and many other brunch and lunch options. They also have many drink options with and without alcohol which is perfect if you feel like having a cocktail after work. 

Regarding work, their coworking fees go from €15 to €200 depending on your needs, of course. You can use the space for a day or book it weekly or monthly, have access to a printer, a private meeting room or even request a mail-handling service. The co-work space is on the second floor, while the kid-dedicated area and the café are on the first floor. So if you are not a fan of having kids around, you have nothing to worry about.

Lumi Geladaria

Follow them: @lumigeladaria I Visit them: Estrada de Benfica, 733C

As spring arrives, what could be better than sitting under the sun eating some freshly made artisanal ice cream? If that sounds like a good plan, Lumi is the perfect place for you.

To make it even better, the creators of this project, Luís Antunes and José Pereira, are very committed to the freshness of their products, but also to supporting the local economy, so the ice cream flavors that are offered every day vary according to what fresh fruit the local market of Benfica has available. Although there isn’t a fixed menu, there are around 24 different flavors of ice cream to choose from made of the best quality ingredients.  

Besides the wide range of flavors, they also offer some vegan options, some without lactose and even some without sugar. Since they opened the café last summer, they have also added some brunch options on the weekends and a delicious selection of waffles, brownies, crepes and pancakes to eat together with your ice cream. Luís and José, who come from the business and health area, have taken different courses in order to learn and perfect their method which they describe as traditionally Italian but with Portuguese spirit. 


Read more about Lisbon here in Dispatches’ archives.

See more from Mónica here.

Website | + posts

Mónica da Silva is half-Venezuelan, half Portuguese and has lived in Venezuela, Portugal, Spain and Germany. She has studies linguistics and has a Bachelor’s Degree in European Studies. Besides contributing to Dispatches, she works remotely as an English teacher, which allows her to be on the move as often as she wants. 

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