Lisbon cafés number some of the most enchanting places to eat and drink in the Portuguese capital. Celebrated for their amazing architecture, culinary diversity and endearing appeal, some are historic landmarks in their own right; others date from a more recent epoch. All however are endowed with a singular character that helps define the city’s thriving café society. One of the most original establishments is Café 28. Located near the castle, this place is designed to resemble the interior of a streetcar, the well-known number 28 tram. The Royale Café in Chiado wins with its smart décor and front and rear terraces, both ideal for al fresco get-togethers. If you like a good book with your coffee, open a page at Ha Café no Alfarrabista, a café that doubles up as a secondhand bookstore. Very novel! For a glimpse of the Art Nouveau, pop into Pastelaria–Padaria São Roque where the original early 20th-century décor whets anybody’s appetite. The laidback vibe at Pois Café attracts a youthful travelling crowd to this popular hangout up near the cathedral. On the other hand, if you’re in Belém and seeking refreshment on the waterfront, drop by Café À Margem where drinks are often served with a stunning sunset. The venerable Café Versailles in the city’s Saldanha district remains one of Portugal’s most esteemed cafes with its glorious 1920s interior and classic atmosphere. Similarly, the 200-year-old Café Nicola in the Baixa (downtown) district maintains a suitably historic and cultured air about it. Nearby in Chiado, the aptly named Café no Chiado is still one of the best places to soak in Lisbon street life while just around the corner is the charming Café Pastelaria Benard, serving customers since the late 19th century.
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