The vegan food scene in Lisbon is strong and growing, and today is the day to explore! I had one amazing vegan food trip in Lisbon, and I’m thinking about it even now!
Lazy in the weekend
It was the start of the the weekend, and I decided to sleep in (it is my vacation after all). I had no strict itinerary today. Just go with the flow, do things at your own pace, and eat good vegan food.
After having my 8 hours of sleep, I woke up at 9am and got ready to explore more of Lisbon. I was itching for a good, proper brunch, and I had a place in mind: Aloha Cafe. It was a bit of a walk from my hostel, but you’ve got to work for your food, amirite?
What I love about walking in Lisbon is that there is always a new scene at every corner you turn. On my walk to the restaurant, I was hit with more of that distinctly colourful Lisboeta architecture and vibrant plazas! The plaza nearby the restaurant hosted a weekend market for locals to buy their fresh produce. 🙂
Breakfast at Aloha Cafe in Lisbon
In all the cities I visited in Portugal, I made sure to create a vegan food bucket list! Porto had its list, and now it’s Lisbon’s turn. The restaurant I’m going for breakfast is a highly-rated eatery called Aloha Cafe, and I was so very excited!
I’ve been following them on Instagram, with the hope of finally sitting down to eat their food (their page looked good). And the food did not disappoint me!
There was hardly anyone in the cafe at the time, besides another couple in the table adjacent to mine. I suppose it was only 10:30am, so I guess it wouldn’t be busy just yet. But that’s good for me, because I was hoping to do a photoshoot with my food here!
The cafe was cozy, with about 5 tables, and the decor was minimal & hippie-looking (I LOVE IT). On the weekends only, they offer their exclusive brunch spread for only €12! This was what I wanted, both for the photo and my stomach. Hehe.
NOM NOM NOM
So, I ordered the vegan brunch which included:
- Whole grain bread with peanut butter & jam;
- Daily soup (warm zucchini soup);
- Vegan platter with spiced couscous, salad and basil & beet hummus;
- Oatmeal with fresh fruits & maple syrup; and
I loved that they just let me do my food photography without any care. The server even let me borrow some of their dried flowers for my photo! While I don’t really care what people think, I still do self-conscious when I take photos. It was convenient that the restaurant was empty! 😆
Everything was delicious, but my absolute favourite was the basil & beet hummus! It tasted so good with the bread and couscous! Yum!!
My food was sooo good, and I highly recommend Aloha Cafe if you’re ever in Lisbon! Don’t miss their brunch on the weekends! 😀
After an amazing brunch, I was now ready to do more for the day. It is my 2nd last day in Portugal, so it was an opportune day to go souvenir shopping!
Being a foodie, of course I would buy local Portuguese food to bring back for my family. I researched what to buy, when I stumbled upon an article by Sandra from Tripper.pt. In the article, she talked about how to buy souvenirs while supporting the local economy, and her tip is BUY LOCAL.
Often times, tourists would buy mass-produced products specifically marketed towards them, which doesn’t really help locals in the city. I 100% agree with buying local! Sandra recommended a local market called Mercearia Poço dos Negros, and so I visited this market to show my support for the local economy.
The market was very neat, and they had lots of different products including canned fish, smoked meats, jams, coffee, chocolates, small handicrafts, soaps and wines! The owners were also very friendly and answered all my questions!
With the endless products in their store, I kept grabbing items for the register, only to find myself grabbing more items. At the end, I bought ~€100 worth of local goodies to bring back. #noregrets
With my bags, I headed back to my hostel to drop off the souvenirs. On the way back, I bought some big, irresistible juicy figs from a local vendor, and they were soooo good and soooo cheap!
Afternoon snack at Dona Flor Cafe Chiado
After buying a whole lot of souvenirs for my family, it was now my turn to buy vegan souvenirs for myself. With that in mind, I walked to a vegan shop called Green Beans in Chiado (downtown), which is 100% vegan!
The store had a ton of various vegan shoes (Sapato Verde), clothes, and in the back, there is a small vegan grocery corner. I bought a lot of vegan white chocolate, which is so rare and so expensive back in Calgary!
Dona Flor Cafe is located in the back of the store, and because it was early evening, they barely had anything left in their display case. 🙁 I instead bought a vegan chocolate cake and espresso, for an afternoon snack.
The cafe was small, but very quaint with eclectic floral decor. The servers told me that during the week, they have amazing vegan breakfasts. Unfortunately, I won’t be here anymore.
The two ladies at the counter were super friendly, and even helped me out with taking this photo below (they gave me the flowers)! The cake was moist and chocolatey, and the nuts inside added a nice bit of crunchy surprise.
For the rest of the evening, I finished some blog posts, edited some photos, backed up my camera and updated social media. I called it an early evening because it will be a busy day tomorrow at Cascais, and I will need my rest! Boa noite!
Many places in Portugal are open in the weekend, and many of them close on Mondays. Check the opening times before you head to a restaurant of cafe.
On the weekends, many plazas and communal parks host markets for the locals, with fresh produce, food and small handicrafts.