Coffee in Portugal – what to order and where

If you´re like me, every good day starts with a good coffee. For me it means creamy foam and the right proportion of milkiness, coupled with sunshine and some minutes of silence to just sit, observe passers by and enjoy the moment.
For you it might mean an expresso at the bar, or a skim-milk cappuccino. No matter what your preference, when you´re on holiday, you don´t want to spend half your time experimenting with what to call it, in order to get the coffee you want.

Here´s your guide to coffee in Portugal, and some places we like to get it.


GALÃO = cafe latte / latte macchiato / cafe con leche
The Galão is probably the most commonly served coffee style in Portugal, along side the Bica/expresso. A galão is served in a glass, and has a proportion of 1 part coffee to 3 parts hot milk. If you want it to be on the stronger side, ask for a “Galão escuro” (dark), if you prefer it weaker, ask for a “Galão claro” (light).


BICA or CAFÈ = expresso / short black
Café duplo = Double expresso
Pingado = Espresso Machiatto
(an expresso with a dash of hot milk)


MEIA DE LEITE = Flat white / café au lait 
Served in a cup, Meia de leite translates to “half of milk”, so as you can guess, the proportion is 1 part coffee to 1 part milk. This makes it a little stronger / less milky than the Galão.

CAFE LUNGO = Long black / Americano

Cappuccino remains as Cappuccino, however, in Portugal its not so easy to find a really good one. The milk the cafes use is not very creamy and results in airy foam rather than creamy foam. That being said, the Portuguese do produce great coffee, so its always going to taste pretty good.
Its worth buying a few bags of Delta or Sical to take home with you!

Our favourite coffee spots in Lagos


Abigail’s Café

R. Henrique Correia da Silva 8, Lagos, Portugal 

On the way to Batata beach / close to the main museum. Abigail’s is serious about coffee, to the extent that they regularly host workshops and thoroughly train their staff. They have a vegetarian focus, with lots of healthy, hearty bowls and brunch meals. Its a laptop friendly café with free wifi, so its also a great place to catch up on some work / travel research.
See more on their website | Abigails Instagram page | on Google maps


Twin Fin

R. Gil Vicente 36, Lagos, Portugal

With an Australian owner, you can expect perfectly made coffee. They offer all the favourite milk alternatives. Their coffee goes perfectly with their freshly made, toasted banana bread, cakes and cooked brunches.
See more on their instagram | on Google maps


O Ninho Family Bar

R. da Estrema 31, Lagos, Portugal

This one is a pick for the parents. The café has two floors of sensory toys, books and games for children of all ages. The kind Italian owners have put in a lot of effort to create a safe and enchanting wonderland for children, and relaxing place for parents. They serve good coffee along with healthy vegan meals and sweets.

See more on their instagram | on Google maps


Croissanteria 29, (Rua da Estrema, 29) serves great coffee, and the best croissants in town (or possibly the world). Although it does´t have outdoor seating, they have cute booths and Portuguese tiles, and friendly Portuguese staff. The owner, Carlos is always wearing a smile and happy to have a chat. They also have great smoothies and fresh juices.
See more about Croissanteria 29 in our post “A vegetarians guide to Lagos” here >

Arte dos Sabores, on the main street (Rua 29 de Abril), with tasty toasts, wraps and salads to accompany your coffee. Their toasts are a little more interesting than you´ll find in most places (typically its just ham & cheese), goats cheese with honey, bruschettas, avocado etc. Also free wifi.

If you´d like to suggest any places you love (for coffee or tips in general), we´d like to hear them, let us know by sending a message here!


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