Is Lisbon the cool city in Europe?

29 April 2023
Is Lisbon the cool  city in Europe?

It seems that Portuguese cuisine is currently experiencing an international craze. Perhaps. In any case, we see a lot of "foodies " from all over the world flocking to Lisbon, which partly helps to stimulate local gastronomic creativity, but also puts the city at risk of gentrification.


In the tiny cobbled streets, you can see graffiti such as "Tourists Suck " or "  Fuck AirBnB ". But we also meet grandmothers who sell you a few shots of ginjinha, a cherry liqueur, which we take down in the middle of the afternoon wondering what life we could have had if this grandmother had been ours. In restaurants, people all smoke, including those where on the white tablecloths are arranged wine glasses of three different sizes, like O Magano. Port-tonico, which as its name suggests combines port and tonic, and which you can not do without once you have tasted it, is generous ; It drizzles a bean salad, a Portuguese sausage salad or a nice grilled sole. It ends with a kind of cake, or rather cake-id which consists of a large pile of egg yolks thickened by sugar. The appropriate conclusion to a series of sensational dishes, never cool, at least never cool in the "trendy " sense of the word. But by inversion, this ignorance of cool, of self-conscious cool, makes the taste experience authentically cool – because above all delicious.


La capitale portugaise regorge de bons restos comme O Magano où lon dguste de dlicieuses soles grilles.
The Portuguese capital is full of good restaurants, such as O Magano where you can enjoy delicious grilled soles.


No reluctant bosses

From their restaurants and culinary traditions, Lisboners are not the type to make a whole dish – no pun intended. If you go to the Cervejaria Ramiro, for example, an establishment considered by some experts to be the best in Lisbon, you will not meet anyone, neither among the owners nor among the customers, who will come to tell you that he knows very well the incredible guy who caught the crab you eat, or tell you in detail how it was prepared. This kind of conversation is not in the habits of the Portuguese capital, or let's say that it is not a priority of its inhabitants. The Cervejeria is nevertheless popular with tourists for its exceptional seafood menu: let us mention its small shrimps with garlic and olive oil, its large super fleshy shrimps, its clams to be damned, not to mention its rock lobster – the "rock lobster " of the B-52's song – , which, despite its indecent dimensions, makes you want to order a second one as soon as the first one is finished.

Chez Cantinho do Aziz on festoie dans la rue. Les fumeurs apprcieront même si au Portugal tout le monde clope aussi à...
At Cantinho do Aziz, we feast in the street. Smokers will appreciate it, even if, in Portugal, everyone also clops inside.

In the same spirit as the Cervejeria Ramiro, A Petisqueira, with its incredible grilled sardines, is worth a visit. Accompanied by tomatoes apparently not ripe enough but in fact delicious, steamed apples in rings, lettuce and some chopped onions, the small fish are served to you by a fifty-year-old who does not speak English and who most probably does not know that it is in his suburban shop, in Cacilhas, we tasted the best sardinhas of our stay.


Les apptissantes crevettes gantes de chez Ramiro.
The appetizing giant shrimp from Ramiro

Since we talked about eggs and sugar, we must necessarily mention the emblematic pastry of the Portuguese stoves: it is of course pastéis de nata. Who could resist this divine creation? To this light, crispy, almost burnt crust, which delivers in its heart a debauchery of cream both firm and unctuous ? What finally looks, when you think about it, like a kind of croissant filled with crème brûlée ? Nobody, ever, anywhere : the pastel de nata supports in theory no opposition. But when one of the employees of Pastéis de Bélem, an old house expert in the field, advises without warning to test the pastel of bacalhau, or cod fritter, which is eaten a little warm, we comply and suddenly we doubt. What if it wasn't that, basically, that we would want to eat for breakfast ?


Lisbonne estelle la ville la plus cool d'Europe
Good addresses

O Magano for cool and  porto-tonico.
R.Tomás da Anunciação 52A 1350-328, Lisbon


Cervejaria Ramiro for humility and seafood.
Av. Almirante Reis nº1 - H, 1150-007, Lisbon

In Petisqueira for grilled sardines and the boss.
R. Direita 32, 4910-155, Caminha

Pastéis de Bélem for its... pastéis.
Rua de Belém nº 84 a 92 – 1300–085, Lisbon

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