The best place to eat grilled sardines in Lisbon is Casa do Peixe, a modest restaurant on the second floor of the Saldanha food market. This eatery dates back to the first part of the 20th century, when a cook from Galicia came to Lisbon and set up a few tables in the market to serve poached fish. The restaurant quickly became a destination for food lovers.
The current owner, Aníbal Sousa, bought the restaurant 30 years ago. When the Saldanha market moved from its graceful old building to its current unremarkable location, he added a charcoal grill and started to grill sardines and other fish.
The restaurant is noisy and there is no ambience. But it is always full of locals who love to eat fresh fish, everyone from clerks and shopkeepers to government officials and business executives.
Three cooks work nonstop to produce a constant flow of perfectly cooked treasures from the sea. All the fish is great but the sardines are extraordinary; moist and flavorful, grilled to perfection. We asked Aníbal Sousa what makes his sardines so exceptional. He smiled and said: we have been grilling them for many years and we only serve sardines when they are at the peak of their quality.
If you’re a foodie in search of the perfect grilled sardine, Casa do Peixe is the place for you.
Casa do Peixe is located on Mercado 31 de Janeiro, Rua Engenheiro Vieira da Silva, 135, Saldanha, Lisboa, tel. 213544233.