32 Best Restaurants in Estremadura and the Ribatejo, Portugal

Burro Velho

$ Fodor's choice

The "Old Donkey" may be a relative newcomer to downtown Batalha, but its recipe of traditional dishes and an informal, modern ambience has won over locals and visitors alike. All ingredients are fresh and organic when possible, and there is a range of house-made breads, as well as an excellent choice of wines. Try any of the fresh fish dishes or a hearty meat option. 

Rua Nossa Sra. Do Caminho, Batalha, Leiria, 2440-121, Portugal
244 764 174
Known For
  • lively, informal atmosphere
  • top-quality ingredients
  • fresh fish and hearty meat dishes
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun.

Chico Elias

$$ Fodor's choice

This charmingly rustic restaurant just outside Tomar owes its fame to chef Maria do Céu's creativity—and the huge portions, which are enough for two. At lunch on weekends there are usually delicious hearty dishes such as cabrito assado (roast kid) and cachola (pork rib and loin, served with cabbage). Most of the main dishes take time to prepare in the wood-burning oven, and even regulars must book ahead. For dessert, there are fluffy fatias de Tomar and a delicious leite de creme.

Rua Principal 70, Tomar, Santarém, 2300–302, Portugal
249 311 067
Known For
  • favorite dishes include feijoada de caracoís (bean stew with snails)
  • local families flock to this longtime favorite
  • laid-back atmosphere
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Reservations essential

Esplanada Furnas

$$$ Fodor's choice

Perched on rocks overlooking the open ocean, on the site of a former shellfish nursery, this fashionable restaurant offers some of the best seafood in the area. As you'd expect, the day's menu depends on the sea's bounty, but it might have salmonete (red mullet), pregado (turbot), robalo (sea bass), or linguado (sole). Alternatively, opt for a cataplana of fish stew for two, or even a juicy steak. The starters are worth sampling, too, such as octopus salad or a dish of fresh amêijoas (clams).

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Ó Balcão

$$ Fodor's choice

Don't be fooled by the simple green-and-white tiled interior: this former tavern inspires inventive cooking by Chef Rodrigo Castelo, who uses often overlooked local ingredients to craft sumptuous and surprising dishes. The à la carte menu is a good value, with updated traditional fare such as oxtail gratin and chargrilled octopus, but it's worth splashing out on a tasting menu (€75, plus €45 for wine pairing). One features more than a dozen different species of fish from the Tagus; the other showcases both fish and locally sourced meats. All bread, olive oil and charcuterie is made in-house, along with an amazing range of pungent pickles and fermented foods that are used to bring extra flavor to the chef's creations. 

O Casarão

$$ Fodor's choice

About 5 km (3 miles) south of Leiria, O Casarão occupies a large country house surrounded by gardens where you may take an aperitif before your meal. Try the ensopado de peixe (fish stew) or, if there are two of you, maybe split an espedata de carne com gambas (skewers of beef and shrimp), which comes with migas de nabiça (fried bread crumbs and turnip tops).

Estrada da Maceira 10, Azoia, Lisbon, 2400–823, Portugal
244 871 080
Known For
  • service and presentation are flawless without being pretentious
  • several ancient recipes from nearby monasteries
  • amazing homemade desserts

O Toucinho

$ Fodor's choice

This is Almeirim's most popular traditional restaurant, thanks to its excellent grilled meats—lamb and pork as well as steak—and of course the sopa da pedra, which O Toucinho claims to have reinvented back in the 1960s. It is run by a former forcado (one of the bullfighters who literally grab the animal by the horns)—as the bull's heads and bullfight posters will remind you.

Rua de Timor 2, Almeirim, Santarém, 2080–095, Portugal
243 592 237
Known For
  • check out the kitchen, where the rustic bread is made all day long
  • desserts such as arroz doce are cooked in a wood-burning oven
  • your choice of four handsome dining rooms
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Thurs., last 2 wks June and 1st wk Aug.

Sabores d'Itália

$$$ Fodor's choice

Behind a vintage tiled facade is a widely acclaimed restaurant that has long been among the country's most popular destinations for Italian food. Everything—the pasta, bread, ice cream—is homemade and beautifully presented and served by the owner, Norberto Marcelino, and his wife. Delicious main dishes include shrimp pansotti with a dill sauce, and breast of duck with port wine sauce and clementines. For desserts there is the ever-popular raspberry gratin with lemon sorbet, sinfonia de pêra Rocha (featuring a local pear variety, three ways), and fig crêpe with Moscatel ice cream.

Praça 5 de Outubro 40, Caldas da Rainha, Leiria, 2500–111, Portugal
262 845 600
Known For
  • roast fig with goat cheese is among mouthwatering starters
  • 500-plus wines include local and Italian varietals
  • weekday set lunch menu is great value
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and 1 wk in Nov. No lunch Tues.

Tasca do Joel

$$ Fodor's choice

Tucked away on a side street far from the touristy seafront, this tavern attracts diners from far and wide with delicious fresh fish and meat dishes cooked in its wood-burning oven. There are changing daily specials, but regular dishes include bacalhau à tasca (fried codfish with onions and potatoes) and rice-stuffed cuttlefish.

Rua do Lapadusso 73, Peniche, Leiria, 2520–370, Portugal
262 782 945
Known For
  • kids' menu with simpler fare
  • wine cellar with more than 1,000 options
  • sociable long dining tables
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and 2 wks in Sept. No dinner Sun.

Tia Alice

$$ Fodor's choice

Considered one of Portugal's best traditional restaurants, whose eponymous chef was recently decorated by the country's head of state, "Aunt Alice" is in an inconspicuous old house with French windows across from the parish church, just over 2 km (1.3 miles) from the shrine. A flight of wooden stairs inside leads down to an intimate dining area with stone walls. The arroz de pato (duck rice) is among the many meat dishes worth trying, as is the bacalhau gratinado (baked salt cod with béchamel sauce), which serves two.

Av. Irmã Lúcia de Jesús 152, Fátima, Santarém, 2495–557, Portugal
249 531 737
Known For
  • outstanding bacalhau and other traditional dishes
  • elegant flower-filled garden provides some outdoor seating
  • little crafts shop at the top of the stairs
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Feb. 1–10. No dinner Sun., Reservations essential

A Bela Vista


The date on the sidewalk out front reads 1922, which was when the Sousa family opened this attractive little restaurant next to the old arched bridge. Carrying on the family tradition, the kitchen turns out great quantities of hearty regional fare. Try the fritada de gambas (fried prawns), filetes de pescada (hake fillets in batter), cabrito assado (roast kid), or arroz de polvo (octopus rice stew). For dessert, there's the local specialty, fatia de Tomar, made in-house with only egg yolks, sugar, and water.

Rua Marquês Pombal 68 Ponte Velha, Tomar, Santarém, 2300–510, Portugal
249 312 870
Known For
  • for summer dining there's a small, rustic terrace
  • views of the river and the nearby convent
  • traditional local desserts
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. and 2 wks in Oct. No dinner Mon.

A Celeste


Owner Dona Celeste likes to personally greet guests—who lately have included record-breaking U.S. surfer Garrett McNamara—at the entrance to her seafood restaurant on the Atlantic seafront. Among popular dishes here are espadarte à Celeste (swordfish with cream-and-mushroom sauce) and squid or monkfish on the spit. This coast is famous for its caldeirada (a Portuguese version of bouillabaisse with nine kinds of fish). Perhaps the most spectacular dishes here are the cataplana de peixe com camarão e amêijoas for two (fish stew with shrimp and clams, served with a flourish). In summer, it's a good idea to book ahead.

Av. República 54, Nazaré, Leiria, 2450–102, Portugal
262 551 695
Known For
  • don't miss the fish baked whole in salt
  • family-friendly atmosphere
  • occasional celebrity visitors
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues.

A Coudelaria


Noted for bacalhau and octopus dishes as well as more traditional local meats, this restaurant's dishes are an excellent value. On Saturday there is a hearty buffet (€20), and on Sunday, people come from far and near for the cozido de carnes bravas à Ribatejana (stew made with meat from local bulls). 

N118, Km 19, Benavente, Santarém, 2135–318, Portugal
263 654 985
Known For
  • pretty dining rooms warmed by a stone fireplace
  • dinner is available only for large groups, booked in advance
  • array of tempting desserts
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Aug. No dinner., Reservations essential

A Lareira


With a name that is Portuguese for "fireplace," this elegant, spacious restaurant is nestled in pinewoods between Caldas da Rainha and the Foz do Arelho beach; it's a favorite with locals for special occasions. Try the tornedó de novilho tenderloin with one of various sauces. Seek assistance to get the best from the 300-strong wine list. Note that weekend meals are more expensive than the €12.50 set menu on weekdays.

Rua da Lareira 35, Nadadouro, Leiria, 2500–593, Portugal
262 823 432
Known For
  • extensive wine list
  • affordable weekday set menu
  • unique eel stew
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No dinner

Adega do Albertino


This bustling tavern in the delightfully named village of Imaginário is no place for fussy eaters: it is renowned for regional dishes such as polvo na telha (octopus grilled on a roof tile) and morcela de arroz (a type of blood sausage). Leave some space for the eggy desserts, which are all homemade and delicious. Note that reservations are only accepted by phone, not by email.

Rua Júlio Sousa 7, Caldas da Rainha, Leiria, 2500–312, Portugal
262 835 152
Known For
  • unusual seafood dishes like eel stew and whelk salad
  • generous servings of regional fare
  • homemade desserts
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and 2 wks in Sept. or Oct. No dinner Sun.



Near the town's bullring, this typical Ribatejo restaurant is decked out with bullfighting memorabilia. The ensopado de borrego (lamb stew) is renowned, as is the mangusto com bacalhau assado (a garlicky bread-and-cabbage concoction accompanying roasted codfish). Consider accepting the couvert, featuring cornbread with chouriço and orelha de porco (pig's ear, cooked with herbs). For dessert, ask for the celestes Santa Clara (almond cakes) or arrepiados de Almoster (almond meringues)—among the many local sweets invented by medieval monks and nuns.

Campo Emilio Infante da Câmara, Santarém, Santarém, 2000–014, Portugal
912 378 869
Known For
  • excellent selection of grilled meats
  • fried shad from the Tagus River
  • a warming fire in the hearth
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues., last wk of Aug., and 1st wk of Sept.



From the upstairs dining room and terrace of this rustic tavern, enjoy a lovely view of the village's rooftops and the countryside beyond. This isn't a quiet hideaway—Alcaide draws many hungry patrons, especially from May through October—but the food  is always prepared and served with flair. Filete de sardinha assada em broa (roasted sardines on corn bread) is a tasty starter, and great main dishes include the requinte de bacalhau (cod with a cheese, chestnut, and apple stuffing) or the tornedó com queijo da Serra (steak with creamy rustic cheese). Desserts include a traditional toucinho do céu ("heavenly" almond cake) and an English-style summer pudding with mixed berries.

Rua Direita 60, Óbidos, Leiria, 2510–084, Portugal
262 959 220
Known For
  • unusual use of local ingredients
  • courteous service
  • good value for the quality and location
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Wed. and 2nd half Nov.


This little café across from the monastery is justly famed for its cakes and pastries, presented in a long glass display case. Since winning a national prize for its pastéis de nata (custard tarts) a few years ago, it has opened two offshoots in Lisbon.
Praça 25 de Abril 44, Alcobaça, Leiria, 2460–018, Portugal
Known For
  • unique range of regional pastries
  • beautiful presentation
  • efficient service
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No dinner

António Padeiro


This restaurant is best known for showcasing regional cuisine, with dishes such as chicken or partridge na púcara (cooked in an clay pot)—many of which evolved in local monasteries. Fans of bacalhau should try the house version: baked with a crust of cornbread and farinheira sausage. The walls are hung with local memorabilia and photos of the family that has run the place since 1938.

Rua Dom Maur Cocheril 27, Alcobaça, Leiria, 2460, Portugal
262 582 295
Known For
  • wide range of traditional eggy desserts as well as fresh fruit
  • brisk but friendly service
  • local history
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed 2 wks in June.

Casinha Velha


In an old house with rustic Portuguese furniture, this eatery sits in a village that has long been a haven for gourmands. They bake their own bread on the premises—including a delicious pão chouriço—and there's a series of tasty starters. Trademark dishes include a noteworthy bacalhau com natas (codfish with cream) and duck rice; for specialties such as roast capon that must be ordered in advance, check the menu (ementa) on the website. Leave some room for a mixed dessert platter or for the brisa do Lis, a local almond pudding.

Rua Professores Portelas 23, Marrazes, Leiria, 2415–534, Portugal
244 855 355
Known For
  • pleasant downstairs bar where you can sample an aperitif
  • extensive wine collection is prominently displayed
  • everything is beautifully presented
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues. Closed 2 wks in Jan., and 2 wks in July. No dinner Sun.

Cervejaria O Gordo


Serving beer, seafood, and other traditional fare since 1946, this lively local is a Torres Vedras institution. In addition to shellfish and octopus rice, favorites include squid kebabs, chargrilled meats, and roast bacalhau. For dessert, their classic caramel-covered pudim flan is hard to beat. The restaurant's trendier (and pricier) neighbor Taberna 22 has a wide selection of starters, grilled fresh fish and filet mignon, plus a range of fine wines.

Dom Duarte


The dishes of the day at this bustling second-floor restaurant are excellent value, and the house wine—from a local producers' cooperative—goes down well, too. Some tables in the main dining room have views of the monastery, but at peak times you may be seated on the covered terrace in back. Try the house bacalhau (fried with onions and tomato), roast octopus, barbecued squid, or lamb chops.

Praça Dom João I, 5C, Batalha, Leiria, 2440–108, Portugal
244 766 326
Known For
  • specializes in a range of tasty bacalhau dishes
  • everything served in generous portions
  • friendly service


This bustling restaurant is one of several overlooking the Praia da Areia Branca, the area's prettiest beach, but stands out in terms of its view (due to its elevated position) and the quality of its food, above all the expertly grilled fish. If you want something more elaborate, try the polvo panado (battered octopus, served with bean rice), bacalhau com broa (with a cornbread gratin), or monkfish rice.
Passeio do Mar, Lourinhã, Lisbon, 2530-240, Portugal
261 469 348
Known For
  • servings usually large enough for two
  • ultrasweet traditional desserts
  • famous local brandy
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and 2nd half of Nov.



This family-run restaurant opposite the Vila Galé draws a crowd for its fresh seafood and fish—the latter grilled over charcoal by the owner. The two dozen seats in the original dining room weren't nearly enough space, so the place added a second dining room that's decorated in smart beach-house style.

Praça dos Navegantes, Ericeira, Lisbon, 2655–320, Portugal
261 863 349
Known For
  • outside of summer, dinner usually only Friday and Saturday
  • gets crowded, so book ahead
  • terrace dining
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Wed. and Nov. No dinner Tues. No dinner Sun.–Thurs. Oct.–Apr.

Mar à Vista


With fishing nets and baskets hang from walls, this Portuguese fisherman's tavern has a genuine feel, and the loud service adds to its character. Seafood is the only option, but it is renowned here—such as spider crab or rock lobster—and many diners come for the feijoada de marisco (shellfish and bean stew).

Rua Santo António 16, Ericeira, Lisbon, 2655–360, Portugal
261 862 928
Known For
  • atmosphere feels like the real deal
  • great value for fresh seafood
  • delicious lemon sorbet for dessert
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Wed., 2 wks in May, and 2 wks in Sept., Reservations essential

O Crispim


One of Fátima's longest-established restaurants (open since 1968), this place just outside the inner ring road is above all known for the quality of its grilled meat and fish. The vine-shaded esplanade is another big draw, creating a real family ambience. Leisurely lunches—either outside or in the wood-and-stone dining room—are made possible by the fact that the kitchen keeps going throughout the afternoon. Top sellers include tender vitela Mirandesa steak and bacalhau à lagareiro (cod baked with onions, potatoes, and olives).

Rua São João Eudes 23, Fátima, Santarém, 2495–630, Portugal
249 532 781
Known For
  • complimentary glasses of Portuguese brandy
  • main dishes are big enough for two or three
  • wide range of traditional desserts
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Tues., last wk June, first half July. No dinner Mon., Reservations essential

Pastelaria Fradinho


Just across from the Palácio Nacional de Mafra, the Pastelaria Fradinho is a welcome respite from the rigors of sightseeing. Light, cheerful, and adorned with tiles, the café is famed for its delicious homemade pastries including the little egg-and-almond tarts called, predictably, fradinhos (little friars).

Retiro dos Caçadores


A big brick fireplace, wood paneling, and stone walls set the mood in this cozy hunter's lodge, where the food is simple, but portions are hearty and the flavors are tantalizing. This is the best place in town for fresh game, especially codorniz and coelho (rabbit), which comes casserole-style with rice or potatoes.

Rua São João Deus 44, Fátima, Santarém, 2495–456, Portugal
249 531 323
Known For
  • dining room has a step-back-in-time feel
  • huge hearth warms the place in winter
  • friendly staff
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Wed., Carnival wk, and last 2 wks in July. No dinner Sun.

Santa Isabel


In this warren of stone-flagged rooms, authentic regional dishes are served with flair to well-heeled patrons. Specialties at the old town spot include churrasquinho de porco preto com migas de alheira de caça (grilled meats from the acorn-fed Iberian black pig, served with a bread-crumb-and-garlic-sausage mixture flavored with game sausage) and partridge rice. Braver diners might try cabidela de galo (chicken cooked in blood) or lamprey, when it is in season.

Rua Santa Isabel 12, Abrantes, Santarém, 2200–393, Portugal
241 366 230
Known For
  • off the tourist trail
  • on winter evenings, there's a fire in the grate
  • a good range of Portuguese wines
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun., Mon., and 1 wk in July, Reservations essential



This renowned Thai restaurant near Bombarral is just down the road from the gardens at Buddha Eden. In a spacious former winery, the smiling staff serve the real deal: prawn or beef salad brimming with fruit, and specialties such as tom yan kung (spicy soup with shrimp, lemongrass and mushrooms) and gaeng kiaw wan kai (green curry with chicken and coconut).

Rua Poeta José Ferreira Ventura 73, Bombarral, Leiria, 2540–422, Portugal
918 261 200-cell
Known For
  • excellent dishes like stir-fried noodles with shrimp and peanuts
  • chestnut pudding is a tasty dessert
  • wide range of vegetarian dishes
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon. year round and Tues.–Wed. mid-Sept.–June. No dinner Sun., Reservations recommended

Taberna da Quinzena


Photos of satisfied patrons testify to the popularity of this rustic restaurant run by the great-grandson of the original owner, offering hearty traditional fare at low prices. Specialties—in servings large enough for two—include toiro bravo (wild bull) and entrecosto com arroz de feijoca (spareribs with red beans and rice), but the menu is overhauled daily. The restaurant now has several offshoots in the region, one of them in the Santarém Hotel.

Rua Pedro de Santarém 93, Santarém, Santarém, 2000–223, Portugal
243 322 804
Known For
  • charmingly old-fashioned interior
  • lots of bullfighting souvenirs
  • the place to try local wines
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and 2nd half of Aug.