Portugal’s fourth-largest city, Coimbra is the perfect tourist destination for anyone looking for big city life, without the crowds. Less frequented than Lisbon or Porto, you’ll enjoy lower living costs. In which case, why not eat out every day, surrounded by ancient architecture, in the comforting warmth of the morning sun? To help you out, we’ve created this guide on finding the best breakfast in Coimbra.
Portuguese cuisine is second-to-none and starting the day at a local cafe can give you the energy you need to get the most out of your vacation. You’ll be supporting local businesses, interacting with the community, and getting to know the more authentic side of Coimbra. You don’t want to be disappointed by ending up at a low-quality coffee shop.
With that in mind, where is the best breakfast in Coimbra? While tastes vary, we think we’ve found the 7 best spots for grabbing an early morning bite.
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When looking for the best breakfast in Coimbra, you’re bound to come across Pastelaria Briosa. This lively establishment is famous among locals and is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, as well. The cafe often gets busy so try to get there early if you want your breakfast quickly. You might have a hard time choosing among the wide selection.
Pastelaria Briosa is a classic Portuguese bakery. Everything is made fresh on-site and the chef is always around to discuss the menu. If you’re new to this style of cuisine, then don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations. You’re about to discover a whole new world of breakfast.
Customers visiting this cafe mention how they’re always coming back for more. You’ll want to try everything so the hardest choice is deciding what to have first. If you’re not in a rush, order a coffee and sit on the terrace for a peaceful start to the day.
Located in the very center of the city, Pastelaria Briosa is convenient for most tourists. If you’re lucky, you might enjoy the relaxing music of a live Coimbra fado music band.
Nata is a creamy, congealed milk that is incredibly popular in Portuguese pastries. In the way that Americans may enjoy raw milk on their cereal for their breakfast, the Portuguese prefer to fill breakfast pastries with nata. If you’re interested in trying this sweet, creamy treat, then there’s only one place to go: NATA Lisboa.
This is a chain of restaurants that you’ll find in other large cities. For that reason, it doesn’t have the local, authentic vibe that you get from a small, independent coffee shop. However, it undoubtedly has some of the highest quality food in the whole city. That’s why tourists flock to this place.
If you’ve had a lively Portuguese night out, then this is the place to come to refresh and sober up. The food is hearty, filling, and delicious. The nata pastries are ideal for breakfast but you may also consider coming here for a quick lunch. The sandwiches are a particularly popular item on the menu.
If you’re looking for consistency, then put your money on NATA Lisboa. It has a proven track record of providing incredible breakfasts – every time. That’s what keeps customers coming back for more.
Cafe Santa Cruz
Coimbra’s Cafe Santa Cruz is built into the Santa Cruz church, which is what makes it such a unique dining experience. If it isn’t the best breakfast in Coimbra, it’s certainly the best experience. Whether eating outside on the square or inside the high ceiling chamber, you’ll be immersed in Coimbra’s famous ancient architecture.
Visitors don’t just come for the experience, though. It’s clear that the food is also of the highest quality. While listening to the gentle fado music that fills the streets, treat yourself to a chocolate croissant, pastel da nata, or cruzios. In this environment, the taste of these classic Portuguese dishes is taken to another level.
Of course, this is one of the most highly sought-after restaurants in town. For that reason, it won’t be as cheap as a local joint. Nevertheless, Coimbra is generally a very affordable city, meaning you can have high-quality food, in an unbeatable location, without feeling like you’ve been overcharged.
This is a restaurant for those looking for a lively atmosphere so you can soak in all that Coimbra has to offer. Even when grabbing a quick bite to eat in the morning, Cafe Santa Cruz will already be bustling. That’s just a testament to how great this particular restaurant is.
If you’re looking for somewhere a little more down to Earth, then Restaurante Casanova is a great little spot to grab breakfast. The food is unpretentious but made with passion. You’ll find some of the cheapest but most filling dishes to keep you going throughout your trip. Of course, this comes with a side of typically Portuguese-friendly service.
You can get just about anything here and it goes beyond the Portuguese classics. Whether you want fries, rice, meat, cakes, pastry, sushi, sandwiches or something else, you’re bound to find something you like. It won’t be made to the same quality as the fancy restaurants but most customers claim that it’s pretty tasty.
Sometimes, you want something hearty and local. That’s exactly what you get at Restaurante Casanova. If you’re on a budget but still want to eat well, then this is the best place to grab breakfast.
Breakfast in Portugal is an important part of the culture. It’s not something to be rushed, but something to be enjoyed. If you’re looking for fresh and delicious Coimbra breakfast options, then you should definitely consider Pastelaria Penta. While the food here may take a little while to get ready, it’s worth the wait.
This bakery makes everything fresh in order to give you the best breakfast experience possible. While the cakes and pancakes look delicious, it’s important to acknowledge the artistry that goes into creating this kind of cuisine. While you wait, you can enjoy some hand-picked seasonal fruits, from blueberries to pineapples.
In general, this is a place frequented by locals. That’s why you won’t see many foreigners recommending it. However, it’s for that reason that we love it. Pastelaria Penta is authentic and representative of what locals actually eat.
You’ll find Pastelaria Penta in Sofia Street, just a short walk from the river. You can eat in but if the weather is nice, we recommend getting your food to go. Early in the morning, before the summer heat hits, take it down to the riverside and enjoy one of the most pleasant breakfasts of your life.
Doce Amor Brownieria Gourmet
Who says you can’t have brownies for breakfast? If you have a sweet tooth, then this brownieria undoubtedly offers some of the best breakfast in Coimbra. Serving real Brazilian coffee, the Doce Amor Brownieria Gourmet is a small joint committed to quality. The interior is cozy, the owners are friendly, and the music makes for a relaxing atmosphere.
This makes it the ideal cafe to visit when you have a lot of time to spare, such as on the weekends. The place is most well-known for its decadent chocolate carob brownies but you can enjoy a wide selection of cakes and pastries with your choice of tea or coffee. If you love your breakfast (which we’re sure you will), then you might consider coming back in the evening to sample the ample beer selection.
This cafe is tucked away up a few stairs – as so many places in Coimbra are – but it’s well worth the climb. Visitors say that they love the personal aspect, being able to meet and chat with the chef. For the atmosphere alone, Doce Amor Brownieria Gourmet is among the best places in Coimbra. The food just takes it to the next level.
Padaria e pastelaria Flor da Conchada
Padaria e pastelaria Flor da Conchada is a typical Portuguese pastry shop that values quality above all else. The place is particularly popular with locals, who know they can always depend on the food to be delicious. You’ll want to keep coming back because the selection is too vast to have it all in one go.
For breakfast, you’ll likely want some of the freshly-made pastries. However, this cafe is also known for its mouth-watering bread which is best paired with a bowl of the soup of the day. The most popular item is the pão de cereias, a kind of bread topped with nuts and seeds.
Be warned: Padaria e pastelaria Flor da Conchada is addictive. Customers who visit once claim that they can’t stop themselves from returning. They’re convinced that this is by far the best breakfast in Coimbra. If you happen to be in the Conchada neighborhood, then there’s hardly anywhere else worth visiting more.
Customers are able to eat on the street like locals do or take the food away with them. Maybe you prefer to eat your breakfast on the go. Either way, just make sure you savor the taste of these amazing baked goods. They’re unique to Padaria e pastelaria Flor da Conchada and can’t be found elsewhere.