A favourite with travellers who appreciate a slice of bohemia with their cup of coffee, Pois Caf� has garnered a reputation for its casual drop-by attitude, a fact illustrated by its oddball collection of crushed velvet sofas, rickety old tables, mis-matched chairs and bow-legged shelves crammed with hand-me-down novels and out-of-date travel guidebooks. Customers can pop in and browse this secondhand library over a perfectly brewed bica (expresso), or lounge around over something more substantial, like one of the caf�'s delicious homemade soups followed by quiche and green salad. Food choice changes daily. The tagliatelle with courgette, herbs and lemon sprinkled with Parmesan cheese is a favourite. So too is the smoked salmon fritters. If it's on, order the cauliflower curry with herbs and lentils.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: Fully laid back with a healthy menu to boot, this is the ideal place to start the day.
Local Expert tip: The caf� has shelves lined with paperbacks. Customers can exchange old books and DVDs with the fellow travellers, leaving something they've seen/read and taking away something they haven't.
OK, so it's a ubiquitous coffeehouse chain, but this particular Starbucks is imaginatively housed in Rossio railway and carefully incorporates the existing late 19th--century neo-Manueline architectural design signature that lends the caf� an elegant, historical air. Typically open plan, with sofas, armchairs and long wooden tables providing some serious comfort, customers can relax and mull over the menu, which of course is fairly uniform, and order a whole range of coffee, tea, sandwiches, cakes and pastries. The few tables set on the pavement are snapped up quickly, especially at breakfast time, where it's as much about people watching as enjoying toast and coffee. Inside, several power points supply juice for laptops and drained cell phones.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: Wrapped in an historic 19th-century facade, this is the most attractive of Lisbon's Starbucks cafes and worthy of your smart phone's camera.
Paul's expert tip: Great place to relax and meet friends before catching the train to Sintra. The popular Lisbon Destination Hostel sits above, on the first floor.
This cosy cafe-bar is housed in a former convent building that later became a factory where scales and other weighing machines were built. The present owners have decorated the place with some really cool retro furniture and devised a menu that includes tosta mista (a toasted mozzarella cheese and ham sandwich) and some fantastic salads. A range of teas such as Earl Grey, Darjeeling and a devastatingly refreshing erva principe gengibre (lemon grass and ginger cold tea) complement the mocha, cappuccino and other coffee choice. It's a breakfast-brunch haunt for an offbeat crowd and the alternative ambiance is tangible. The vibe, however, is carried into the night when the cathedral opposite is illuminated and the French, German, Belgium and Portuguese beers flow.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: A lovely venue situated next to a Lisbon historical landmark, Cruzes Credo works as an all day dining venue.
Paul's expert tip: Ask for a slice of the "worst chocolate cake in the world" and find out just how big a misnomer that is.
A favoured rendezvous point for Chaido shoppers, F�bulas is also a ubiquitous breakfast venue. The eatery offers two very distinctive dining experiences: a wonderfully intimate low-lit interior full of nooks and crannies and vintage furniture wrapped in authentic brick stone walls; and a open-air table-set terrace arranged in a hidden patio off the main street – ideal for al fresco get-togethers. Tasty snacks and tempting, well-balanced meals draw a regular weekday crowd. But every Saturday, between midday and 4pm, a special buffet brunch of scrambled egg, savoury bite-sized cr�pes, quiche, apple pie, cheesecake and coffee is served to hungry customers.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: Enclosed by a courtyard in the heart of Lisbon's fashionable Chiado district, Fábulas manages to remain a discreet location despite its obvious popularity.
Paul's expert tip: Try their very own chocolate cake, rich dark and irresistible.
Brunch at one of Lisbon's most fashionable restaurants is a Saturday's only occasion, but it's a weekend treat to remember. Eleven's Michelin-starred master chef Joachim Koerper has designed a breakfast-lunch ensemble of Portuguese and Mediterranean-inspired delicacies beautifully presented Continental style. Fresh croissants, pastries and muffins are served with cold cuts and cheeses and wood-smoked salmon. Tangy, freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee and a range of teas and infusions further whet the appetite. A fresh fruits selection complements the sparkling espumante! Biological produced spicy sausage and lighter-than-air scrambled egg followed by succulent neck of black pork served with fried courgette and finger-thin fried potato takes you pleasantly into the afternoon.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: Michelin-starred Eleven can be applauded for being the first restaurant to truly raise the bar as far as gourmet dining in Lisbon is concerned.
Paul's expert tip: Ideal for family groups, children under 12 enjoy a 50% discount.
Mario and Werner love cats. It's why they named their restaurant after a feline (the bistro's logo resembles a domestic cat but with the spots of a leopard). This place is like walking into someone's front room, and the domestic ambiance is tangible. Vintage wooden furniture is used throughout, with leather-clad chairs and an old sofa adding to the lived-in appeal. Werner is from Switzerland so he's embellished the menu with a selection of crêpes, both sweet and savoury. The international flavour is further enhanced with dishes like ravioli funghi porcini. Portuguese options include prato tira-gostos com pão, and the kitchen always offers a dish of the day. When it gets really busy (especially Tuesday and Saturday mornings due to crowds visiting a nearby flea market) tables are set outside on the sidewalk â" the best place to savour breakfast or brunch if it's warm and sunny.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: Quirky Bistrô & Brecho Gató Pardo is a well-known local haunt but also a favourite with independent tourists and, of course, cat lovers.
Paul's expert tip: Diners are encouraged to sketch their own cat logo on napkins and other pieces of paper. The best efforts are collected and later framed for posterity.
Busy throughout the day, but especially so during the mornings, taking breakfast here is a real treat, a place where you can mingle with locals pausing for coffee and doorstep-sized toast (torrada) before heading for the office. The choice of fare is outstanding, with the counters brimming with pies, sandwiches, cakes and pastries. Specials include toasted egg and bacon rolls and ham and cheese baps. For something lighter, try one of their specialities, treats like a fresh fruit cocktail. The kitchen open at 7am so attracts early birds and insomniacs. During warmer months the tables set across the esplanade are like gold dust and you might have to have to be seated. But the location is ideal for brunch and a spot of people watching.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: Not to be confused with its near namesake in Chiado, Casa Brasileira avoids the usual trappings of tourism with its low prices and genuine local flavour.
Paul's expert tip: Check out their fruit salads - huge bowls of orange, apple, strawberry, pineapple, grape, mango, melon and papaya.
Despite being sometimes referred to as a Portuguese version of Starbucks, this attractive eatery exudes it own singular brand and character. Located in the city's downtown district, it's actually part of Brown's Boutique Hotel & Apartments reception area, but it takes a second glance to register the fact. With an interior decorated in dark wood and furnished with chunky leather sofas and chairs, this place looks and feels like someone's front room, and the home-style menu reflects the domestic appeal. You can pop in and join hotel guests for a continental breakfast and savour an array of juices, pastries and a wicked hot chocolate, among other tempting goodies, or breeze in for lunch and soup, sandwiches or salad. If it's warm and dry, grab a table on the pavement terrace and indulge in a spot of people watching, Lisbon café society style – great early evening over pasta and a glass or two of wine.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: Laid back and unpretentious, Brown's Café works as an all day dining venue in one of the busiest and most colourful areas of the city.
Paul's expert tip: Try their blueberry muffins or chocolate brownies.
One of the most popular branches of a city-wide café-bakery franchise, this buzzing French-style boulangerie offers a deliciously appetizing Continental breakfast of freshly squeezed orange juice, a wholesome cheese and ham croissant or baguette and a choice of a bica (Portuguese expresso) or coffee with milk. Those with a sweeter tooth are also well catered for ¬-- the counter display is crammed full of cakes and pastries. The daily brunch menu reworks this wholesome ensemble into hot, spicy sausage bread and lots of savoury goodies including tasty chicken pies and cod fish cakes. Patrons can eat in or opt for a picnic-lunch take out.
Recommended for Breakfast/Brunch because: This particular branch of A Padaria Portuguesa is situated in Praça Luís Camões, one of Lisbon's prettiest squares.
Paul's expert tip: Customers need to take a numbered ticket from a vending machine situated at the top of the stairs. When their number is called they can step up to be served.