This is a must-do when in Lisbon. The Time Out Market is similar in concept to the Eataly markets that originated in Italy (Turin, I believe), but are now popping up in major markets in the USA. This one involves actually two markets, the old Ribeira Market, which can be traced back to the 13th century as a central city market, and still is one of Europe’s most famous fish markets. But there’s also fresh fruit and vegetables available as well. But next door is where the fun really takes place.
The market got its name from the publication of the same name. The city held a contest for the best idea to how to best utilize the old market and Time Out won with their concept. It has become so successful that Time Out International wants to open similar markets in other international markets.
There are forty food booths that line the perimeter walls, hosted by some of the city’s best-known restaurants and/or chefs. There’s of course fish dishes in many varieties available, but also other types of world cuisine that have had a bit of Portuguese flair added to their menu selections. In the center are beverage booths specializing in Portuguese draft beers, wines, fruit juices, coffee, teas, and hard-alcohol drinks. And around these are big long wooden tables and chairs where everyone can sit and enjoy their drinks and meals.
All of the booths use the same plates, glasses and cutlery, which means no eating off paper plates. People are continually coming by and gathering the used dishes, cleaning them up and redistributing them to the restaurants. Very well thought out and organized – a classy place. And the food is great. We’ve only tried three so far, but so far so good and we’ll be back to try more soon.
Our favorite so far is Tartaria, which serves tartars of fish, beef and vegetables, plus some great salads. The preparation is right in front of you and it is amazing to see them put these works of art together. And the results, the tastes, are simply superb. At our last lunch we shared a tuna tartar, a salmon tartar and a greek salad, with a bottle of vinho verde. Yum…