An Insider's Guide to Mercado de Ribeira's Time Out Market
Lisbon’s Mercado da Ribeira has been a landmark since the 1890s when the market’s doors first opened in Cais do Sodré, but it was never as trendy as it has become today. It is now home to the Time Out Market, a food court run by its namesake, Time Out Lisboa Magazine. Whether you’re looking for a place to eat, a cool spot to hang out, or are with a group of indecisive hungry travelers, heading to the Time Out Market is a great plan.
Walk through the main doors and you will see a large food court lined in stalls selling a variety of Portuguese food, sweets, and drinks. At one far end, these stalls sell budget-friendly samples from a few of the country’s Michelin star chefs, each hailing from a different region of Portugal. A few top names include Portuguese Top Chef winner Alexandre Silva, 2005 Chef of the Year recipient Henrique Sá Pessoa, Marlene Vieira who hails from northern Portugal, and Porto-born Miguel Castro e Silva whose francesinha is definitely worth trying.
For more than a glimpse of the original farmer and fish market, swing by anytime before 2 PM and take a walk around. The Mercado da Ribeira also sells flowers and a number of souvenirs.
The big reason the venue stays busy, however, is the Time Out Market. The communal seating arrangement makes it easy for groups to stay together but during peak hours space becomes a bit snug. There are also restaurants with terrace seating around the perimeter of the historical building.
In addition to the well-known chef-run stalls are others that reflect a variety of cuisines from sushi to pizza and plenty in between. There is Santini (one of Lisbon’s favorite ice cream companies), Nós é Mais Bolos (serving a variety of Portugal’s favorite sweets), Manteigaria (for more than a bite of Lisbon’s famous pasteis de nata), and Sea Me (where seafood enthusiasts can try Portuguese and international fish and seafood dishes).
The center of the food court serves drinks, including Beer Experience Superbock, but wine aficionados will want to swing by Manteigaria Silva, which is actually a stall selling cold dry-cured meats (like presunto) and national cheeses, or the Garrafeira Nacional where many Portuguese wines can be found by the bottle.
The food court is certainly the star of the show but Time Out Market has a second facet which is attracting its own following. It’s also a space where freelancers and entrepreneurs can find their “second home” and that’s exactly what the co-working space is called, Second Home.
From street food to stalls inspired by high-end restaurants (like Tartar-ia, whose Chef Dieter Koschina is the mastermind behind the Vila Joya restaurant in the Algarve), Time Out Market seems to have something for everyone.