Restaurante Pharmacia is located in a former hospital in the Santa Catarina district. The restaurant shares the property with Museu da Farmácia (Pharmacy Museum). The building seems enormous, but if you eat in the restaurant you will be surprised by how cozy the restaurant is.
The whole look and feel of the restaurant is inspired by pharmacies from the past. They’ve left nothing to chance. The wine coolers are made from old measuring cups, wine tables from old doctors’ boxes and even the bill comes in a medicine box.
The chef Susana Felicidade of Restaurante Pharmacia has the philosophy that you keep sharing in life. A beautiful thought that she also incorporates in the way she prepares food. The menu therefore only consists of petiscos (Portuguese tapas). If you want to be surprised, you can choose the surprise menu. If you have an allergy then this is of course taken into account.
High expectations, but still …
The whole atmosphere and ambiance really appealed to me, so I wanted to eat at Restaurante Pharmacia. But I came away somewhat disappointed. The food was tasty, but not spectacular, and no different than that I can get in my hometown when I eat out. Perhaps I love the authentic Portuguese flavors (especially when I’m in Lisbon) and that’s why I’m not in the right place at Restaurante Pharmacia.
We certainly enjoyed the whole atmosphere that emanates from Restaurante Pharmacia. But for the 2 petiscos and 2 drinks we had, we paid as much as at a typical Portuguese restaurant if we ordered 2 meals, wine, dessert and coffee.
Pharmacia is a very populair place. They have a good brand, a beautiful location and a unique concept, but that’s what you pay for.
Miradouro de Santa Caterina
Restaurante Pharmacia has a large garden (terrace) where you can sit down to eat. From the garden you have a view of Miradouro de Santa Catarina, so you can enjoy the view after lunch or dinner.
A big advantage of Restaurante Pharmacia is that they don’t close between lunch and dinner. So you can come here for a bite all day long.
What does the Lonely Planet say again?
For the record, we had a great time at Restaurante Pharmacia. The kids were running around in the large garden, the view was fantastic, the wine excellent and for the ambiance you should definitely give it a shot. But if you add everything together it was still a bit of a disappointment. We are spoiled Lisbon goers. We simply expected more. So even though the food was perfectly fine, the location is prime and in terms of atmosphere it’s great. But stil…
We especially missed that cozy feeling that you experience in so many other typical Portuguese restaurants: the organized chaos in the service, the more than reasonable prices and the extra je-ne-sais-quoi. That feeling of missing something makes Restaurante Pharmacia a bit like a hipster-focused, overpriced restaurant that takes itself too seriously.
If that is your thing then Restaurante Pharmacia is a place you must have been. If not, we have some other suggestions for you.
Where to find Restaurante Pharmacia
Address: Rua Mal. Saldanha 1, Santa Catarina
Opening hours: every day 12:30 – 01:00 hours