Made in Lisbon: Food Shops, Old and New
August 23, 2012
More than clothes, more than decorative trinkets, the keepsakes I like to amass while traveling are of the food variety. In Lisbon, the food scene, and, in turn, the food markets seem to be adept at straddling the old and the new, as evidenced by two of my favorite shops I discovered while visiting. First up, Deli Delux. The gourmet store with adjoining café is, along with a record store heavy on the electronica and a home furnishings boutique heavy on the Danish modern design, bringing a dose of cool to a waterfront strip across from the Santa Apolonia train station. The airy space has an impressive array of local and international foodstuffs, and Portuguese wines as far as the eye can see. (It took only a few days in the country for me to develop a serious affinity for those from the Douro region… all of them.) And if food shopping tends to work up your appetite—and really, doesn’t it always?—you can simply wander to the café in the back of the store and nibble on light fare, much of which draws from the store’s stock. I grazed on a selection of cheeses and a salad topped with sweet local peaches; and left with a stash of local salts, oils and preserves.
At the exact opposite end of the Lisbon food shop spectrum is the Conserveira de Lisboa, a shoebox-sized store that has been churning out tiny tins of preserved seafood since 1930 (my favorite: the bacalhau a portuguesa).
And though business is booming—they sell their wares to a variety of other stores including Deli Delux—each and every tin is still carefully wrapped in its decorative wrapping by hand in the store. A fastidious process I witnessed while purchasing a tower of tins to cart back to Brooklyn. On your next trip to Lisbon, I suggest stopping in both for the best type of souvenir: food. FIORELLA