The coolest cocktail bars in Lisbon
At Taste of Lisboa we firmly believe that, with good food, there shall be good drinks! We have previously explored some of the essential beverages you should try while in Portugal (including non-alcoholic options); we have talked extensively about Portuguese wine culture and the diverse wine regions across our country; explored the world of Portugal’s fortified wines; and recommended some of the best wine bars in Lisbon.
Today we are focusing on cocktails and the up and coming bar scene of Lisbon, which has dramatically changed in recent years. The most consumed alcoholic beverages in Portugal are still beer and wine, which we produce a lot of, but perhaps because of incoming tourism, increased international influence, and the development of the hospitality industry and seeing going out for meals and drinks more and more as a social activity and even a hobby, bars have been extending their drinks offerings. Not only are the drinks list more carefully curated now-a-days, including beverages crafted in-house, there are also lots more bars which develop their own signature creations.
Whether you’d like to sip a classic drink or a signature cocktail, these are some of the best cocktail bars in Lisbon:
Red Frog Speakeasy: one of the best cocktail bars in the world
Red Frog is consistently highlighted not only as one of the best cocktail bars in Lisbon, but in the whole world! This space inspired by the American speakeasies of the 1920s is part of the much competitive list of The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022, ranked on the 40th position, having jumped from the 67th place in the previous year, which only indicates that things keep getting better around here!
Red Frog Speakeasy started as a “secret bar” and slowly gained fame. It was never really secret but, following the inspiration that it drew from the American prohibition era, you’d have to ring the bell and be allowed to get in to enjoy the many boozy marvels that are served here in an impeccable candle-lit ambiance, with background sounds of jazz, funk and swing. So what does one drink at one of the best cocktail bars in the world? There’s a little bit of everything to satisfy every taste, from classics to contemporary creations, which they call “the classics reinvented”, more often than not with a personal twist which will make all the difference – think palo santo and other elements inside your drink, but we invite you to come and try them yourself to understand the alchemy that happens here! And because exiting Red Frog when getting hungry is not an option, they also have a food menu which features snacks such as cheese and charcuterie boards, beef and tuna steak sandwiches, as well as dessert.
📍Praça da Alegria 66b, 1250-004 Lisbon
Toca da Raposa: foraged ingredients and seasonal flavors
We love Toca da Raposa because it shows what the wonderful founder and barwoman Constança Cordeiro can do in a world that tends to be so male dominated. Toca da Raposa (which translates as “the fox’s hole”) is a cocktail bar with drinks that keep varying according to the seasonality of ingredients. In fact, if you check out the bar’s posts on Instagram (see below), you’ll often see Constança herself foraging for some of the ingredients which will flavor her drinks.
Drinks served at Toca da Raposa may seem simple at a first glance, as they do not rely on decorations to elevate them. But, once you sip them, you’ll realize they’re complex and full of flavor. Think of a Black Widow with gin, oregano and raspberries; Our Cat with bourbon, corn, and orange blossom; Our Little Panda with wild fennel gin, strawberry and vermouth; or Hello T-Rex, with mezcal, coriander, pineapple and red chili. As the seasons keep changing so do the flavor combinations served at A Toca da Raposa, so there’s always a good excuse to come back to try something new!
📍Rua da Condessa 45, 1200-302 Lisbon
Café Klandestino: the “fight club” of Lisbon’s cocktail bar scene
Rua Benformoso, sometimes known as Lisbon’s Little Bangladesh, is very popular for its abundance of restaurants from the Indian subcontinent. In a Muslim dominated area, after sundown prayers at the mosque, many of the area’s residents come out to socialize with a cup of spiced chai in hand. As the smells of curries and marinated grilled meats fill the air, one can navigate this busy little road of Lisbon, and come to number 256. Crossing the door into Café Klandestino is like walking into a strikingly different world!
Café Klandestino is one of the most surprising of Lisbon’s cocktail bars, not only because of its location, but because of its drinks’ menu which is based on “matches” with different rounds. They have basically taken some of the world’s most beloved cocktails and mashed them up into one, as if it was a match between two drinks inside the same ring, in this case, a glass. Imagine a Sazerac VS a Bloody Mary, with bourbon, cognac, clarified tomato mix, celery and absinthe; or a Mai Tai VS a Singapore Sling, with a milky and silky blend of pineapple, makhana, cashew nut milk and cherries. This is a fight club whose philosophy we can truly get behind!
📍Rua do Benformoso n256, 1100-087 Lisbon
Monkey Mash: tropical cocktails gone modern
By the same owners as Red Frog Speakeasy, Monkey Mash offers a very different vibe as the classic speakeasy we speak of above, in this case creating a modern tropical bar atmosphere. Exotic drinks are what Monkey Mash is all about and bartender Paulo Gomes, responsible for the creation of the cocktails served here as well as over at Red Frog, wants for you to be able to taste the spirit of summer, no matter what time of the year it may be. For that, he relies mostly on “agave, sugarcane and exotic spirits”, such as rum, tequila, pisco and cachaça.
These distilled spirits come together with his magic touch in drinks like Batucada no Leblon, with cachaça, pisco, mint and strawberry; Chance The Rapper, with mezcal and smoked sour; or a Monkey Daiquiri, with rum, peanuts and banana. Such fun drinks to be enjoyed in a colorful and lively atmosphere to match!
📍Praça da Alegria 66B, 1250-004 Lisbon
Nexo ½: for low-alcohol cocktails
If you’re the kind of person who likes to sip a cocktail for the sake of enjoying its flavors more than getting an alcohol buzz, you’re going to love Nexo ½. This establishment in the Lisbon neighborhood of Campo de Ourique makes it a point to serve low-alcohol cocktails, with a lot of in-house crafted elements which keep changing according to the seasonality of ingredients. We’re talking about sodas made from scratch, kombucha, fruit jams, pickles and other ferments, which they use to prepare imaginative drinks such as their Mexican Love Affair, with mezcal, tequila, grapefruit and blood orange soda, finished with Himalayan salt, togarashi, a blend of Asian spices and decorated with a wedge of charred grapefruit; or their Fig Mule, which was inspired by the classical Moscow Mule, but it’s here prepared with vodka, ginger beer, infusion of dehydrated fig leaf, huacatay leaves, passion fruit and pineapple. The owners are couple Diogo Lopes and Catarina Correia, who have previously worked at Red Frog and Monkey Mash – we love that they’ve learnt with some of the best in town but are also now carving their own unique path!
📍Rua Pereira e Sousa 4B, 1350-241 Lisbon
Quattro Teste: a Basque-Italian cocktail bar
If the combination of different cultures can lead to very interesting fusion cuisines, the same can happen in the world of drinks. This is exactly what Quattro Teste is all about, blending Basque and Italian tradition and serving it to their customers in a cocktail glass! Couple Alf del Portillo and Marta Premoli, from the Basque country and Italy respectively, are the reason why Quattro Teste, in the eclectic neighborhood of Mouraria, came to be in this shape and form. Their range of drinks go from craft cider and straightforward preparations such as the Spanish inspired Kalimotxo (with red wine, coke and raspberry), to more elaborate cocktails like their Italian based Angelo Azzurro, with gin, Acqua di Cedro and Blue Curação. The fusion approach transcends the drinks and also applies to their food menu. Brazilian chef Clara Uchôa prepares delectable snacks and petiscos meant to be paired with the cocktails.
📍Rua de São Cristóvão 32, 1100-177 Lisbon
CINCO Lounge: for cocktail connoisseurs
CINCO is a trendy and upmarket cocktail bar and lounge, founded by Dave Palenthorne who came from the UK to Portugal with the ambition of making a difference in Lisbon’s cocktail bar scene. CINCO welcomes any kind of customer, but this is the type of bar where you’ll often meet cocktail connoisseurs and aficionados, who appreciate the alchemy of drinks performed by CINCO’s mixologists. In their own words, CINCO’s team dedicates itself to “the lost art of polite drinking”.
They “strive to bring the city a dynamic cocktail culture that blends contemporary and classic drinks made with only the finest spirits and freshest ingredients”. Their drinks are indeed expertly crafted and are world’s apart from the obvious and straightforward mixes you’ll find in most run of the mill bars in town. If you are new to the world of cocktails and willing to be impressed, a visit to CINCO will surely do the trick!
📍Rua Ruben A. Leitão 17A, 1200-392 Lisbon
Foxtrot: a classic cocktail bar in Lisbon
Foxtrot is one of Lisbon’s most popular cocktail bars and for good reason. They have been around since 1978, and just like Red Frog above, you can only come inside after ringing the bell. This Art Deco bar is an institution of the city’s bar scene, as not only is it one of the oldest and still operating bars in Lisbon, it is indeed very good at what it does.
The fact that it is located by one of Lisbon’s trendiest neighborhoods, Príncipe Real, hasn’t thankfully affected Foxtrot’s personality. They keep serving well crafted drinks as they have been doing for decades, which you can order straight from the menu or ask your bartender to mix according to your flavor and alcohol preferences. Besides cocktails, Foxtrot also has a respectable wine list and even a few food options. If, for instance, you feel like having a good steak in the late hours, you can come to Foxtrot and satisfy your cravings.
📍Tv. Santa Teresa 28, 1200-405 Lisbon
18.68: for unlikely flavor combinations which they call “delicious oddities”
You’ll find 18.68 cocktail bar inside Bairro Alto Hotel, one of the very best luxury boutique hotels in Portugal. When one comes to such an establishment you’d expect everything to be impeccable, and 18.68 does not disappoint, from the cocktails to the menu of finger foods developed by chef Bruno Rocha, which fuses Portuguese and Japanese cuisines. When it comes to drinks, bartender Tiago Santos promises to serve “delicious oddities” which is how they intriguingly promote the combination of unexpected tastes and elements used in their signature drinks, which can be full-alcohol, have low alcoholic content (low-ABV), or even be alcohol-free. To better guide you into the difficult task of choosing one of their fascinating cocktails, 18.68 has gotten their drinks menu divided into “cocktails to start”, “cocktails made to pair”, “cocktails to finish”, and other drinks. Like this, if you’re just planning to savor a drink or actually enjoy it with food, you’ll know better what to ask for.
📍Largo Barão Quintela, 1200-016 Lisbon
Liquid Love: a cocktail bar and stuzzicheria
This cocktail bar is inspired by the Italian trattorias of the 80s and that’s why it announces itself as a bar and stuzzicheria, that is, a tapas house or, if we were to refer to it in Portuguese, a petiscaria. Couple Cheila Tavares (who formerly worked at Toca da Raposa when it initially opened its doors) and Semi M’Zoughi craft super fun cocktails in a casual environment. Their signature cocktail is the I Mille, with Campari bitter, clementine and grog, which is a Cape-verdean spirit which speaks of Cheila’s family background, as her father is from the ex Portuguese colony of Cape Verde. Semi is half Italian and half Tunisian, and his background is also evident in drinks such as Night in Tunisia, with tequila and the typical blend of spices ras al hangout.
📍Rua do Desterro 5, 1150-127 Lisbon
Ferroviário: for a cocktail with brunch
Ferroviário was born in the 60s as a social club for workers of the national railway system – this is what the name refers to in Portuguese. It was only as recently as 2010 that the space became a private business, having been turned into a rooftop bar and restaurant, which often hosts live events.
Ferroviário is open all year long, but it is particularly pleasant during the warmer months, when you can enjoy the stunning views towards the Tejo river and the south bank, with a drink in hand. Besides a permanent drinks’ menu, they have a special cocktail of the week, which keeps surprising regular customers. Food wise, Ferroviário serves what they call “pub food”, but think of considerably more elevated options than your regular corner bar pies and sandwiches, including options such as gourmet burgers, salad with smoked salmon, thin crust pizzas, home-made desserts and more. During the weekend, Ferroviário is a great spot to enjoy a late brunch paired with cocktails.
📍Rua de Santa Apolónia 59, 1100-468 Lisbon
Matiz Pombalina: to socialize in a posh environment
The owners of Matiz Pombalina live right above the bar and opened this space as they felt their area of residence needed a good bar where folks could lounge around, dwell into good conversation, of course, while sipping a nice drink. In the rather posh neighborhood of Lapa, Matiz Pombalina became a meeting place for folks who like to drink and socialize, in a very picturesque space which helps us reminisce of times gone by, while being very Lisbon-like. The facade of Matiz Pombalina is covered in tiles, and the decor inside relies on baroque-style furnishings.
Drinks at Matiz Pombalina taste better with the smooth sounds of jazz, bossa nova, soul and blues playing in the background, at each of the three different rooms, which all share an intimate and cozy set-up. The menu includes a vast selection of drinks and snacks, as well as more than twenty cocktails, amongst which you’ll find their own signature creations. If you’re unsure of what to ask for or you’re simply eager to try a variety of cocktails, ask for a “degustação de cocktails”, which is made up of samples of 8 different drinks, including classics and signature cocktails
📍Rua das Trinas 25, 1200-855 Lisbon
The V Rooftop Bar: a cocktail bar which doubles as an urban oasis
This casual rooftop bar and restaurant is located inside the Vintage Hotel near Avenida da Liberdade. The V is decorated with lots of greenery, which turn the rooftop into an urban oasis, perfect to escape the hustle and bustle of the city down below, while still observing it from up high
The V presents a menu of refreshing cocktails which have been specially created by Portuguese mixologist Luís Levy. Pick a cocktail and sip it mindfully while enjoying the remarkable views towards the castle of São Jorge. You can enjoy a classic drink such as as Bloody Mary, a Margarita or a Pisco sour, or dare to try something more local, such as a signature Tuga Negroni, inspired in a classic Negroni with a tuga (short for portuguese) twist, mixing local gin Sharish, ginja sour cherry and moscatel wine. Other interesting options include the Timeless, featuring an infusion of vodka with hibiscus, lime and strawberry; or the Downtown, with mezcal, cardamom infusion, ginger and honey.
📍Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca 2, 1250-191 Lisbon
The Bar: as fashionable as it gets for a cocktail bar
Looking for a bar to visit in Lisbon? Simply go to The Bar! This fashionable cocktail bar in Príncipe Real was founded by Australian Teresa Ruiz, who used to work in the fashion industry. Sense of aesthetics is something The Bar doesn’t certainly lack, but there’s more than looks to this space.
The Bar’s drinks include T’s Margaritas, which are Teresa’s speciality, even though she is not the main bartender of the place. You can also have G&Ts, and other classics such as Negroni, sours made with whisky or pisco, Martini based drinks, and more Portuguese concoctions such as Port tonic. If you fancy a little exposure, dress up nicely before going to The Bar, strike a pose and chances are you’ll end up at The Bar’s Instagram feed – see below.
📍Tv. Monte do Carmo 1, 1200-420 Lisbon
Gin Lovers: exactly what the name implies!
If you are a gin lover traveling to Lisbon, make sure you include this Príncipe Real address on your plans. Gin Lovers is a bar dedicated to gin, which also operates as a full service restaurant. Not only is their bar service dedicated and professional, the setting in itself, inside Ribeiro da Cunha Palace, which is a new-Arabian building from the 19th century, makes Gin Lovers worth a visit. The architecture is stunning and the decor makes Gin Lovers such an inviting space to leisurely sip a G&T and have a bite to eat.
As you can imagine, Gin Lovers’ list of available gins is extensive and only includes the best brands. If you are into gin and would like to discover some Portuguese gin too, like Lisboa Gin, Adamus or Bollõtâ, this is an excellent place to visit. Of course gin and tonic is just the entry level drink at this bar, as they craft more complex and interesting drinks, including fresh mixers, fruit juices, herbs and spices, in surprising combinations. The food by chef Fernando Semedo will make you want to lounge around for longer, particularly if you’re on a date, as the ambiance is relaxed and intimate enough to be conducive for conversation.
📍Praça do Príncipe Real 26, 1250-184 Lisbon
Topo: to enjoy amazing views of historical Lisbon while sipping a drink
There are two locations of Topo, one in Chiado with views of the historic Carmo Convent and the general downtown area, and another one in Martim Moniz, with a terrace facing Martim Moniz Square and São Jorge’s castle. Appreciating some of Lisbon’s best views with time, unrushed, with a cocktail in hand, is the premise that applies to both locations. If you’re not sure what to order from the many options listed on their drinks menu, the bar staff will be happy to prepare something unique for you. Simply tell them what flavors you are usually into (sweet, sour, etc…) and your preferred alcohol of choice (whisky, rum, vodka, or others) and allow yourself to be surprised! From the list itself, we’d recommend trying the Dragon Square cocktail, featuring rum, spices, ginger beer and lemon.
Even though Topo is indeed known mostly as a rooftop bar, it is more than that, as it offers a rather extensive food menu too, mixing Portuguese and international specialities. During the weekend they serve brunch and their eggs Benedict have gathered quite a reputation – and we hear they pair very well with a Bloody Mary!
📍Topo Martim Moniz: Centro Comercial do Martim, 6th floor, 1100-341 Lisbon
📍Topo Chiado: Terraços do Carmo, Largo do Carmo, 1200-288 Lisbon
Park: the best place to enjoy sunset in Lisbon with a drink in hand
Park is no longer a hidden gem of Lisbon. To access this rooftop bar you ought to go to the 7th floor of a public parking lot, an unexpected location which has helped promote Park as one of the coolest rooftop venues in the city. Indeed Park offers extraordinary views of Lisbon, which tend to be particularly striking at sun down, as the golden light tints the city and the nearby Santa Catarina church with a charming golden hue.
Unlike other cocktail bars mentioned here, the list of drinks at Park isn’t as remarkable. Yet one could argue that the views make up for it. If you’d like to have a good (not sensational) cocktail while enjoying a splendid sunset, a visit to Park should definitely be in the cards during your trip to Lisbon. Park is also located super centrally, just nearby Bairro Alto, making it a great stop while exploring the area.
📍Calçada do Combro 58, 1200-123 Lisbon
Bistro 100 Maneiras: creative cocktails in a Michelin star restaurant
Bistro 100 Maneiras is a Michelin starred restaurant by celebrity chef Ljubomir Stanisic. Unlike other places mentioned here, this place is not exclusively a bar (don’t dare coming here and not actually trying the food!), but instead it includes a signature cocktail bar.
At 100 Maneiras nothing is ordinary – in fact, if you were to get acquainted with chef Ljubomir, who’s also a TV presenter of the Portuguese equivalent of Hell’s Kitchen and often nicknamed as the Portugal’s version of Gordon Ramsay for his crude words, outspoken attitude and out of the box creativity, you would already expect something quite ingenious. The printed menu in and of itself is already a work of art – have a look here! Some of our favorite signature drinks at Bistro 100 Maneiras cocktail bar include The Clockwork Orange, with Belvedere, Schweppes pepper, mandarin and basil; Down The Rabbit Hole, with Hendrick’s, coconut, pea shoots and peppermint; Drunken Pear, with Johnnie Walker Black Label, Portuguese Rocha pear, lemon verbena and Schweppes soda; and Sage Pumpkin, featuring Monkey Shoulder, sage, pumpkin, passionfruit and spices.
📍Largo da Trindade 9, 1200-466 Lisbon
O Bom O Mau e O Vilão: cocktails taste better to the sounds of live jazz
More than a cocktail bar, O Bom O Mau e O Vilão (which translates as “the good the bad and the ugly”, a reference to the western film from the 60s featuring Clint Eastwood), is a live music venue. But as it also serves good drinks in a particularly cool ambiance, we thought it fair to include it here.
Very near the busy nightlife area of Pink Street, O Bom O Mau e O Vilão offers a very different vibe than most bars down by the main road. During live DJ sets and the many live jazz performances which have helped build the reputation of the business, the bar’s staff crafts signature drinks which are delicious and pretty too. Staying true to the western inspired personality, classic drinks are advertised on their menu as “the usual suspects”. On the other hand, amongst their signature drinks, you will find the one named after the bar itself, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, featuring Captain Morgan rum, ginger, basil and orange. If alcohol-free cocktails, aka mocktails, are your thing, there are tasty and refreshing options too, which will be better than a simple soda anyday!
📍Rua do Alecrim 21, 1200-014 Lisbon
When in Portugal, order a very local drink such as a Port Tonic, with Port wine and tonic water, or opt for one of the many signature cocktails Lisbon’s bartenders can craft specially for you. Drink responsibly, enjoy life and share your cocktail photos with us on Instagram, tagging @tasteoflisboa or #tasteoflisboa. Cheers
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