about us

The Forecast is Summersalt’s global content hub for all things travel, packing, style, and discovery, packed with informative and inspirational pieces for (and featuring!) women who are going places.

Eat and Shop Your Way Through Lisbon and Porto

Looking for a far away adventure with the friendly, comfort of home? Find your way to Portugal.  “I’ve traveled throughout Europe and by far, Portugal has the friendliest locals,” says Rachel Apirian, the longtime fashion industry vet behind the travel blog ChasingAugust. “Time and again we encountered shopkeepers, restaurant owners, tuk tuk drivers, and even strangers on the street who were talkative, helpful and kind.”

Often overlooked for more popular destinations like France, Spain, or Italy, Portugal has much to offer. You can start with its two main cities: Lisbon and Porto. Both are distinct and enchanting, with plenty of spots to indulge your love for restaurants and interesting shopping. To fill us in, Rachel is sharing her list of Portugal’s go-to spots.

Portugal has been on my must-see list for years and I finally made it to this seaside country, the oldest in Europe. And it still retains that old world magic. I’ve traveled throughout Europe and by far, Portugal has the friendliest locals. Time and again we encountered shopkeepers, restaurant owners, tuk tuk drivers and even strangers on the street who were talkative, helpful and kind. One of our favorite encounters, Liza, the hostess of Tapabento in Porto, even went so far as to help us make dinner reservations at another restaurant. We visited her and Tapabento every day in Porto because of it (and also for their killer tapas!).

We stayed at an amazing Airbnb in Lisbon. Portugal is still less expensive than the rest of Europe and we were able to find an incredible deal on a lovely apartment.

Lisbon Eats:

Time Out Market – A collection of 5 star restaurants in a market setting at affordable prices. We spent hours sampling a little from each with highlights being Henrique Sa Pessoa’s 64 degree cooked egg with truffles and prosciutto, and the pasteis de nata (egg tartes) from Manteigaria.

Pasteis de Belem – an institution making their famous pasteis de nata (egg tartes) since the 1800’s. There’s always a long line outside but sneak into the back and there’s a much shorter line waiting to be seated. Why we don’t have egg tartes in the US is beyond me. We were on a strict diet of 2-3 daily.

Cervejaria Ramiro – you’ll be hard pressed to find fresher seafood. Another Lisbon institution.

Any Jose Avillez restaurant – we visited Minibar which is a Michelin gastronomy restaurant with a very interesting tasting menu, but we heard every Avillez restaurant is held to this same standard.

Between Port wine tastings and living each day from one amazing tapas meal to the next, we still found time to wander the city, visiting the most charming shops and galleries.

Porto Eats:

Tapabento – Incredibly busy so I recommend a reservation or go for a very late lunch. Everything about this place oozed with charm, so much so that we went back every day we were in Porto. Must have: the Peanut Foam desert, which is unlike anything you’ve ever had. Trust me.

Belos Aires– A blend of Portuguese and Argentinian, come for an incredible steak.

Zenith – Fantastic brunch, get the Shakshuka baked eggs and vanilla latte.

Almada 13 and Miss Pavlova – a cute boutique with authentic souvenirs and hidden in the back was Miss Pavlova, an incredible dessert and coffee shop.

Raiz – solid tapas restaurant for dinner, get the scallops au gratin.

Arcaidia – known more as a chocolate shop, but what I found truly unique were the small hand painted sugar candies filled with liquor. So beautiful and delicious!

Chocolateria das Flores – every amazing dessert you can think of made by 2 women who feel like they might as well be your Grandma too. The drinking chocolate with homemade whipped cream is a must.

Cantina 32 – make a reservation as it gets very crowded. Beautiful atmosphere and dinner!

Portugal may be small, but it is magical.

Porto Shops:

Coracao Alecrim – throughout my time in Portugal I was on the hunt for real tiles. Not recreations of tiles that were brand new or made to be coasters, but real tiles. I finally found them at this eclectic and gorgeous shop. The owner knew a building being torn down and had collected them from that site. They were from the 1800’s!

A Vida Portuguesa – do not miss! All retro Portuguese products from food to beauty with the most incredible packaging. Perfect gifts or souvenirs you’ll actually use.

Livaria Lello – known as the most beautiful bookstore in the world, having inspired JK Rowling to describe it in Harry Potter, it’s a tourist destination but it was stunning. Every detail felt like something out of a fairy tale, with an amazingly curated collection of books.

Earlymade – a boutique and gallery owned by our boutique hotel, it’s a beautifully curated space filled with various European clothing designers and interior design.

Patch Porto –  a perfectly curated vintage shop. The owner couldn’t speak English but asked if I spoke French. Luckily most of my French came back to me and I was able to understand 90% of what he was saying as he meticulously described the history of his products and threw in some history of Portugal as well!

Mercearia Das Flores – all local Portugueses products ranging from cheeses to honey and olive oil.