Perched high above the city, Graca is best known for its miradouros – hilltop viewpoints that offer panoramic views across the city – but its small cobbled streets are also home to an exciting line-up of bars and restaurants that are more than worthy of the uphill trek. What’s more, many of the establishments are frequented mainly by locals rather than tourists, offering a refreshing insight into authentic Lisbon life. Read on to discover the best bars and restaurants in Graca, Lisbon.
Sitting on a quiet street just behind the Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte, Cozinha Urbana has its own hidden courtyard that offers views across the neighbourhood’s terracotta rooftops – sit at the outdoor bar or up on the terrace for the best vantage point. Bar snacks such as spicy wasabi nuts and gyozas are available, making it the ideal spot for a pre-dinner drink and nibble, but the unique food menu makes it worthy of stopping for something more substantial. Combining Eastern and Western flavours, it features dishes such as pad Thai, cured tuna salad and an intriguing selection of burgers made using ingredients like wasabi, tuna flakes, seaweed and sriracha.
O Cardoso do Estrela de Ouro
Delivering on the authentic local experience that can be hard to find in a cosmopolitan city such as Lisbon, O Cardoso do Estrela de Ouro is a traditional tasca – a tavern-like eatery that focuses on simple regional staples – in the most northern part of Graca. Popular among locals and mostly unknown to tourists, it provides the chance to experience an authentic taste of the city, feasting on meat and codfish croquettes to start before tucking into melt-in-your mouth steak and fresh seafood served with thin and crispy potato chips. It’s a rustic, stripped back experience but the food is delicious and the staff are incredibly friendly.
Another fantastic spot for witnessing local life in action is A Cabreira. Found at the heart of Graca, the low-key establishment is always filled with Lisboetas either propping up the bar enjoying a beer and gossip or sitting down for a hearty and traditional meal. One thing the venue is particularly good for, however, is the pasteis de nata. Rivalling any found in Belem or the city centre, the indulgent custard tarts served here are just as they should be: creamy, flaky and utterly delicious. Take one to go and either reheat it at home (they are always best when warm) or tuck in straight away on one of the benches at the nearby Poiso Do Monteiro viewpoint.
Terrace Bar, Esplanada da Graca
Boasting one of the most picturesque spots in the city, the Terrace Bar at Esplanada da Graca sits under a canopy of trees on one of the neighbourhood’s miradouros, providing panoramic views all across the city. With a large number of al fresco tables and a small bar serving beers, coffee and a short menu of food, it’s an atmospheric spot for any time of the day but it’s best enjoyed at sunset, when the sunbeams stream between the branches and the sky transforms into an iridescent shade of pink and orange.
The first hipster restaurant to arrive in the area, Damas signals Graca’s transformation into a trendy foodie district. With animal murals adorning the walls, oversized plants sitting in the corners and small wooden stools lining tables designed for sharing, it’s an attractive setting for an evening of tapas and beer. Bearded waiters and tattooed waitresses will guide you through the daily-changing menu – written on a giant chalkboard near the open kitchen – and you can expect sharing plates such as tuna sashimi, cheese plates with rosemary and olive oil, and veal stew with pickled veg. There’s also a dedicated vegan section offering dishes like beetroot houmous and mushroom ceviche. For more vegan-friendly restaurants in Lisbon, check out this blog post.
Perched in the middle of a junction leading to Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte and Graca’s high street, Café Calcada isn’t what you would call a peaceful setting, but its fantastic views, friendly service and buzzy atmosphere make it a fantastic spot for an early evening drink served with a side of people watching. The café also offers a short food menu made up of bar snacks, bagels and tapas.
Tucked away on a quiet pedestrian alley, Vino Vero is a quaint bar specialising in natural and biodynamic wines. The outdoor seats are the perfect place to sip on a glass of wine while watching the world go by, and the owner’s puppy is a very cute addition. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and more than happy to let you sample a couple of different varieties before making a decision. Craft beer is also available along with a menu of tapas dishes.
Taproom 8ª Colina
A big hit with the locals, Taproom 8ª Colina is a bustling spot offering a wide variety of craft beer. The selection includes pale and dark ales, IPAs, local lagers and stouts, and for anyone who can’t decide, there’s the option of a tasting tray. Interiors are stripped back and rustic while the food menu is made up of dishes that act as the perfect accompaniment to beer – think chicken wings, pulled pork and fries.