Eat Sapateira Recheada in Lisbon, then make it at home

Seafood lovers – you will discover Sapateira Recheada in Lisbon, then make it at home for yourself! Anyone spending time in Lisbon’s seafood restaurants will notice the locals eating these huge crabs that have been hollowed out and then refilled with a dip that is heavy on the crab meat. You’ll want to order it as well.

Sapateira means crab in Portuguese. Sapateira Recheada literally means re-filled or re-stuffed crab. It is made with the large brown northern Atlantic crab which can be up to 10 inches in width and weigh up to 6 pounds.

Where to try Sapateira Recheada in Lisbon?

Cervejaria O Ramiro

Avenida Almirante Reis 1

GPS: 38.72032272126813, -9.135748302241709

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, noon – midnight

Two blocks south of the Intendente metro station (green line).

Marisqueira do Lis

Avenida Almirante Reis 27B

GPS: 38.722559448183105, -9.135543889253528

T: 351 218 850 739

Hours: noon – 1 am

Located just outside of the Intendente metro station (green line).

Solar 31 da Calçada

Calçada Garcia 31

GPS: 38.71553009169587, -9.138006545076882

Hours: Monday – Saturday noon – 11 pm. Closed Sundays.

T: 351 925 491 807


Located in the Baixa neighborhood just north of the Igreja (Church) of São Domingos.

How to make Sapateira Recheada at home

I have translated Neuza Costa’s recipe for Sapateira Recheada to English so that when you get the craving, you can more easily recreate the recipe at home.

The original recipe in Portuguese can be found here, at her website,


  • One crab
  • Half an onion sliced down the middle
  • Three bay leaves
  • Salt (to your taste)
  • 100 g of pickles
  • 40 g of croutons or toasted bread
  • One spig of parsley
  • Port wine (to your taste)
  • 2 teaspoons of mustard 
  • 2 teaspoons of ketchup
  • Tabasco Sauce (to your taste)
  • Hot sauce (to your taste)


  1. Add the onion and the bay leaves to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Season with salt. When the water reaches a boil, add the crab and cook for 20 minutes. After cooking, remove the crab to a plate and let it cool.

2. After it cools, break down the crab. Remove the legs. Using a knife, remove the stomach. Discard the lungs and then put the remainder of the crab meat in a bowl. 

3. Remove the excess water from the crab with a spoon. Clean out the inside of the crab and put everything in your bowl. Extract the meat from the legs as well as all of the meat inside of the crab. Put the meat in your bowl. Take out any little pieces of shell. 

4. In a blender, lightly blend to a pulp everything that came out of the crab and return to the bowl. Blending the pickles, the egg, the croutons or toast, and the parsley, and combine everything in the bowl.

5. Add in the crab and mix everything. Also add in the mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, and mix. Add a little port wine, hot sauce, and Tabasco sauce.  Mix well.  After the flavors have had time to mingle, it is time to stuff everything back in the crab shell.

6.  Leave in the refrigerator until it is time to serve.

Preparation time: One hour and 20 minutes

Total cost: €6

I am not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article. For more information on seafood in Lisbon, see my article, Finding the best seafood in Lisbon