The moment I saw the sign “I gelati piu fini del mondo” outside Santini in the Chiado district, I knew exactly what it meant: The world’s finest ice cream. This despite the fact that I don’t speak Italian or Portuguese, the latter being relevant because this Italian sign was in Lisbon. While it would be nice to speak those languages, it turns out that I speak another one that has proven very useful throughout my travels — the international language of ice cream!
I have managed to eat at Santini three times. The first two times were at the Chiado location. I had vanilla and passion fruit the first time and chocolate and coconut the second time. The third time was at the location in Cascais, a seaside resort town 30 minutes outside Lisbon. There I had dulce de leche and vanilla. All were excellent!
Santini’s lets you get two flavors even if you order the smallest size “copo pequeno”, which is best ice cream practices in my opinion. I hate when they only allow one flavor. If you order the next size up, you can even have three flavors. Also, they swirl together the flavors in a way I’ve never seen before but recognized as true gelato artistry.
So is Santini’s the finest gelato in the world? I’m not sure, only because there is so much incredible gelato out there, like my favorite gelateria in Florence. But it is amazing gelato and well worth three visits in four days.