Costa da Caparica travel guide for food lovers
Even though there are many beaches nearby Lisbon, Costa da Caparica is a favorite of many city dwellers when trying to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life, lay in the sand and soak up the sun. A short drive away, simply crossing the Tejo river via the Golden Gate look-alike 25 de Abril bridge, Costa da Caparica represents a summery escape for Lisbon residents. If you don’t want to get stuck in traffic during busier summer months, you could even cross the river using the public transportation boats which travel from Belém to Trafaria.
The coastline of Costa da Caparica extends for miles and miles and it welcomes beach-goers with different vibes depending on the portion of the beach to settle into. There are family oriented areas, other portions of the beach where water sports such as surfing are widely practiced, and even more discreet spots, such as Praia 19, where nudists can get a tan with no swimsuit marks.
But we would be mistaken to think that Costa da Caparica is all about powdery sand beaches which can only be enjoyed during the warm months. During winter, there are many restaurants and cafes which dot the waterfront, and which are ideal for a nice meal with a great view. Even more inland, Costa da Caparica and its neighboring areas, belonging to the municipality of Almada (just like Cacilhas, which we have previously explored), have lots of life and are worth exploring. If, for example, you’d like to enjoy a fresh fish meal at a typical village, with stunning views towards Lisbon, you could visit Cova do Vapor or Trafaria (pictured here) which is so close to the Portuguese capital, yet it feels like worlds apart.
But today we focus on Caparica itself, as the area has wonderful things we’d love for you to check out and taste on your next trip to Portugal. As you can easily imagine, we wouldn’t probably be focusing our attention on Costa da Caparica, if there weren’t wonderful places to go eat out around there. In fact, Caparica’s dining scene is rather eclectic and interesting, as it ranges from humble traditional Portuguese restaurants focusing on fresh fish grilled over charcoal, to instagrammable beach bars which invite you to leisurely see the sun go down with a cocktail in hand.
If while you’re visiting the area you’d like to mostly focus on local food findings, these are some of the best places to try Portuguese food in Costa da Caparica:
Best restaurants for Portuguese food in Costa da Caparica
Café do Mar
It would be easy for a restaurant such as this to rely on its privileged location and easily forsaken the quality of its offering, but this is definitely not what happens at Café do Mar. Their menu is basically Mediterranean, including typical Portuguese petiscos and dishes inspired by the sea, but also some Italian specialities like pizzas and pastas. This is a lovely spot whether you’d like to sit down to enjoy lunch, simply grab a drink with snacks or even for breakfast, as they have morning specialties which, paired with the inspiring vistas, are bound to kick-start your day just right.
📍Muralha da Praia – Apoio 10, 2825-384 Costa da Caparica
Casablanca Beach Lounge
Casablanca is one of those beach bars and restaurants right by the sand, which have set up loungers for customers to enjoy. This means you don’t actually have to leave the beach and pop into the actual restaurant area, as the staff will come and serve you as you build up your tan. While you can enjoy a refreshing and fruity sangria with your feet buried in the sand, you may want to walk a few steps and actually get a table to feast on seafood specialities such as juicy clams Bulhão Pato style, some of the best Portuguese octopus dishes, such as octopus rice or octopus with garlic infused olive oil known in Portuguese as polvo à lagareiro, or one of their several grilled meat dishes. For vegetarians, Casablanca serves tofu caldeirada, a dish which is typically prepared with fish, here entirely plant-based yet with a pronounced flavor of the sea.
📍Praia do Infante, 2825-491 Costa da Caparica
No Portuguese beach destination is truly complete without at least one good marisqueira, that is, a seafood house. In Costa da Caparica there are several options to feast on the freshest seafood, and Sotavento is amongst the best. They serve the classic dishes one expects in this kind of restaurants, including steamed crustaceans, shrimp and clams cooked with olive oil and garlic, chilled seafood salads featuring protein like octopus, and more elaborate specialities which are often prepared for a minimum of two diners, such as arroz de marisco (Portuguese seafood rice), cataplana, and even a surprising and delicious lobster curry.
📍Av. 1 de Maio, 2825-486 Costa da Caparica
Cabana do Pescador
Cabana do Pescador (which translates as “the fisherman’s stall”) is one of the most popular beaches along Costa da Caparica’s coastline. It’s one of those areas which indeed gets full of people during the summer and, you know that if there are Portuguese people around, you’ll need to have access to satisfying food options. Enter Cabana do Pescador, a restaurant with the same name as the beach itself, which focuses on traditional Portuguese cooking, namely seafood. They only serve line caught fish, offering a more sustainable approach to eating seafood than most, something that an area which has historically made a living from the sea, would understand so well.
📍Praia da Cabana do Pescador, 2825-491 Costa da Caparica
Lebon’s premise focuses on wanting to take their guests to the beach by the same name in Rio de Janeiro. We may not be in Brazil, but the vibes in Costa da Caparica can be just as chilled, particularly when you grab a seat at Leblon and you let the hours fly by with good food and drinks. Leblon’s menu is quite comprehensive, as it includes breakfast items such as açaí bowls or yogurt with fruits and granola, as well as quite a variety of savory dishes served until the evening. From crowd pleasers such as burgers; to Asian dishes like nasi goreng or fried rice; not forsaking traditional Portuguese food, such as razor clams rice (arroz de lingueirão), beans stew with shrimp (feijoada de camarão) or bitoque, a much beloved thin beef steak, pan fried with olive oil and garlic, customarily served with fries, steamed rice and a little side salad.
📍Praia Das Palmeiras, São João, 2825-426 Costa da Caparica
Even though it’s open throughout the day, Praia Princesa is particularly inviting at dusk, when they host live DJ sets which, we have a feeling, will make you feel like ordering a cocktail. The food menu thought out by chef Miguel Simões de Almeida is interesting and well executed. It includes grilled fish over charcoal, as per the local Costa da Caparica tradition, but also more contemporary options such as tuna tartare with avocado, black rice with cuttlefish and its own ink, and carefully selected pieces of meat grilled to juicy perfection.
📍Est das Praias, 2825-491 Costa da Caparica
This restaurant offers everything we love when going out to eat: excellent food, friendly attentive service and a beautiful inviting setting. Their menu mixes Portuguese specialities with international influences, namely from Asia and Peru. Alongside peixinhos da horta, the Portuguese predecessor of Japanese tempura, you’ll find steamed baos or crispy pork belly served with kimchi. O Mercado’s dishes are super creative and packed with flavor, including some unexpected tastes such as those you’ll find in dishes such as caramelized avocado with Port wine. Dishes at O Mercado are perfect for sharing, and thankfully so, as it’s very likely you’re going to have a bit of a hard time choosing just one.
📍Av. 1º de Maio 36D, 2825-393 Costa da Caparica
Being by the ocean, it’s only natural that Costa da Caparica’s restaurants focus heavily on fish and seafood. But the concept of Apeixonado is different than most. At this eatery inside the municipal farmer’s market, you’re invited to browse their vending stall and select whichever piece of fish catches your attention. They weigh it in front of your eyes, and cook it right away. They do have a printed menu but, in reality, most of their options are dependent on the catch of the day which keeps varying seasonally, but you can be rest assured that utter freshness is guaranteed around here.
📍Mercado Municipal, Praça da Liberdade Loja 2, 2825-325 Costa da Caparica
When it’s sardine season (always remember that this is a seasonal fish best enjoyed during warm months), OhhhTC offers all-you-can-eat grilled sardines, something that locals very much enjoy! This restaurant operates all day long, starting with breakfast and brunch, and later for main meals focusing not only on fresh fish, as one has come to expect in the area, but also some good meat options, particularly their take on cozido à portuguesa, Portugal’s national dish, and other meaty delights such as ribs and steak. Good honest food and fair prices make OhhhTC one of the locals’ favorite restaurants around Costa da Caparica.
📍Estr. Florestal 133, 2825-494 Costa da Caparica
More than a mere restaurant “reîa is a beach house located on the Portuguese coast of Caparica, offering a home for sensory exploration, creative expression and collaboration, bringing together people who seek to celebrate life and co-create a better future.” So, what does this translate into? A menu of nourishing flavorful foods, which combines with an interesting schedule of transformative experiences, focusing on music and other forms of expression. Food wise, Casa Reîa serves small dishes to share, as well as mains which revolve around fish, meat and a considerable number of plant-focused options too. As this is not your typical Caparica restaurant, prices are also steeper than in most other businesses around, particularly when it comes to the elevated wine list, which features wines from 30 to 1500 euros. If you’re curious to know what Casa Reîa food is all about, check out Israeli chef Udi Barkan’s work, which has become well-known amongst Lisbon foodies for developing special bread recipes for Gleba bakery, one of the most successful artisanal bakeries in Lisbon.
📍Praia da Cabana do Pescador, 2825-491 Costa da Caparica
Praia do Castelo
Unlike other businesses along the coastline of Costa da Caparica that, more than a restaurant, are beach clubs, restaurant Praia do Castelo, by the beach of the same name, is a full on eatery which focuses on cooking good food. During summer months their tables are always full of locals and this, in our books, has always been a healthy sign. They serve very typical petiscos such as pipis, stewed chicken offal, and fried cuttlefish. As well as other seafood specialities like fish and even roe, which they sell by weight according to variable market rates based on availability.
📍Praia do Castelo, 2825-308 Costa de Caparica
If you are into football (aka soccer) culture and you’re visiting Costa da Caparica, a stop at O Barbas is mandatory. O Barbas, which translates as “the bearded man”, refers to the owner, a die hard Benfica fan who is so famous today for showing up in many of this sport club matches which, if nothing else, has become an attraction for fellow Benfica supporters to visit his restaurant. You can see him here, pictured alongside Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of Portugal – everyone wants to click a selfie with O Barbas, even our president! Mediatic attention aside, the menu at O Barbas is worth exploring, even if you couldn’t care less about sports. They’re all about fish and seafood specialities, with particular highlight to caldeirada, a fisherman stew with different pieces of seafood depending on the catch of the day; cataplana, a lovely dish of steamed seafood prepared inside a vessel by the same name; and other traditional recipes such as açorda with prawns.
📍Rua Pedro Álvares Cabral, 2825-384 Costa da Caparica
After so many beach restaurants and seafood focused restaurants, one wouldn’t expect to come across A Transmontana, a typical Portuguese restaurant whose name refers to the northern mountainous region Trás-os-Montes. A Transmontana has been open for almost 50 years, focusing on fish just like many other restaurants in the area, but also meats grilled over charcoal. This is the kind of Portuguese restaurant we and lots of local folks love and hope don’t disappear over time with gentrification and a certain preference for businesses which are sometimes more about the looks than the substance. At places such as A Trasmontana you’ll eat just like you would at the home of someone who is dear to you: you get to enjoy great food in a lovely welcoming atmosphere which makes you want to come back for more!
📍Av. 25 de Abril N 10, 2825-415 Costa da Caparica
If you are well acquainted with Lisbon’s dining scene you might have already heard of chef Olivier, who’s also responsible for other restaurants such as Guilty, Yakuza – K.O.B. and Seen. On the other side of the river, Olivier opened Classico, a beach club that draws inspiration from some of the best beach clubs from around the world. An ultra comfy and posh set-up where white and light pastel colors dominate, with stunning vistas, gorgeous food options (don’t miss the cuttlefish rice!) and drinks galore – these are the ingredients which come together to guarantee that Classico’s clients get to fully enjoy the beach club lifestyle.
📍Praia de, Av. Afonso de Albuquerque S/N, 2825-485 Trafaria
Borda D’Água is another beach club in the area, which thanks to its decor, wooden loungers and straw umbrellas at the beach is as instagrammable as they come. Of course the place isn’t just about the looks, otherwise you’d probably not see us recommending it to you here. The team behind this space claims they serve “the best petiscos in the south bank of the Tejo river”, words that could eventually be disputed but not without trying for yourself first!
📍Estr. da Praia da Morena, 2825-000 Costa da Caparica
O Dias dos Caracóis
Last but not least, let us focus on a seasonal petisco which is usually enjoyed during warm months around Lisbon and, generally speaking, the southern parts of Portugal. We’re talking about caracóis, braised snails which locals munch on as a snack in between meals, more often than not, with chilled beers. While international travelers may consider snails to be one of the most bizarre foods from Portugal, us locals look forward to snail season eagerly! Cooked with onions, tomatoes and herbs such as oregano, caracóis can be delicious and at O Dias dos Caracóis in Caparica they specialize in this very specific dish, so they sure know how to make them taste the very best. Be adventurous and eat snails while in Portugal – eat them here or, if you dare, buy them live to take back to your accommodation and try cooking them yourself!
📍Rua de Pedro Costa 4, Charneca de Caparica, 2820-189 Almada
Best bakeries and pastry shops in Costa da Caparica
Slow Sourdough & Co
Slow Sourdough & Co came up during the pandemic, when owner and creator Ricardo Gonçalves was at home and started playing around with fermentation. What initially started as a virtual store, quickly gained traction, as not only Ricardo’s sourdough breads are brilliant, he also has a range of sweet sourdough baked goods, which are all vegan. When the time to open a physical store came up, Slow Sourdough & Co found a home in Caparica. Away from the beachfront, this bakery and pastry shop is proof that it’s worth exploring this coastal city away from the shoreline too!
📍Rua de Duarte Leite 9, 2820-220 Charneca de Caparica
Pastelaria de Santo António
Open since 1942, Pastelaria de Santo António is super popular for their irresistible Berliners, the ultimate local beach treat which is a must when you spend a day at the beach Portuguese style, but also for their other cakes and pastries. As we’re close to the beach and a lot of the folks who visit Costa da Caparica do so nostalgic about the summer even when it’s cold, this is also a great spot to grab a cone with ice-cream and reminisce about the warm sweet days which are behind and, hopefully, also ahead of us!
📍Av. Afonso de Albuquerque 227, 2825-458 Costa da Caparica
Padaria da Praia
This is your typical Portuguese bakery with a twist. Besides traditional local breads, they also sell healthier versions of their baked goods, in case having a beach body is important to you while in Costa da Caparica. Padaria da Praia is a great place for breakfast, a coffee break with something sweet to go along with your caffeine, a light lunch or simply to purchase bread and pastries to take back home.
📍Rua Francisco Lázaro, nº7A, 2825-434 Costa de Caparica
Bolas de berlim, that is, berliners stuffed with egg jam, are Lisbon’s quintessential beach treat. You will find vendors selling these by the sand itself or, if you want to come to the beach prepared, you can purchase them in advance. Panicova in Cova do Vapor produces famed bolas de Berlim, which have achieved the status of being some of the “best in the south bank of the river”! Of course Panicova sells other Portuguese cakes you’d normally find at local pastry shops so, not only would this be a nice spot to purchase a Berliner, it would also make a fine place to grab a Portuguese style breakfast before heading to the beaches of Costa da Caparica.
📍Av. António Martins Correia 22A, Trafaria
Xandite opened its doors in Monte da Caparica in 1970 and has been serving the local population of bread, cakes, pastries and a variety of savories ever since then. They focus on traditional Portuguese baked goods, which they sell directly to their customers as well as other businesses. In fact, they are able to produce about 5000 breads per hour!
📍Av. do Mar 34, 2825-461 Costa da Caparica
Hungry to devour the summer? Whether it’s August or you are on holiday during December itself, Costa da Caparica is always worth a visit and we hope you make the most of your explorations following our tips. Have you come across other cool local findings? Share them with us on Instagram – Please tag us @tasteoflisboa or #tasteoflisboa.
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