Top 5 Best Places To Eat Bacalhau (Cod) in Lisbon in 2019

By No machine-readable author provided. Glum~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Common

To eat well in Portugal it is not necessary to look for the most prestigious places than others, in fact, many people who have visited the city say that even in small towns you can find restaurants where you can taste a delicious cod or some other traditional food of this country.

In Lisbon, and much of Portugal, it is common to find dishes with cod; in fact, this is one of the main dishes and most sought after in this city. However, you can taste what you want, but the best thing to do in Lisbon is to eat cod.

This city being the capital of the country has many restaurants that focus on tourism to capture the attention of visitors to taste their famous cod. In addition to cod, there are other exquisite foods that can be eaten in Lisbon; rice with seafood, octopus, and other products, mostly from the sea.

History of Bacalhau

The social expansion of cod consumption has been taking place since the fifteenth century. As the years went by, this fish adapted better and better to the needs and different ways of preparing it were discovered, there were even times when they were salted and could be without decomposing for up to three months. Since then, cod has become more than a meal for the Portuguese; it is a symbol of their nation. 

According to ancient culinary historians, it is said that there are more than a thousand recipes that the Portuguese were able to prepare with cod, but one of many stood out; cod with cream or á bras. The bacalhau á bras is a typical dish in Lisbon and originated in Mr. Braz’s restaurant in Barrio Alto – that’s why its name.

Bacalhau, Portugeuse Dish

bacalhau, sourced from wikimedia

Gastronomically speaking, there is no doubt that cod is the number one protagonist. That’s why it’s important to know a little about these places where you can identify yourself and go out to taste the best cod in all of Lisbon.

Currently, this dish has more than 365 ways to prepare, which means you could try a different one every day of the year. And it’s so traditional that it’s even prepared in the holiday season. However, in addition to cod, there are other exquisite dishes such as sardines (sardinhas) and Carapau, which are also fish but have different flavors, there are also clams and octopus.

Enough of this fish rodeo and let’s get to know these 5 places that Lisbon has for us where we can taste a delicious cod.

A Casa do Bacalhau

A casa do bacalhau, sourced from their site

There is no doubt that this is one of the most prestigious and elegant places in Lisbon, it is not only elegant but also very comfortable and worth relaxing. A Casa do Bacalhau has a great variety of dishes, most of them are expensive, but it is definitely a price worth paying because taste, quality, and quantity make up for it. To get to this restaurant it is best to go by private car, ask someone to drive us or ask for a taxi.

In Lisbon, there are rumors that this was the place where the old riders of the Palace of the Duke of Lafões went.

Today, this restaurant remains in most of the Rosa building, in which Mr. Duque and his family continue to live. The palace had its construction after the earthquake in 1775 in which the palace of the family of the Duke of Lafões who lived at that time in Lisbon was partially destroyed and is right next to the Convent of the Beatus.

When it was first built there were not so many buildings or constructions in its surroundings. Starting from the Tagus River to the area where the entrance door is now. In the great hall, you can still see the backdrop of the dining rooms where up to 200 people could eat, on one side 115 people and on the other 85. 

Maintaining the Portuguese culinary tradition, this is one of the few places where cod is still served in harmony with the recipes that made it successful in the country, thanks to the research that was done and discovered ancient secrets that were hidden for a long time. In addition, combinations are made with contemporary recipes that maintain their origin in history by offering unique and exclusive flavors in their menu. 

As its name implies, Casa do Bacalhau is an exclusive Portuguese restaurant, where cod is the most prized dish. So precious that you can find more than 20 different ways to enjoy it on the menu. In addition, varieties of brands of wines, and typical desserts that give you real pleasure and taste the Portuguese food in a unique and exclusive way.

Laurentina or Rei do Bacalhau

Another outstanding restaurant in Lisbon where they offer not only excellent cod but also traditional Portuguese cuisine and Mozambican dishes is Laurentina or also called Rei do Bacalhau. Serving traditional dishes since 1976, it maintains a cozy atmosphere and provides the taste of an exclusive meal of cod, cooked in different ways.

El Rei do Bacalhau, as its name indicates, has as its main dish cod and different forms of presentation. They also have an excellent bar where you can enjoy an aperitif while waiting for the main course. The Laurentina restaurant is divided into two air-conditioned parts, the main room has a capacity for 84 people and the other for 100 people; this restaurant is ideal for holding organized events, group dinners, and business parties. In addition, you don’t have to worry about parking; Laurentina has Valbom or Bern Parks that provide a voucher when you pay for food.

In short, this is another of the most comfortable, luxurious and exclusive places to eat cod in Lisbon. There’s no doubt that the main dish the chef is so proud of is cod.

Serving since 1976, Rei do Bacalhau also offers traditional dishes, with prices a little higher than average prices but considering that the quantity and quality of portions are guaranteed. Also, this is no excuse not to go because the place is full, so you should arrive early or book in advance.

Rúa das Flores

Por Slastic – Obra do próprio, Domínio público, Wikimedia Common

First of all, we present a place where you can not only taste a delicious cod but also enjoy a unique and comfortable space. This place is located in the middle of Rúa das Flores, where you will be able to notice a small “haberdashery”. However, once you are closer and see the inside, you will notice that there are no needles, no threads, and nothing to mend. Instead, you’ll find a small tavern with wooden tables and benches, built-in showcases with antique designs, and small blackboards where you can read the day’s meals. 

Behind the bar at the end of the tavern will be the kitchen and its cook André Magalhaes, who tries to keep the typical dishes that already seem to be on the verge of disappearing. Among these dishes is the popular crumbled cod with chickpea salad, tuna sangacho (tuna mixed with raw onion on slices) and home-dried hake roe. These are just a few of the dishes that André serves, but to get a table here you must go early because reservations cannot be made.

Like many restaurants and taverns in Lisbon, you can not make reservations on this site; however, many customers recommend it and say it is worth waiting. You can locate this tavern exactly in the Chiado neighborhood in Rúa das Flores. In addition to the old dishes, there is also typical Portuguese food combined with modern and contemporary dishes.

In addition, the dishes offered in this restaurant are prepared with seasonal products to keep you fresh, so the menu can vary constantly. However, cod is never missing and you can try it in batter, in a cod and chickpea salad, boiled egg, onion, paprika, and parsley, known as bacalhau defeat.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the most popular places in Lisbon, not only for tourists but also for the Lisbon people themselves.

Mercado da Ribeira

Market at Mercado da Ribeira – by Gilles Messian – Wikimedia Commons

Previously, the Mercado da Ribeira used to be a wholesale market but has now become a retail state. Until now, there are only a few food stalls offering typical Portuguese dishes and international food for those who want to know more.

However, several of the food stalls found here are renowned for preparing cod in different ways and with unique flavors. Thanks to the fact that cod, once cured with salt, becomes a very versatile product and can be prepared in any way.

One of the specialties is bacalhau á brás, which is shredded, fried with potatoes and then wrapped in scrambled eggs. There are also cod fritters, or petiscos, as they are traditionally known. 

Another way they prepare cod in the Ribeira market is á laggareiro, cooked in the oven with olive oil and potatoes. In addition, they also prepare the cod com natas (gratin), and the code á Gomes de Sá, which is a baked cod with onions, potatoes, olives, and boiled egg.

For gastronomy lovers, this place will be like their second home. Although the reality of the restaurants located in this market has had to reinvent themselves so as not to close their doors. At the bottom are currently various fruit and vegetable stalls.

This is a very nice thing to know because you can see the authenticity and simplicity of Lisbon. At the top, you will find the food stalls where they prepare the dishes already mentioned and also other popular recipes of the country: cans of the Conserveira de Lisboa, Azeitao cheeses, Aloma cream pastries, wines from the Garrafeira Nacional, chocolates from Arcádia, and others. 

Once you pass the fast food part where they prepare pizza and sushi, you will find very good chefs, such as Dieter Koschina and Sá Pessoa, who offer traditional dishes at affordable prices for everyone. Here in the market, you can also find traditional and typical products of the region such as preserves. 

O Poleiro

O Poleiro has been serving its traditional Portuguese dishes since 1985. Since then, it has been innovating and practicing Portuguese cuisine from its origins and giving it some personal touches that highlight it from other restaurants.

However, they have always tried to maintain the principle that with a good raw material you can make a good meal, keeping the traditional flavors that are based on aromatic herbs and oil. This site is very frequented by national and international politicians, presidents and ambassadors from other countries, anonymous personalities of choice and also from the world of football and art. 

Despite being away from the tourist area, near Campo Pequeño, this restaurant is not cheap, however, it is worth approaching and enjoying its food because you feel the real Portuguese cuisine. Cod cakes are an excellent aperitif, and bacalhau á lagareiro or petiscos de bacalhau with rice are an excellent main course.

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