The best restaurants in Cascais
If you’re looking for good fish and shellfish in Cascais, this is the door where you should be knocking. Behind it is Lourdes Tirano - just “Lourdes” for the regulars - or any one of her smiling relatives, who will guide you through the various delicacies on the menu. Dive into the sea platter, with bream, sea bass, prawns, mussels and side dishes, and don’t forget to taste the legendary “bruxas” (slipper lobster).
Maybe the finest outdoor tables in the town of Cascais, right on top of the ocean, with a gorgeous view when the sea is quiet and the waves roll softly into the rocks just below. The service is excellent, the menu is enormous and always features the finest fresh fish and shellfish. You have to try the hake fillets with cockles rice, and the fried sole with “açorda” bread soup. But leave some room for dessert.
One of the oldest Japanese restaurants in Cascais will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, situated in one of the town's prettiest squares. That is a decade of delighting “cascaenses” with a fusion-inspired cuisine that also has a place for traditional dishes and one of the town’s finest salads (a legacy from an old French cafe that previously occupied the same location). You may pick a fixed set or order individual hot Philadelphia rolls, niguiri skin or gaíjín spice.
It may not be the smallest restaurant in Cascais, but it comes close. Size doesn’t matter in a place that serves fast, quality meals. As the name suggests, carpaccios are their bedrock, but there’s also fine fish and meat tartars, ceviches and also some great piadina sandwiches - we advise the roast beef one. Located in one of the liveliest streets in town, as soon as you are done with dinner you can go for a drink next door.
It is a curious success story in Cascais - so much that they changed in mid-2017 to a larger restaurant - from a Neapolitan pizzeria, designed by a Brazilian couple living in Portugal for 25 years, famous for creating the Marhum bikini brand. The unusual happened and Humberto, the family man, decided to change his life, study Italy from one end to the other, find suppliers in Naples (the burrata comes from Campania, for example) and open a nice restaurant with pizzas with fat edges and moist center. Perfect for: dinner in the first serious pizzeria in Cascais.Must try: the vegetarian pizza with eggplant, courgette, tomato, oregano and olive oil.
For many years it has been the only fine-dining Chinese restaurant in Greater Lisbon. And has always been able to do it with a lot of quality, in a luxury service, in exquisite dishes, on a Cantonese cuisine basis - despite the Beijing duck, that comes to the table in two moments (first skin, then meat) being one of the ex-libris. The menu has more than 100 specialties, is signed by chef Dong Wei, and for lunch there are the mythical and delicate dim sums, from which you must taste the há-kau (prawns and mushrooms). Perfect for: being able to say that you’ve been to the best Chinese place in Portugal.Must try: the supreme shark's fin soup.
Located inside a luxury hotel, in an astonishing room above the ocean, Fortaleza do Guincho has had a Michelin star for several years. First led by an Austrian chef, it is now under the guidance of Miguel Rocha Vieira, a “cascaense” with a passion for the sea. That is where a good deal of the raw material used in his dishes comes from, always with a seasonal mindset. So, if the snapper with pearl barley and fennel or the scarlet prawn are not on the menu, don’t blame us.
Entering Cimas English Bar is like traveling to another reality. In the golden years of the Estoril Coast, the spies, the royal families in exile, the writers and the Portuguese and foreign politicians were regular clients of the Cima family. The menu is also a trip, this time to the French and Galician cuisine, and with great emphasis on some game dishes. Two notes: the wine cellar has more than 20 thousand references and there is lamprey in due season. Perfect for: wearing for a few hours the skin of an important aristocrat of the 20th century.Must try: the woodcock the English Bar way.
If you are looking for a restaurant where you can experience what the Portuguese describe as “petiscar” - ordering several small courses and sharing them with the rest of the party - then you came to the right place. There is a whirlwind of waiters running through the inner rooms and the outdoors tables, carrying platters of potato peels, padrón peppers, eggs with asparagus, “alheira” sausage croquettes, steaks, and more. The flavour could not be more Portuguese.
Best known as a pastry shop - one of the finest along the Cascais line - but it is equally excellent as a restaurant. Take note - they only serve lunches. But what they do serve is of the highest quality: from home-style food such as omelettes and croquettes - three croquettes and a side of rice will make a child (and an adult) happy - to more complex fare such as prawn curry or the famous Garrett steak.
Among several identical restaurants in the Cascais centre, Beira Mar stands out as a temple for good Portuguese food, under the same management for more than 40 years. Fish courses are the main attraction: whether grilled or oven roasted, they are always served with a fine side of rice or “açorda” bread broth. Carnivores will also be happy with a fine selection of steaks.
The latest marisqueira in the Mercado da Vila, the Cascais town market, has really filled a niche in this former fishing village – now an upmarket resort – offering shellfish at reasonable prices in unpretentious surroundings, and with informal service. From the bruxas de Cascais (delicious local lobsters) to the mustard-seasoned prego (steak sandwich) they have the lot.
Some have lunch here just for the day’s specials, always Portuguese specialities; some enjoy an evening visit, for a plate of snails and a few draught beers; and some simply go sample the many snacks on offer. Whatever the reason for your visit, remember to try the fried cuttlefish strips, the “pica-pau” diced beef and the crispy goat cheese with ginger and honey. Oh, and this is another of those restaurants where it’s a good idea to share.
The location could not be any more idyllic, right on top of Cascais Bay, and the concept couldn’t be more intriguing: a bar-restaurant where food is for sharing. There is a community table for large groups (or not), there is a cocktail menu, there are platters for sharing (or not) and there’s original culinary treats that draw inspiration from Portuguese tradition and elsewhere. On weekends, there’s music until 2am.
Hidden among the buildings in a residential area, it is only sought out by those in the know. That, would be people interested in eating fresh fish without breaking the bank. The fish is handpicked by manager Dona Fernanda’s son-in-law; her daughter Sandra handles the kitchen, her other daughter, Joana, is in charge of the dining room. Grilled fish, cold salads, homemade desserts and some fantastic grouper fillets with tomato risotto are all on the menu.
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