20 Rua Galeria de Paris, 2nd floor
Portugal 4050 162
Tel: 351 22 202 2105
A Vida Portuguesa's founder, former journalist Catarina Portas, is the force behind both the Lisbon and Porto branches of this stylish boutique. A Vida Portuguesa sells classic Portuguese products that have become top-end souvenirs (letter holders made from ceramic swallows, a national symbol; the Claus Porto soaps that are much loved by Oprah; gourmet canned sardines; tea from the Azores). The eclectic mix of wares is displayed on backlit shelves lining the walls and on a long wooden table; the shop is upstairs from a fabric store that's been around since 1886. Even if you don't share the nostalgia for these Portuguese brands, you can still admire the retro packaging and appreciate the quality of these time-tested products.—Anja Mutić
Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 8 pm.
The best street for concentrated, only-in-Lisbon shopping is the Rua Garret, which fittingly links the city's two prime style centers: the still raffish, boho Bairro Alto and the more polished, boutique-happy Chiado. Start at the Vista Alegre flagship shop, which showcases a line of Portuguese ceramics established in 1824. Especially tempting: the set of fey figurines symbolizing Portugal's provinces, including a peasant girl balancing a basket of pastel-colored flowers on her head (20–23 Largo do Chiado; 351-21-346-1401; www.vistaalegre.pt). Continue east down Rua Garret to the Armazens Do Chiado, which is as chic as a mall gets and a prime local hangout (2 Rua do Carmo; 351-21-321-0600; www.armazensdochiado.com in Portuguese only). The area's most sublime surprise, though, sitting just across the street from the mall entrance, is the doll-sized Luvaria Ulisses, where the proprietor still traces your hand on paper and makes perfectly fitted butter-leather gloves in colors like saffron, pistachio, and plum (87-A Rua do Carmo; 351-21-342-0295; www.luvariaulisses.com). If you're in search of a more substantial souvenir, head to Casa dos Tapetes de Arraiolos, which specializes in the hand-embroidered Portuguese wool rugs that originated as a folkish take on oriental carpets; the flower-strewn versions can look like Whitman sampler boxes, but the more geometric patterned renditions are guilelessly elegant (116 E Rua da Imprensa Nacional; 351-21-396-3354; www.casatapetesarraiolos.com).