Top Concept Cafes in Lisbon
Despite being incredibly “new age” in many parts, Lisbon remains an old town through and through. The city is developing trendy neighborhoods very quickly, such as Chiado and Bairro Alto in the center (Read more about Discover walking tours), but the concept cafe movement remains yet to move through the Portuguese capital.
In Lisbon there are very few concept based establishments. These tend to be the product of fully developed neighborhoods and it will likely take another few years before this city jumps on the bandwagon the way places like Paris and Berlin have.
Unsure as to what a concept cafe actually is? Concept cafes are spaces that take conventional cafe dining and add an usual or unique element to the dining experience.
A cat cafe is an example of a popular concept popping up around the world. Customers dine in a cafe while cats roam around and interact with guests. Another example of a concept cafe would be a cafe that screens films on the walls while people are inside the space.
When it comes to concept cafes the sky is really the limit. While this is still an emerging trend in Lisbon here are a few unique and unusual cafe spaces you can visit today.
WISH Concept Store & Slow Coffee House in Lisbon
WISH might not be a concept cafe on its own, but the Lx Factory in which it is located is!
The Lisbon Lx Factory is a must visit for everyone who is new to the city. It’s a ecosystem of shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, bookstores and art galleries. It is the location site of an old marina factory right on the Tagus river.
The WISH Slow Coffee House is the favorite morning spot for visitors to these grounds’ the word “slow” being the operative word. Only sit down here if you have a good amount of time to linger — service is slow, especially if you are wanting to eat!
The WISH concept involves everything in store being as homemade as possible. Nothing comes from packaging or is bought in supermarkets if avoidable; they remain true to this and source everything locally and homestyle, excluding necessary branded products like Nutella of course.
The laid-back nature of this coffee house makes it a great spot for freelancers or anyone who needs to work on a laptop for a few hours.
OPENING HOURS: Monday TO Saturday: 8:30am to 7:30pm
ADDRESS: Espaço G 02a, R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-472 Lisboa
METRO STATION: Alcantara-Mar
Casa Independente in Lisbon
Casa Independente is the new Lisbon hotspot that is the place to see and be seen by all the youthful crowds enjoying the city.
It’s a cafe, bar and music venue that is built into a trendy apartment north of the Alfama. The entire apartment interior has been gutted in order to make space for the various entertainment areas. There is also an outdoor terrace.
Note that this is not a day time cafe, but an evening one instead, which in itself is a new concept for the city of Lisbon. Casa Independente opens at 5pm.
The cafe attracts the attention of Lisbon’s most creative and artistic individuals. Lovers of good cocktails, reasonable prices and live music will be over the moon in this hidden gem.
Do not visit on Sundays or Mondays!
OPENING HOURS: Tuesday TO Saturday: 5pm to 12am
ADDRESS: Largo do Intendente Pina Manique 45, 1100-285 Lisboa
METRO STATION: Intendente
Village Underground in Lisbon
The Village Underground was Lisbon’s first proper concept cafe. It is also situated inside of the Lx Factory in the far south of the city.
The Village Underground cafe is built inside of an old out-of-order double decker bus stacked on top of old shipping containers. The cafe is on the bottom floor and the tables are at the top. It’s a unique dining experience that likely isn’t found in may other cities around the world.
The top level of the bus can be claustrophobic for some, so there is outdoor seating on offer as well.
Bands are sometimes brought in to perform in the container-yard space, especially on weekends. It is one of the only places in Lx Factory to remain open 7 days a week.
Just next to the cafe there is a halfpipe suitable for skaters. Usage is completely free during the Lx Factory opening hours.
OPENING HOURS: Monday TO Sunday: 11am to 7pm
ADDRESS: Avenida da Índia, Edifício nº 23, 1300-299 Lisboa
METRO STATION: Alcantara-Mar
Restaurante Terra in Lisbon
As a developing city in the greater scheme of Europe, Lisbon tends to identify areas of demand and fulfilled them quickly. Souvenir shops, free guided walking tours and tile making experience were among the first tourist demands to be met — with plant based eating following close behind.
Restaurante Terra saw a need for a primarily plant based buffet eating option in the city, since there is nothing of its kind. They now offer a daily vegan and vegetarian based buffet eatery in a beautiful outdoor terrace area, open for lunch and dinner service.
At Restaurant Terra you simply pay for your plate and then take advantage of the “eat as much as you like” policy. There are an array of different veggie based dishes; everything from falafel to “chicken” schnitzels, bean dishes to pasta bakes.
It’s a wonderful concept for a city that already embraces vegan and vegetarian eating so abundantly. They also have a great wine menu to pair with your lunch or dinner. Plate prices change depending on the time of day and time of the week.