Cafe Culture In Lisbon

I’m always interested in learning what the coffee scene is when I travel.  Are locals drinking coffee on the go? Are they sitting with an espresso in the early mornings before they head to work? Finding out how people from a certain city, country, island drink coffee tells us a lot about them.

Coffee is deeply rooted in the everyday life of the average Portuguese, stemming from colonial times when coffee was heavily imported from Brazil. A ‘bica’ is what the citizens of Lisbon call an espresso, and it is basically a slightly longer espresso as compared to what we are used to. We checked out a few cafes that were new to the coffee scene in Lisbon – the vibe was hip and young – definitely created for the age of social media! Ha!

It will take a few more trips to Lisbon to learn more about their coffee culture but here’s a list of the cafe’s we visited and a few that we missed but that we’ve read some awesome things about.

Cafe Janis 

We loved this French-Mediterranean cafe! I had researched it before we arrived in Portugal but little did I know that it was only a few blocks away from our apartment. The cafe sits on a corner and will immediately remind you of one of those cute Parisian spots you want to take a million pictures of. Grab a sit outside,  order a cappuccino and get the avo toast –  so yummy! Plan to sit for a while – it’s in a good location to people watch.

Note: I was happy to discover Lisbon had a range of non-dairy options unlike some of the other European cities I’ve visited.


Comoba was awesome for many reasons. It had the healthiest menu and space was airy and stylish. I’ll warn you that you might want to come here a few times during your stay in Lisbon just to eat a few things off the menu! They use organic and seasonal produce and the match is sourced directly from Japan. The menu has dishes like matcha pancakes, banana bread, beetroot lattes and a ton of fresh juice options.

Note: Great spot for vegans! 

Picture Credit: Dear Breakfast Website.

Dear Breakfast

Out of all the cafes, this one had the longest wait – there’s literally a line outside the door so get there early! Dear Breakfast is tucked in a very narrow street near the neighborhood of Santa Catarina. You will have a ton of options to choose from – skip the avo toast – it wasn’t as great as the one at Cafe Janis but try the truffle omelet or eggs benedict!

Copenhagen Coffee Lab

We didn’t make it here but read great reviews for the coffee and location. It’s in the popular neighborhood of Bairro Alto.

Fabrika Coffee Roasters 

Sad we missed this spot because it’s considered to be one of the best coffee shops in Lisbon. If you’re a coffee snob – you may want to add this to your list.



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