5 Best Cafes in The Alfama


If you don’t know what you’re looking for, the Alfama can be incredibly time consuming to navigate. Very often you’ll make your way up one hill only to find the bend you needed to take was atop another; it’s an endless meander, with souvenir stores, bakeries, restaurants and viewpoints in between.

Cafes aren’t abundant in the Alfama, but there are a few! Look out for the following five:

The Alfama – by Ken & Nyetta – Wikimedia Commons

1. Quase Café in The Alfama

What an absolute treat! Quase Cafe was recommended to me by a friend and it completely exceeded my expectations; I went back three times in a week and a half.

Quase is in the northern part of the Alfama, tucked in the back of an old building that has definitely been here since the beginning of Lisbon.

Quase Café in The Alfama – by Quase Café – Sourced from their Facebook

Though you can have lunch here, this is absolutely more of a breakfast/brunch cafe. The menu has something for everyone, though their pancake platters are a real crowd pleaser. Five fluffy cakes, a yoghurt, berry and granola pot, & a heart serving of a range of fresh fruits.

There is also egg and mushroom toasts, avocado plates, croissants, quiche… a never-ending buffet of goodness at Quase. Excellent coffee, too.

OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday — 8am to 4pm
ADDRESS: Rua do Salvador 14, 1100-465 Lisboa, Portugal
Metro STATION: Martim Moniz

2. Copenhagen Coffee Lab in The Alfama

The Copenhagen Coffee Lab is a more well known spot in the Alfama and tourists do flock here. It’s also close to the Santa Luzia viewpoint, so it’s easy to find.

Don’t let the coffee lab label deter you, this is a full on cafe space with menus for breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon snacks. That being said, all of the main meals are considered “light” and are best enjoyed with a hot cup of something & a pastry.

Copenhagen Coffee Lab in The Alfama – by Copenhagen Coffee Lab – Uploaded by them

The exact name of the pastry I had escapes me, but if you just ask for a “cinnamon roll” they should know what you mean. Unbelievable! And paired with the chai latte? Wow, wow, wow.

If you’re lucky you’ll experience the staff chase pigeons away using water guns. Just another day in the Alfama.

OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday — 8am to 6pm
ADDRESS: Campo de Santa Clara 34, 1100-435 Lisboa, Portugal
Metro STATION: Martim Moniz

3. Le Petit Café in The Alfama

There is nothing small about the menu at the Petit Cafe. You also won’t dine breakfast or brunch here, but rather only lunch, m dinner and late night eats.

Le Petit Cafe is all about ambience. They go to great effort to make the space incredibly charming, right down to the background music and mood lighting. By day, this is a beautiful lunch spot in the Alfama, any by night it becomes a romantic dinner hideaway.

Le Petit Café in The Alfama – by Le Petit Café – Sourced from their Facebook

Most of the menu is centered around seafood, this is not really the cafe for the vegans/vegetarians visiting the Alfama. No beers on the menu either, only wine!

Le Petit Cafe sits just across from the very important Fado Museum. The Alfama remains one of the best places in Lisbon to view fado performances, so spare an hour for this museum if you’ve any interest in the art!

OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday — 12pm to 12am
ADDRESS: Largo São Martinho, 1100-058 Lisboa, Portugal
Metro STATION: Terreiro do Paço

4. Mercearia Castello in The Alfama

The Mercearia Castello is another Alfama gem under the disguise of a coffee shop. In reality, they have a really extensive brunch and lunch menu, both of which can be ordered through until dinner time.

This cafe is right next to the Castelo de S. Jorge. It’s the only place to eat near this attraction, so it’s usually busy all day every day. In spite of this, it’s absolutely not a tourist trap, and maintains a very local, authentic feel with reasonable prices.

Enjoy tapas, cakes, toasted sandwiches, sardines and delicious pastel de nada at this cafe. There is an outdoor terrace where you can eat during the summer. Full wine list available upon request.

OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday — 10am to 8pm
ADDRESS: R. das Flores de Santa Cruz 2, 1100-244 Lisboa, Portugal
Metro STATION: Martim Moniz

5. Pois, Café in The Alfama

Pois, on the other hand, is the Alfama’s cafe tourist trap.

This is a bakery, cafe and restaurant hybrid where you can dine at most hours of the day. The dinner menu kicks in from around 6pm, the rest of the day is light cafe dining. Be warned, this is a very extensive menu; deciding what to order is a bit of a process of elimination.

The intention with the space was to create an environment where people can come to eat, have coffee, read a book or do some work. It’s a mix of arm chairs, couches, tables and banquet facilities.

Pois, Café in The Alfama – by Pois, Café – Sourced from their Facebook

Despite being one of the most popular hangouts in the south of the Alfama, the prices are kept entirely reasonable. In fact a latte costs just €2, which is unheard of in mainstream European cafes.

OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday — 10am to 11pm
ADDRESS: R. de São João da Praça 93-95, 1100-521 Lisboa, Portugal
Metro STATION: Terreiro do Paço

While searching for cafes in the Alfama, look into joining a free guided walking tour as well! They take place daily and offer great perspective on the history of this very old neighborhood.

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