Grilled, boiled or roasted fish and the freshest seafood – the choice is yours, but it is our job to point you in the right direction. We've trawled through the city looking for the best seafood restaurants in Lisbon. Nothing here reeled you in? Then check-out the best fish restaurants in Lisbon and our pick for the best japanese restaurants, in case you prefer to have your fish in a sushi roll.
The best seafood restaurants in Lisbon
Every day there’s a commotion: inside, with the waiters running around juggling plates and glasses of beer, outside with the queue that takes up the whole street – on weekends it goes all the way to the corner of the building. Young and old, Lisboners and tourists, they all want to savour the best seafood in this renowned establishment, built in 1956. From Bulhão Pato clams (cooked in olive oil, garlic, and coriander) to edible crabs, spider crabs, gooseneck barnacles or lobster, all these animals are there, in the aquariums, waiting to be cooked and served. Finish this delicacy with a loin steak sandwich, which here is considered the “dessert” – Anthony Bourdain loved the experience and the play on words. Arrive early (or even later) to avoid the commotion.
The name is a pun used for the word fish (“peixe” in Portuguese), the all-star food that arrives at the restaurant counter: whether raw, as a Peruvian ceviche, or cooked, as a fillet. Modern and welcoming, the restaurant has only one counter, shaped like a gigantic and luminous fish. At the centre, the waiters take your order and serve cocktails, which are already a hit: almost every one has rum in it. Try the pica-pau de atum with potato chips and the salmon tartare with crème fraîche. The grande finale? Have the caramel petit-gateau. à
The name was borrowed from a district in the Azores which means, literally, “fish’s butt”. The reference is not a coincidence: most of the fish and meat comes directly from the Azores to this restaurant’s fresh menu that is also Asian inspired. Running the kitchen is Paulo Morais, one of the most respected and renowned sushimen in the city, who is responsible for using both the Portuguese and the Japanese influence into a good deal of fish and meat dishes and others that combine these two (known as suf and turf). Definetely one of the best fish restaurants in Lisbon.
If you walk into this typical restaurant and, all of a sudden, smell the sea breeze then no, it’s not your mind playing tricks. This is because the nets, the fishing rods, and other fishing accessories are everywhere – here you breathe in the sea. This is one of the most reliable places to have fish: it’s one of those restaurants where the fish goes to the grill, with salt, and then goes back to the plate to be served with potatoes, carrot and boiled green beans. Every day there is sea bass, gilded catfish and other similar fish species arriving from Mercado de Campo de Ourique.
There are little things as good as eating fresh fish at the beach, and admiring the sea while having the waves crash onto the shore as background music. At Adraga’s beach (Almoçageme, Sintra), an idyllic scenery located among cliffs and rocks, the fish is always fresh and as in old Portuguese fashion it is shown to you before going to the grill. Aside from the mussel, spider crab or lobster, there is also fish stew and, to sweeten your mouth, traditional desserts such as sericaia or chocolate mousse. While you're there, don't miss out on a visit to Sintra.
To describe the dishes served at this family restaurant you only need two words: comfort food. The massada de garoupa with prawn or the pregado assado in the oven à minhota (soaked in olive oil and onion and served with fries and stir-fried vegetables for two) take us back to our childhood memories and to the food our grandmother used to make – even if she was born halfway across the world. Have a seat and get ready to walk down memory lane when tasting the grilled or fried fish served with bean rice and fish ovaries or prawn panada – every day there is something new.
David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Adele or Lula da Silva – these are some of the names that have sat at this traditional restaurant’s table. But you shouldn’t visit this establishment because famous people paraded around (or even for their photos hanging on the walls). In spite of the name (“presunto” stands for “ham”), the John Dory fillets, served with rice, or the Olivier salad are a hit in this restaurant that is opened for business since 1947. But you can also choose the peeled lobster rice or the lobster and prawn curry. It's one of those restaurants that will never let you down.
Uncomplicated comfort food is the goal. The typically Portuguese pastel de bacalhau (codfish cake) is a house specialty (and has already won Time Out’s blind contest), which is served with tomato rice. But you’ll only find this delicacy on some lunch days. You can also choose the grilled or the boiled fish and enjoy lunch, for no other meal is served here.
If the fish is the star then the grill is the red carpet where the groupers, the striped red mullet, the sea breams, the horse mackerel, the whiting pompano, the sea bass or the cuttlefish strut around. The grilled fish is always perfectly cooked and it is served with the usual side dish – vegetables and boiled potatoes. The bonus? Sitting on top of the Tagus river.
Find more traditional food in Lisbon
Here it is, a countdown of Lisbon’s most coveted plates. No more need to agonise over the menu; dive straight in as we reveal dishes to die for at Lisbon’s best restaurants and cheap eats. Our top 20 list picks out sophisticated signature dishes, indulgent desserts, sweet treats and finger-licking street food. Take a look at our selection of the top 20 dishes to try in Lisbon.
If you are a fresh fish lover, Lisbon is probably one of your top destinations. And if it isn’t yet, because you’ve never been here and you’ve just arrived at this page because you were cruising on the internet, pay attention to what we have to say. Our seafood is the best in the world (ok, maybe we are exaggerating a little bit here, but it is certainly on the top-5) and these are the best fish restaurants in Lisbon where you have to go to see that we are absolutely right.
You might have never heard about this dish - it is a Lisbon original, after all. Bitoque is a fried steak served with an egg on top and fries on the side. It is a lifesaver of sorts for many Lisboners, sold at most diners and traditional restaurants. See where to eat in Lisbon the best bitoques.