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Lisbon's street food scene: menus for the sidewalk foodie.



Although Lisbon is not particularly regarded as a street food destination there are nevertheless several places where those seeking a snack on the go can head for. Portugal’s most emblematic streetfood is castanhas, roasted chestnuts. A seasonal treat, they are sold throughout the city from mobile braziers. 

If you like Austrian style sausage then Wurst is the place to head for. The owners are from Austria so this is the real deal! At Mercado da Ribeira near Cais do Sodré hungry visitors can choose from nearly 40 kiosks preparing all kinds of different tasty meals and snacks. The aptly named Grab & Go is a vending kiosk open 24/7 year-round. There’s one in Almirante Reis. Beira Gare is celebrated for its fabulous and filling bifanas – juicy pork steak sandwiches. 

Alternatively, seek out busy Casa Brasileira, which offers a scrummy range of pies, cakes and sandwiches to go. Up in Príncipe Real neighbourhood is Pizza a Pezzi, a great pizza joint that has all sorts of toppings on its menu. For pastries to eat in or on the go, A Padaria Portuguesa-Camões located in Chiado, fist e place for or warm croissants and crunchy baguettes. And for a real belly filler, head across town and order burger and fries at Hamburgueira da Parada, an open-air kiosk set in a lovely park. Feeling hot? Cool off with a tub of frozen yoghurt. They serve it at the Weeel VW kiosk at Cais do Sodré railway station. 


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Cais do Sodré/Santos


When is ice cream yoghurt? When it's frozen yoghurt. And tubs of this wonderfully refreshing delicacy are being sold across Lisbon from quirky little portable kiosks designed as old-style ice VW camper vans. Made using natural yoghurt, fresh fruit and low-fat milk, Weeel yoghurt is offered in a wide variety of flavours including strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. Little sugar is used so the calorie count is low. It's also gluten-free. In fact, this is some of the healthiest street food you'll find in the city! The Weeel kiosk at Cais do Sodré serves passengers going to and arriving from all stations on the Cascais railway line, which serves several beaches along the Lisbon coast.




Set in tranquil gardens in the west of the city, this popular take-out attracts street food fans from all over Lisbon. The homemade hamburgers are freshly prepared and crammed with all sorts of mouth-watering ingredients. Try the Queijo da Ilha â€" succulent beef combined with crispy rucola, fried onion, sliced tomato and melted cheese from the Azores. A delicious curry mayonnaise adds a smooth, spicy finish. The menu is select and lists just six different types of burger, plus three wraps. But it's all about quality rather than quantity â€" even the chips are hand cut! Chairs and tables are set across a terrace and provide sit-down options, but it's just as much fun ordering to go and finding a nearby park bench and tucking into arguably the best burger in town.




This citywide cafe-bakery franchise has caught the imagination of locals and tourists alike. The concept is simple: a bright and breezy French-style boulangerie (bags of croissants and baguettes) shining under 60's-style lamplights and lots of street food suggestions chalked up on the blackboard. This is a favourite morning haunt for budget-conscious travelers and busy commuters; the breakfast menu of juice, expresso and cheese and ham sandwich is the best buy, and by 9 am it gets so busy the queue backs up to the front windows. The display cabinets heave with sausage rolls, meat pies, donuts, flan and dozens of different cakes, and the place stays open all day and beyond. Take your pick!


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Bairro Alto/Principe Real


Street food is epitomized by the ubiquitous pizza, and this little hole in the wall eatery serves up rectangles of the thin-crust variety to an appreciative clientele. Italian-owned, the pocket-sized pizzeria is a stone's throw from the bar and club districts of Principe Real and Bairro Alto and gets very busy in the small hours. Pizzas are baked on site and are prepared with some amazing toppings: for example, the Zucchine is coated with mozzarella cheese, courgette and bacon. The special treat is the seasonal Prosciutto e fiche â€" mozzarella cheese with cured ham and figs! And there's always that great standby, the classic Margherita. Pizza slices are weighed to calculate the price, so decide how hungry you are before ordering.




Not to be confused with Café A Brasileira in Chiado, this near namesake enjoys an equally privileged location in Rua Augusta, Lisbon's animated pedestrian thoroughfare in the Baixa (downtown) district. Inside, the long stand-up glass counter is crammed full of chicken pies, fish cakes, rolls and sandwiches and other savory goodies, plus a huge variety of cakes, biscuits and other sweets. All this can be eaten at the balcony standing up, at a table on the terrace or ordered to go. The staff will wrap individual servings or box up a selection. They can also heat up pies, pasties and pastries and even ladle up soup into a plastic bowl.




From the sidewalk you can gaze through the window in gleeful anticipation as the waiters in this city-centre cafe-restaurant rustle up the house specialty bifana, a pork steak sandwich braised in a savory sauce wedged in a fresh bread roll. Time it right and you can catch the chef replenishing the oil in the pan, with the subsequent whoosh of flame shooting upwards in an orange flash. This is deliciously simple street food at its best, a succulent meaty snack that can be enjoyed at the counter or as an order to go. If you've time, grab a beer (try the Bohemia brand) and savor the moment.


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Anjos/Intendente


Very handy if you're yearning a snack and everywhere is closed, this street food vending booth offers hungry night owls a choice of hot eats, anything from sandwiches and burgers to kebabs and waffles. Soft drinks, cookies, and potato chips can be selected, and hot drinks including tea, coffee, and chocolate are also available. Everything is automated: you just punch in the code corresponding to your choice and feed the machine a few euros. The booth is open twenty-four seven, 365 days a year.


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Avenida 24 De Julho


This huge market is the place to go for a Lisbon "street food" experience. Nearly 40 kiosks, not much more than kitchen units, are housed around the edge of an immense covered hall. Each "restaurant" specializes in a particular cuisine so the choice of food is varied deliciously tempting. Traditional Portuguese gastronomy is well represented, with seafood a great favourite. But what Mercado da Ribeira is renowned for is its world food menus. One kiosk will be offering a delicately flavoured Thai green curry while the next will be serving up rich Brazilian black bean stew. Chinese noodles, Japanese sushi and even good old British fish and chips are among the many other mouth-watering fares on offer. Some well-known Portuguese chefs lend their name to several kiosks, and their contemporary takes on some of the country's most popular dishes are seriously inventive, and perhaps a little pricy. Tables are set in rows across the middle of the hall and several bars complement the food outlets.




Austrian nationals Maria and Martin have successfully imported to Lisbon one of their country's favourite foods, succulent, flavorsome sausages. Wurst, (which is the German word for sausage) is located in a covered market area where the sausages – made from organic products locally produced and based on traditional Austrian recipes – are prepared to order. The menu lists several different varieties, from the classic Frankfurter and Bratwürstel (white sausage with a mild taste) to the tasty oven baked Leberkas, which is served grilled. There are also a couple of vegetarian options. Order either as a dish accompanied with fries and sides like coleslaw salad or potato salad, or to go in a bread roll. All dishes include hot or sweet mustard, horseradish, ketchup or mayonnaise dressings.




Every year during the run-up to November, one of Portugal's tastiest and most emblematic snacks hits the streets. November 11 is St Martin's Day (Dia de Sao Martinho) and the Portuguese celebrate by munching on roasted chestnuts, or castanhas. In Lisbon and across the country mobile braziers appear on pavements and terraces and in parks and squares, where jovial vendors can be seen splitting the shells of these sweet, oaky nuts before slowly roasting them till they're hot and crunchy. Sold as a dozen and presented in a paper bag, this popular take away is available right through the winter and follows a centuries-old tradition.


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Paul Bernhardt cut his teeth as a press photographer in England before leaving the UK to settle in Portugal, where he has lived for over a decade, and where he started to focus on more...  More About Paul

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