It was on the 12th July 1982 that the Café de São Bento – Primus Inter Bares – first opened its doors on the Rua de S. Bento 212 next to the Assembleia da República. Its aim was to recreate the old Lisbon cafes that had almost totally disappeared - and serve the famous “Bife á Marrare” (steak in pepper sauce). Brought to Lisbon by the Napolitan António Marrare at the end of the 19th century, this delicious steak dish had been served in those cafes and became popularised by the opening of several Marrare Cafes.
The Café de São Bento has gone on to develop the recipe: it is now always prepared with fresh filet mignon instead of the rump meat used in the original recipe, while the sauce has adapted and refined into a house secret. Thus the steak became designated CAFÉ DE SÃO BENTO STEAK, obviously inspired by the original bife a marrare.
Best Lisbon Steak
Only five years old, the Café de São Bento has already won 1st place in the title of meat specialities awarded by the now-defunct newspaper “A Capital”. It was also designated the “best steak in Lisbon” by popular vote. To this day the Café de São Bento often features in both national and international trade magazines and journals, as well as the most prestigious restaurant guides: In 2007 It was voted the BEST LISBON STEAK by TIME OUT magazine.
An Exclusive Atmosphere
The Café de São Bento has moved with the times: in 2006 it underwent expansion to include a 1st floor, which is now the non-smoking room. Smokers are invited to the ground floor room, which is decorated in the Victorian style. Even the music has been updated with new music from the Eighties and Nineties to cater for a diverse clientele that spans three generations. However, one thing has been left unchanged: our hospitality and quality service. We foster an excellent relationship with our customers and of course the staff that has been with us for many years.