Lisbon: home of the best food in the world and the sketchiest streets in the world.
Surprising, since the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Lisbon is probably not high-end cuisine, but let me assure you that you have not lived until you’ve eaten a Prego. Or five. Will go into more detail about the 8th world wonder that is the Prego later in the post.
Besides the food and the markets, though, Lisbon is extraordinarily run down. Maybe because I went at the end of October and maybe because I accidentally booked an Airbnb in the literal ghetto of Lisbon, but my impressions of the city were not that great, and it was almost like visiting a ghost town. A very hilly ghostown. If you ever go, bring flats.
Another surprising thing is how cheap everything is: coffee was 50 cents, a cheesecake- which for some reason I went on a hangry (anger-induced hunger) quest for and would not let up until I found- was under 2 euro, and a bunch of cool souvenirs that included handmade ceramics cost under 10 euro total. I know it’s horrible to say this and I am probably going straight to hell, but God bless economic recessions when it comes to being a tourist.
All of it. Literally. All. Of. It.
What we have first is the Prego: a traditional Portuguese loin sandwich. If you’re wondering exactly what the hell a loin is, you are not alone: it’s basically a really weird way of describing what is essentially a steak sandwich. We went to O Prego da Peixaria our first day in Lisbon, and I had two more after that wonderful experience. This one (first picture) was a steak sandwich with bacon and melted cheddar, served on bread slathered with a basil mayonnaise sauce that to be honest I would sacrifice my first born child for. I am literally drooling writing this remembering how good this was. I would go back to Lisbon and join a gang and everything if it meant I could eat this for the rest of my life.
Not sure if this qualifies as food, but we also had ginjinha, a liquor made in Portugal and served to us in eatable chocolate shot cups for 1,50 euro. Possibly the most genius marketing strategy of all time as you can quite literally eat your chaser.
On the second day, we went to Mercado da Ribeira, an indoor Smorgasburg of sorts, with dozens of food vendors. Yes, I had a(nother) Prego, but I also had this apple tart with ice cream and one of the best chocolate cakes of my young life.
Last, we went to this place in Belem to try the famous egg tarts/egg pastries/egg things (still not 100% on what they were called). Probably the least photogenic but life-changing food I’ve had: picture flaky phyllo filed with a custard, almost like bougatsa. Mmmmmm.
1. Comercio Square- the centre of the city, near a street with wonderful shopping (cause nothing says full cultural immersion like a trip to H&M) and some monuments near the port. We went into the fashion museum while we were there too, called “MUDE”.
2. Tower of Belem- a massive tower with even more massive lines: don’t go if you hate waiting, crowds, or people with poor hygiene habits. Do go if you want to see views of both the city and the water (at least for an Instagram).
3. Hieronymites Monastery- Hogwarts. The place is Hogwarts.
Other pictures (bless you if you’ve scrolled this far down):