Varanda Restaurant has spectacular views of Eduardo VII Park | Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
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.
Enjoy delicious eggs at cosy Heim Cafe in Santos
Cafe, European, $$$
Heim Cafe offers four hearty brunch options | Courtesy of Heim Cafe
On the way to Lisbon’s National Museum of Ancient Art, you’ll find Heim Cafe. Created by two Ukrainians who always wanted to live by the sea, Heim brought new life to the once-sleepy Santos neighbourhood. It’s a small café, but once you get a spot, you’ll be able to sample its flavourful egg dishes. The smoked salmon toast is mouth-watering, as is the brunch selection. There are four options starting at €14 (£12.50) – yellow, blue, red and green, with the green one being vegetarian. All of them include fried or scrambled eggs, salad, fruit, home-made granola with yoghurt, juice and a choice between waffles and pancakes.
Visit Fauna and Flora in Madragoa for a healthy vegan breakfast
Cafe, European, $$$
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.
Have a luxurious brunch with a view of Eduardo VII Park at Varanda Restaurant
Have brunch with a gorgeous view at Varanda Restaurant | Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon
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.
Savour a traditional Portuguese breakfast at Pastelaria Alfama Doce in Alfama
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.
Try sweet and savoury crêpes at Maria Limão in Graça
Maria Limão serves a variety of crêpes and pancakes | Courtesy of Maria Limão
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.
Take delight in artisanal bread at ISCO in Alvalade
Cafe, European, $$$
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.