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Codfish in Lisbon, a must-try!

Codfish or bacalhau is an essential part of Portuguese cuisine. The food, in general, is rich and varied due to the colonial past of Portugal. The Portuguese were great explorers and brought back many types of spices that were used to make the dishes as tasty as can be: cinnamon, saffron, the piripiri to name a few.


The Portuguese are masters in preparing both meat and seafood, and in particular the omnipresent codfish bacalhau, in its many, many variations. The interwebs have told me there are 365 or more different ways to cook codfish. This main ingredient has been present in Portuguese cuisine for centuries; long before any other modern food preservation technique was invented. That’s why still nowadays in Portugal fresh cod is much less common than dried salted one.

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Pastéis de Bacalhau

I have to start with my favorite bacalhau which is the Pastéis de Bacalhau, but of course, I am a big fan of pastéis de nata too! But in the bacalhau version, the salted cod is deep-friedcodfish in in a fritter style. You can get these babies at restaurants, cafes, even bakeries and they are delicious on their own or served with potatoes or rice.

Where to get the best Pastéis de Bacalhau in Lisbon

  • Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau > Rua Augusta, 106 e 108
  • Laurentina, O Rei do Bacalhau > Av. Conde Valbom 71A
  • Restaurante Faz Frio > R. Dom Pedro V 96

Pastéis de Bacalhau Recipes

If you want to make this dish at home, check out these recipes:

Bacalhau à Brás


One of the most popular versions is Bacalhau à Brás, with onions, chopped potatoes, and eggs, decorated with olives and parsley. It's salty and crunching and the olives and a nice hit of acid.

Where to get the best Bacalhau à Brás in Lisbon

  • Miguel Castro e Silva stall inside Time Out Market Lisboa > Mercado da Ribeira; Av. 24 de Julho 49
  • A Casa do Bacalhau > Rua do Grilo 54
  • O Vicentinho > Rua Voz do Operario 1
  • Pastelaria Baloico 5 > Avenida Ressano Garcia 47-A

Bacalhau à Brás Recipes:

If you want to make this dish at home, check out these recipes:

Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá


Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá is codfish with potatoes baked in the oven after being stewed in milk. Similar to the previous version is garnished with eggs, parsley, and olives.

Where to get the best Gomes de Sá in Lisbon

  • Restaurant D'Bacalhau > Rua da Pimenta
  • Cafe Nicola > Praca Dom Pedro IV 24
  • Chapito a Mesa > Costa do Castelo 7

Gomes de Sá Recipes:

If you want to make this dish at home, check out these recipes:

Bacalhau à Narcisa

Bacalhau à Narcisa

Bacalhau à Narcisa consists of fried cod and potatoes and onions fried in the same oil a with bay leaves and cloves.

Where to get the best Bacalhau à Narcisa in Lisbon

  • Actually, the best place to eat this is not in Lisbon, but Casa do Povo in Ferreiros do Dão > Rua Direita 60 – day trip!
  • After that, you must visit Braga, where the dish originates!

Bacalhau à Narcisa Recipes:

If you want to make this dish at home, check out these recipes:

Needless to say in Lisbon there are heaps of bars, taverns, restaurants where you can try as many codfish dishes as you want or if you prefer to try to buy all the ingredients and try to prepare it yourself at home.

To mention just a few more places where you can enjoy Portuguese style code: Tasca da Esquina in Rua Domingos Sequeira 41C,  Terreira do Paço in Praça do Comércio, or Toma Lá Dá Cá Restaurant in Travessa do Sequeiro, 38. Let the waiter recommend the Portuguese wine that will form a perfect harmony with your dish.

How about you? Have you had cod? Have any favorite recipes?

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  1. Sara Louise says:

    I’ve eaten codfish in Lisbon and I absolutely love it!

    1. @SaraLouise, yummy right? Most of the codfish I have eaten here in the states has been the dried variety which we soak in milk. But when I had it fresh in Portugal it was heavenly!

  2. I’ve never had cod before. That feels weird to say as it’s a readily available fish. But since these dishes don’t look all that difficult and I have a deep abiding love of Portuguese music and know some of the language (at least the Brazilian dialect)..I will definitely give one of these a try. Consider it Pinned to my DELICIOSSO try it board. 😉

    1. @Audrey, it is super easy to make and takes on lots of great flavors, I hope you try it soon!

  3. I recognised the word bacalhau from our visit to Madeira last winter… I saw it, but I never tried it. After seeing your post I wish I would have though, espeially the Bacalhau à Brás – that looks oh so good!