Lisbon's historic shops 4: the Liqueur stores and Bars

Lisbon's historic shops 4: the Liqueur stores and Bars

4 minutes to read

Much of the charm of Lisboa comes from the ever-evolving union of tradition and contemporaneity, of old and new, local and global living together. The city is full of amazing stores that, while maintaining the commerce that keeps the city alive, help remind us of this connection to the past, of its place in portuguese culture, and how important it is to preserve it aiming towards the future.

These are not your ordinary nightclubs, although they are an excellent choice for a night out. They all have a particular flare. The traditional liqueur stores of Lisboa are an obligatory stop for newcomers. They have been providing locals with 'ginjinha' for many decades. Beware of Largo São Domingos, where there are three of these shops right next to each other! There are also some fantastic historic bars, scattered around the city, serving the best beers and cocktails since the days of old, and they remain today as inviting as ever. If you want to get to know the nightlife of Lisboa, these are great places to start your journey!

A Ginjinha - Liqueur and quatrains

A Ginjinha
A Ginjinha
Largo São Domingos 8, 1100-201 Lisboa, Portugal

This beatifully decorated liqueur store dates back to 1840. Around the balcony where you can ask for a cup, the walls hold peculiar quatrains that tell of the many virtues of 'ginjinha'. Like many of its kind, you will see the store of A Ginjinha is quite small, but the entrance in the street will be crowded with clients!

A Licorista - Pessoa's favourite

A Licorista
A Licorista
R. dos Sapateiros 218, 1100-062 Lisboa, Portugal

Dating from the 20's, A Licorista follows the traditional way of these stores: you will be served with the liqueur at the balcony, the surrounding walls filled with drinks. But in recent years, it has also started serving snacks and meals to go with the drinks, giving you a new reason to stay around for a while. This used to be a regular spot for Fernando Pessoa, whose visits are immortalized in a mural.

Ginjinha Sem Rival - the name says it all

Ginjinha Sem Rival
Ginjinha Sem Rival
R. Portas de Santo Antão 7, 1150-268 Lisboa, Portugal

Its name means 'ginjinha without rival', so you won't be disappointed! Ginjinha Sem Rival opened at the end of the XIXth century, and went through a restoration in the 1920's. It nowadays shows a few traces from those different eras. It stays open for pretty much the entire day, serving various kinds of drinks and liqueurs, a few of them renowned favourites you should ask for!

Ginjinha Rubi - the most precious bottles

Ginjinha Rubi
Ginjinha Rubi
R. Barros Queirós 27, 1150-049 Lisboa, Portugal

The Ginjinha Rubi store is one of the last to produce its own brand of the liqueur. Its wall mosaics and windows have inscriptions telling the history of the house, even if its dates sometimes do not match up, which may have to do with the product they sell! It offers a chance to learn about the place on top of being served the drink. Besides the ginjinha, they also sell snacks and other drinks.

Bar Americano - beer, port wine and comradery

Bar Americano
Bar Americano
R. Bernardino Costa 35, 1200-130 Lisboa, Portugal

Open since 1920, Bar Americano keeps an ambiance that evoques the older times of Cais do Sodré, where sailors from around the world would gather to share their stories around a few drinks. There is a lot of memorabilia and plenty of port wine! The imposing cellarette, filed with bottles, is as old as the house. They don't list the closing time, you are invited to stay and enjoy your time through the entire night!

British Bar - a Lisbon classic

British Bar
British Bar
R. Bernardino Costa 52, 1200-014 Lisboa, Portugal

Like other bars of the area, British Bar shares with its costumers an atmosphere of multicultural community, where foreigners meet locals round a table. The selection of beers is also particularly varied, and there are a few house-made drinks aswell as some snacks. The bar provides a warming and welcoming ambiance for hanging out with lively company!

Pavilhão Chinês - the house of wonders and spirits

Pavilhão Chinês
Pavilhão Chinês
R. Dom Pedro V 89, 1250-093 Lisboa, Portugal

In 1901, there used to be a grocery store here, named Pavilhão Chinês. At the end of the century, it became a bar, and over all this time it acquired the fantastic collection of antiques, curiosities and all sorts of objects that you can admire upon entering. It is a unique kind of bar, with an atmosphere unlike anything else. Find your favourite spot among its five rooms and enjoy a drink in this house of curiosities!

Follow the rest of the Lisbon Historic Shop series by visiting the historic Cafes, checking out the Confectionery stores, and discovering the classic Restaurants!

The author

Vasco Casula

Vasco Casula

I am Vasco and I come from Portugal. Alongside playing guitar and working on animation films, I like to discover and let you discover places, such as Portugal!

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