Pois Cafe

It seems like everyone loves Pois. Nestled behind the Sé Cathedral in the old part of town lies a comfy cafe full of mis-matched armchairs, newspapers, multi-language books, hip posters and a cool, hippy atmosphere. Here’s a tip to find it, when you reach the Se follow the road round beside the Church to the right and you’ll find Pois.

Much like Kaffeehaus, I had heard only good about Pois. Also like Kaffeehaus, Pois is run by Austrians.

The clientelle are a mixed bunch of ages but there is a generally arty feel which I feel very at home with. ‘Shabby chic’ I think would be the current buzz word to use. When I visited, there was a single worn green armchair into which I sunk gratefully after several hours of walking the seven hills of Lisbon. The ceiling is arched and the floor of old stone. Local artist’s work hang from the walls, and there are books, books and books lining the shelf that runs around the walls. My idea of heaven 🙂 A young student comes in, kicks off her shoes and curls up on a cushioned ledge opposite me with a book. I get the feeling people linger here. Pois is a hotch-potch of influences, quirky and warm with a general feeling of an eccentric grandmother’s living room.

A tiny table beside me adorned with a single flower in a vase, gave me just enough room to balance my glass of galão. A few minutes later I was entirely seduced by the blackberry cheesecake on show and ordered. I was presented with a huge slice decorated with whipped cream and apple slices. It was light and fluffy and utter delight.

The staff were very friendly and didn’t seem to mind people lounging. They laughed and joked between themselves and with familar faces and I got the feeling they genuinely enjoyed working there.

I took a look at the menu for future reference and noticed that they offer a great brunch menu. Eggs seem popular and there are a variety of scrambled specials to be found. There’s also toast, a variety of jams and sweet pastries. A perfect place for elevensies as we’d say in England.

Pois is a place to sit back and relax, write, read or simply hang out with friends. A perfect place to visit after a trip to the castle.

Rua São João da Praça, 93, Alfama
Open: Tuesday to Sunday – 11am to 8pm

Visit Pois website


2 comments for “Pois Cafe

  1. Patrick Gribben
    December 14, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Nice post! Blog more!

    “Pois” is “poish” as in the word the Portuguese almost always put before “sim”? Or is it like peas (pois) in French?

    … and, as I am stuck in pedantic mode, shouldn’t your “galao” be “galão”?

    (You can get the ã by holding down ALT and pressing 0227.)

    … and what do you think about Portuguese spelling and Brazilian spelling are now unified?


    Enough for a wet Sunday morning. I’m looking forward to your next post.

  2. Lily
    December 14, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Hi Patrick
    Oops yes I missed my tilde, thanks for spotting that. I’ve just edited. I use character map for accents as I type everything into notepad first.
    Yes pois is a word of agreement or sometimes a conjunction. It seems to have quite a few uses.
    It’s difficult to comment on the unification of spelling. The only way I can think of it is if English was changed to American spelling. I don’t think I would feel very happy about that. I appreciate it makes things easier in publishing and as with English some letters are silent anyway. But I also feel like there is something important in retaining spelling.

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