LISGuide

The Best Bars In Lisbon

Cocktail bars remixing the classics, spots where you can dance until all hours of the morning, and more.
The Best Bars In Lisbon image

Over the past few years, Lisbon’s bar (and restaurant) scene has seen a big surge of new and exciting spots in neighborhoods like Bairro Alto, Cais do Sodré, Santos, and Principe Real. This influx of cocktail bars and live music spots complement the classics. And even though the city is now packed with some novelties—like drinks you can physically bite into, and places where they’ll can a cocktail right in front of you—there are still plenty of bars that simply focus on house wine and imperiais. Here’s where to drink in Lisbon right now, no matter what you’re in the mood for.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Cinco Lounge

Bar

Principe Real

$$$$Perfect For:Live MusicFeeling HotDrinking Good CocktailsSmall Plates

This cocktail bar has been open for 20 years, and was one of the first spots to show locals there’s more to life than just beer and wine. Head to this dark and moody spot after an afternoon spent exploring Principe Real’s famous garden, 19th century palaces, and shops. Order the Finders Keepers: it’s a mix of gin, lemongrass, ginger, mint, and lime that comes served in a tin that’s canned right in front of you. And if you’re just passing through for a quick pit-stop, you can grab one of their tinned margaritas to-go. They also do mocktails and have a selection of small, snacky plates like cheese boards and charcuterie. Whatever you order, expect to be friends with the staff by time you leave.

$$$$Perfect For:Outdoor/Patio Situation

You’ll find a big tile-covered manor house in the middle of a pedestrian square in the Intendente neighborhood, and between two hardware shops there’s a door. Go through it and up the flight of stairs and you’ll soon be inside what looks like a kitschy old home with vintage furniture and Portuguese memorabilia. Nothing matches, and that’s the point—every room, including the hallways, is different. Relax on the back patio, find a small little corner nook on the first floor, catch some live music or a DJ set on the weekends in the main room, or meander through an art exhibit that’ll likely be running throughout the entire space.

Lisbon has a long list of classic establishments, and Finalmente Club is one of these places—it opened in the ‘70s and hasn’t been touched much since then. The number one reason to come here is their nightly drag and variety shows, which they’ve been doing since the bar first opened. Grab a round table facing the sequin-curtained stage, and expect to sing along to “It’s Raining Men” under a glow of disco balls and neon lights.

For the last 30 years, Incognito has given Lisbon locals a place to dance to a soundtrack fueled by indie rock and synthpop. It’s open from Thursday through Saturday and located down a narrow street in São Bento—use the 28 Tram rails on Rua dos Poiais as your guide, and eventually, you’ll spot a crowd waiting outside. Inside, you’ll find an ‘80s vibe and a grand chandelier made from over a dozen disco balls reflecting light throughout the entire space. And no matter where you are inside this three-floor bar, you’ll have a view of the basement dance floor. It gets sweaty inside, so dress accordingly.

Make your way to this sort-of-tropical themed spot if you’re looking for a party, want to hang with some actual locals, or just need a bar that’s guaranteed to be a fun start to your evening. The music lineup changes every night, but you can expect DJs playing anything that’s a close cousin to electronic music and up-and-coming local indie bands. The inside is small—and will get packed as the night goes on—but its location on a dead-end street means you’ll see plenty of people spilling out onto the sidewalks with a beer in one hand and cigarette in the other.

Thanks to this famous Lisbon nightclub, “luxing” has become a verb. Getting past the doorman is a rite of passage for teenagers and young adults throughout the city—the key to success, no matter how old you are, is to arrive “early,” which means around 11pm. Once you pass through the doors into this massive cement block on the banks of the river, you'll discover three floors. The top has a terrace overlooking the Tagus River, and the middle is the disco-themed floor with high ceilings, large windows, and four separate bar spaces, one of which is dedicated exclusively to wine. The basement is where you'll dance until dawn to some of Europe’s best electronic DJs.

Maria Caxuxa is located inside a former bakery and playfully mixes old and new—there’s a wood-fired oven at the end of the bar, stone arches, and vintage furniture that somehow doesn’t look out of place with the bar’s strobe lights and galaxy-themed wallpaper. Whether you're headed here with a few pals or plan on befriending some strangers, this spot is a fantastic, charming, and centrally located bar where you can dance to ‘90s music and share a bottle or two of Portuguese wine. It’s also one of the best bars in the city to order a caipirinhas, an icy lime and sugar cane liquor drink.

photo credit: Palácio Chiado

Looking to feel extra fancy? Palácio Chiado is the move. This opulent restaurant, cocktail bar, and dancing spot with big 1920s energy is housed in a restored 18th-century palace in the center of Chiado. There are two distinct areas : The Salla, a wood-paneled cocktail bar that’s perfect for beginning or ending your night, and the main multi-room restaurant, which you’ll find at the top of a grand staircase. While you should definitely scope out the restaurant—especially to catch a glimpse of the massive gold lion with wings suspended from the ceiling—we like this place best for a drink at the bar.

photo credit: Procópio

Procópio has been open since the '70s and, at the time, was one of the few places that stayed open late, which made it a classic after-hours meeting point for Lisbon locals. Just off the Jardim das Amoreiras, you’ll see a staircase that leads to a small courtyard and a charming house covered in ivy with a few tables outside. Inside, there’s art nouveau decor, red velvet booths, waiters wearing bowties, and the lingering smell of years of tobacco smoke. Every drink at this warm and cozy spot comes with a bowl of popcorn that’s tasted the same for a half-century.

Lisbon is filled with quiosques, small green or red gazebos that aren’t officially classified as bars or restaurants, but offer a nice, casual environment for grabbing a beer and a snack. What sets this one apart from the rest is the view—it’s located right next to the Miradouro de Santa Catarina and overlooks the Tagus River with a panoramic POV of the city skyline. Grab a table or find a spot on the grassy green slope and relax with a beer or chilled wine and an empada (a Portuguese meat pie) as you take in the scenery. It closes early, but not before you’ll have the opportunity to witness one of the most spectacular sunsets in the entire city.

Quiosque Ribeira das Naus couldn't have a more perfect location—it's so close to the river that you might as well be in the water. This all-day spot is a great place for taking in some sun with a beer, glass of wine, or a porto tónico: a cocktail made with port wine and tonic water. Grab a chair facing the river and contemplate your next move over some sangria and an order of pizza or prawns.

To get into Red Frog, you must first meander through Monkey Mash Bar and find the closet door (another option: just ask the staff). Behind that door is a meticulously designed speakeasy with green wood-paneled walls, ornate chandeliers, and plush couches where you can get cozy and touch knees with your date. This is a craft cocktail kind of spot, and the menu is based around unexpected ingredient blends—the Zeppelin Funk Punch pairs earl grey with buttermilk and gin, and the American Gangster is a mix of bourbon, maple, cinnamon, and cocoa. It’s a popular bar but tiny, so reservations are essential.

Formerly a small tobacco shop, Tabacaria has preserved its original signage, tile facade, and wooden counters and closets. It’s a great spot for fresh oysters and cocktails, like the tequila-based Apple & Agave or the Zé Mule, a citrus-packed Moscow Mule that’ll likely make you want to order a second before you finish your first. In addition to oysters, there’s a small food menu that includes meat samosas and a fantastic potato and celery salad with curry sauce.

photo credit: Social B

On a back street between Cais do Sodré and Santos is a discreet door that leads to Social B. There’s a main bar between old stone arches, exposed brick walls, and mismatched decor that feels as though it’s been collected from the owner’s friends and family over the years. It all adds up to the kind of spot where you simply tell the bartender your mood, and they return with a drink a few minutes later (there's no set menu). Also on hand are snacks and small plates, like coconut falafel and vegetable or crab curry, plus a weekly schedule of live music and performances, from flamenco Tuesdays to live bands and DJs most days of the week.

Toca da Raposa opened up a few years before the pandemic and quickly became a popular spot for locals to seek solace from the craziness down the road in Chiado. Mirrored round tables that are great for dates and a stone bar that’s perfect if you're flying solo anchor this space. There’s a slim cocktail menu of 13 different drinks, and all of them are named after animals, like the Hippopotamus: a mix of rum, folha de figueria, and papaya.

A dozen oysters and a cocktail or two as a pre-dinner snack is exactly what you’ll need after meandering around the city all day in the sun. Typography nerds will appreciate the cocktails, which are all named after different fonts, like the rum-based Helvetica and the mezcal Georgia. If you’re not in the mood for oysters or need something a bit heftier, they also make a great shrimp brioche sandwich.

This futuristic-leaning cocktail bar in Principe Real is the spot to book, with an emphasis on book: there are only nine seats at night and scheduled seatings, so reservations are mandatory. There’s a small cocktail menu that encourages guests to pick a flavor profile (like floral, aromatic, and fruity, or bittersweet, herbal, and fresh) as a base to create a bespoke drink. Come here if you’re exhausted from playing navigator all day and couldn’t possibly make one more single decision yourself.

Keep Vago in your back pocket as the place to go when you’re not sure, well, where to go. It’s inspired by Japanese listening bars, and all the programming is curated by the owners (who, of course, are also DJs themselves). It’s open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7pm until after midnight, so plan on popping in after an early dinner for some funk, jazz, techno, electronic music, disco, or funaná. Also, it’s one of the only places in Lisbon where you can eat a reuben sandwich, which you should definitely order alongside a negroni.

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Suggested Reading

Procópio image

Procópio

At Procópio in Rato, every drink comes with a bowl of popcorn.

Velvet banquettes at Praia no Parque in Lisbon

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Finalmente Club image

Finalmente Club has been hosting nightly drag and variety shows in Principe Real since the '70s.

Palácio Chiado image

If you're looking for someplace to feel extra fancy, head to Palácio Chiado in Chiado for a drink at the bar.

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