Having been salt cured, bacalhau (codfish) is extremely versatile, and can be virtually cooked in every way, shape and form.
There’s the bacalhau à Brás, flaked, pan-fried with potato chips, then enveloped in scrambled eggs. The pataniscas de bacalhau are cod fritters. There’s also the bacalhau à lagareiro, cooked in the oven with potatoes and olive oil.
Another popular recipe is the bacalhau com natas (au gratin style), and don’t forget the bacalhau à Gomes de Sá (baked with potatoes, onions, boiled egg and olives). The list goes on. In Portugal, we have virtually 1001 differents ways to cook cod.
Served everywhere in Lisbon, here’s a list of some of the best restaurants to eat cod in Lisbon. We’ve arranged them alphabetically. To locate which one is closest to you, use the map below.
1. A Casa do Bacalhau
In an elegant yet relaxed setting, there’s a great range of dishes to choose from. The price is on the expensive side but worth it for the quality and quantity. However, this restaurant is not centrally located nor near any easy public transport, so you’ll probably want take a taxi or Uber there.
Rua do Grilo 54, noon-3pm and 7.30pm-11pm, closed Sunday for dinner, average price for 2: €50, www.acasadobacalhau.com
D’Bacalhau is considered one of the best places to eat bacalhau in Lisbon. With a menu specialised in cod, choosing is the hard part. Fortunately, you can order a dish that has codfish cooked in 4 different ways, and decide which one you like best. The Vinho Verde is the perfect match for the cod. The place is located in Parque das Nações.
Rua Pimenta 43, daily noon-4pm and 7pm-11pm, average price for 2: €35, www.restaurantebacalhau.com
3. Esquina da Fé
This is a family business where the food is traditional and tasty, with generous portions (consider ordering half portions). There are at least five dishes of cod on the menu, as well as other classic Portuguese dishes. However, at the time of writing the menu is not in English, and the waiter speaks no English.
Rua da Fé 60, daily midday-3.30pm and 7.30-11.30pm, average price for 2: €30
4. Laurentina, o Rei do Bacalhau
This king of cod serves the Portuguese specialty since 1976. The dishes are traditional, and the prices are a bit higher than average yet reasonable considering the size and quality of portions. The place gets packed, so arrive early or book ahead.
Av. Conde Valbom 71A, daily noon-3pm and 7pm-10.30pm, average price for 2: €45, www.restaurantelaurentina.pt
5. O Poleiro
This restaurant is a bit away from the main tourist areas, and is not cheap. But is worth it for the true Portuguese experience. Order cod cakes as appetizers. As main, you can have bacalhau à lagareiro or pataniscas de bacalhau with rice, among other dishes. The waiters speak English.
Rua de Entrecampos 30A, 12.15pm-3pm and 7.15pm-11pm, closed Sunday, average price for 2: €50, www.opoleiro.com
6. As Salgadeiras
Located in a former bakery in Bairro Alto, this place serves typical Portuguese food, including several cod dishes. It’s expensive, but the portions are huge, so you may consider sharing. The interior featuring vaulted stone arches and brick walls is beautiful, but you may want to avoid the back room.
Rua das Salgadeiras 18, daily 7.30pm-midnight, average price for 2: €80
Zapata is ideal for a group that wants to combine codfish with other typical Portuguese dishes, such as the bitoque (steak with fried egg, fries and salad), grilled sardines and mackerel, or polvo à lagareiro (grilled octopus). Not fancy place though, expect instead a very Portuguese eatery.
Rua do Poço dos Negros 47, 10am-2am, closed Tuesday, average price for 2: €35