*Cover photo is a sculpture made out of upcycled garbage cans*
Hipster Edition: Lisbon’s LX Factory & Time Out Market
According to Urban Dictionary: “Hipster’s value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.”
Our first real day in Lisbon consisted of a whole lot of wandering & exploration. And I say real day because we got in the night before and were in bed by 8pm because, well, over 20 hours of travel. The 8-hour layover in Paris may have contributed to that… but I’m not complaining! We started at one location and left the rest of the day up to chance. But we got to see two of what are considered the trendiest (dare I say hipsteresque?) places in Lisbon & I was ecstatic. Here’s how it went down:
Time Out Market
I’d done some research ahead of time and knew I wanted to check out Time Out Market. I would describe it as a collective of like-minded entrepreneurs offering some of the best food imaginable. Within what could be described as a large warehouse, there’s an array of vendors offering everything from burgers to seafood — some of the best offerings of the region. Long family-style tables line the center of the building, & the vendors line the walls. It’s decorated in crisp black & white — leaving the food to be the center of attention.
I’ll be honest, I’m not the most imaginative when it comes to food & most certainly not very adventurous. Portugal is known for its wonderful seafood. I, however, am not a fan of sea-creatures on my plate. So I’ll just preface this by saying y’all are not going to get a look at their seafood offerings. However, among the others I was adventuring with, it was stated that the seafood that was eaten was amazing. I’ll leave you with that.
But check out this sandwich that I tried, a twist on their traditional Bifana (marinated pork with onions on a roll). My version used a thin sirloin instead of pork, covered in onions & cheese on a toasted roll. My husband tried one from a different stand & I’ll say mine was way better. I got mine at O Prego Da Peixaria (top left corner of above photo) with some chips as a side. YUM. Try it, you’ll thank me. There is another vendor that has amazing fish & chips. I personally loved a bakery that had an assortment of French delicacies. I got some macaroons, a Chantilly, and a coffee cream filled pastry (over the course of multiple visits). Oh, how I wish I could go back!
We had been out wandering the streets — ahem, cobblestone streets — & were starting to get hungry. My husband saw LX Factory within a mile of us when he looked on google maps, so we walked that direction. We weren’t 100% sure what we were looking for. It wasn’t something that had crossed my radar when we had done our research. We walked into a tunnel of sorts, with artsy neon lighting across the top, and we stepped into the neighborhood that is LX Factory. Or as they refer to themselves, a “creative island”. I was immediately drawn in.
We wandered around, trying to scope out a place to eat. Numerous restaurants lined the street—all closed. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic. There were some places to eat available, just not exactly what we were looking for. We were there later on a Monday evening, and many restaurants and businesses take Monday as their day off (or both Sunday and Monday). Our group decided to meander around a bit longer as the aesthetic was simply stunning & we weren’t prepared to leave.
We happened upon a large bookstore-slash-art-exhibit called Ler Devagar. If the sheer amount of books lining the walls and laid out on tables over multiple levels doesn’t wow you like it does me, then the creative artwork & sculptures will surely win you over. It also contains two bars and many nooks to sit and drink coffee and read. Turns out, it’s been named one of top ten most beautiful bookstores in the world. And we just happened upon it.
Had we gone to LX Factory a different day, I’m convinced we would’ve spent hours there. From wine stores to pizzerias, photography studios to fashion design, bookstores & boutiques — there is truly something for here for everyone. The urban feel meshed with the cobblestone streets gives it a truly unique vibe. It’s an oasis for locals and tourists alike & I highly recommend making it a stop on your journey.
Lisbon’s Time Out Market & LX Factory certainly convey creativity & ingenuity while interweaving the rich history of Portugal into their fabrics. Have you ever visited either of these places? Will you make this a stop on your adventure through Portugal?