Unconventional and free-spirited Bairro Alto isn’t all dive bars and crowded restaurants. It has its fair share of sophisticated wine tasting spots, too. Here are the best places to sit back and appreciate the different Portuguese
wines in one of Lisbon’s most loved neighborhoods.
Grapes & Bites
As its name suggests, Grapes & Bites is all about wine and food (especially Portuguese appetizers called petiscos). Choose the flavors for your palate from around 1000 different wines in a renovated 18th-century building where carriages were once held. Visitors will know that this is an excellent choice from the moment they walk in, between the wine bottles that fill the walls and the wine barrels that act as tables. Grapes & Bites is also one of the venues in Bairro Alto that offers live music, so patrons can relax with an aromatic glass while losing themselves to tunes.
R. do Norte 83, Lisbon, Portugal
BA Wine Bar do Bairro Alto
BA Wine Bar cannot be missed, despite its location in a tiny neighborhood; it’s still surrounded by many bars and restaurants. This is a location where options will not be a problem since the BA Wine Bar has more than 500 types of wine to try, by the glass and bottle. Since wine is best accompanied by snacks, the BA Wine Bar’s kitchen is fully prepared with a variety of cheeses, sausages, and house-made canned fish. This is a favorite location in the city, among locals and tourists alike, and though it has only been open since 2012, this venue has already made a strong name for itself among others that have been in the area for much longer.
R. da Rosa 107, 1200-382 Lisbon, Portugal
Despite visiting Portugal, some people prefer pairing wine with flavors of tomato and pasta – in short, with Italian cuisine. If this is the case, visit Restaurante Casanostra. This cozy Italian restaurant has been serving tasty Italian cuisine in Bairro Alto since it opened in 1986. It’s also a beautiful spot decorated in soft blues and whites and with a touch of country living. A few treats that can be expected, in addition to the many wines, include pizzas, pastas, and fish dishes.
Tv. do Poço da Cidade 60, Lisbon, Portugal
Bar, Portuguese, $$$
This little “hole in the wall” bar in Bairro Alto is another venue with a large selection of wines, cheese, olives, and meats to savor. In this cozy space, the idea of friendship and enjoying “the simpler side of life” is the theme, all while enjoying the surprises on the menu. Garrafeira Alfaia’s menu is revised roughly twice a month, so different wines are always passing through (roughly around 400 different types to try). As for appetizers, patrons can expect Portugal’s most traditional snacks from different regions. The rustic interior and tight space may also make visitors feel like they’re sipping wine straight from a wine cellar.
R. do Diário de Notícias 125, Lisbon, Portugal
The Old Pharmacy
Sometimes, a glass of wine is just what the doctor ordered. Upon entering The Old Pharmacy, there will be no mistaking that this spot was, in fact, a pharmacy once upon a time. The décor alone will help provide a different kind of experience from other wine bars, and the white walls and colorful accents keep this venue light and bright. Though the owners are not Portuguese, the wines and treats all are, and patrons can expect an enjoyable selection of drinks and food at The Old Pharmacy as they would at any of the other bars.
83, R. do Diário de Notícias 73, Lisbon, Portugal
For an authentic wine tasting experience, the Lisbon Winery is a no brainer. They specialize in popular and high-quality wines, as well as a small yet full menu that spans Portuguese artisanal cheeses, gourmet pork sausages, ham, and homemade jams. Over 200 wines are on the menu, which cost around €4 on the low end and go up in price depending on the wine. Tastings at the higher rate include a sampling of five premium wines or Port wines for €65 per person, and the Lisbon Winery offers a tasting of three extra virgin olive oil styles for €3 as a special touch.
R. da Barroca 13, Lisbon, Portugal
Call Francisco, the man in charge at Venha Vinho, and learn all about Portuguese wines from the Verde region, Alentejo, Tejo, Lisbon, Dão, Bairrada, and Douro (among others). Choose between sampling three or five wines with someone special, or organize an entire wine tasting party with a group of family and friends. Depending on which experience is chosen, a tasting can last between 60 to 120 minutes. Venha Vinho also offers wine classes and week-long regional wine tours, but for a simple day visit in Lisbon, this venue has received raving reviews.
Tv. Bica Grande 4, Lisbon, Portugal