Finding the best seafood in Lisbon

Updated 8/18/22                                                                                                                        Finding the best seafood in Lisbon is not that hard.  There is so much variety, and it is all great!  Traditionally the sea has fed this city, whether sardines, bacalhau, octopus, or sapateira crab. 

Being a huge fan of seafood, I will tell you my favorite seafood spots in Lisbon. I am not sponsored by or affiliated with any of these restaurants, I just love them.  This article will also explain some of the seafood dishes you will encounter in Lisbon.

Seafood in Lisbon, crabs thicker than your hand!

My favorite places for seafood in Lisbon

O Arco

Restaurante O Arco, Rua dos Sapateiros 161-163, Lisbon, Portugal

First of all, in the Baixa district, very close to the Arch, we have O Arco, on Rua dos Sapateiros 161-163.  This tiny father and son operation is one of my favorite restaurants in Lisbon.

 

Inside it looks like a shrine to blues and rock n roll (Look closely at the pictures, there is another Arco Restaurant on the same street).

The boiled octopus is one of the best things I have ever eaten. So tender. The place is small, and fills up for dinner every night.  So, come early or get a reservation.

 

Boiled octopus, O Arco Restaurant, Rua dos Sapateiros, Lisbon
Boiled octopus at O Arco, perfection!

 

Marisqueira Uma

Also, a few doors down you will find Marisqueira Uma, Rua dos Sapateiros, 177 .

One of the most interesting dining experiences I have ever had. I walked up and asked the elderly gentleman for a table for one. “No,” he shook his head.

“No now, or no never?” I waited around and he finally sat me next to two girls.

He didn’t give me a menu, but asked what I wanted. I heard the seafood rice was really good, so I asked for it. 

That may have been the only thing they served.

When the wine came, he spilled it on my arm, and then walked off without saying anything.

He asked the girl next to me to pass a beer down to another customer. He tried to chase off everyone who walked in the door. We all laughed every time someone poked their head in and he shooed them off.

But yes, the seafood rice was great. And it was only 150 euro. “Oh, just kidding,” said the other elderly gentleman at the cash register.

$15 euros for a filling pot of seafood and rice, wine, and an entertaining evening.

 

 

A Cevicheria

Ceviche with edible flowers at Restaurante A Cevicheria, Rua Dom Pedro V 129, in Lisbon's Bairro Alto neighborhood
Ceviche at Restaurante A Cevicheria in Bairro Alto

This beautifully designed restaurant by award-winning chef Francisco Martins (Chef Kiko) is located near Jardim do Príncipe Real in Bairro Alto at Rua Dom Pedro V 129.

The house specializes in Peruvian traditions such as ceviche – a preparation of raw fish marinated in citric acid.  Other seafood offerings combine tropical, Asian, and Portuguese  flavors.  A Cevicheria has excellent Pisco Sour cocktails (12.70€).

Main dishes here range from 17€ to 27€, or you could try the tasting menu that provides five courses and a dessert for 58€ per person.

Your meal here will be memorable because of the flavor of the food, the professionalism of the staff, and the clean and unique decor that features a large octopus hanging over the bar and chef’s work area.

A Cevicheria has outdoor seating, but the restaurant is small and extremely popular.  Make reservations in advance.  https://www.acevicheria.pt/?lang=en

 

 

 

 

Interior of A Cevicheria

Great seafood at BaixaMar 

Lobster tank at BaixaMar Restaurant in Lisbon's Baixa neighborhood
The lobster tank at BaixaMar

Located at Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 28B in Lisbon’s Baixa neighborhood, this restaurant lies between the Casa dos Bicos and Praça do Comércio.  

An extremely popular restaurant, you should try to make reservations.  As a walkup, the staff are happy to put you on the list as well.

 

 

 

 

Black linguini and mussels at BaixaMar, Lisbon
Black linguini with mussels at BaixaMar

There are plenty of items on the menu for under 20€.

Customers at the next table claimed that the BaixaMar Seafood Meal for two, including lobster (98€), was the best thing they had ever eaten.  They also raved about the chocolate cake.

To reserve:  http://baixamar-lisboa-mariscos-e-petiscos.thefork.rest/en_GB/

 

Clams Bulhão Pato Style, at BaixaMar, Lisbon
Clams Bulhão Pato Style at Baixa Mar

There are plenty of items on the menu for under 20€.

Customers at the next table claimed that the BaixaMar Seafood Meal for two, including lobster (98€), was the best thing they had ever eaten.  They also raved about the chocolate cake.

To reserve:  http://baixamar-lisboa-mariscos-e-petiscos.thefork.rest/en_GB/

 

 

Maria Catita

Octopus Stew at Maria Catita

You can’t get a table at BaixaMar?  That’s OK.  Maria Catita is right next door, at Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 30.  Honestly, I think the food all comes out of the same outstanding kitchen.

Maria Catita has outdoor dining, but unless you happen by early or at the right moment, you won’t get a table.  Make reservations in advance, or let the excellent waitstaff serve you drinks as you stand in line.

Come for the seafood, but make sure you try the Pica Pau steak appetizer.  You won’t be disappointed.  https://www.facebook.com/restaurantemariacatita

 

 

Pica Pau, steak appetizer at maria Catita, Lisbon
Pica Pau at Maria Catita

Ramiro – The best seafood in Lisbon?

If you want a true seafood palace, take the metro to Intendente Station and walk a block to Cervejaria Ramiro, Avenida Almirante Reis, 1. In my opinion, this is the best place to eat seafood in Lisbon.

You will not believe some of the delicacies that they haul out of the ocean.

I highly recommend amêijoas à bulhão pato – clams in butter, garlic, and white wine.

 

Also try the razor clams – Lingueirão à bulhão pato. Nor can you go wrong with crab legs, stuffed crab, or giant prawns. This place gets spendy, but it’s so good!  I would plan on 30 to 70 euros per person. Ramiro does not take reservations. You will get a number when you show up. Best to try off hours.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marisquer%C3%ADa%20Ramiro/344613775565340/

 

Gambas a la Aguillo (Garlic shrimp) at Ramiro, Lisbon
Garlic shrimp at Ramiro
Sapateira Recheada (Stuffed crab) at Ramiro, Lisbon
Sapateira Recheada (Stuffed crab) at Ramiro, Lisbon

Marisqueira do Lis

There is more seafood a few blocks up closer to the Anjos metro station. Slightly less expensive than Ramiro, is Marisqueira do Lis. Av. Almirante Reis 27B.

I noticed that every night it was shoulder to shoulder at quitting time, men drinking their beer and eating snails. Caracois. Like popcorn. Once you start, you can’t stop.

 

There’s much more on the menu than snails, but when in Lisbon … try the caracois.  Roughly 10 euros.

Best seafood in Portugal?

The best seafood meals I had in Portugal though, were at Marisqueira Ribamar, on the National Highway 247, number 57 in the village of Ribamar, not far from Ericeira.  I probably spent 50 euros, and it may have been one of the best meals I’ve ever had, in a dining room overlooking the northern Atlantic.

Sapateira
Sapateira at Marisqueira Ribamar

What’s the deal with Bacalhau?

 

While not my favorite fish, Bacalhau or salt cod, has sustained Portugal for hundreds of years. 

People dried and preserved this cold-water fish in salt long before we had refrigeration.  The Portuguese explorers brought it with them to Brazil, where it still remains popular. You will find Bacalhau everywhere in Lisbon in its many forms.

First, you will find Bacalhau a Brás.  The bacalhau is shredded and cooked with onions, shredded potatoes, and beaten eggs.  Then it is topped with olives.

Next, you have Bacalhau a Gomes de Sá.  This is a traditional dish served on Good Friday, but also available in all types of restaurants all over the country. 

The casserole is made with gratin-cut potatoes, bacalhau, onions, hard-boiled eggs, and olives.

Also, there is Bacalhau com Natas – this time prepared with a cream sauce, potatoes, and onions.

And, you can have Bacalhau Assado na Brasa com Batata a Murro.  Grilled and drizzled in olive oil, served with potatoes that are first boiled and then baked in olive oil.

In addition, you will find deep-fried Bacalhau fritters – Pataniscas de Bacalhau, and deep- fried Bolinhos de Bacalhau, or bacalhau cakes.

 

My favorite seafood dishes in Lisbon

 

First, one of my favorites is sapateira recheada – stuffed crab.  The stuffing is sort of a dip made with crab meat, mustard, mayonnaise, chopped green onions, boiled egg, and paprika.  People dip bread or crackers into the crab mixture.  Need a recipe?  Eat Sapateira Recheada in Lisbon, then make it at home

 

Another of my favorites is amêijoas al bulhão pato – clams in butter, garlic, and white wine. I get this dish any time I see it on a menu.  The recipe is named after poet Raimondo Antonio de Bulhão Pato, who was also a huge fan of the dish. You will be too.  Here is how to make it at home:  Eat Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato in Lisbon, and at home

 

Also try the razor clams which are prepared the same way. – Lingueirão à bulhão pato. Lisbon Seafood: What are Canivetes à Bulhão Pato? How to make at home

 

Cataplana de Mariscos –  This dish from the Algarve is named after the special type of copper pot that it is cooked in.  Fish, shellfish, clams, prawns are simmered with tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, onions, and garlic in white wine and olive oil.

 

Arroz de Mariscos – This is like a red risotto made with tomatoes and white wine and packed with prawns, crab legs and shellfish.

What are some of the other seafood dishes you will find in Lisbon?

Dourada Grelhada or sea bream, is a mild, white fish, grilled and served with rice or potatoes.

Polvo a lagareiro – First boiled, then baked, octopus.  Seasoned with garlic and bay leaf and served with olive oil and baked potatoes.

Salada de Polvo – octopus salad. 

Sardinhas Assadas  grilled sardines, often cooked over charcoal

Gambas – shrimp

Ostras – oysters

Mexilhao – mussels

Navalheiras – hard-shelled, boiled crab

Lagostins – crayfish

Carabineiros- scarlet prawns, large red shrimp from the Eastern Atlantic

Cavaco – slipper lobster

Lagosta – lobster

Rabinho de lagosta – lobster tail

Lavagante – European Lobster

Aside from lobster, of the most expensive items at any seafood restaurant will be Percebes – gooseneck barnacles. 

Although tiny, they are expensive because fishermen must bring their boats alongside rocks in very rough seas in order to harvest them.  It is a dangerous job. 

I have tried percebes, and in my opinion, they don’t taste like much, other than salt water.  But, I had to try them, because you definitely can’t find barnacles where I live.

 

Rodízio de Mariscos – all you can eat seafood for 22 euros at Baía do Peixe, Praça do Campo Pequeno offers a seafood rodízio – all you can eat seafood for 22 euros. 

In conclusion, in Lisbon you will find a bounty of fresh seafood, cooked simply and brilliantly.

  Also. You will find seafood in Lisbon at various price points, assuredly at better prices than you will find in your home country.

 

Interested in reading more about Lisbon?  See my post, 25 things to see or experience in Lisbon, Portugal – Lisbon travel ideas