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What It’s Like to Eat at Cervejaria Ramiro in Lisbon

Eating at the seafood restaurant Cervejaria Ramiro is a bucket list item for food travelers who visit Lisbon. See what it’s like to eat a meal at the city’s most famous marisqueira.

Daryl with Server and Rock Lobster at Ramiro in Lisbon

Open since 1956, Cervejaria Ramiro is a local institution that’s been popular for decades with locals seeking the best seafood in Lisbon. Thanks to attention by the likes of Phil Rosenthal and the late Anthony Bourdain, food travelers have increasingly joined Lisbon’s best seafood party in recent years.

Based on the crowds which convene at the marisqueira six days a week, it would be easy to discount Cervejaria Ramiro as a tourist trap. However, a close look reveals a good percentage of locals still in the mix. Plus, while marisqueiras are fairly common in Portugal, the unadorned Ramiro offers a wow factor that makes it one of the best seafood experiences on the Iberian peninsula.

Ramiro Building in Lisbon
A light afternoon crowd waits for tables at Ramiro in Lisbon.

Fun Fact
As its name suggests, Cervejaria Ramiro was originally a beer pub when it opened more than a half century ago. The cervejaria reference remained in the restaurant’s name even after seafood and wine were added to the Ramiro menu.

Eating at Cervejaria Ramiro

Indoor Dining at Ramiro in Lisbon
Cervejaria Ramiro’s first floor dining room is the restaurant’s hub of activity.

Our first meal at Ramiro restaurant was a revelation.

We ate Gambas Aguillo (garlic shrimp), Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato (clams in garlic broth) and Carabineiros (scarlet prawns) for the seafood portion of our meal, washing it all down with Sagres beer. For dessert, we shared a Prego (beef sandwich) as is the restaurant’s unique tradition.

Sapateira at Ramiro in Lisbon
We say “wow” every time we eat an epic meal at Cervejaria Ramiro.

We’ve since returned numerous times for lunch and dinner at busy times as well as between pandemic lockdowns. The restaurant has become a go-to almost every time we have visitors in town as well as when we crave certain seafood dishes.

Ramiro has seating on two floors and, since the pandemic, also offers seating on an outdoor patio that was formerly used as a waiting area. After eating in both dining rooms multiple times, we prefer the downstairs room over the upstairs room. We also enjoy eating on the patio though that space tends to fill up quickly.

Outdoor Dining at Ramiro in Lisbon
Formerly a waiting area, Cervejaria Ramiro’s outdoor dining room has been repurposed into an outdoor dining room with views of the 28 tram.

Cervejaria Ramiro is popular.

Getting a table involves taking a number and waiting at all hours of the day and night (except on Mondays when the marisqueira is closed). Unless you make an advance reservation, expect to wait for an hour and consider yourself lucky if your wait is shorter. Fortunately, in addition to repurposing the front patio, the restaurant has transformed its former takeout space into a comfortable waiting area.

We only recommend making a reservation if your time is really tight or if you’re dining with a large group. Not only does making a reservation require a per-person deposit, but it also practically guarantees you a table in the upstairs dining room.

The check-in process for those without reservations involves punching a screen to take a number from Ramiro’s advanced number system and waiting to be called. This non-sequential system is fairly sophisticated with a computerized female voice announcing numbers in various languages.

Pro Tip
Cervejaria Ramiro closes for the entire month of August. Plan accordingly.

What to Eat at Cervejaria Ramiro

Crab Feast at Cervejaria Ramiro in Lisbon
Every meal at Cervejaria Ramiro is epic in its own way. The highlights of this particular meal were the Sapateira and Tiger Prawn.

We’ve since returned to Cervejaria Ramiro more than a dozen times since our initial 2019 meal, often with visiting friends or family in tow. Read on to discover our favorite dishes on the Cervejaria Ramiro menu.

Note – We’ve included the prices of each item from our most recent meal and will update the pricing periodically. However, be aware that all listed prices are subject to change without notice.

Pão Torrado com Manteiga (Bread with Butter)

Every Cervejaria Ramiro meal starts with buttery bread. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Bread is typically no big deal at Portuguese restaurants. However, Cervejaria Ramiro’s version arrives warm, buttery and impossible to resist. We sometimes order an extra bread basket, either with or without butter, when we dine at Cervejaria Ramiro. You’ll probably want to do the same.

Price for Pão Torrado com Manteiga: 3.14€

Gambas a la Aguillo (Garlic Shrimp)

Garlic Shrimp at Ramiro at Lisbon Restaurants
Cervejaria Ramiro’s garlic shrimp is the stuff that dreams are made of. In other words, we dreamed about this dish until our next visit.

Ordering garlic shrimp is an absolute must at Cervejaria Ramiro. The marisqueira makes the best version of Gambas a la Aguillo that we’ve eaten in Portugal – and we’ve eaten this particular Portuguese food favorite all over the country from Porto in the north to the Algarve in the south.

Ramiro’s kitchen cooks their plump crustaceans in a mixture of coarse salt, minced caramelized garlic and spicy peppers. Most chefs will tell you not to cook your garlic bits until they’re brown. Ramiro never received that memo and we’re all the better for it.

The overwhelming fragrance and flavors from this dish’s garlic-infused oil make it a Lisbon classic. It’s so good that you’ll want to sop the oil up with bread, hence the need for a second bread basket.

Price for Gambas a la Aguillo: 13.49€

Amêijoa Bulhão Pato (Clams in Garlic Broth)

Clams at Ramiro at Lisbon Restaurants
The clams were one of the best parts of this dish at Cervejaria Ramiro. The garlic broth was the other best part.

Cervejaria Ramiro serves its clams swimming in broth and bursting with garlic flavor. You’ll want to dip your bread into the liquid elixir and lap it up like candy.

You may choose to order razor clams instead of regular clams. Be aware that razor clams are often unavailable and, when they are available, don’t arrive in a pot filled with glorious garlic broth.

Price for Amêijoa Bulhão Pato: 14.49€

Sapateira (Crab)

Crab Claw and Crab Mallet at Ramiro in Lisbon
Hammering crab claws at Cervejaria Ramiro is fun!

There are two ways to eat crab at Cervejaria Ramiro.

The first and more fun way is Ramiro’s traditional Sapateira presentation which includes a shell filled with creamy dip made with crab innards. It’s a rustic dish with a taste that mimics the ocean itself. To some, though, the main event is pounding crab legs with a mallet and sucking out the meaty morsels.

Shelled Crab at Ramiro in Lisbon
Not all Sapateiras at Cervejaria Ramiro require mallets. This one arrived with the crab meat ready to eat.

The second way is to let the Ramiro kitchen do all the work. This option has pros and cons. On the upside, you’ll eat a generous amount of crab meat without doing any work. On the downside, you’ll miss out on the ‘crabalicious’ dip.

Price for Sapateira: 29.97€ (option 1) and 36.75€ (option 2)

Percebes (Gooseneck Barnacles)

Barnacles Up Close at Ramiro in Lisbon
These percebes were as tasty as they were ugly.

Not for unadventurous diners, gooseneck barnacles look like something out of a horror movie. In a fun twist of fate, the Galacian seafood specialty is considered a luxury seafood dish at Portuguese restaurants like Cervejaria Ramiro.

It took us a few visits to muster the courage to order Percebes and we had to ask our server how to best eat the creepy critters. Our reward was a slightly rubbery, totally delicious dish that made us feel like Ramiro pros.

Price for Percebes: 61.50€ per kilogram

Carabineiros (Scarlet Prawns)

Carabinerios at Ramiro at Lisbon Restaurants
These scarlet prawns at Cervejaria Ramiro were delights for both our eyes and our taste buds.

A splurge, brightly colored scarlet prawns will likely be your meal’s show stopper.

If you order this dish, expect your server to proficiently slice the red beauties at your table before you dig in with utensils. Don’t be shy to follow our lead and suck the last bits of juice from the colorful crustacean heads when the meat is gone.

Price for Carabineiros: 90.64€ per kilogram

Gamba Tigre Grelhada (Tiger Prawns)

Tiger Shrimp at Ramiro in Lisbon
Grilled and buttered, these tiger prawns at Cervejaria Ramiro were big enough to share.

You don’t need to order a tiger prawn to eat well at Ramiro but doing so will surely ramp your meal up to the next level. It’s a dish we order when we have a special guest in town as opposed to just regular weeknight meals for the two of us. Hey, we’re special but not that special.

To be clear, we typically order one or two tiger prawns for the table as opposed to one tiger prawn per person. Not only are tiger prawns expensive, but they’re also large and filled with meat. And, in case we weren’t clear, they’re also finger-licking-good.

Price for Gamba Tigre Grelhada: 63.36€ per kilogram

Prego (Beef Sandwich)

Prego Sandwich at Ramiro at Lisbon Restaurants
We typically end our seafood meals at Cervejaria Ramiro with a beefy prego sandwich. We added a healthy amount of mustard to this one.

Eating a Prego for dessert would be odd anywhere except at Cervejaria Ramiro where it’s tradition to finish a seafood meal with a meat sandwich.

A few squirts of bright yellow mustard add a kick to the garlicky beef nestled between crunch bread slices. After a few bites, you’ll realize that it’s actually one of the city’s best sandwiches.

Don’t worry if you’re a pescatarian. The Cervejaria Ramiro menu also features traditional Portuguese desserts including puddings, mousse and fresh fruit.

Price for a Prego: 5.50€

Go to Ramiro and Go for the Gusto!

Clam with Spoon at Ramiro in Lisbon
Cervejaria Ramiro is one of the most popular restaurants in Lisbon for many reasons starting with its food.

It’s no accident that Cervejaria Ramiro is so popular.

The restaurant serves superior seafood at relatively reasonable prices compared to similar restaurants around the world. Though you could easily blow a wad at the iconic Lisbon marisqueira, you don’t have to order a lot of dishes to have a great meal.

In many ways, less is more considering the generous amounts of butter and oil that make Ramiro’s food taste so good. However, if you love seafood and have money to spend, you might as well order it all.

Cervejaria Ramiro is located at Avenida Alm. Reis 1, 1150-038 Lisboa, Portugal.

Checking In at Ramiro in Lisbon
The staff at Cervejaria Ramiro will assist if you have any unanswered questions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dining at Cervejaria Ramiro

How can I secure a reservation for a meal at Cervejaria Ramiro?

You can secure a reservation via Cervejaria Ramiro’s website BUT be aware that you’ll need to put down a credit card deposit which becomes non-refundable 24 hours before your meal. If your schedule is fluid or if you’re not in a rush, the better option may be to skip the reservation and join the queue.

How much does a meal at Cervejaria Ramiro cost?

Cervejaria Ramiro isn’t cheap by Lisbon standards. Expect to spend 25€ to 50€ per person, though you can easily spend more if you order with abandon.

What’s the dress code at Cervejaria Ramiro?

Although Cervejaria Ramiro doesn’t have a dress code, you should avoid wearing white since eating seafood can get messy.

What’s the best way to get to Cervejaria Ramiro?

Depending on where you’re located in Lisbon, you can walk or take a tram, bus, metro, car share or taxi to Cervejaria Ramiro’s Intendente location near the Martim Moniz metro station.

What’s the best time to dine at Cervejaria Ramiro?

We recommend arriving early. Not only will you have a shorter wait, but you’ll also have a better chance of eating outside or in the downstairs dining room.

Planning Checklist

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Hungry for More in Lisbon?

Check out our picks for Lisbon’s best restaurants, brunch spots, pizzerias, pastel de nata bakeries, specialty coffee cafes and ice cream shops. Then check our our restaurant reviews of Belcanto, Ponto Final and Tasca Baldracca. If you’re limited in time, consider sampling a range of Lisbon food favorites at the Time Out Market.

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Are you thinking about visiting or moving to Portugal?

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We were thrilled to discover Practice Portuguese, an inexpensive system that makes learning European Portuguese fun.

About the Authors

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

Disclosure

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Original Publication Date: July 18, 2022