Lisbon is renowned for its delicious pastries and cheap, quality coffee, making breakfast one of the best meals of the day. While pastelarias were once the ultimate breakfast institution, these historic establishments now stand shoulder to shoulder with trendy brunch cafés and luxurious hotels. Serving everything from traditional Portuguese plates to sought-after avocado toast, here are the best breakfast and brunch spots in Lisbon.
For centuries, pastelarias have been a meeting point for breakfast in Lisbon. Sweet pastries, toasted bread and a galão (coffee with milk) is the standard order at these traditional cafés and one that has yet to change. While brunch is a recent trend in Lisbon, it’s one that’s quickly taking over the city, meeting local demands for avocado toast, runny poached eggs and healthy granola. It’s this mix of old and modern eateries that makes Lisbon’s brunch scene so unique. From all-day brunch to artisanal pastries and luxurious hotel feasts, Lisbon is brimming with breakfast options, and you’ll find the best spots right here on this list.
On the way to Lisbon’s National Museum of Ancient Art, you’ll find Heim Cafe. Created by two Ukrainians who always wanted to live by the sea, Heim brought new life to the once-sleepy Santos neighbourhood. It’s a small café, but once you get a spot, you’ll be able to sample its flavourful egg dishes. The smoked salmon toast is mouth-watering, as is the brunch selection. There are four options starting at €14 (£12.50) – yellow, blue, red and green, with the green one being vegetarian. All of them include fried or scrambled eggs, salad, fruit, home-made granola with yoghurt, juice and a choice between waffles and pancakes.
With a giant monstera leaf at the bar and tiny succulents by the tables, wherever you look, Fauna and Flora is surrounded by plants. This café in Madragoa serves healthy brunches with no time restrictions, meaning from the moment it opens until the doors close, you can order your favourite breakfast. Other than the usual features like smoothie bowls, pancakes and toast, this café also offers mini burgers and scrumptious avocado nests. Plus, there’s a vegan option for most orders.
Long before the wave of trendy brunch cafés arrived in Lisbon, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz was serving a luxurious weekend brunch at its restaurant Varanda. With an exceptional view of Eduardo VII Park, Varanda is famous for its diverse menu curated by chef Pascal Meynard and his team. At €68 (£60), the brunch is a bit pricier than the other places on this list, but it’s worth it for the five-star treatment and the lavish all-you-can-eat buffet.
Most people head to Alfama for the evening fado sessions, but if you’re setting off for breakfast, you should visit Pastelaria Alfama Doce. Amid a street of whitewashed houses, this café is the perfect place to grab a traditional Portuguese breakfast in Lisbon. Order your coffee of choice first, and then pick a sweet or savoury snack directly from the counter – such as a merenda mista (ham-and-cheese snack) or a bolo de arroz (rice cake) – and linger for as long as you like.
What started as a lemonade stand at a Lisbon viewpoint soon became this café on a quiet street in the Graça neighbourhood. While the lemonade is still on the menu, Maria Limão is now breaking into Lisbon’s brunch scene, with a focus on crêpes and pancakes. For those with a sweet tooth, the Nutella and strudel crêpes are a delight. There’s a savoury section too, incorporating hummus, guacamole or smoked salmon. Both sweet and savoury options cost less than €5 (£4.50) each.
While Pastelaria Versailles is outside the city centre, it has long been a favourite of Portuguese families hungry for breakfast. Established in 1922, this historic café is decorated in an Art Nouveau style, featuring ornamented ceilings and dark-wood furniture inside its rooms. Behind the glass counter, there’s an overwhelming selection of Portuguese pastries that go way beyond pastéis de nata. Make sure to take a peek before sitting down, or ask the staff for their recommendations.
When Amélia opened in 2018, it became one of the trendiest brunch spots in Lisbon. While its neon lights, floral wallpaper and al fresco dining patio drew in the first visitors to this stylish café in Campo de Ourique, it was the fluffy pancakes that made them return. Amélia is one of four brunch spaces created by sisters Bárbara and Débora, who wanted to bring a bit of London and New York to Lisbon. There’s an all-day brunch option for €15 (£13), but its pancakes are the highlight, with flavours ranging from red velvet to banoffee.
There’s more to Alvalade than its sporting stadium. Since 2018, this Lisbon neighbourhood has also been home to artisanal bakery ISCO. When you pass by, the irresistible smell of fresh bread will catch your attention. Owner Paulo Sebastião is a former IT consultant who became interested in baking after interning at a bakery in Stockholm. Now he runs ISCO, a bakery and café that sells fresh bread, along with croissants, pain au chocolat and cinnamon rolls.
When entering Zenith, you can’t help but notice the exposed-brick walls and vintage lamps hanging above the bar. But this brunch restaurant offers more than quirky retro design. From the classic eggs benedict to the colourful açaí bowls and the Moroccan-inspired shakshuka, Zenith offers a wide range of dishes, where all-day brunch is the norm. For drinks, there are freshly squeezed juices, speciality coffee and cocktails, such as mimosas and bloody marys, on offer. From the café, you can climb Jardim do Torel, a small hill offering incredible views over the city.
There’s no better way to start the day in Lisbon than with a coffee and a pastel de nata. These traditional Portuguese custard tarts are available all over the city, but the best ones come from Manteigaria. Step inside its factory at Rua do Loreto or at Time Out Market and see batches of fresh pastéis de nata coming in and out of the oven by the hour. You can eat one by the counter with an espresso, or get a box to go, and enjoy your breakfast at the nearest viewpoint.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.