Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Café Saudade

There are some places that to me are Portugal concentrated in one spot. Café Saudade is one of them. It is somewhere to go that just lets you breathe easy and it celebrates the real Portugal. Not the Portugal of shopping centres or highways, but the Portugal of my childhood, of long trips into the countryside.

First of all it is in the magical town of Sintra, but that doesn't guarantee loveliness as many a tourist has found to their cost. Saudade, however is a veritable rabbit warren of loveliness. The building itself was once a queijada factory making traditional Sintra cheesecakes, although factory seems too industrial a word for the authentic beauty of the place.

The café's menu is excellent and offers a variety of traditional Portuguese cakes and sandwiches as well as fruit tarts, an incredible gooey chocolate cake and light lunch options. Whiling away an afternoon with a cup of herbal tea or even a single espresso - nobody will make you feel like you need to have anything more if you don't want it - is something I do far too infrequently to do this fantastic café real justice.

Saudade is the heart and soul of its owners the sunny Mary Pereira and her husband Luís. Mary is Portuguese-American and in spite of, or perhaps because of, this she actively celebrates the Portuguese heritage that so many people take for granted. Saudade sells Portuguese handicrafts - not tourist tat the real deal - and also has its own little silver store (Prataria) offering the most gorgeous traditional Portuguese jewellery.

If you have never been there I couldn't recommend it more highly.

Café Saudade
Avenida Dr. Miguel Bombarda 6
2710-590 SINTRA
Tel: 212428804


  1. Thanks for sharing this place, Catarina. We had a great time there. Their 'light meal' portions are the equivalent of full-sized British portions which is great value. Also, lots of veggie options which I certainly welcome.

  2. Most welcome. I forget that my idea of portion sizes has been distorted by Portuguese restaurant dishes. I think that might be one more positive.

  3. If you have 2 ravenous terriers at home then portion sizes hold no fear. Nice blog Catarina!

    1. Thanks! The portion sizes are good but it's unlikely the terriers would get a look in.

  4. Thanks for the tip! I am thoroughly enjoying your blog. I'm an American living near Cabo da Roca in Atalaia, always fascinated by others' views on this gorgeous country.

  5. Hi and thanks for dropping by! So glad you are enjoying the blog and Portugal as a whole. I've promised myself I'll be more regular with my posts so watch this space!

  6. Acabou de entrar na minha lista de prioridades para quando voltar à Portugal em 2013. obrigado pela dica!