When you ask someone in Europe if they know of a coffee shop you can go to, they’ll think you mean “a café.” If you’re like me, that’s not what you mean. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your coffee with friends, and I love that in Lisbon there seems to be 5,000 cafés like that on each street, but at times (most times), I’m looking for WiFi connections, plugs, ample seating, and a nice ambiance.
In the States, this is a concept that is easy to come by; Europe is another story. In Lisbon, I noticed there was a lack of obvious cool coffee shops where you could sit with your laptop for hours and study, chat with friends, or read a book, so for the sake of the Internet and everyone looking for the same thing, I set out to make it my mission to discover Lisbon’s coffee shop culture (I would have done it anyway).
Just when I thought I had perfected my golden scroll of favorite coffee shops around the world, I randomly walk past what would become my new #1: Tease in the neighborhood of São Bento. Talk about serendipity, then talk about love at first sight – which you’ll notice from the amount of photos I snapped in my…probably five times going there in four days.
You would think this post is sponsored with all this love I’m showin’ toward Tease, but seriously, it’s just love with no money involved. The fact that I can get a breakfast that looks like this for €5 is insane. That yogurt and granola alone is $5 at Whole Foods. Whoever designed this place with the colorful kitsch look knew I must have been around the corner ready to blog about them.
One day I was even ordering my meia de leite (basically a latte), when Outkast’s song Rosa Parks came on. YES! HIP HOP IN LISBON. That never happens! Again, #winning.
Copenhagen Coffee Lab
Copenhagen Coffee Lab is exactly what I’ve always pictured a Danish coffee shop to look like. It’s clean, it’s white, and it’s modern. They’ve got random plants around the tables, and they write in all caps on the menu. It’s right across the street from Tease which pretty much makes this street, Rua da Nova Piedade, one of my favorites in all of Lisbon.
This is where my abatanado obsession began. I grabbed the menu near the cash register and literally asked (in my limited Portuguese) what five different drinks were. What’s a galão? Meia de leite? Bica? Garoto? Abatanado? Good thing I found out. Abatanado is the closest thing you’ll find to an Americano with milk, which is my
cheap creative way around a latté.
Jeronymo is to Lisbon what Starbucks is to the rest of the world. Clearly their name is a play on Jerónimo’s Monastery in the neighboring town, Belém, where they also have a location. Most Jeronymos have plugs and €0.70 abatanados, but the only downfall is the 30-minute WiFi limit.
Starbucks Rossio & Starbucks Armazéns do Chiado
As much as I try avoiding cups of coffee I can get back in the States, I also just have to give it up to Starbucks for givin’ me what I need at the right moments. It’s literally gotten to the point where my latest line is “I’m looking for a Starbucks that isn’t a Starbucks” but I’m always just pointed to Starbucks as if it’s the only place of its kind in cities like this. You’ve got one in Armazéns do Chiado and one in Rossio (and a mini one in Belém), and they’re both pretty huge – making them the perfect places to hide in the corner on your laptop for hours. They make you like Starbucks Portugal’s Facebook page though, so if you’re not into promoting huge brands on your personal Facebook, you better bring your own hotspot.