Alfama, named for the historic district in Lisboa is a hidden secret gem of a restaurant right here in midtown Manhattan.  In spite of the abundant magnitude of varied restaurants our city has to offer; Alfama is one of the few authentic Portuguese Restaurants in our City.   Hidden: Yes although located in the heart of midtown Manhattan you must look carefully on this block at 214 East 52nd Street between 3rd and 2nd Avenues for there is a construction site with scaffolding right next door blocking the view of Alfama’s entrance from the corner Avenue.   In spite I stumbled upon Alfama one morning on my way to work at The Waldorf Towers remembering that I once visited its former location downtown in Greenwich Village.  I also stopped and immediately went inside drawn from the attraction of the delicious aroma of baked bread and pastries coming from the doorway.   I was amazed to find out that Alfama opens its doors at 7AM for homemade breads and those terribly delicious custard tarts so famous of Portugal’s cuisine.   I remember my last trip to Portugal just two years ago where we were served these delicious treats almost daily.    My curiosity was stirred and I immediately began reporting the whereabouts of this restaurant to friends and colleagues.   This past Sunday I decided to sample and try their Sunday brunch together with some of our Concierge Team from the Waldorf=Astoria and The Waldorf Towers.      The most gracious owners and hosts Tarcisio Costa and Miguel Jeronimo truly make you feel at home here.   The space is modern yet comfortable offering a variety of options; there is an entrance way with a stand up bar serving wonderful Portuguese wines, Bellinis and cocktails.   The main dinning room is compact but open; there is a small private room ideal for about 10-15 people.  This Sunday members of the Portuguese Consul were there having lunch:  So you know its authentic!!   Downstairs there is another private room overlooking the open kitchen; here one can book private parties and small events of approximately 25-30 people.

A great beginning or starter to a delicious meal:  A selection of their homemade breads and pastries, their famous codfish cakes and wonderfully prepared grilled octopus.

A most wonderful seafood casserole; the kind you want to dip your bread in that delicious broth and taste the medley of flavors.

Alfama is open daily for lunch and dinner: A terrific Sunday Brunch option is available however you can order off the regular menu as well.   We were informed that they will be open daily including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve and New Years Day.    Due stop in for a morning coffee with a custard tart or sampling of their homemade bread trailing the aroma from the outside doorway.    I highly recommend this most wonderful Gem of a Restaurant and Hidden Secret of Midtown Manhattan soon to be discovered.   Thank you to the most wonderful hosts: Tarcisio Costa and Miguel Jeronimo!


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  1. You love Lisbon , that´s for sure ! Thanks to visit our country and Lisbon .besides the Gastronomy we have such amazing landscapes, mixing the green of several mountains like Arrabida and the blue of the Atlantic Ocean on the hundreds of portuguese beaches. Many thanks to contribute to the projection of this small, but biggest country on Southern Europe. We are waiting you, on next trip.

  2. Karin Nievelstein says:

    Bom dia, boa tarde,
    Visited Portugal several times. With our bicycles we travelled from the Algarve through the Alentejo, and the one year north towards the Douro, downwards to Porto or the other year east towards the west coast and Lisbon.
    Portugal is a beautiful country, cycling is paradise (most of the time) and the people are lovely, and of course the food and wine are delicious.

    Karin & Ton from the Netherlands

    We will visit Alfama in Manhattan as soon as we will visit New York… otherwise we will visit Alfama in Lisbon, where we stayed a few times. Good luck with your restaurant.

  3. Jeanne says:

    Ah! If I am ever in NYC again, this will be a destination! Loved the food the month I was in Portugal!

  4. suzana says:

    I hope “Alfama” makes kale soup – an authentic portuguese treat. Thank you for letting me know about this restaurant in Manhattan.

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