Bowls and coffee

Lisbon’s coffee scene seems to have quite a lot of coffee shops offering a variety of bowl, may it be smoothie bowls, savory bowls, or both. After telling you about some specialty coffee places with vegan options in my previous post, in this post I will tell you about the places which aren’t just about specialty coffee, but that have a health orientation to them, following the “Bali food” trend. This is not to suggest that the coffee isn’t good in these ones, but perhaps it is not their main focus. These places, as you might expect, tend to also put an emphasis on atmosphere too, and tend to be “Instagram pretty”. Here is my short list of the yummy, healthy, vegan-friendly bowl places, with tasty ethical coffee in Lisbon.

Bowls & Bar

Though this place wasn’t on any of the “must go to” coffee shop lists, it somehow popped on my Instagram feed, and decided I wanted to give it a try. I am really glad I did, as this was one of the places I enjoyed the most. The minute I walked in I started smiling, they have the most amazing white-blue tiles, and right at the entrance there is a flower stand, where you can buy flowers or bouquets. Bowls & Bar is a spacious place with a long white counter, bar seats as well as regular tables. It has a very cozy-homey vibe to it, while still being pretty, floral and chic.

Our waitress was really nice and helpful (like most cafes in Lisbon, this too is a full service spot). As it was breakfast time we only tried the sweet bowls, and got the most delicious porridge, but they seem to have more vegan options, including a smoothie bowl for breakfast, quinoa-bulgur bowl for lunch, soup and tapas. The entire experience was very laid back and we felt like we could have stayed there for as long as we wanted. It was probably the combination of the atmosphere, and how aesthetic the place is. Go visit daily from 9am-6pm.

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Fauna & Flora

Fauna & Flora is quite an establishment, and an Instagramers’ favorite. I’ve seen numerous photos of it way before even planning a trip to Lisbon. It has two locations, but we only made it to one of them, twice. Both times there was actually a line to get seated at some point. The place is really pretty, and there are numerous delicious options, so its popularity is quite understandable. The space is large, and we got to sit at a communal table. We tried a vegan apple cake, smoothie bowls and the Farmer Bowl, which is black rice and a variety of vegetables (mushrooms, zucchini and many more). Everything was fresh and yummy, and as there are so many options it was hard to choose. Though the place was quite busy we were served quite quickly, and the staff was very friednly and welcoming.

That been said, and though I would recommend a visit, I have to admit, it was not quite what I expected. The first thing I noticed when I walked in, was that though surrounded by many plants (as the name indicates), many of them are actually made of plastic, and not real ones, which was disappointing. The other thing (which might be related to the first) is that space is quite dark, and has a bar-like atmosphere, as opposed to the brighter, lighter vibes I was expecting. Also the fact that it is a large space and very crowded, made it slightly louder and not as peaceful as some other spots. But all in all, we enjoyed our experience, as well as the food and the vibes. Fauna & Flora is open every day from 9am-7pm.

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Nicolau

With three different locations, each with its own unique name (Nicolau, Amelia & Basilio), this local mini chain seems to be another one of the city’s favorites. It was also voted one of the best brunches in Lisbon. I have visited both Nicolau and Basilio, both of which are located at the outskirts of Alfama (only a couple of blocks away) and are colorful, fun spaces, offering amazing breakfasts with many healthy and vegan options, and good vibes. Both places have a rather turquoise decor and neon lights, making them, once again a little bit more bar-like than coffee shop-like, but they are both really pretty, Instagram worthy spots. Basilio has the coolest counter, which resembles mineral slices. And though I haven’t been, Amelia actually looks like it might be their prettiest location – it’s pinker and has a lot of greenery as well as tropical wallpaper.

Nicolau serves a selection of smoothies, an acai bowl, oats, vegan pancakes, toast and a sweet potato brownie. All of which are vegan. The coffee is great and you can choose between soy, almond or oat milk. The portions are generous and the ingredients are fresh, making everything really tasty. There are also some lunch bowl options, but as we didn’t try them, I can’t really comment on them, other then say that like everything in this place, they look really good. Nicolau is open from 8:30am-8pm on weekdays, and till 9pm on weekends.

nicolau[Via @nicolaucafe]

Enjoy!

~Lir


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