Portugal never had a Prohibition era – let’s face it: wine is too central to our culture for that to ever happen! But there’s a little speakeasy in Lisbon that’s just like stepping back in time to the 1910s or 1920s. Only locals know about it… until now, that is.
True to its speakeasy nature, you’d walk right past Procópio not even suspecting what’s inside. From the street, it looks just like any of the houses that surround it. To get in, you have to knock on the door or ring the doorbell. You are then shown into a low-lit room, full of red velvet seating and dark wood paneling. The Art Nouveau lamps scattered throughout the room do a poor attempt at brightening it – which, of course, only adds to the ambiance. As your eyes adjust to the dim light, you’ll notice details like the painting- and mirror-lined walls, and the vintage piano at the end of the room. The old school bar with its myriad bottles and trinkets can be found all the way to the far right of the room. True to speakeasy style, it smells like stale cigarette smoke in there. You’re given a seat and order your drinks.
The menu has a fair range of international drinks as well as some Portuguese ones. It’s a great opportunity to try a typical amarguinha (almond liqueur), a ginjinha (cherry liqueur), or a glass of Port or Moscatel. You can also order cocktails, wine, or craft beers from Portugal or Belgium. Of course, being a foodie, I love that drinks are served with a mini bowl of popcorn (which they refill as you get through it).
If you like Procópio, go explore some of the other bars by the same owner: Parodia, Foxtrot and Pavilhão Chinês are all in Lisbon waiting to be discovered.
Where to find it: Alto de São Francisco 21, 1250-228 Lisboa.