Join Culinary Backstreets

Sign up with email


Already a member? Log in.

Log in to Culinary Backstreets

Trouble logging in?

Not a member? Sign up!

Join our upcoming

Food Tours!

A three-floor cultural association in Rato, the neighborhood just north of sleek Principe Real, Casa de Angola has for decades focused primarily on bridging Angolan and Portuguese cultures. Created in 1971 by Angolan students, it launched without state support and is still subject to some intrigue. “Some say that this was an Angolan masonry house because of some indicative symbols on the building,” says chef Paulo Soares, who moved to Lisbon in 1981.

In 1974 the house was destroyed by a bombing, an act that Soares believes was carried out due to either insanity or racism. After a period of abandonment, in which it was used as a squat by African families, the building was reconstructed with the help of the Angolan government.

Nowadays all three floors are dedicated to differing cultural expressions. At ground level there’s a charming restaurant with a few tables draped in colorful kanga fabric, and the walls are decorated with maps, paintings and photos of Luanda.

Under Soares’s eye, the kitchen reproduces the best of Angola, home to a gastronomy that depends on many grains and starches (especially sorghum, corn, beans and yam), fruit (particularly watermelon, baobab and tamarind), peanuts and palm oil, all cooked with techniques influenced by Mozambican, Brazilian and Portuguese methods.

A choice order here is the peito alto, a meat stew usually accompanied by okra and funge. Each table is stocked with Jindungo’s piripiri, farofa (toasted manioc flour) and the starter kitaba, a spicy peanut paste.

A rich cultural life resides on the other two floors, which house an auditorium, exhibition space, atelier and Kilombo, a non-profit venue related to Angola Today media. “Cinema, theater, music and poetry are often on the agenda,” say Miguel Sermão and Matamba Joaquím, two Lisbon-based Angolan actors involved in Casa de Angola’s cultural programming. “It has created a great legacy between Portugal and Angola.”

Address: Travessa da Fábrica das Sedas 7, Rato
Telephone: +351 21 824 9967
Hours: 10am-11pm; closed Sunday

Related stories

May 11, 2017

Angola in Lisbon: Taste

By Francesca Savoldi and Syma Tariq
Lisbon -- Those normally finding themselves craving Angolan flavors in central Lisbon head straight to Mouraria, the historic downtown neighborhood that has experienced a conceptual conversion of its peripheral status into a landmark of cultural and culinary diversity. Despite it being the area with the highest density of Angolans in Lisbon’s city center, Angolan restaurants open…
May 11, 2017

Post-Colonial Lisbon: Angolan Edition

By Francesca Savoldi and Syma Tariq
Lisbon -- (Editor's Note: Lisbon's communities from Portugal's former colonies provide the strongest link to the country's past, when it was the hub of a trading empire that connected Macau in the east to Rio de Janeiro in the west. Though integral elements of Lisbon life, these communities can sometimes be an invisible presence in their adopted land, pushed out…
May 21, 2017

Cutting Loose at the Mouraria Street Party

By Culinary Backstreets
Lisbon -- A snapshot from our Mouraria Street Party in Lisbon, which was held earlier this month in conjunction with Obscura Day. As one might guess, lots of fun was had by all!