One of the most desirable aspects of Portugal’s capital city is its location snuggled alongside the Atlantic. This allows for a year-round holiday feel, a cool sea breeze and of course, a diet centred largely around coastal delights. In Lisbon, seafood is a staple of the cuisine and its long-time presence in the residents’ kitchens has lead to the creation of some heavenly dishes. At Eating Europe, we know that food is often better when you can really taste its origins, and so alongside our list of top foods to try in Lisbon, we have compiled a guide to the best seafood Lisbon has to offer, and the places to find it.

Arroz de marisco

Originating from the beach of Vieira, north of Lisbon, arroz de marisco or “seafood rice”, is one of the most popular Portuguese seafood dishes. Similar to Valencian paella, the Portuguese version carries more liquid, and encapsulates the spirit of the sea in one steaming pot. The rice is cooked in a sauce consisting of the base ingredients for most Portuguese stews: onion, chilli, garlic, pepper and bay leaves, and mixed into this fragrant concoction is the freshest seafood of the season: normally clams, mussels, crab and prawns.

The end product is a dish that is comforting yet fresh, simple but with a smooth depth of flavour. Generally considered to be the best place to find it in Lisbon is Uma, in the Baixa neighbourhood. We highly encourage you to ignore the menu and immediately order this speciality as soon as you sit down!

Ameijoas à Bulhão Pato

Behold one of the wonders of Portuguese cuisine: clams in white wine sauce. In the 19th century, the poet and food-lover, Raymundo António Bulhão Pato published a book called “O Cozinheiro dos Cozinheiros” (The Cook of Cooks), which included the now famous recipe: clams, Bulhão Pato style. This is a simple dish that calls for steaming small white clams in olive oil, white wine, garlic and coriander. We predict it will become one of your favourites! Perhaps the most well-known of the Lisbon seafood restaurants, Ramiro is our recommendation for enjoying this classic. Unfortunately, they don’t accept reservations and so customers tend to form a queue outside every evening, waiting for a table while sipping on beer from the outdoor beer tap. Once inside, the clams will taste so much sweeter after the wait – particularly if you accompany the dish with a cold glass of white wine and a plate of their famous garlic butter bread.

Rissóis de Camarão 

Outside of Lisbon’s seafood restaurants, you can find this speciality in almost every pastelaria (pastry shop) in town. A crunchy pocket of breaded pastry filled with a smooth and rich shrimp cream, rissóis de camarão are the perfect lunchtime snack or pre-dinner appetizers. The word rissol comes from the Latin russeolus, meaning “reddish” and, just like the Portuguese did in the 16th century, this pastry has travelled all over the world. Variations of it can be found from Ireland to Indonesia.

Head to Pastelaria Versailles, whose front window boasts a mouth-watering display of pastries, but before you get stuck into a pastel de nata, (and you can find our list of the best pastel de natas in Lisbon [link article] here) try one of their delectable rissóis de camarão. 

Choco Frito à Setubalense 

During your stay in Lisbon, we encourage you to explore the surrounding areas. Across the stunning 25th of April 1974 Bridge and the glittering Tejo river, you’ll find the municipality of Setúbal, home of fried cuttlefish. Cuttlefish are a mollusc that are part of the octopus family but, like squid, have ten legs instead of eight. In this classic Portuguese recipe, the cuttlefish are marinated in salt, lemon juice and chilli and then deep fried.

We find the best accompaniment to be an ice-cold glass of Moscatel, a sweet fortified wine made from the Muscat grape, also typical to Setúbal. The municipality is also home to some of the most paradisiacal beaches in the country, including one of the best in Europe and what better way to round off a day by the ocean than with a dose of salty, crispy seafood? Casa Santiago is the self-proclaimed “King of Cuttlefish” and this vibrant local spot is our top pick for choco frito


Is there anything more poetic than a pearly oyster, nestled like a jewel on a succulent bed of ice chips, with a sunshine-bright wedge of lemon by its side? The Portuguese oyster has an interesting history as this species, found in the Southwestern Iberian Peninsula, is thought to have evolved from the Asian Pacific Oyster, which was brought to European tables during the Portuguese overseas exploration in the 1500s.

Enjoy them as an appetizer with a glass of fine vinho espumante (Portuguese sparkling wine), or as part of a mariscada: an epic seafood platter found in Lisbon’s seafood restaurants. For this particular treat, we recommend visiting SEA ME, a divine contemporary spot that fuses Japanese and Portuguese seafood. 

A long tradition of maritime journeys has led Portugal to view the sea as significant cultural icon, not just culinary speaking but also in the hearts of its residents. The Atlantic Ocean is one of the world’s most powerful, untameable bodies of water and it offers Lisbon’s inhabitants and visitors a wonderful gastronomic diversity. For an authentic experience, dive into a sea of flavours by sampling some of the best seafood Lisbon has to offer!

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