UPDATE – please note the new address
A Travessa is one of the most loved Lisbon restaurants, mention the name to any Lisboeta and they’ll probably smile fondly as if recalling a close friend or a first love. That’s because in the last 25 years this Belgian restaurant has achieved an identity way beyond a room full of tables and chairs. In fact, its popularity has necessitated a move to the current spacious premises: a former 17th-century convent in the sleepy backstreets of Lapa.
Whatever the weather, the welcome is always warm: during the summer up to 100 tables are set up in the open-air courtyard and in winter guests are treated to a log fire. During the week a menu of international food is served, dependent on changes in season and market.
The emphasis is mainly on fresh fish and meat, with melt-in-the-mouth slow roasted pork as an unrivalled speciality. Fresh bread is baked daily on the premises in a stone oven and owner Antonio regularly offers loaves to the late-night revellers. On Saturday night, mussels are the only order of the day and reservations essential. Neither ultra-trendy nor over-hyped, Travessa is one of those restaurants that both meets and exceeds all expectations.