The best artisanal bakeries in Lisbon
Here in Portugal, we often consume bread with our meals. Bread with butter, jam, cheese and/or ham is a very standard breakfast. Sandwiches are our go-to snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon. And along with lunch or dinner, it’s customary to have a bread basket on top of the table, independently of what’s on your plate as a main.
We have a great variety of regional bread specialities, taking advantage of the cereals that are most prevalent in different parts of the country. In the interior of the northern part of the country, where the soil is drier and tougher for most cultivars, rye has traditionally been the grain of choice. Around here, in the Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro provinces, pão de centeio, that is, dark and robust rye bread, is almost synonym with bread altogether. Towards the coast you find broa, a crumbly and dense cornbread that Portugal shares with the neighboring Spanish region of Galicia. As you start going south in Portugal, wheat breads become more prevalent, as this is the main cereal cultivated in the center and southern regions, like in the Alentejo, which we could easily refer to as “Portugal’s bread basket”. Traveling even further to the Portuguese islands, you’ll find more varieties of regional breads, incorporating other ingredients besides grains. A good example of this is bolo do caco, a typical bun from Madeira, that apart from wheat flour also involves sweet potato in its recipe.
Going to the bakery used to be a very common habit in Portugal not that long ago. But in recent decades the popularization of supermarkets and the generally faster rhythm of life has made us change our bread purchasing habits and end up opting more and more for the baked goods available at bigger chains. While you still come across a good selection of breads at most neighborhood supermarkets, the quality is not always the same. Thankfully, there’s a new wave of artisanal bakers in Lisbon who are bringing back traditional breads like our grandparents used to enjoy by default. We could say that these new bread artists are innovating but, in reality, they are going back to once again do things the way they used to be done back in the day. The result? More flavorful breads, which are also more nutritious, healthy and that, in many cases, are also more eco-friendly and end up contributing much more to the local economy too.
These are some of the best bakeries around Lisbon:
If you’re only going to visit one bakery in Lisbon, make sure it’s Gleba. This bakery is behind the resurgence of sourdough artisan bread in our city. Started by inspiring Diogo Amorin at the young age of 21 years, Gleba is not only a place where you can buy high-quality slow fermented bread that tastes great and is good for your gut. This is also a business that has highly contributed to keep certain grain producers’ businesses alive. Diogo and his team use exclusively national cereals and even the other ingredients used for their special loaves, like cheeses, herbs, charcuterie and more, are 100% Portuguese.
🍞Try: trigo barbela, that is, the loaf made with wheat of the autochthonous Portuguese wheat variety called Barbela, popularized by this bakery in recent years
📍Rua Maria Pia Nº 2 4, 1350-208 Lisbon
Massa Mãe – Pão Artesanal
The team behind Massa Mãe bakes bread that “reflects all the changes that they want to see in the world” and we think that’s commendable while also quite bold. Just like Gleba, they also use only 100% Portuguese ingredients. They keep things simple: flour from Portuguese grains, water, sea salt and sourdough starter – this is how the best bread is achieved, giving it enough time for mother nature to perform its fermentation magic. Soft crumb, crunchy crust, perfect taste!
🍞Try: their best seller pão de quatro sementes, made with 4 different strains of wheat and rye
📍Rua Conde Almoster 92A, 1500-197 Lisbon
Padaria da Esquina
Unlike the other more independent small businesses mentioned here, Padaria da Esquina has a big name in the local gastronomic scene behind it: Chef Vitor Sobral, also known for his several other Lisbon based restaurants like Peixaria da Esquina and Tasca da Esquina. Padaria da Esquina is Sobral’s 4 store bakery project, focusing not only on high quality bread but also Portuguese pastries, like pastel de nata, made exclusively with butter (and not margarine like in most other pastry shops). Kudos to their artisanal bread and master baker Mário Rolando who is one of the biggest names of sourdough baking in our country!
🍞Try: Alentejano, one of the most beloved types of wheat breads, perfect for toast, sandwiches or simply with a generous spread of butter.
📍Rua Coelho da Rocha 108, 1350-079 Lisbon
Padaria Terra Pão
Bakery project by Chef Marta Figueiredo, behind popular fusion eatery Estrela da Bica. She started baking bread for her own restaurant, after feeling that the quality of bread usually served at restaurants was sub-par. From her initial sourdough experiments for internal consumption to opening Padaria Terra Pão things just ended up happening in a pretty organic way. This bakery eventually found its home inside the traditional market of Arroios, but doesn’t limit itself to traditional Portuguese recipes when it comes to its freshly baked offerings. Besides purchasing bread, you can also visit to have out of the ordinary sandwiches, highlighting other Portuguese ingredients like artisanal goat butter, sheep cheese from Mértola, or organic quince marmalade made by Chef Marta herself.
🍞Try: the naturally leavened pão da casa, their main “home-bread”
📍Mercado de Arroios, R. Ângela Pinto 40D Loja 8, 1900-221 Lisbon
Cláudia Bicho, the one and only person working at micro PADARIA, used to live in San Francisco and work as a scientist in the field of cellular biology. She left her research career behind to fully immerse herself in the science of bread and dared to open a sourdough bakery in the typical neighborhood of Graça, where residents didn’t initially fully understand why her loaves were more expensive than in the corner store. But as the love and understanding about the benefits of slowly fermented bread grew amongst Lisboners, micro PADARIA managed not only to survive but to eventually become an iconic bakery amongst this new wave of bakeries focusing on slowly fermented breads.
🍞Try: polenta com trigo, a loaf made with a blend of polenta and wheat
📍Rua Angelina Vidal 35A, 1170-122 Lisbon
Isco Padaria e Bistro
Bread and wine – this is the concept of Isco, where the bakery and pastry shop side of things turns into a bistro with a selected number of dishes and a tempting wine list after dark. We love that, when you walk into Isco in the very Lisbonite neighborhood of Alvalade, you can see what’s happening inside the kitchen. This place smells wonderfully of freshly baked bread no matter what time of the day you visit, and it’s impossible not to get hungry when you get here! At Isco good bread and good times become synonym and that’s pretty evident even from the bakery’s Instagram profile description “Bread, Pastries, Wine, Food, Beastie Boys”.
🍞Try: pão de espelta, spelt bread
📍Rua José d’Esaguy 10D, 1700-267 Lisbon
Pão com Calma
Laura Balser comes from Germany and has been calling Lisbon home for over a decade. Missing Germany’s high quality bread inspired Laura to start her own bakery, which name translates as “bread not in a hurry”. That’s exactly what happens at Pão com Calma, slow and naturally fermented over 2 days bread, along with her iconic and very German pretzels, which have gained popularity as much as her loaves even though they are perhaps not as good for you as the actual bread.
🍞Try: pão de Centeio 100%, rye bread prepared according to the tradition of Northern and Eastern Europe
📍Rua Ilha Terceira 44a, 1000-174 Lisbon
Pão do Beco
This is one of the several Lisbon-based bread projects that were born during the quarantine, a (in)famous time for the rise of sourdough love which we hope keeps going strong for a long time to come! Pão do Beco is an artisan bakery that does home deliveries of natural leaven bread, in a limited radius around Lisbon. They only use stone-milled flour, slow fermentation and deliver this authentic traditional bread experience at your door. Pão do Beco focuses on natural breads, focaccia, brioche and cinnamon rolls baked and delivered by Chef António Mello, who before the lockdown used to do home chef services via his brand Boca a Boca.
🍞Try: pão português, a classic Portuguese wheat loaf
📍No physical store. Orders for home-delivery via their website, where you can also sign up for their monthly subscription enjoying 10% off regular prices:
The Millstone is another project started by chefs turned bakers during the lockdown in 2020. Couple David Jesus e Sandra Freitas started baking specialties during the first lockdown, when restaurants including Michelin starred Belcanto by José Avillez, where David was the popular chef’s right arm, had to close its doors. The expertise that comes from a career alongside Portugal’s most celebrated chef clearly shows on every loaf of sourdough bread delivered weekly by The Millstone, produced with flours milled by Portugal’s most popular miller, Paulino Horta.
🍞Try: pão de tâmaras e avelãs, dates and hazelnut bread, for the sake of something different!
📍Via do Oriente lote 5.02.03 A 1990-514 Lisbon. Orders for home delivery via:
Unlike the businesses above, Pachamama is not exactly a bakery but instead a brand that produces certified organic and naturally leavened bread which you can find in more than 200 stores around the city. If you want to buy Pachamama’s bread, skip the regular bakery section, as their products are normally kept by the natural and healthy sections of supermarkets, or at fully organic grocery stores. Pachamama’s focus is “organic, healthy and super tasty bread” in a range that comprises 12 different types of bread, including gluten free and high protein low carb varieties.
🍞Try: pão ancestral, sourdough bread that favors spelt and einkorn instead of common wheat
📍Available in selected stores and online:
What do you think about the new culture of sourdough bread in Lisbon these days? We’d love to hear from you via Facebook or Instagram. Please tag @tasteoflisboa #tasteoflisboa
Continue to explore the world of Portuguese bread with these suggestions:
The 3 national meat sandwiches
Açorda de camarão: recipe for savory bread pudding with prawns
Migas: recipe for Alentejo’s fried bread side dish
Feed your curiosity on Portuguese food culture and Lisbon lifestyle:
What do the Portuguese eat for breakfast?
How to identify an authentic Portuguese Tasca
Petiscos: the most popular Portuguese tapas
10 ways to feel like a local in Lisbon
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