Rua das Portas de Santo Antão is a pedestrianized street offering more than just seafood restaurants. Its buildings tell stories, with several local stores and restaurants creating a unique atmosphere in the heart of Lisbon.
The many seafood restaurants are the street’s distinctive feature, with some tourist trappings along the way. The competition between neighbouring restaurants is fierce – this is one of the few streets in Lisbon where waiters will approach you when you’re just passing by.
This is also the street that theatre-goers cross on their way to and from Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II and Teatro Politeama. Coliseu dos Recreios, one of Lisbon’s main concert venues, attracts thousands of people on concert nights.
Several stores and restaurants along the street are worth at least a peek. Starting from Rossio, here’s a selection ordered by street number:
No. 2 – A Contadeira
On the ground floor of Palácio da Independência, the highlight is Maria José dos Santos’s shop that sells handcraft pieces, such as vinyl bags, paper mache mirrors, tissue paper fans. Monday-Satudary 10am-7pm
No. 7 – Ginjinha Sem Rival
Try the famous cherry brandy known as Ginjinha at this century-old establishment that remains virtually unchanged since it opened in 1870. Together with the even older Ginjinha do Largo de São Domingos (dating from 1840), opposite Saint Dominic’s Church, these are the best places to try this popular drink in Lisbon. Daily 7am-midnight
No. 23-25 – Gambrinus
Opened since 1936, Gambrinus is a Michelin-recommended traditional restaurant specialising in fish and seafood. A typical menu includes beluga and Iranian caviar, foie gras du maître, and a seafood shell. Monday-Sunday 12pm-1.30 am
No. 57 – Frutaria Bristol
It’s impossible to miss this colourful local fruit shop with its display of fruits and vegetables in season – apples, oranges, pears, clementines and huge bunches of grapes serve as decoration. Monday-Satudary 9am-7pm
No. 58 – Casa do Alentejo
Dedicated to Portugal’s Alentejo region, this cultural centre boasts an extravagant Moorish-like interior, with a lovely patio. It includes a restaurant serving the typical Alentejan dishes, and a taberna where you can order petiscos (small plates similar to the Spanish tapas). Monday-Sunday 10am-11pm
No. 93 – Aromas de Lisboa
Aromas de Lisboa sells Made in Portugal products only – wine, olive oil, canned sardines and other fish, as well as handmade jams, all in beautifully designed packagings. Monday-Sunday 10am-7pm
No. 100 – Coliseu dos Recreios
Coliseu is one of the most important concert venues in Lisbon.
No. 110 – Ateneu Comercial de Lisboa
Founded in 1880 by a group of workers in commerce, the building is currently used as a cultural events venue.
No. 113 – Teatro Politeama
Politeama is home to the Revista, a Portuguese theatrical genre of variety entertainment, similar to music hall or vaudeville. Theatre for children is also frequently shown at Politeama.