Think of Lisbon, that vibrant seafaring city that launched the Age of Discovery, and you can’t help but imagine epic dinners where the port wine and vinho verde are flowing. And you’d be right. Any Portuguese restaurant worth its sea salt will have at least a couple of options of each on its menu.
But Lisbon is also a hot spot for drinks of all kinds, from craft beers to carefully crafted cocktails. These are just a few recommendations to get you started. Start here, but don’t be afraid to wander a little, chat with locals and launch your own delicious quest for discovery. This is how to drink in Lisbon.
When the sun dips low in the sky, Lisbon’s young and thirsty flock to the rooftop at Topo. You’d be smart to join them. The stylish indoor-outdoor bar serves expertly made classic cocktails along with stunning views of the top sights in Lisbon. São Jorge Castle, Mouraria, the Praça Martim Moniz—you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of it all here. Hungry? Dig into a menu of elevated pub food, such as chicken satay, pork belly sandwiches and burgers with Gorgonzola.
You’ll feel a little naughty the second you hit the “press for cocktails” button at the entrance of Red Frog and walk into this dim, hidden bar. The cushy chairs and 1920s and ’30s décor conjure up a speakeasy vibe, and the cocktail menu sways Prohibition-era. You’ll hear a little swing, a little jazz and maybe some rock ’n’ roll. Most importantly, you’ll be able to choose from a well-stocked bar. Tell the bartender what you're in the mood for, and they’ll create something fantastic.
The historic Dona Maria estate in Estremoz is about 90 minutes from Lisbon and feels a world away. The winery has been around since 1718 and is located in a palace, complete with stunning gardens and its own lake among the vineyards. The grapes are tread in centuries-old marble tanks (the owner actually had to use dynamite to break up the marble blocks in the soil), which hold everything from viognier to petit verdot. Choose from one of five different tasting options, served with local bread and cheese.
The brewer-owned and -operated Dois Corvos in industrial-chic Marvila serves its own craft creations from the tap. Choose from a wide variety of pints, half pints, tasters and flights, and check out what’s happening with the fermenters and brewhouse, both in plain sight just behind the bar. To get closer to the action, sign up for a brewery tour. And don’t forget to purchase a few bottles to bring back home with you. Afterward, check out the other two craft breweries in the Lisbon Beer District—Musa and Lince.
Sometimes you just want a good cocktail and some quiet conversation. Well, this is the place to do it. Located in Lisbon’s historic district, Matiz Pombalina beckons with soft lights, soothing soul and jazz, and velvet Louis XIV–style armchairs. There are three rooms to choose from, plus an outdoor smoking spot. If you’re looking to geek out on the cocktails, settle in at the room by the entrance, where the liquor bottles are in view and the bartenders will happily demonstrate their craft.
Even if dance clubs aren’t your scene, LuxFrágil is worth checking out just for the sheer spectacle of it. Co-owned by actor John Malkovich, the docklands dance venue features furniture so big it swallows you up, plus an events calendar jam-packed with international music acts. If you can’t take the heat on the dance floor, find your way to the rooftop balcony bar, serving seasonal cocktails to go with views of the Tagus River.