A red-light district turned hipster, Cais do Sodré is now one of the best areas in Lisbon to have a drink, eat a snack, and even dinner. The epicentre is Rua Nova do Carvalho, aka Pink Street, painted a bright shade of pink as part of a urban regeneration project.
With a variety of kitsch bars and places serving the best petiscos (Portuguese style tapas), start the night in Cais do Sodré and then head to the top bars and clubs in Bairro Alto.
Espumantaria do Cais
Located in a former garage, this sparkling wine bar serves serves petiscos and cocktails. It has inside and outside seating, and is therefore a great choice to start the night. We recommend the Cacilheiro, a sparkling liqueur with carob, añejo rum, pear puree and rosemary. They have another sparkling wine bar and petiscos restaurant, called Espumantaria do Petisco, near the Castle (Calçada do Marquês de Tancos).
Rua Nova do Carvalho 39, 7pm-2am
Sol e Pesca
With its menu attached to fishing rods and a cabinet filled with tins of fish, this quirky little place is perfect for a (late) snack. Sol e Pesca offers interesting small plates of tinned fish and inexpensive wine. Try the sardines in spicy oil, or take a bite of the mackerel and sweet potato. They offer an incredible array of species and flavours for an interesting and different gastronomic experience.
Rua Nova do Carvalho 44, midday-4am, closed Sunday
With a beautiful decor, Duplex has a bar at the ground floor and a restaurant upstairs. Just start with a cocktail and work your way up to the restaurant. Chef Nuno Bergonse creates some delicious and modern seafood-centric dishes. In addition, there are also meat options and a couple of vegetarian dishes. Prices are reasonable for a modern, cosmopolitan restaurant, though perhaps a bit expensive by Lisbon’s standards.
Rua Nova do Carvalho 58, Mon-Thu 7pm-1am and Fri-Sat 7pm-3am (the restaurant opens at 8pm and closes at 11pm and midnight respectively), closed Sunday, duplexrb.pt
By the Wine
Located on a side street that connects Chiado to Cais do Sodré, this wine bar is operated by one of Portugal’s leading wine producers, José Maria da Fonseca. The over 3200 bottles covering the ceiling arch create a winery atmosphere. Wine is sold by the glass and bottle. An accompanying menu of fresh Algarve bread, iberico ham, chouriço, a cheese board, oysters, mussels salad, and more, lend the place a traditional Portuguese flavour. Arrive early or make a reservation.
Rua das Flores 41-43, Tue-Sun midday-midnight, Mon 6pm-midnight, jmf.pt
Lagar do Cais
Southwest of Pink Street, Lagar do Cais is a beautiful brick-vaulted space designed to look like a wine cellar. It’s a gin and wine bar that combines a bit of chic and dingy, and offers petiscos from Portugal’s different regions.
Rua de São Paulo 27, Mon-Thu 6pm-1am, Fri-Sat 6pm-3am, closed Sunday
Pensão do Amor
Pensão do Amor is a funky bar that has a burlesque decor themed with its former use as a brothel (the name translates as “Love Hostel”). No matter which room you choose, the atmosphere is perfect to enjoy great cocktails. Don’t just sit down, wander around the premises and find all the hidden rooms. It’s not an easy bar to find (if in trouble, ask around), and is usually busy every day of the week so arrive early to ensure a seat.
Rua do Alecrim 19, midday-4am
O Bom, o Mau e o Vilão
Located on the steep sidewalk that connects Chiado to Cais do Sodré, O Bom, o Mau e o Vilão, which translates to “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, is a cocktail lounge and a live music venue. Once a private residence, it has several rooms, including a former kitchen with the original azulejos (Portuguese tile panels). Funk, soul, indie and jazz sessions usually kick in at 10.30pm, and are followed by DJ music till 2am. Occasionally, the bar screens films and music documentaries.
Rua do Alecrim 21, Sun-Thu 7pm-2am and Fri-Sat 7pm-3am, thegoodthebadandtheuglybar.com