Historic Cafes Route
This month you'll discover…
The Historic Coffee Route
This theme is about coffee. It will not be about that aromatic drink that is part of everyday life of the Portuguese, but about the places where we drink it. If you think about it, probably have a favorite place to go for a coffee or chat with friends. It is so with all of us, the anonymous and the best known.
Many of these locations, They are known, essentially, who attended them, but others are on this route due to the events that took place there, for being iconic in the environments in which they operate or, simply for its longevity. Some have kept their doors open since the 18th century.
This aroused our curiosity, to the point of going through the country, from les-a-les, to know these spaces, your architecture, decoration and its dynamics. We went to Braga, Guimarães, Amarante, Oporto, Coimbra, Tomar, Lisboa, Portalegre, Estremoz, Évora and Faro and created a list of the most emblematic cafes.
Whether on the terrace or in the dining room, having a coffee or a delicious cake, for lunch or snack, one thing that will not be missing is history.
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Café São Gonçalo – Amarante
It is possible that this is one of the best framed coffees. Café São Gonçalo is located in one of the main squares in Amarante, the Republic Square, next to the city's ex-libris, the Monastery of São Gonçalo and the bridge with the same name. The Tâmega River flows slowly on its bed under a comforting sun.
When we arrive, the terrace is composed and all the windows of the arcade are open. It seems that the square enters the café in a friendly embrace. Square wooden tables are spread across the wide space framed by the large L-shaped counter.
Café São Gonçalo will not only always be connected to the saint of the city, as well as to the poet Teixeira de Pascoaes. You will see that he remains introspective at one of the tables. Well, is not it, but a statue in his honor as he is a frequent customer and this is his favorite coffee.
This coffee founded in the years 1930 by the Rodrigo brothers, Ismael and Belchior Queirós, this always linked to the arts. It was frequented by painters and writers, but, also by the military and politicians who here thought of their conspiracies.
The candies in the window fill your appetite and break our resistance. It is also possible to have a meal at one of the tables on the ground floor or on the exquisite first floor, or even at the counter exchanging two fingers of conversation with the friendly employees.
As for us, we will continue to enjoy our snack overlooking the square. And, who knows, stay for dinner.
Useful information Address: Republic square, no. 8, Amarante Website: https://www.facebook.com/cafebar.s.goncalo
Millennial Coffee – Guimarães
The name could not have been better chosen. The Millennial Café opened its doors in 1953, year that the city of Guimarães celebrated 1000 years of existence.
This historic café is located on Largo do Toural, in the historic center. The building maintains its original features having undergone only a few improvement and comfort works, normal for those who want to follow the passage of time. Even if the establishment wanted to “escape” from history, it would not be possible. The coffee is, literally, connected to the wall tower that once protected the city. The phrase “Aqui Nasceu Portugal” fills it with pride.
Inside everything is as it used to be. The decor evokes the typical coffee of the years 1950, with its small round tables. The Millennial Café is, still, meeting place. It remains a meeting place for generations, where regular customers or passing visitors take the opportunity to read the newspaper or enjoy good coffee.
Guimarães is one of the most important places in the history of Portugal, it would not be surprising if there was also a café with a history.
Useful information: Address: Largo do Toural, Guimarães Website: www.facebook.com/Café-Milenário
Brazilian Coffee – Braga
Sitting at one of the small tables overlooking the busy street in the historic area of Braga, at Largo Barão de São Martinho, with sounds of conversations superimposed over each other, in what appears to be an old building living room, that we have emerged in the history of this cafe. Here, in Brazilian, one of the chain's cafes open across the country, it is imperative to order “bag coffee”, special ground coffee from this establishment and still taken in the original machine. If we want to be much more genuine, and according to the time when the Brazilian opened, we have to drink the coffee in a clear glass cup.
The Brazilian opened its doors, in Braga, in 1907. Almost complete 110 years since Adriano Soares Teles do Vale decided to open its doors to the public, after returning from Brazil where he was emigrated and where he got rich thanks to the coffee industry. As in Braga, we could find A Brasileira in Lisbon (Chiado and Rossio), Oporto, Aveiro and Coimbra.
In 2008/2009 this establishment underwent renovation works that made it an even more pleasant space, but without losing the identity that makes it unique. This is fruit, also, of the intrinsic characteristics of a century-old building. But the history of Brasileira is not only told by the walls and architecture. This is a place of bridges between generations. Grandparents, children and grandchildren go to the cafe religiously, how can older officials testify.
In addition to the essential coffee, be sure to try the different types of cakes available and, if the weather is inviting, exchange the interior for the terrace (but go see the interior anyway).
Useful information: Address: Largo Barão de São Martinho, 17, Braga
Café Vianna – Braga
Café Vianna opened its doors in 1871, in the beautiful city of Braga. It seems incredible that, 145 years later, still healthy and with a steady clientele. It is an ex-libris of the city and a place of mandatory stop.
We sat at one of their tables on the terrace watching passers-by hurried by the sidewalk. We imagine Eça de Queiroz and Camilo Castelo Branco doing the same since they are regulars at Café Vianna. In front of us stretches the Praça da República. The fountains of water try to refresh the hot air that is felt.
In addition to the products normally found in pastry shops such as cakes, breads and all coffee variations, we can enjoy the dishes made every day for lunch and dinner. There is a daily selection of daily dishes to choose from, but, if you prefer, you can just sit back and drink a cold beer.
The longevity and the history that comes from it cannot be removed from this space. We are told that, in the extinct game room, meetings of the famous Movement of 28 from May of 1926, that contributed to the establishment of the 1st Portuguese Republic.
The interior of Café Vianna is decorated with the refinement of other times. At weekends there is animation with live music, for example. Perhaps an ideal occasion to try the tempting cocktails.
If you are going to visit the city of Braga (and there are many reasons for that) don't forget to stop by this cafe with history.
Useful information: Address: Republic square, Braga Website: https://www.facebook.com/CafeVianna
Cafe Aviz – Oporto
Café Aviz is one of the most iconic establishments in the city of Porto, not only for its history, but also for the persistence (positive) in staying true to its genesis.
Located on the street with the same name, Café Aviz is closely linked to a student clientele, mainly from the medical course. This is, by the way, patent in the various tombstones left by the university finalists.
The tea room and dining room extend for several meters in a space stripped of luxuries while maintaining a simple and careful aesthetic. It is here that they serve one of the best and best known in the city unbeaten as we are told. As we arrived outside of lunch time, we decided to leave this adventure for a next visit and limited ourselves to a light snack next to the tiled painting with the image of Mestre de Aviz.
Café Aviz is also known for its games room filled with several pool tables. It is a great place to relax with friends in an environment where the smell of coffee forms on the walls. We can almost still hear the noisy conversations of students around the game of pool.
Useful information: Address: Aviz Street, 27, Oporto
Café Âncora D ’Ouro (Coffee Louse) – Oporto
Let's go to Café Piolho? Find the name strange? So wait until you read the explanation of why they call you that.
But first it is necessary to mention that Café Piolho is one of the best known establishments in the city of Porto and, also, one of the oldest in operation. Its real name is Café Âncora D ’Ouro and it opened its doors in 1909 at Praça Parada leitão, in the area of Torre dos Clérigos. The name “Âncora D’Ouro” is clearly shown by the enormous bow of a ship near the back wall. At the entrance there is a small kiosk for magazines and newspapers, a curious touch that maintains a connection to ancient traditions. The tables, placed next to each other, form lines parallel to the long counter.
Café Piolho may not have the luxury and refinement of other coffees of its time, but maintains the character that makes it unique: a genuinidade. Here you can enjoy a good meal at very affordable prices, including the famous “Francesinha” accompanied by a cold beer.
Now for the explanation of the name. You may not have noticed, but close by is the University of Porto, what made this place a favorite of students, but also from the teachers, so the coexistence was, sometimes, ceremonious. Therefore, someone (it is not known whether a teacher or a student) started to say that it was a “lice”. No one really knows for sure the origin of the nickname, but the coffee awnings are proof that the name was.
Useful information: Address: Parada Leitão Square nº 45, 4050 Oporto Website: www.cafepiolho.com
Cafe Guarany – Oporto
The electric frenzy of Avenida dos Aliados, in the center of Porto, pushes us to a moment of relaxation in one of the cafes nearby. And, looking for an emblematic place steeped in history, Guarany has to be your first choice.
Although it opened in 1933, Guarany was not stubbornly tied at that time, perhaps due to the restoration it underwent in 2003. What stands out immediately are the works of Graça Morais that portray the culture of the Guarany Indians. The name Guarany comes from the tribe of Indians who dominated an area of South America, currently occupied by Paraguay, Uruguay and Paraná (Brazil). This was not exactly a direct link to the tribe, but an allusion to where the best coffee in the world came from, the Brazil.
The space is ample ending in a long balcony. The high relief of the Indian that gives the house its name and one of the brand images of the café still lives on the ceiling.. We ended up choosing one of the tables leaning against the window so that we can be in contact with the city's artery. Although coffee serves meals, breakfast menus and a copy of “Guarany Tea Service”, we decided to stay by the famous cafe.
A poster in the window next to us announces the fado night that is approaching. Fortunately, Guarany continues to maintain its reputation as a place of conviviality and cultural events. There are often concerts or fado nights, meetings and debates. This explains why Guarany continues to be frequented by musicians, intellectuals and politicians.
If you are going to visit the city of Porto, you must visit Guarany.
Useful information: Address: Avenida dos Aliados, 85/89, Oporto Website: www.cafeguarany.com
Café Majestic – Oporto
If you are walking along Rua de Santa Catarina, one of the best known in Porto, you will easily notice the presence of Café Majestic. The richly ornamented and distinctive facade of the surrounding buildings, the rush of dressed employees and the countless tourists that fill the terrace will help you to realize that you are in front of the Majestic.
If you want to know what the atmosphere was like at “Bélle Époque” then you came to the right place. This was the meeting place for intellectuals, artists, writers and the “fine flower” of Porto society. Curiously, the coffee started by being called Elite, but the name was perceived as a monarchical allusion, which didn't go well with the republican clientele, therefore, decided to change the name to “Majestic” in a clear connection with the glamor of Paris, the beacon of the fashion of the time.
The Majestic Café has always been an artistic hub with its constant gatherings, debates, small concerts or fado nights. In addition, it maintains, still, an art gallery with temporary exhibitions of the most diverse styles.
The charm and the glamour still feel when we sit down at one of the tables. The huge wooden framed mirrors, leather seats, the suspended lamps, cherubs and marble table tops, transport us to 1921, when the café opened its doors to the public.
Here it is also possible to have a meal, order a "five o'clock tea", taste one of the homemade cakes or just enjoy a good coffee. All of this served with great refinement by a staff dressed up and that, despite the constant mole of people filling the space, manages to maintain a genuine smile and receive everyone with the hospitality worthy of the name “Majestic”.
Useful information: Address: Santa Catarina Street, 112, Oporto Website: www.cafemajestic.com
Coffee Santa Cruz – Coimbra
The Café Santa Cruz, in the historic center of Coimbra, proudly bears the symbol of “coffee with history”. It was the idea of the owner of Café Santa Cruz to create a “Cafés with History” route that connected some of the Portuguese cafés with a more distant or remarkable history. The objective is not to let these spaces fall into oblivion and to praise the role they have played over time.
This coffee, in particular, opened in 1923, in the square 8 May, near the Church of Santa Cruz. This building was, by the way, an old parish chapel erected in 1530 that, after losing the cult, won other skills as a hardware store, Police squad, among others. Finally, Café Santa Cruz was established here after the facade was changed. Inside, heavy and dark woods prevail and large mirrors. The vaulted ceilings refer to the imaginary of the old parish church. The space is spacious and filled with marble-topped tables accompanied by carved wooden chairs.
Both the terrace and the interior room are welcoming places. The café offers a variety of sweets and snacks with a special emphasis on the Crosiers. Crúzio is a sweet from the Café de Santa Cruz whose name comes from the ancient monastic order linked to the Church of Santa Cruz, the Crosiers.
Café Santa Cruz is, as well, connected to the arts through social gatherings, launch of books and live music shows. At the back of the room, in what appears to be the old chancel, rest two chairs that await the guitarists and the fado that will echo through the centuries-old walls. after all, we are in Coimbra.
Useful information: Address: Square 8 May, Coimbra Website: www.cafesantacruz.com
Cafe Paradise – Tomar
A few years had passed since the town hall of Tomar changed the name of Rua da Corredoura to Serpa Pinto, or famous explorer of Africa. They had, by the way, few months have passed since the proclamation of the Republic in the country's capital. It was in this environment of political regime change that Café Paraíso emerged, by the hands of five friends, to 20 from May of 1911.
The cafe is located in the historic city center, in a pedestrian street that is almost mandatory for anyone visiting Tomar, known as the city of the Templars. But, beyond the medieval tradition, this centenary cafe still survives.
The space has undergone several transformations over the years. What stands out today are the columns covered in imitation brownish marble, the fans that cool the air from the ceiling and the huge mirrors that surround the room causing the feeling that the space is bigger than it really is.
Café Paraíso was the favorite coffee of Tomarenses to have an ice cream or a glass of port, Madeira wine or other liquor. Several names from the political and artistic circles passed through here, with special emphasis on the composer and son of the city of Tomar, Fernando Lopes-Graça, as well as the famous writer Umberto Eco.
Currently, the café has seen its opening hours extended to take into account the needs of customers coming from the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar. Usual customers continued to occupy the square tables of one of the most cherished establishments in the city. Café Paraíso has become a meeting place for generations and, of course, so it will continue for many years, true to your values.
Useful information: Address: Serpa Pinto Street, n. 127, Tomar Website: cafeparaisotomar.com
Versailles pastry – Lisboa
The constant noise of traffic passing on the avenue is not disturbing, oddly enough. We're, after all, in a cosmopolitan location and in one of the most important arteries of the country's capital. And that's what Versailles has always been, a refined pastry for a European capital.
The very building where Versailles is included is noteworthy. The bold lines make it an iconic building in the city. On the ground floor, the terrace extends under large white umbrellas. We decided to enter. The first thing that stands out is the huge extension of the counter that runs the entire length of the room. Underneath are the cakes and sweets of their own manufacture that make coffee famous..
The name was not chosen at random. Versailles opened its doors in 1922 under the name “Patisserie Versailles” (French influence was of great importance to society at the time). Its owners hoped to bring the splendor and refinement of the symbol of French sophistication. Large chandeliers hang from the framed ceiling. On the walls you can see paintings that illustrate the idyllic lakes of the Palace of Versailles. To the floor, in a checkered marble, is a Versailles brand image.
The dining room is divided into two parts. The main one runs parallel to the counter, but there is, also, a small landing whose most significant element is the splendid stained glass.
Visiting Versailles means going back to the years 1920, to the glamor of dating in cafes, at the time when attending a pastry shop was almost exclusively for the elite of society. Today that fact is more democratized, but coffee continues to be frequented by the artistic and political milieu.
In addition to the varied pastry, a Versailles serve, as well, daily meals, teas and hot chocolates. It is, without doubt, a classic from the city of Lisbon.
Useful information: Address: Avenue of the Republic, 15, Lisboa
Café Martinho da Arcada – Lisboa
It's really impressive. There are more than 230 years in business. Two centuries of history in the city of Lisbon. Just to get a sense of time: when Martinho da Arcada opened Portugal it was still a monarchy, reigned D. Maria I, the great earthquake of 1755 had happened about 30 years old.
Was, by the way, a member of the Royal House, Julião Pereira de Castro, who decided to open a cafe, or a liquor store, at the high, with the name “Casa da Neve”. After several managements, the establishment only came to contain the word “Martinho” in its name when it passed into the hands of Martinho Bartolomeu Rodrigues, in 1829. Over time, he ended up buying another coffee and to avoid confusion he started to call it “Martinho da Arcada”, name that has remained until today.
Its history is not limited to longevity. Great names of politics have passed through here, arts and culture, the most emblematic being the writer Fernando Pessoa who used Martinho da Arcada as his second home and where he wrote many of his poems. There is, even, a table with your name.
To be at Martinho da Arcada is to feel involved in history. His connection with the literary world has not ended, as they continue to promote gatherings and other events. Sit on the terrace, beneath the mythical arcade. Watch the Tagus pass slowly under the famous light that illuminates the country's capital. You can enjoy a typical Portuguese meal. Martinho da Arcada is also famous for its tasty cuisine. Enjoy!
Useful information: Address: Commerce Square, 3, Lisboa Website: www.martinhodaarcada.com
Brazilian Coffee – Lisboa
Some cafes are especially known for their connection to outstanding personalities. This is the case of Café São Gonçalo, in Amarante, with the poet Teixeira de Pascoaes, th or, already in Lisbon, Nicola with Bocage or Martinho da Arcada with Fernando Pessoa. And it is precisely Fernando Pessoa who also has a connection with Brasileira do Chiado.
It could be his bronze statue that is currently on the terrace, but other brilliant figures of the arts passed by these tables drinking their coffee as, for example, Almada Negreiros, Eduardo Viana or Bernardo Marques.
When the doors opened, in 1905, the Brazilian didn't even sell coffee by the cup, grain bags only. It was its owner, Adriano Telles who had the brilliant idea of offering a cup of coffee to anyone who bought a bag that popularized the idea. From then on there was a constant growth of people looking for the “real coffee in Brazil”, Brazilian brand image.
Don't just stay by the terrace, you will certainly find the interior impressive. Notice the richly worked ceiling, in the hanging lamps, in wood details, in the mirrors, in the paintings or on the long counter that leads your gaze to the wall clock in the background. Warm tones give the place a warm atmosphere.
This is one of the most popular places for tourists visiting the city of Lisbon, so the number of people can become chaotic, however, be sure to stop for a few minutes at Brasileira do Chiado for a pastel de nata accompanied by an aromatic coffee.
Useful information: Address: Rua Garrett, 120/122, wheezing, Lisboa
Nicola coffee – Lisboa
The fantastic Rossio square, in Lisbon, houses a café that has been in operation since the 18th century. Not uninterrupted as this was also the location of a jewelery and bookstore in the 19th century. It was founded by the Italian Nicola Breteiro, in 1787, with the name “Botequim do Nicola”. Early became a meeting place for writers, politicians and thinkers of the time, some of whom were regulars like, for example, the poet Bocage. Here wrote, he recited and dictated his famous poems, especially those who attacked their “arch-enemy”, Father José Agostinho de Macedo. Manuel Maria du Bocage's connection to Nicola is such that, when confronted by a policeman, it is said to have answered: “I am Bocage / I come from Nicola / I'm going to another world / It is shot with a pistol ”.
In 1929 the space is once again a café and Nicola goes back to his literary and cultural roots. It was at that time that the distinctive facade was built and the statue of the poet Bocage was placed, work by Marcelino Norte d’Almeida. These are, by the way, the only elements of the original decor. Paintings hang on the walls, by the painter Fernando Santos, depicting Bocage.
Coffee continues to be frequented by those who understand the importance of this establishment for the city as well as by countless tourists visiting the capital, attracted by its history. By the way, Nicola's story gets mixed up, sometimes, with the history of Lisbon. Sit inside next to the image of Bocage or on the terrace overlooking the beautiful Rossio, but be sure to visit this landmark in the country's cultural history.
Useful information: Address: Dom Pedro IV Square 24-25, Lisboa
Pastel de Belém – Lisboa
If there is an essential coffee shop in Lisbon, is the Pasteis de Belém Factory. Lisboners know it, the Portuguese know it and foreign tourists know it. That explains the long lines you’ll see every day, at all hours.
When you look at the facade, you don't have a sense of how big the space is. But it's great. Very large. Almost as big as the history and prestige of the Old Confeitaria de Belém.
To understand the origin of the pastéis de Belém and this emblematic place we have to go back in time, more properly for the height of the civil war in Portugal, between the liberals and the absolutists. After the victory of the liberal field, an attack on religious institutions began. In 1834 convents and monasteries are closed and their workers and the clergy themselves were expelled. The Jerónimos Monastery, right here next (if not yet, must go visit you), was no exception. Near the monastery there was, at the high, a sugar cane refinery and, as a matter of survival, decided to create some pastels that quickly won the epithet “Pastéis de Belém”.
Survival was assured and, in 1837, began to operate the Pastéis de Belém Factory in the facilities attached to the refinery. Pastels production has increased over the years as has its popularity, always with the secret recipe from the Jerónimos Monastery and transmitted from pastry chef to pastry chef.
As soon as you get through the crowd you will be able to wander through rooms, white and blue tile, decorated with objects from times gone by. Will power, also, see factory parts, namely the final part of when the pastries are removed from the oven and exposed on huge trays. The sweet aroma of pastries and cinnamon spreads everywhere. They are the ideal companions to guide you to the table where it is mandatory to order pastéis de Belém. When you try them you will realize the importance of a history of almost two centuries and why they are so different from the custard tarts sold throughout the country.
Useful information: Address: Belém Street nº 84 to 92, Lisboa Website: pasteisdebelem.pt
National Confectionery – Lisboa
Imagine this situation: are in Lisbon and you want something sweet, handcrafted and enjoyed in a historic location. Then the National Confectionery is the ideal place for you.
The National Confectionery is located in Praça da Figueira, in a building that forms a corner with Rua dos Correeiros. It is easy to identify due to the unique sign topped by the medals he won, throughout history, in international confectionery contests. Another aspect that you will not fail to notice are the shop windows and showcases elegantly filled with sweet temptations.
The establishment has more than 180 years of existence. It was founded by Balthazar Roiz Castanheiro, in 1829, and since the beginning it has been guided by the quality of products and raw materials, for the refinement and the highest standards of demand. It was not for nothing that it reached many of the prestigious international awards (Paris, Philadelphia, Vienna from Austria, etc) and was elected as supplier of the Casa Real Portuguesa decreed by charter of King D. Louis I. It is currently, also, supplier to the Presidency of the Republic.
Another curious aspect of this house is that it was Confeitaria Nacional that brought the Bolo-Rei to the national market with a recipe from France. It's amazing to know that the recipe remains unchanged today. By the way, many of the cake recipes that are on display still date back to the time of 1800.
The interior of the Confeitaria Nacional is richly decorated in pastel and gold tones. The main counter is, not only, stuffed with freshly baked cakes, but also appetizing savory (yes, are also made by hand). Over, a huge mirror gives you a curious perspective of space. On one side you can find a small counter where you can pick up the house specialties. Space may seem small, but, most likely, the amount of customers and tourists around you will make you feel. A wooden staircase rises in a gentle curve to the first floor, destined to the dining room decorated in the same lines as the main hall. At the Confeitaria Nacional you can also get lost in a lunch with a very Portuguese flavor overlooking the square.
The National Confectionery is a place that you must visit. The story, tradition and the passing of time are felt in each bite. They knew that the National Confectionery still belongs to the same family? It is true.
Useful information: Address: Figueira Square, 18 B, Lisboa Website: www.confeitarianacional.com
Alentejano coffee – Portalegre
Getting to Portalegre is always a pleasure. First, because the landscape that precedes it is magnificent; second, because the hospitality is the best we can find. The city extends from the castle and goes down the slope to the most recent part. We stopped by the historic area for a coffee in one of the most emblematic places in this city: or Alentejano. The name may seem redundant, but believe that you will not feel out of place even if you are not from these stops. The narrow road goes around the building that stands out for its characteristic yellow and the people that crowd the door or next to the post box. Lively conversations echo down the street as more people gather. Does everyone know each other? We do not know, but that never stopped anyone from wishing a good day to those in the neighborhood.
The Alentejo is part of a building from the years 40 20th century, attached to the Palace of the Counts of Vila Real or Palace of D. Nuno de Sousa, whose most distinctive feature is the Manueline windows.
Sit at one of the small tables and order a coffee. We suggest you, until, to leaf through a book by José Régio, who has been sitting there so many times, maybe in that same chair. José Régio, well-known Portuguese writer and poet, he was a high school teacher in Portalegre for many years. It is likely that many of those at the establishment were students.
The central location of the café allows you to quickly reach other historic buildings such as, for example, the Convent of Santa Clara or catering establishments where you can taste real Alentejo dishes. Without a doubt a place to visit.
Useful information: Address: Elvas Street, Portalegre
Fifteenth Chain – Estremoz
We climbed to the top of the village of Estremoz in a mixture of fear and curiosity. A coffee in a chain? We pass the Porta de Santarém until we reach the center of the monumental set of Alcáçova de Estremoz. The light stone on the floor and on the facades reflects the intense Alentejo sun. On the right side we see the presence of the statue of Queen Santa Isabel with the mountain in the background. On the other side stands the keep of the castle, one of the best preserved in the country.
A Cadeia cafe is well signposted since we parked outside the walls. Despite the name and the iron chairs imitating bars, the cafe has an inviting atmosphere. You enter from a narrow alley into the cafeteria area, with halftone lighting. This building was the former Estremoz chain, in the sixteenth century. Think, also, that could have been the town hall, since these spaces normally held chains on the ground floor.
But back to the present. The jailer's heavy keys are hung on the door leading to the cafeteria. Ahead begins the restaurant area, with tables and chairs made of iron. This was where male prisoners were once held. The windows are closed with bars, however, point us to a corner where one of the bars was sawn, giving rise to an escape. As we go around, there is an arch where bars existed that separated common prisoners from the most dangerous. You can still see the trapdoor, on the ceiling, where the food came down to feed them. Despite its dismal past, the decoration, in shades of red, sever that connection allowing us to relax and enjoy the meal peacefully. The cuisine is predominantly Alentejo, some author dishes. It is recommended, surely, tasting these delicacies.
On the first floor there is a bar area or a space for events. It is difficult not to notice the “wine” incarcerated when entering. You may want to help with your escape?
The 16th century jail is a pleasant surprise for those who visit it, from the quality of the meals served, typically Alentejo, to the friendliness of the whole team. Come on, that we promise it will come out (I'm sure it will come out) pleased.
Useful information: Address: Rainha Santa Isabel Street - Castle, Estremoz Website: www.cadeiaquinhentista.com
Arcade Cafe – Évora
It is in the tourist center that we find Café Arcada, more properly in Praça do Giraldo. Therefore, it is not surprising the countless groups that roam everywhere with cameras in hand and look dazzled. However, rare are those who know the importance of this establishment for both the city and the country.
There was a time when the Arcade was sought after by all who visited the city and by the people of Évora. The opening was in 1942 and was considered one of the best in the country, “With over a hundred tables, owning a refrigerator and other modern innovations ”, according to the newspaper “Notícias d’ Évora ”. Arcada was the project of António Justino Mexia da Costa Praça, Basilio da Costa Oliveira, Celestino Costa and António Borges Barreto, four of the biggest eborean traders.
After having been closed for some time, this mythical cafe is, currently, with open doors in the shade of the arcades that give it its name. Perhaps, the only point to point out would be the “dark” tone of the facade that makes it “disappear” in the building. But, as soon as we discovered it, we can imagine the splendor of yesteryear. The most surprising feature is the revolving entrance door. It is similar to what existed in the famous “Café Chave d’Ouro”, no Rossio, in Lisbon. It was decorated with luxury and refinement so it was one of the first cafes to be frequented by ladies, in the city.
Candy smiles at us from the window, forcing us to enter. A huge balcony extends across the room, narrow and long. In the early years, the Arcade was frequented by the local bourgeoisie, high school students or small groups of intellectuals, among others. The writer Vergílio Ferreira reports the atmosphere of this cafe in his novel “Aparição”: "Indeed, when entering the cafe, after lunch, I was surprised to see that vast tunnel crowded with people. The corridor was crowded with traders, because it was ali, between drinks, that the market of the week was held. ” Curiously, this writer is closely linked to Arcada because it was here that his best man paid for the wedding.
Today, no wedding, you don't see the toasting of champagne flutes, you can't hear the Jazz Luz e Vida Orchestra, who acted in the opening of the space, but you can have a light lunch, enjoy a magnificent steak accompanied by beer, or order one of the countless cakes and sweets made with passion. For all this, Café Arcada deserves to continue making history.
Useful information: Address: Giraldo Square, n. 7, Évora
Café Aliança – Faro
When the Algarve sun gets too hot you have to look for a place to cool off. Some prefer to go to baths, but we, we chose to enter one of the most emblematic cafes in the city of Faro: Café Aliança.
There was once a dairy, the Faro stock exchange or the headquarters of a newspaper. After a fire in 1930, the building was recovered and, in 1932, Café Aliança gained the characteristic traits that we see today. In 2010 ended up being closed due to the deterioration of the building, but it was recently renovated and returned to the Farenses.
At the entrance, a terrace covered with huge parasols covers the columns with neoclassical features. A huge revolving door leads to a large room, with a worked ceiling, and marble-topped tables. Huge mirrors and lamps hang from the walls. Photos allusive to the region are displayed all around, framed in wood and topping a bench.
Currently Café Aliança, it's not just coffee, is the Aliança Brewery. This fact is well evidenced by the copper-colored tubes that run over the counter. In the background there is the dining room. In addition to fresh beer you can, also, enjoy the good flavors of the region from the kitchen of this cafe.
If you visit or if you are thinking of visiting the Algarve be sure to visit this space that, despite the great offer of cafes and bars in the region, it's a breath of fresh air in the Algarve panorama.
Useful information: Address: D Street. Francisco Gomes, n. 7 to 11, Faro