previously an area that was used for manufacturing, lx factory on the southwest side of lisbon is home to some really shops, cafeterias and artistic studios ranging from design to marketing to actual studios. the area spans less than a city block and is a good place to catch a break from the busy streets of lisbon when you just want to enjoy some music in the sun. the easiest way to get here is to make your way to the cais de sodre subway terminal and to take the cascais train line two stops to alcantra-mar. from there, lx factory is a 5 minute walk northwest from the station.
if you like street art, the alcantra-mar station’s walls are literally covered from left to right in murals
walking north takes you past a warehouse on the rightside that also is covered in large murals
make a left at this light and continue walking until you reach a brick wall nearing the bridge overhead and you’ll find yourself inside lx factory. if you show up on the weekends you may find yourself in the middle of the street market that brings the local retailers out with their crafts and wares. we didn’t eat a meal here but there are plenty of places to choose from. if you want to people watch, many ground level restaurants to choose from are at the entrance.
if you want something with a view, walk towards the south end of the station and look up to the right. there’s a restaurant up top with a colorful statue and a perfect view of the christ the king monument and the 25 de abril bridge (named for date that portugal withdrew from african colonies and east timor, a national holiday).
the warehouse that this restaurant resides on top of is also filled with many small businesses and is worth a stroll through each of its floors. a gallery showing was running while we were there and we spent about half an hour walking throughout the warehouse even though the businesses were closed on the weekend.
no trip to the lx factory is complete with a visit to the ‘ler devargar’ (which means ‘to read slowly’ in portuguese) bookstore. once you set foot inside this marvel of a bookstore you’ll understand why. it’s far from small but there is a quaintness inside. take an hour or more, wander around, take a tour of the permanent exhibits. grab a coffee, book and squirrel away into one of the many cubbyholes.
if you have the room to spare, actually, even if you don’t have room to spare, go upstairs and get a slice of pie/cake. i don’t know how to categorize it, all i know is that it was amazing. from the bottom up, the ‘crust’ is replaced by meringue and it’s then filled with whipped cream, chocolate mousse with raspberries and oreos. they had a handful of pies to pick from and we wanted to order one of each. they weren’t exactly cheap but for the 4euro per slice, totally worth it. i’m still thinking about it and it’s been more than a month since we ate it.
just around the corner of lx factory is a new business park/hangout area called lisbon underground. old shipping containers and buses have been repurposed as offices and cafeterias. it’s such a great idea to utilize and turn what some would consider to be eyesores into a public hangout. my guess (hope) is that these types of places will be popping up all over in a few years.