In the centre of Portugal, within the Alentejo region, sits a small and sweet city of Evora. Famous for its ancient Roman temple that proudly placed in the historic centre and the peculiar skeleton filled Chapel of Bones. Evora has become popular for its picture-perfect whitewashed houses, which are framed in yellow to ward off evil spirits. Exploring the city’s tiny cobbled streets can be challenging in the heat, so here’s my top 3 venues to escape the crowds, refresh and taste the local cuisine.
Fabrica Dos Pasteis. Cafe by day, Bar by night.
I consider myself a bit of a pastel de nata ‘snob’ – so much so, I dissed the most famous Belem custard tart. Shock. Horror. But this little baby was quite possibly the best Portuguese Pastel de Nata I’ve had the pleasure of trying. The venue itself is a hidden gem, located down a charming alleyway – you’ll spot the hanging plant pots outside, then be surprised at how spacious it is inside (good for groups). What makes this place even more of a ‘gem’ is the small performance area where Fado musicians and singers often play. If you want to experience traditional Portuguese culture, then call ahead and have Fado musicians booked especially or turn up and try your luck (as there’s no events timetable).
Prices (quoted at time of writing): Pastel de nata (and other pastries) €1. Sandwiches/toasties fr. €1.20 – 3.50. Espresso €0.60, Cappuccino €1.20. Glass of: wine €2.50, port wine €2-2.50, Ginjinha €1.50
Contact: +351 266 098 424
Chao das Covas Cafe. Restaurant, secluded with fresh local dishes.
Escape from the crowds and venture to the Aqueduct. This small hidden beauty is located within the arches of the Aqueduto da Agua de Prata and serves up delicious local dishes, including the famous bacalhau a bras (salted cod, potatoes and egg). I also overheard the locals say it’s the best place to try black pork! The outside makes a good photo opportunity, plus the inside is cute and boutique. The main centre can be pricey, but here, you’ll find ‘local prices’. My tip: Check out the daily menu inside!
Prices (quoted at time of writing): starters €3.50-6 (regional cheese and octopus salad available). Main dishes €7.50-8.50 (fresh local dishes). Desert €3.50. For 2 people, expect to pay around €20.
Contact: +351 266 706 294
Pipa Roza. Restaurant/bar, tapas style menu and a gigantic wine list.
Situated in the heart of the city, (explains why the menu is a little pricey) is the lovely Pipa Roza. You can choose to mingle amongst the locals with their outdoor street seating, which is perfect for people watching and a little more atmospheric. Or sit comfortably inside observing the busy waiters fluttering to and from the kitchen/bar. First things first, scan the monster wine list (they have English menus available) as you’ll need to quickly choose your tipple from 300 types of wine (regional and afar). My tip: order the potato skins with their homemade mayo whilst you decide on the wine!
Prices (quoted at time of writing): Starters €1.50-10.00 (smoked pork and sheep cheese from Alentejo available). Main dishes: €10-30 (cod fish and black pork served here). Desert: €3-4. For 2 people, expect to pay around €40.
Contact: +351 266 709 517