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A Brasileira - Typical portuguese failure
It's a pity, really. The café A Brasileira in Chiado - downtown Lisbon, it could be quite a cool place to hang out. It has history and it's quite beautiful inside.
It opened in November 1905, selling coffee from Brasil. It got extremely popular around the 20's to the local artists, like Almada Negreiros, Fernando Pessoa.
Nowadays it's still beautiful, it has a statue of Fernando Pessoa outside on the esplanade, and it's popular among artists (the university of Arts it's very close) and tourists.
I just think it's a tourist trap, cause it's very popular among these type of portuguese restaurants and coffee places to accommodate to the fact that people will always go there because of it's history... unfortunately i think it's quite common in this kind of places in Lisbon to have a bad service, bad food, and expensive, of course...
unfortiunatly i think it's quite common in this kind of placesin Lisbon to have a bad service, bad food, and expensive, of course...
Unique Suggestions: Take a coffee inside to appreciate the decor!
Those Aren't Free!
Those cheeses, breads, olives and other treats that the waiters bring out before a meal and just about every restaurant in Lisbon are not free and the price per treat could add up. We were aware going to Lisbon that such pre-dinner items cost money but we had no idea how much they could actually bang you for at some establishments. Some restaurants will put the prices on the menu, or seeing that you are a tourist, will explain to you how it works, whereas others are deceiving. In one establishment it cost us 1.50 Euro for each pad of butter that we were given. Now that's highway robbery! Overwhelmingly so, prices in Lisbon are more than reasonable, so when you are in a place that receives more tourists than locals (especially fado clubs) be sure that you are aware of what things are costing you.
In every restaurant we went to in Lisbon as soon as we sat down we were brought a variety of goodies such as bread, crackers, cheese, sardine paste, prawns. But a word of warning, these appetisers aren't for free. They are what is known as covers and there will be a charge. In the better restaurants, these charges were clearly marked in the menu, and were reasonable enough to be nothing to worry about. However, in a few it was less obvious and a plate of prawns that we hadn't even asked for would have actually set us back over E10.00 if we'd decided to have one. So just a warning to be wary as it could ruin your meal and make your bill unexpectedly high.
Unique Suggestions: Having stated the above,don't let this put you off trying the starters if you know how much it is going to cost you, as we had some really tasty cheese at one place that we would not have chosen had it been left to us to order.
- Food and Dining
Nice to drink a beer but nothing more...
Cerveceria do Trinidad is suggested by every travel book. The ambience is very nice, the wall is covered by "azulejos" BUT we waited one hour to be seated (there is a long waiting list....even worse than in every company's canteen...) and half an hour to give our order. the food was ok, but I think Lisbon is full of nice places where to eat something similar without waiting so long!!!! Because it's so crowder, the waiters have to hurry a lot and do not listen carefully to your wishes.
Unique Suggestions: JUST DRINK A BEER. IT'S REALLY GOOD and the place is very nice to see.
Fun Alternatives: LEITERARIA ACADEMICA (SEE MAURIZIOAGO'S LISBON HOMEPAGE)
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Beware of portas de Stº Antão restaurants
Most of the restaurants in this area are tourist traps. Probably if you ask for a good restaurant at your hotel desk I would guess that 80% of times you will be pointed to there. Very expensive to what they give you. There's an exception: The Gambrinus restaurant. This one is one of the best in town, but very very expensive.
Also avoid most of the Fado houses in Bairro Alto. Most of them only work for tourists, what you'll hear has nothing to do with a true Fado House. And don't forget - as soon as you enter you start to pay!!
Unique Suggestions: well...pay and go away!! :)
Dont eat here if you are not conversant with the language! I patted with about 70 euros here for a simple dinner!
Unique Suggestions: I know this particular restaurant was very close to Mr President before I carry myself to enter. However, I guess my obvious disposition as an excited tourist got me into trouble. The guys were busy asking me friendly questions..Is it your first time here, are you American, where are you from? etc...and by the time they finished with the questioniing, they have made up theire mind to deal with me.
Fun Alternatives: Its good to go with a local, or go to the those restaurant that look more expensive on the water across...They have clearer menu list and with the prices of what you are ordering.
Rua Porta de Santo Antao
oh my guide this "eating lane" is just like little italy in NYC! you cannot walk around the street without being talking to the waiters. you cannot even look at the menu and check out the price without "molested" ..... my cousin and i actually went to one of them and paid about 35 euro for two glasses of wine, which they brought us a half bottle and then explained to us that they don´t sell wine by glass, and six tiny shrimps swimming butter. yuck!
Unique Suggestions: look at the restaurants where there are no tourists in sight. haha. where you see the locals hang out probably that´s you best place to go.
Restaurant Nile, Baixa
This is the worst eating experience I ever had. The vegetarian dish tasted like nothing, after complaining, the waiter showed us the desserts card. Thinking it would be free, we ordered a pudding, but it was added to the bill as well. Very bad price-value relation.
Fun Alternatives: There’s Indian restaurants around the corner, and a very good Maroccan one, Ali A Papa, in Rua de Atalaia.
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
The only tourist trap for many...
The only tourist trap for many North Americans is that when you go to the restaurant and they put olives, butter, bread and cheese on the table, if you touch it, you pay, per person, not much though, it's called a 'cover' and usually will be no more than $3 US per person. It's worth it really and sometimes in Italian restaurants they even put parma prosciutto included, so they did at Extravaganza!
At a restaurant, after you...
At a restaurant, after you have ordered your food, the waiter may return and put a plate of prawns on the table. Be very careful because 1) If you eat one, you pay for all and a whole plate's worth are expensive. 2) Those who know this will not eat them so at the end of a meal the prawns are taken back, only to be returned to a table of the next unsuspecting tourists. This becomes a problem if you are eating outside because prawns are cool then warm then cool then warm etc. Watch out, I recommend you avoid this dish.
Rua da Portas de Santo Antao
Rua da Portas de Santo Antao, just north of Rossio, is one of the few streets in Lisbon where you'll be approached by waiters in the street trying to entice you to eat in their restaurant. One of the hotels we stayed at in Lisbon was at the top end of the street so we had to walk down it quite often and it was very frustrating being approached every few metres. One time a waiter followed us and wouldn't give up. As if that's going to work!!
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