Simply put, Ramiro is the best seafood restaurant Lisbon. It is a 100% local customer based and long established “Cervejaria” (literally translated to place where beer is dispensed), with an buzzing ambience and above all, very high quality cooked on the spot seafood.
What I love more about this place is its unpretentiousness and the "no fuss" approach to seafood. Eating with your hand is more than recommended and don't be scared to dunk the freshly bake buns in the fresh crab meat which comes in the shell or in the velvet buttery sauce of the "bulhão pato" clams.
Green wine is the eternal companion of seafood in Portugal, and don't forget to ask for Palacio da Brejoeira for a taste of crisp slightly bubbly 11º white wine.
Desert as a special meaning in this place, and it comes in the shape of a charcoal grilled fillet steak in a bun. Yes, you are in Portugal and after a seafood meal you can further indulge your umami taste buds with some animal protein.
Although it is open from 12h00 to 24h00, it becomes extremely busy at the end of the week evenings, and the over 1h wait for a seat can be a turnoff. I would always recommend my clients at the Palacio Belmonte, to either go before 19h00 or after 22h00 to avoid the queues.
In the case there is a slight waiting period, you can always go for a very Portuguese "at the counter nibble" of some "black pork aged ham" and a cold draft beer, to pass the time.
You cannot leave Lisbon without trying this place!
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My best meal in Lisbon was at Cervejaria Ramiro
Some time ago I was watching Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations and he happened to be in Lisbon, eating and drinking all over the place like he usually does. Cervejaria Ramiro stood out to me in that episode simply because it was the best kind of food porn. The kind that makes you want to re-create the dish you have just drooled over at home. I also think it was a special episode on my end because I didn’t really know anything about Portugal. There was a mystique that made everything even more appealing.
When I found out I would be going to Lisbon this was immediately put on the to-do list and thank God! It was the best meal I had in the short time I was in Lisbon. You can’t make reservations, so I waited for about 25 minutes. I was alone so I was actually seated pretty fast, but I think other people waited more like an hour. I’m sure they thought it was worth it after they got their meals.
I ordered pretty much everything I saw Bourdain eat, mostly because it seemed like the right thing to do after glorifying that episode for so many months.
The tiger prawns were orgasmic. I could have had many more, but you have to remember I was eating alone and after the beer, the shrimp, the snails, and tasty buttered bread I needed to ration everything out.
I feel kind of silly telling people “oh, I saw that place on TV and that’s where I had my best meal”, but a good recommendation is a good recommendation. Thanks Anthony.
About 830pm at Cervejaria Ramiro and the place was packed, with a line out the door. I pushed my way inside, in a very “I’m a Jersey girl” way. The host noticed me immediately, asked how many people, and suggested it would be 10 minutes, would we like a beer. Yes, please.
Once sat, a few ice cold beers were delivered, followed by a plate of thinly sliced cured pork. After, we devoured a plate of small clams with garlic and wine and the most perfect shrimp with fried garlic, delivered still sizzling in the pan. Finally, two giant prawns, sliced open, and grilled with garlic, and my belly was happy.
During the meal, there was a buzz, an atmosphere to the place that was indescribable. No music played. All we heard were the patrons enjoying their dinner. We sat at long communal tables with white table cloths, close enough to interact, to smile over great food.
At the end of the meal, stuffed to the brim, we did what the locals do. We ordered dessert - two steak sandwiches to finish off the meal.
The sandwiches were thinly sliced, rare steak, on fresh bread, with a little spicy mustard. I was so stuffed I could, embarrassingly, only eat one half of the sandwich. I donated the remainder to a couple sitting near us.
In the end, it was one of the best meals I have ever had, not merely because of the food, but it was the feeling inside of the place, and the feeling I had when I left - enlightened. I love when food makes me feel this good.