/ The Lisbon Guide

Azores at your table

I felt in love with Azores Islands the moment I step on it. A lush green paradise where everything seems to be (still) in its place. Cows wonder happily on the hills, the sea offers plenty of fish and the land grows about everything. And tasty… The landscape is just out of the ordinary…

That’s why I also suspect that it happens to most of the people that visit for the first time, they fall in love with Azores. And as we say in Portugal, if Maomé doesn’t go to the mountain, let the mountain come to Maomé.

Espaço Azores is about that, bringing everything about Azores to inland, personalised in a wonderful restaurant. Every morning there is an airport delivery with fresh goods arriving from the islands… The gentleness and the warm smiles of the restaurant crew seem to be brought from there too…

Mr. Alfredo and his wife have managed to create indeed a special place. Mr. Alfredo was raised in Pico Island and his first restaurant at Faial Island was at a time considered to be one of the 30 best restaurants in Portugal. Fortunately (for us in Lisbon), they changed to the capital in search of better clientele. Still, they brought Azores along with them, as much as possible. The restaurant was made with usual material from Azores and the design reminds some traditional houses as much as boats that so identifies their customary way of living. From the windows you can see all the way down from Ajuda to the Tagus River. This restaurant, too, has wone several awards.

At the table, for starters, the cheese from S. Jorge was served along with the freshest butter (that I’m also used to eat there), fresh cheese with pepper and scramble eggs with alheira (a special chorizo). The flavours were outstanding and reminded me of how good the quality of the food is at Azores…

Soon came the main courses, Fish Soup (€16,80), a delicious fried Hourse Mackerel (€10,70) and Tuna Steak with Sweet Potato (€12,90). For dessert, a Tea Pudding (€3,85), an Arassá with Milk (€3,85) and Ovos Pardos, a very sweet dessert made of eggs (€3,85), were all we needed to finish a fantastic diner.

Keep in mind that at Espaço Azores the menu is set according to the fresh ingredients available. That’s why it changes all the time. That’s also why the quality is so high… Still, you should be looking for these – Sopa de Peixe (Fish Shoup), Atum (Tuna), Polvo (Octopus) and Alcatra (Steak).

The wine too, you can have it from Azores. We chose a Frei Gigante. While maybe not the standards of others from inland, it’s an excellent easy wine, rather sweet and fruited.

Mr Alfredo and his wife are greatly succeeding their work as ambassadors of Azores at this restaurant. It’s definitely a place to go back again and again.

Opened Wednesday to Monday from 12pm to 3pm and from 7pm to 10h30pm

Where: Largo da Boa Hora, Ajuda (map)

Average Price: €28

www.espacoacores.com (Portuguese only)

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