A look back at the Mercado da Ribeira
The Mercado da Ribeira is, today, the home of the Lisbon Time Out Market; yet, there is an abundant history to this market place which has been the site of the city’s best vendors for centuries. The first version of Mercado da Ribeira arrived on Praça do Pelourinho square (now Praça do Municipio, site of the city hall) and was to become infamous as a thriving European wholesale market. In 1755, as with the mass of the city, the great earthquake devastated the entire structure. During the restoration of the city, a new network of markets were created, including the Mercado da Ribeira closer to the contemporary site. Fast forwarding to the year 2000 and the end of Mercado da Ribeira’s era as a wholesale market, the site was unoccupied for some time prior to the coordination of the city council competition. This was a competition held to decide who would take over the iconic market space, triumphed by magazine publication Time Out. In May 2014, Time Out Market was officially inaugurated and open to the public.
Mercado da Ribeira nowadays
Now, Time Out Market maintains the concept of putting Lisbon’s choice vendors under one roof, having developed the emblematic Mercado da Ribeira market hall in to a modern replica and arena of food and culture. The space puts on display 26 restaurants, 8 bars, a dozen shops and a high-end music venue on one side, and on the other, a selection of Lisbon’s most renowned butchers, fishmongers, grocers, and florists. The contemporary market has contributed extensive attractiveness to the Cais do Sodre neighbourhood and made it a hub through day and night.
Our visit to Mercado da Ribeira
Approaching the end of our stay in Lisbon, we decided to take the afternoon off work and explore the market, eating and drinking our way round and even talking to a few people behind the stalls. Have a look at how it went below…