It won the APEL Award in 2017, the preferred bookstore with the best setting in the country. The customers voted online and anyone who enters the number 214 in Formosa Street can see the diploma, proudly framed. Alambique is that, a bookstore, but much more: a shop, a café, an exhibition space, a quiet corner amid the busy Santa Catarina zone. It is difficult to define the space, but, after when you go in, everything comes together and makes sense.
Luís Félix has a degree in sculpture from the Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade do Porto, and, together with his sister, Susana, imagined Alambique, a mix of various memories and interests – books, illustrations of young artists from Porto available at the store and monthly exhibitions, national china, Firmo notebooks used in the primary school by those who grew up in the 80’s, coffee.
Alambique is also a Portuguese house, of course; you can see it in the smell of coffee, in the wood furniture, in the floor of hydraulic mosaic with geometric shapes, in the kindness of those who receive you.
The coffee is a speciality, of artisan roast and hand-picked, with the seal of the international association “Specialty Coffee”, which certifies the conditions of the coffee’s production. Porto receives a blend of coffee from Guatemala and Brazil, produced in a sustainable process. To go with it, homemade cakes and the brownie that Time Out rated with 5 stars.
In the summer, Alembic received many tourists, and that’s where some of them had their coffee during the entire stay in Porto. Some even returned to the city and to Alambique, becoming faithful clients, even from a distance. At the store counter, there is a guest book, made by Firmo, with a hard dark blue cover, tall and narrow, but there are no notes taken of tabs of the customers, like in the old bars and groceries; here you will only find praise and thanks, in several languages.
Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10h to 19h.