There are lots of things you can bring back to your estranged family or friends, but some are better than others. Not everyone likes wooden roosters, after all.
A Vida Portuguesa
Rua Anchieta 11, 1200-023, Chiado
213 465 073 website
Daily, 10h30 – 19h30
Largo do Intendente Pina Manique 23, Intendente
211 974 512
Now I’m not one to give a nod to a clearly tourist-focused shop, but if you’re going to bring something home for souvenirs, skip the Ronaldo jerseys and do it right. On a side nook in Chiado, if only to browse for ideas, this beautifully curated shop was established to preserve and promote antique articles that are truly Portuguese. Pick up a copper pot, a bar of lavender soap, a ceramic swallow in flight, even a cork messenger bag, and though it will cost you a pretty penny, it’ll be worth it. Just wandering from room to meticulously organized room makes you feel like you are in a museum. If you didn’t really GET the “Portuguese Life” before, you will. And that’s the lasting souvenir you take with you when you exit, empty-handed or no.
There’s also an outpost in Cais Sodre’s Centro Vasco da Gama if you want to shop with a snack.
Conserveira de Lisboa
Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 34, Baixa
218 864 009 website
Mon – Sat, 9h – 19h
If it’s traditional canned fish you’re after, look no further. This family-operated shop is one of the oldest conserveiras in Lisbon, with a focus on preserving its 3 trademarked brands: Tricana, Minor, and Prata do Mar. The store is a delightful treasure trove of trinkets that reach beyond the boundaries of canned fish alone while the atmosphere gives you a peek into life before hypermarkets and fresh direct.
Loja das Conservas
Rua do Arsenal, 130, Baixa
911 181 210 website
Mon – Sat, 10h – 21h; Sun 12h – 20h
This adorable celebration of the Portuguese canning tradition offers the old canned staples and also offers a selection from some canning new-comers who have created branding decals for the newer generations. Mix and match your favorite fish with sauces from spicy tomato to Portugal’s signature azeite (olive oil). Meticulously curated wooden-crate gift boxes are also available.
Rua do Arsenal 15, Baixa
210 312 820
Daily, 9h30 – 19h30
If you want to find some souvenirs that have been curated to exclude the masses of tacky trinkets you see everywhere else, check out this shop just off of Praça Comércio. They’ve got everything from literature and guide books and vinyl cityscape wall decals to stuffed Pessoas and sidewalk cobblestone coasters. There’s something for everyone in here, though it is more expensive than your average souvenir shop, but the price extends to the quality. Atlas’ favorite item? The ceramic coffee cup printed with the useless TV antennae of Lisbon rooftops and the vintage fado posters.
Rua Garret, 38, Chiado
213 426 694 website
Mon – Sat, 9h30 – 18h30
Portugal is famous for its bica (espresso) so just about anything you find in your average grocery is going to be a treat, but if you like loose-leaf teas, strange looking bon bons, and chemistry set coffee contraptions, you shouldn’t miss this 1930s shop in Chiado. The gentlemen manning the counters seem as old as the shop itself as is the vintage port wine. Their coffee beans are ground in front of you in huge silver grinders the size of fire hydrants and wrapped with the utmost care and dexterity. Need something from the top shelf? Unless you can reach it, prepare to be on high alert: the attendants will draw out a rickety old stool and teeter ontop of it to fetch your fancy, defying the laws of gravity and half convincing you this maneuver will be their last. Now that’s dedication for you.
Loiça ao Kilo
Rua Capelo, 16, Chiado
215 984 813
Mon – Sat, 10h – 20h; Sun, 12h – 20h
Pick out what you want, and pay by the kilo! This is the best place to find pitchers, plates, bowls, cups and more, all made right here in Portugal and for a fraction of the price you would pay anywhere else. This is a store full of rejected items from well-known potters across the country. Usually these flaws are minor and unless you have a magnifying glass, chances are you won’t even notice it: a bubble in the glaze, a slightly smeared stamp on the bottom, you get the idea. Before you buy, do a quick scan and check for unfixable cracks if you plan to use the item to hold liquids, but if you’re using it for decorative purposes only, then who cares! A great alternative to high-priced ceramic shops in the area for souvenirs and a good way to diversify your own kitchen cabinets.
Museu da Cerveja
Terreiro do Paco, Ala Nascente, 62 a 65, Baixa
210 987 656 website
Daily, 12h – 22h30
For the beer enthusiast, Lisbon can be a bit on the disappointing side if you expect everyone to carry a beer list to rival their wine list. It just isn’t so. One place you can stop in for a great local brew or one imported from places like Moçambique, Madeira, and Angola, is this large restaurant on the main square. Besides a bar, they serve and sell these inverted bottle glasses, which are a great gift to bring home. Most glasses are printed with a quote from a Portuguese author, like Pessoa or Saramago.
Praca da Figueira 18B, Restauradores
213 243 000 website
Daily, 8h – 20h
If you have a sweet tooth and the sight of dozens of miniature cakes, tarts, and unnameable puffed-perfections makes your hands start shaking, you’ll need to gather yourself as you breeze through the entrance to this pastry-maker’s palace. Having been established in 1829, these guys know what they’re doing and the setting alone with its old-world opulence is enough to make even the coolest cucumber go gaga. Grab a pastry to go (para levar) or head to their seating area in the foyer or at the top of the grand spiral staircase, and stay awhile. Your time spent at a table might be by design, but don’t expect to get your (reasonable) bill quickly, as there will almost certainly be lots of locals and tourists alike who have been waiting even longer, pumped full of coffee and sugar.
Rua de São Vicente 17, Alfama
936 399 505 website
Daily, 10h – 21h
If you want to support local businesses trying to make a difference, Atlas recommends stopping into Garbags the next time you’re around Graça or Alfama. There’s usually a stand in the castle as well as a brick and mortar, so be on the lookout. It offers bags up-cycled from packaging materials like bags of chips, promotional banners, coffee bags, toothpaste tubes and more. Need a pannier for your bike? They’ve got ’em! Need a Portuguese coffee branded wallet? No problem. Ditch the obvious tourist splurges and opt for something a little more charming and a little less wasteful. Read about the owner Tânia Anselmo and her mission here on our blog.