Os Tibetanos is a lovely little restaurant off Avenida Liberdade. It is part of the Buddhist centre and therefore is a tranquil place to eat. To get there, take the metro to Avenida station and take the exit from the station to Rua do Salitre. Rua do Salitre is the road to your right (facing back towards downtown), just beside the large white statue. Prepare yourself for a walk – uphill all the way! If you didn’t have an appetite before you started walking you certainly will have by the time you arrive! As you get towards the top of the street, look for the green flags hanging down from the building on the left hand side.
It was 1pm when I arrived and the place was packed. They are only open between 12 – 2pm for lunch so it’s best to get there early if you can. They open again at 7.30pm in the evening. A table was found for me however and I was greeted with a serene smile. Despite being busy, the whole place felt very relaxed and was cool even though it was hot outside. There’s a gorgeous garden where other people were busy eating. Inside, the walls are lined with Tibetan pictures and gentle music plays in the background. Prayer flags are also hanging and there is a faint scent of incense. You can feel the healing vibes and sense that this place is one of devotion.
The menu was brought to me and I had to take a while to figure out what I wanted. I decided that I was very hungry indeed and plumped for the dish of the day at a cost of €7.50 + €2.50 (prices circa 2007) for a freshly squeezed juice. All the while I was furtively looking at what others were eating and everything looked sumptuous. There were mixed salads with mozzerella and basil, a lunchtime 3 course menu (soup, veg and rice and dessert plus herbal tea), savoury balls with a dip (which seemed very popular) and a variety of other dishes. There’s also a range of organic wines and beers as well as herbal tea’s and fresh juices.
A wide range of people seem frequent the restaurant. Beside me was a family with a little boy, to the other side two middle ages ladies, across the way it looked like a business meeting was going on and various student types were hanging out in the garden. There didn’t seem to be too many tourists, perhaps because you do have to go a little out of the way to get there.
My food arrived quickly and was beautifully presented and plentiful. The dish of the day was a kind of bread and mushroom savoury pudding served with chinese cabbage, rice and a Japenese sauce. I really enjoyed it and it was very filling. The apple juice I ordered was straight out of the apple.
I had quite a few places to visit the day I ate at Os Tibetanos so I didn’t have time to visit the little shop that’s beside the restaurant. Next time I go I think I will book a table outside as it would be nice to sit down in the gardens.
Os Tibetanos is a lovely place to eat and a safe haven for vegetarians. The service is very friendly and the food gorgeous for a reasonable price. To walk off your food you could take a wander to the Botanical Gardens or sit quietly on Praça do Alegria (square of happiness) nearby.
To find out more visit their website (in Portuguese)