Sometimes, when I prepare for a trip, I map out the entire city beforehand.
I (over)ambitiously pin all of the restaurants, cafes, bars, and photo spots I want to hit. Then, when the time comes, I race around trying to make it to as many points on the map as I can.
This is all well and good, especially when you’re on a job, putting together a city guide, or shooting a video… but it is hardly a holiday. It’s another to do list.
I spent a solid four weeks travelling like this over the holidays last year - Bouncing from one Christmas market city to the next every couple of days, and running around like a mad woman trying to see and do everything in the meantime.
It was fun. A lot of fun… but it was also exhausting. So hectic that, when I got home, it hardly felt like I’d taken a break.
This was 10,000% NOT the case for my trip to Portugal.
All the plans I thought I had fell through, and I learned a big lesson in the art of sucking it up and going with the flow.
After spending a week in the Azores, we arrived in Lisbon with a minimal agenda and headed to the accommodation we’d booked a day prior… (after a cheeky little stop at the Time Out Market for some food... Okay, and wine).
We couldn’t check in to our AirBnb yet, so we decided to get out and explore Alfama instead.
Within minutes, we came across a hole in the wall wine bar.
Our passing, “Oooooh that place is cute” changed to “TWO euro wine!? Shall we?” once we saw the menu… And then we did.
It wasn’t a place I ever expected to find…
Even if I had actually planned out what I wanted to do in Lisbon, it’s unlikely that this little wine bar would have been on my radar. Regardless, Alfama Gourmet quickly became one of my favorite spots in Lisbon.
Maybe it was the 2 Euro wine… or maybe it was the owner Nuno.
Though his opening line, “Have you tried green wine?” might be something he uses on all the tourists, it was his warm, welcoming smile and the conversation that followed that kept us coming back.
Nuno shared his knowledge of Portuguese wines and the various wine regions, what to do around Lisbon, and even gave us tips for Porto - the next stop on our trip.
The afternoons spent chatting around the barrels, sipping wine, and watching trams go by will forever be some of my favorite memories - the perfect reward for climbing the hills of Lisbon.
If you find yourself in the Alfama area, this is one spot you won’t want to miss.
Hours + Directions
Alfama Gourmet is opened from 10am - 9pm daily.
Need help getting there? Check out the map below.
Planning a trip to Portugal?