Did you know that tea plays a starring role in Portuguese history? Enjoy this traditional drink at the top spots for afternoon tea in Lisbon!
When you think of tea, what country comes to mind?
If it’s England, we don’t blame you. Not many people know that Great Britain actually owes its tea obsession to a royal of Portuguese origins. Back in the 17th century, the Portuguese had a direct trading connection with China, and were therefore the first in Europe to import and enjoy tea leaves from the Far East.
In fact, the Portuguese word for tea (chá) is borrowed directly from Cantonese (chàh). What’s more, Portugal is home to Europe’s oldest tea plantation, which is also the only one still in operation. A particularly popular local drink is chá com leite (tea with milk, honey and spices). All of this means one thing: if you’re looking for afternoon tea in Lisbon, you’re in luck!
The Top 8 Spots to Enjoy Afternoon Tea in Lisbon
Afternoon tea can mean many things, from extravagant displays of snacks and pastries to a simple cup of brewed tea leaves. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious experience or just a small treat, you’ll find it at one of our favorite cafés and tea rooms in Lisbon.
1. Empório do Chá
This is truly a tea lover’s paradise, with an extensive selection of every variety imaginable. Empório do Chá also offers various pastries, cakes and scones so you can complement your tea with something sweet. It’s located a few metro stops north of the center, but the trip is worth it for the endless options, authentic atmosphere and affordable prices.
2. Casa de Chá de Santa Isabel
It’s hard to beat the charm of this lovely café, which is still often called “As Vicentinas” after the religious order that originally ran it. In addition to wonderful afternoon tea, Santa Isabel serves great lunches and delectable homemade cakes. As if that weren’t convincing enough, all profits go to charity—so you can feel good about splurging on an extra indulgence.
3. Almada Negreiros Lounge
If you’re looking for an extravagant high tea experience, head straight to the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz. Here you’ll find the elegant Almada Negreiros Lounge, serving some of the fanciest afternoon tea in Lisbon. Choose from three options, each with a selection of savory and sugary treats; we recommend the Lisbon Afternoon Tea, which features local pastries.
For those who prefer a more casual and eclectic atmosphere, there’s no better place for afternoon tea than Tease (no pun intended). This adorable café is famous for its extravagant cupcakes, which perfectly complement a loose leaf infusion. Their chai latte is also among the best in Lisbon: not too sweet, with exactly the right amount of spice.
5. Confeitaria Nacional
This is the perfect place to sip some tea steeped in history. Confeitaria Nacional was founded in 1829, and the upstairs area was one of the first tea rooms in Lisbon. It’s impossible to resist their traditional treats, ranging from the classic pastéis de nata and the city’s original bolo rei (an iconic Portuguese Christmas treat) to some of the best chocolate in Lisbon.
Visit Confeitaria Nacional and other historic local spots on our Tastes & Traditions of Lisbon Food Tour!
6. Pois, Café
Located right in the heart of Alfama, Pois Café is a funky, cozy and colorful space with a touch of Austrian influence. There’s no better place to settle in and catch up with a friend or enjoy a good book over a hot cup of tea. In addition to a full food menu, they offer a rotating selection of homemade cakes and strudels served with whipped cream.
7. Hotel do Chiado
This is one of the city’s best boutique hotels, and home to one of our favorite rooftop bars in Lisbon. But it’s also a perfect spot for afternoon tea, thanks to Paula Bollinger’s 5 O’Clock Tea menu. It consists of a delicious selection of local specialties, including coffee and Port wine in addition to tea. It’s also a great value for €18, €1 of which is donated to charity.
8. Café da Garagem
After climbing all the way up to Graça, this café below the Teatro Taborda provides a perfect reward: panoramic views accompanied by homemade food. Café da Garagem is especially nice for afternoon tea in Lisbon when it’s rainy or chilly, with incredible views even from indoors! Try the infusion of mint, ginger and lemon—either hot or iced—and a slice of chocolate cake.Want our insider’s guide to eating in Lisbon? Just add your email address in the form below! ADD_THIS_TEXT
Melissa first discovered Lisbon while traveling solo around Portugal. She quickly fell in love with its colorful architecture, seafaring culture and incredible pastries—and decided to move here! Now she spends most of her time exploring, surfing and eating everything in sight.