Café Nicola, one of the oldest cafés in Lisbon, is located on the southwest side of Rossio square. The façade of Café Nicola is impressive and certainly invites you to drink a cup of coffee here.
The interior is Art Deco, and along the walls there are works by the eighteenth century poet Manuel Barbosa du Bocage.
How to drink you coffee? Bica, garotto or meia de leite
If you want to drink a coffee like the locals do, order a bica. You can compare a bica with an Italian ristretto, super strong but very tasty. If you want milk with you coffee then choose the garotto.
Looking for a normal format cup of coffee and milk, like we have in Northwest Europe? Then ask for a meia de leite. Then there is galão, a large glass with coffee and milk (more milk than coffee). A carioca is a somewhat watery black coffee. In general in Lisbon, if you order a ‘cafe’, you get a bica.
Depending on where you take your coffee at the café, the prices will differ. If you want to sit outside on the terrace and watch the people passing by, then you pay the maximum price of a cup coffee (usually around or just over €1). If you’re staying inside at one of the tables, the same drink will set you back just under 1 euro. And finally, drink your bica standing at the bar for the best price, about 60 cents. This formula holds true for most Lisbon cafes.
It is also possible to enjoy a meal at Café Nicola. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. But they are first and foremost known for their coffee. The café is named after one of the first coffee producers, ‘Nicola’, to import coffee beans from Brazil and the African island of São Tome and Principe.
They also serve pastéis de nata of course. We’ve rated Café Nicola as the number 9 in our Pastéis de Nata test.
Where to find Café Nicola
Address:Praça Dom Pedro IV 24-25, Baixa
Opening hours: daily 08:00 – 00:00h