Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon is well-known as a vibrant, active city full of great restaurants and bars, iconic streets, and diverse neighborhoods to explore. One of our favorite areas of the city is Cais de Sodre, where the Linha de Cascais train drops off in the city after a ride along the coast from our beachy neighborhood in Cascais — about half an hour west of Lisbon.
There are lots of fun places to explore in Cais de Sodre and one of the most colorful and lively is a section of Rua Nova do Carvalho. It’s now affectionately known as Rua Cor de Rosa in Portuguese, or “Pink Street” in English. Here, visitors and locals alike have a variety of options for drinking, dining, and dancing the night away.
History Of Pink Street
In bygone days, this hotbed of Lisbon nightlife was home to Lisbon’s “red light district,” loaded with brothels, gambling halls, not-so-swanky bars, and less-than-savory clientele. But in 2011, gentrification of the street began. The road itself was painted bright pink creating the feeling of a magical space. Over the years, the rough old establishments have been replaced by modernized restaurants, inviting bars, and a whole new vibe. A swath of colorful umbrellas overhead creates a photographer’s delight during the day when just a few places are open and the area is generally quiet. But nighttime is the right time to visit if you’re looking for action and options. When the sun goes down, Lisbon’s Pink Street lights up like one big Portuguese festa (“party”).
To give you some insight into the variety of options available, here’s our take on the 9 best restaurants and bars to enjoy for a fun evening on Lisbon’s Pink Street.
1. Restaurante Povo Lisboa
Restaurante Povo Lisboa offers a glimpse into some of Portugal’s greatest cultural traditions in a modern tavern setting. Local fado students present their musical artistry in an intimate setting for evening performances. Throughout the week, Povo also offers urban music from the worlds of soul, funk, pop, R&B, and live DJs spinning the tunes on the weekends. The food menu celebrates Portuguese tradition, highlighting local and seasonal ingredients. Even so, surprises such as Wagyu beef may find their way onto the specials as well. Drinks run the gamut with wines, beer, and cocktails to accompany the refined ambiance.
2. Malt Club
Malt Club is a newer entry on the Pink Street scene. Known as a fun place where the party spills out onto the street, people also love their special-event parties like XOXO — a tropical party “with more kisses and hugs.” The music here is diverse with top-notch DJs keeping the energetic crowd pumped and happy. There is also an extensive beverage menu with great craft cocktails prepared by skilled mixologists. For those interested in shisha services, they offer premium hookah blends as well. The atmosphere and staff are prized for being super friendly.
3. Pink Wine Point
A colorful favorite on the block, Pink Wine Point is a great place to listen to live music and chill with a little sip of Portugal. Its devotion to local wine vintages makes it the perfect site to try Portuguese wine from all different regions by the glass or by the bottle. There are also lots of intriguing wine cocktails for the adventurous drinker. A menu of small bites makes a perfect accompaniment. The bar wows with its outstanding entryway. It is located under the bridge at the end of the street, with a colorful mural on the ceiling above you as you face the brightly lit sign above the doorway that invites you to enter. Its cave-like quality adds even more of a cool vibe to this stylish spot. Live music also adds a nice touch.
4. Pensão Amor
Looking for a spot with a thrillingly different past? Pensão Amor was once a brothel when Lisbon’s Pink Street hosted the city’s red light district back in the day. The place was completely restored in 2022, offering a daring and eclectic bar full of personality. Music and musings come to life here with some terrific cocktails and unique entertainment such as pole dancing and cabaret burlesque. The ambiance has proven so popular that mid-2023 brought the addition of “Madam’s Lodge,” where those seeking something truly different can stay in rooms bearing hidden secrets of the sensual encounters and rendezvous of old. Without a doubt, this is one of the most unique establishments on Pink Street — or anywhere.
5. Sol E Pesca
It shouldn’t be surprising that a place called Sol e Pesca (“Sun and Fishing”) offers some delicious Portuguese dishes using favorite seafoods. What may be surprising is the seafood they feature comes fresh from the tin. We’re not talking just about tuna, though of course that is available. But Portugal’s long love affair with conservas (canned or tinned fish) consists of all types of seafood. This adorable tackle-and-bait shop turned quirky little snack bar has got it right. Get an ice-cold beer or glass of wine and some bread to enjoy along with the seafood specialties. The sardines get top scores! If you like what you see (and taste), you can buy some cans to take home. Get a copy of their own cookbook to learn how to elevate canned seafood just the way they do. Check out the delightful inside, even if the outdoor seating on low chairs calls you to the pint-sized tables.
6. Espumantaria Do Cais
Located in the middle of Lisbon’s Pink Street, Espumantaria do Cais is a cozy little bar with lots of options to whet your whistle. Espumante is Portuguese sparkling wine and as the name might suggest, there are plenty of sparkling wines and cocktails with bubbles served up here. What started as a sparkling wine shop in a renovated old garage now serves as another great spot to hang out and enjoy. Their sparkling sangrias are rated tops and they offer a new menu with some flavorful bites to accompany your drinks as well. Stay inside or enjoy seating on the esplanade.
7. Menina E Moça
We think that a good book and a delicious glass of wine go very well together. So do the matchmakers at Menina e Moça, a unique spot on Lisbon’s Pink Street that incorporates both a bookstore and a bar in the same establishment. Bookworms will be thrilled with the literary events and books available. Those looking for a bit more liquid entertainment will find many beverages including beer, wine, and cocktails. Cheesboards and snacks round out the menu. Some nights offer live music by professionals and others encourage anyone with musical leanings to jam for fun. Surprisingly mellow in a street full of energy, this makes a great spot for a low-key enjoyable experience.
8. Restaurante Rio Grande
For a meal of Portuguese favorites, look for the rainbow of umbrellas and you’ll find the Restaurante Rio Grande. This classic restaurant has 100 years of history and has been refreshed again in 2023. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the ample menu features Portuguese snacks, salads, seafood, meat, and vegetarian dishes to suit any taste. The beverage choices are plentiful too, as are the house cocktails and sangrias. They offer happy hour specials and outdoor seating perfect for people watching too. Enjoy a taste of Portuguese hospitality and feel the history of this iconic restaurant as it continues to please crowds year after year.
9. La Puttana
Even though the pink paint on the street stops a couple of doors before La Puttana, it’s well worth taking a few extra steps to try their pizza. The name is Portuguese slang for “prostitute,” a nod to Pink Street’s former occupants. This spot is dishing up some fabulous and truly Italian-style pizza in a cozy space with friendly service. There are plenty of pizza choices ranging from the classic margherita with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil to the daring house-named La Puttana with tomato sauce, mozzarella, portobello mushrooms, truffled mortadella, taleggio cheese, radicchio, and white truffle oil. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available to complement the food. It’s not a big restaurant, so if you want to get a seat and avoid the crowds, visit on the earlier side of the evening.
You’re sure to find lots of good food and fun when exploring the famous Pink Street in Lisbon.