Portugal is famed for its excellent wines and ports, so visiting a local wine bar during your trip to Lisbon is essential. In recent years, the number of decent wine cellars and trendy bars has increased along with the influx of tourists. Our guide explores the best wine bars in the city, both those loved by tourists and the precious secrets of local city dwellers.
The interior of Chinese Pavilion could be easily mistaken for one of the neighbourhood’s antiques shops. Inside, there are more than 4,000 pieces of art are neatly hung and placed behind glass cabinets. Chinese Pavilion has a vast display of collectables and art pieces of all kinds, and it looks like a museum. The bar has many tiny rooms that create a very intimate and relaxing atmosphere. Visitors are encouraged to try a great selection of cocktails.
Rua D. Pedro V, 89, Lisbon, Portugal, +351 213 424 729
Vestigius is a wine cellar that was built in a restored warehouse and now acts as a cultural center, as it frequently hosts cultural, music and art events. It has an unusual concept as it houses a classic wine cellar in the basement and a bar where modern cocktails are served. The interior of the bar looks refined, and most of the decoration comes from recycled materials. Disused maritime items such as a shipwreck or a hunk of rope are turned into a dining table and a chandelier respectively. Vestigius serves great local and international food to accompany the wine tasting process.
Taberna Rua das Flores
This tavern has preserved the typical interior and mood of traditional Portuguese taverns, with their dim lights and creaking wooden stools. Taberna Rua das Flores is in a very central location that is easy to find. It offers excellent house wines, served in low glasses. There is no standard menu, since all meals are prepared from ingredients that are available on the day, and the selection of available dishes depends upon the chef’s preference.
Rua das Flores, 103, Chiado, Lisbon, + 351 213 479 418
The Old Pharmacy Wine Bar
The Old Pharmacy has a distinct interior and ambiance. It is located in a former pharmacy, which is now transformed into this charming wine cellar, with glass cabinets that preserve precious bottles of aged wine. The rest of the interior is simple and includes wooden benches and wine barrels in the place of tables. The Old Pharmacy offers a 200-strong selection of wines from all the main Portuguese wine producers. The menu offers tasty plates of classic tapas, ham, cheese and other snacks. It is a good idea to dedicate a whole evening to tasting wines in the intimate vintage setting of The Old Pharmacy.
Rua do Diario de Noticias 73-81, Lisbon, Portugal, +351 920 230 989
Tasca do Chico
This traditional bar is a perfect spot to enjoy an authentic fado performance. The wine bar offers a lovely relaxing atmosphere, due partly to its small size. It is a place where you would just want to enjoy the company of friends, or perhaps even strangers, as everyone is so welcoming here. Fado sessions are held every Monday and Wednesday from 9pm, and it is advisable to arrive early, because the bar gets crowded very quickly. What is unique is the combination of fado and a tiny performance space, as it creates a uniting atmosphere in which people are brought together by the melodies of guitars during performances.
Rua do Diário de Notícias, 39, Lisbon, Portugal, +351 961 339 696
By The Wine
By The Wine is the Lisbon flagship store of the famous vintner José Maria da Fonseca. The company is one of the biggest in Portugal, and releases wine brands like Periquita, Domini and Hexaon. By The Wine offers the traditional atmosphere of a wine cellar, with a captivating classical interior. Wine bottles are displayed on shelves and arches. There are hundreds of excellent wines available by the glass or in bottles. Among the food options are iberico ham and various cheeses, as well as clams and oysters.
Rua das Flores, 41-43, Lisbon, Portugal,+351 21 342 0319
Solar Do Vinho Do Porto
The ones who dream of tasting Porto wine do not necessarily have to travel all the way to the north of Portugal; it is enough to visit this fine wine cellar and enjoy the excellent service. Solar do Vinho do Porto specializes in serving famous wine produces from the northern part of Portugal. The place has more than 150 different kinds of wines and fortified wines, which range from inexpensive to high end samples. Porto wines are treasures, rich in flavor, they have the ability to awaken the senses, and are a must try when visiting Lisbon.
Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara, 45, Lisbon, Portugal, + 351 213 475 707
Vinho Sim Principio
Wine Without Principle is a classic example of an ascetic interior setting with minimalist décor. The specialty here is wine-tasting, so the rest of the interior is very minimal. This classic wine bar is always full with international wine lovers. The air in is full of the sweet scents of grapes coming from the barrels. The walls also incorporate empty wine bottles hanging upside down and marked with amusing phrases. The bar also serves food options, such as soft and juicy meats available as part of a four or seven course meal with roasted chorizo, roasted potatoes and cod fish fritters.
Rua da Alfândega 110, Lisboa, Portugal,+351 21 886 20 20
Bela Vinhos e Petiscos
This little restaurant specializes in petiscos, or traditional Portuguese snacks, and mixes them with the flavors of some of Portugal’s former colonies in Africa and Asia. The interior features an eclectic setting, with colorful cutlery glued to the walls and hung on the ceiling. The small venue creates an intimate and family mood. Bela Vinhos e Petiscos offers great and inexpensive sangria, and customers are also advised to try the baked cod and petiscos with sardines and eels. Artists perform Brazilian and African music, and the restaurant frequently holds poetry nights and private fado performances.
Rua dos Remédios, 186 – 190, Lisboa, Portugal, + 351 926 077 511
BA Wine Bar do Bairro Alto
Despite its small capacity, this central wine bar is always receiving positive reviews, and it houses around 200 different bottles of Portuguese wine in the cellar. The wine is served by the glass, and the history of origins of grapes and each specific type is explained to customers. There is a wide selection of tasty tapas, including cheeses, hams and tuna. Depending on the tastes and preferences of clients, members of staff will pick a perfect wine drink with rich flavors and a mild grape aroma.
Rua da Rosa, 107, Lisbon, Portugal,+351 21 346 1182