Welcome to Lisbon! Está você com fome?
By Laura Wooffitt, Bluegrass Writers Studio
To the Lisbon Bound and others interested,
When you finally make it to the top of the quadra-decker escalator (meaning the four sets of escalator/stairs rising out of the depths of the Baixa Chiado metro station), a lot of things can be overwhelming. There are tons of people, crazy taxis, trams curving round the street in front of you, and again, lots and lots of people. It’s difficult to get your bearings, especially on good places to eat, usually it’s a spur of the moment, let’s try this and hoping it’s not outrageously priced sort of thing!
My husband and I felt much the same way last summer of 2013. Disquiet is really helpful by providing a section in their booklet on places to eat, and mind you, it is a smaller list with more of a touristy focus and only a few mentioned that are under 10 euros. We had a tighter pocketbook because we were paying for two, and spending over 10 euros for each of us for three meals a day adds up (think over 13 dollars a meal). Yikes, right?
But don’t worry! There are some cheaper options, especially if you don’t mind eating at the same places more than once. But before I get into the list of places, let me give you some groundwork.
Pay attention to Disquiet’s Lisboa manual. It has a ton of good advice like tipping. Although, our own Derek Nikitas helped simplify Disquiet’s directions for me. He said to tip small for smaller meals like breakfast, coffee and pastries, dessert, etc. Tip big if you are being served a bigger meal like lunch and dinner. Also don’t forget! If they bring you a breadbasket, it’s not a Texas Roadhouse where you get as much bread and butter as you want. If you don’t want it, don’t touch it or tell the server that you don’t want it so you don’t get charged. Also, some restaurants are only open for lunch so keep that in mind.
It’s a good idea to bring a water bottle or buy a bottle of water and just reuse it for your stay. There are a lot of hills and a lot of walking and most places don’t have air conditioning, so you need to stay hydrated. Last year, we had an unprecedented heat wave for the first week so we carried huge bottles of water with us everywhere.
It’s also a good idea to carry a jacket or sweater with you if you know you’re going to be out all day. The temperatures usually drop starting around five in the evening anywhere between ten and twenty degrees. Sometimes more as it gets darker. The Tagus River keeps a steady wind going day and night and can get really chilly when you’re out for dinner.
Are you getting hungry yet? Check back on Thursday for part two of the eateries series, and I’ll give you directions to my favorites.
Published on April 21, 2014