As part of our dirtbag roadtrip of Portugal (see our photos from the road here and here) for my 28th birthday, Alex & I started and ended the trip with a couple days in (still) my favorite city.
Enjoying the view from our suite at the Independente; we splurged, thinking it'd be worth it after two weeks of living cramped up, unshowered and uncivilized in a van from the 70s. Yes, worth it.
PHARMACIA - Rua Marechal Saldanha nº 2
We ate here for my birthday lunch, and it was absolutely incredible. [We were starving and showed up banging at the gates, waiting for the 12:30pm open. No shame.] Couldn't recommend highly enough. Fantastic local specialties with a little twist.
Crazy dessert concoction with bitter dark chocolate gelato, fresh figs, almonds, and lime peel.
TIME OUT MARKET - Av. 24 de Julho nº 49
This is a huge market hall, with the outside lined with stalls selling crazy good, amazing, inventive food. Can't say enough. We ate here twice, two days in a row.
Octopus ceviche and salmon-seaweed risotto.
Alex and I can sometimes over-order. Cough.
The world's best edible thing. Dark chocolate ice-cream cake on chocolate chip cookie crust.
Prepping for a dip at Dear Lisbon.
My first photo as a 28-year-old...
A CEVICHERIA - R. Dom Pedro V nº 129
Hugely popular as a hyper-chic spot to seen and be seen -- basically the opposite of everything I like in a restaurant. Plus, they take no reservations and have a continual 2-3 hour wait for a table. On the upside, they serve terrific, high-quality Portuguese-Japanese fusion under a humongous octopus. Alex said this was one of the best meals he's ever had.
I was so thrilled by Lisbon when we visited in 2014 (back in the days before I'd done much traveling at all) on so many fronts -- food, architecture, weather, prices, friendliness, views -- that I was honestly a little reserved to go back in the years since. You don't want the magic to be gone, you know? There was no need to worry: Lisbon is as incredible as ever.
We hope you enjoyed our series from Portugal. This trip was an experience I will hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life. I couldn't recommend dirtbag van life and/or lush foodie living in Lisbon enough. Go go go go. Portugal was elected Travel & Leisure's destination of the year for a good reason...