Whether you live in Lisbon or are just traveling, chances are you have heard about Cervejaria Ramiro. Even before its recent appearance in Somebody Feed Phill, this popular Lisbon eatery had already been featured in the late Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations. As a result, hoards of tourists are showing up at Ramiro’s doors, eager to taste its signature giant tiger prawns.
Are you curious about the unprecedented traction this place is getting and are debating whether to give it a try yourself? Then read on. In this post, we share the must-eat dishes from the Cervejaria Ramiro menu and what to expect from a night dining at O Ramiro. We’ll also answer whether Cervejaria Ramiro is worth the hype.
Know Before You Go
At its most basic, cervejaria in Portuguese is a beer bar. They generally serve beer on tap along with various foods. Ramiro is also known as Marisqueria Ramiro or a seafood restaurant. It’s a no-frills seafood and beer bar. Casual and not in the least bit pretentious. If you are looking for a high-end seafood experience, this isn’t it. The decor is lovely but basic. Expect a relaxed, chill type of vibe.
With not one but two popular food shows featuring this beloved Lisbon eatery, it should come as no surprise that Cervejaria Ramiro is usually packed. As a result, the restaurant doesn’t take any reservations. The restaurant is also closed on Mondays and from Tuesday-Sunday is open between noon until midnight. The restaurant also does Take-away and delivery if you want to get some seafood on the go.
Getting a Table at Cervejaria Ramiro
While observing the servers moving quickly from one table to another and sharing a long communal table might be an integral part of your experience, waiting over an hour (or two) for a table doesn’t have to be.
For this reason, we recommend you try Ramiro mid-week or at lunchtime. Avoid Friday to Sunday nights after 8:00 pm, prime time for dining in Lisbon. If you want to dine on the weekend, come early.
Cervejaria Ramiro doesn’t take reservations. Instead, when you arrive, you are invited to go next door to their Heineken beer garden, where you can enjoy a nice cold beer while waiting for your number to be called. Once it’s called, you can head back to the restaurant to get seated. Please note that servers will pretty much seat you wherever there is space. Make sure to go with an open mind and try not to be too picky, or you’ll be waiting forever.
What Should You Eat at Cervejaria Ramiro?
A self-proclaimed cervejeria (beer bar) gives off a pretty down-to-earth and unpretentious vibe. Walking in, you are likely to observe patrons enjoying a pint of Imperial, Sagres, or Super Bock—Portugal’s favorite and most affordable beer brands. Notwithstanding, Ramiro’s broad selection of local seafood draws in the crowds.
A favorite since the 1950s, Cervejaria Ramiro features a relatively limited menu choice—which we won’t hold against them as this is usually an indication of a high-quality food selection. Starters are earthy yet straightforward, featuring classics such as Iberian ham, manchego cheese, and bread and butter. Main dishes include different clams, crabs, and lobsters—rigorously prepared following traditional Portuguese recipes.
Top 3 Main Dishes to Try at Ramiro
So your mind is made up, and you are open to giving this popular restaurant a try? If that’s the case, you might be available for suggestions. We asked a couple of Lisbon locals what dishes they’d recommend eating at Ramiro’s, and this is what we came up with:
Giant Tiger Prawns
As mentioned above, gamba tigre grelhada is a Ramiro must-try and one of the main dishes locals and visitors alike keep coming back for. This recipe is as uncomplicated as it gets as the prawns are simply cooked on the grill and slathered in butter. Since we are talking about giant prawns here, it is always best to check with the waiter for the actual size of the dish as Ramiro renownedly charges by weight (more on this below), and one serving could be enough to feed 2-3 people.
Interestingly named after the 19th-century poet Raimundo António de Bulhão Pato, this popular amêijoa (clam) recipe is another effective representation of the rich simplicity of Portuguese cuisine. It consists of boiled clams marinated in olive oil, wine, cilantro, and garlic. The portion size of this signature dish is generous and reasonably priced. Most importantly, each order comes with a side of bread to dip in the delicious marinate.
Stuffed Spider Crab
A fairly unique dish that is hard to come by outside of Portugal, santoa recheada consists of a boiled spider crab stuffed with a creamy marinade of crab puree with egg, mayonnaise, and spices—including the famous Portuguese piripiri. As a result, the crab is served with a built-in dip to enjoy with a side of bread.
Insider tip: if you LOVE garlic, then order a plate of their garlic shrimps and some bread to dip in the oil to soak up all of that garlicky goodness.
What About Dessert?
With its fast-paced and low-key chaotic vibe, Cervejaria Ramiro is bound to make quite an impression. Pair this with the most unconventional choice for a dessert, and you are in for a treat.
Ramiro’s suggestion to finish a great seafood meal is called prego, which consists of thinly sliced steak sheets sandwiched in soft bread with a crunchy crust topped with a layer of spicy mustard and sprinkled with garlic. If this is not quite up to your speed, don’t panic. Ramiro also offers more traditional desserts such as seasonal fresh fruit, chocolate mousse, and one of Portugal’s treasures, brigadeiro—a four-layered chocolate cake.
Ramiro’s Value for Money
Now that we have listed some of Ramiro’s best features, you might be wondering what the downsides are to exploring one of Lisbon’s beloved eateries.
As you might have guessed, one of these could be Cervejaria Ramiro is likely not the most affordable seafood option in town. After all, seafood IS expensive, and pricing often responds to factors beyond the usual supply and demand, such as quality, handling, and best practices.
When ordering at Cervejaria Ramiro’s, it is always best to ask the server about the size of the meal, as most items on the menu are charged by weight. Orders tend to be quite generous, so it is always a great idea to try a few different dishes to share to squeeze the best value for money. Even then, prepare to spend around or a little under 100 € for a two-person meal. This leans a bit over to the expensive side, especially for a place like Lisbon, which is otherwise well-known for its affordable dining culture.
So… Is Cervejaria Ramiro Worth it?
As mentioned above, these days, Ramiro seems to be getting more attention from ex-pats and travelers than it does locals. Depending on the experience you are after, a place packed with tourists might not be your cup of tea—especially if it comes with an expensive price tag. While Cervejaria Ramiro ticks most boxes regarding food quality, service, and overall vibe, we understand your desire for a more low-key, inexpensive way to enjoy your evening and taste fantastic seafood.
What Are Good Cervejaria Ramiro Alternatives?
So what are some authentic Lisbon seafood alternatives that are away from the crowds, deliver excellent quality food, and are better for your wallet? There are so many! You might feel like this is a bit ambitious. Still, it’s just a matter of being a little more adventurous and willing to step away from the tourist areas in Lisbon and into the many residential neighborhoods of this beautiful city.
Lucky for you, we have done the heavy lifting and researched two of the best and most affordable Cervejaria Ramiro alternatives in town—so you don’t have to.
Tucked away on the Alcantara dock, this restaurant—whose name translates to The Last Port —delivers some of the freshest seafood options. Its unconventional location means the restaurant is pretty quiet most days, and you are not likely to see many foreigners around. Even on the more crowded days like weekends, you’ll probably only find a short line of patrons waiting to be seated.
Último Porto features both an indoor and outdoor dining area. On your first visit, servers are likely to recommend you try the restaurant’s signature sardines. Along with its delicious food, friendly staff, and pleasant atmosphere, this eatery’s price list is much more affordable than Ramiro’s. For example, an order of Amêijoa Bulhão Pato costs 14 € and can easily feed two.
Insider tip: Último Porto’s seafood comes with a generous side of veggies like broccoli or other greens – something we sorely missed while eating at the heavily protein-oriented Cervejaria Ramiro.
The dessert list is also longer and has more variety.
Location: Address: R. Gen. Gomes Araújo 1, 1350-352 Lisboa, Portugal
Baía do Peixe – Cascais
Are you craving a seafood and shellfish dinner and are not afraid to go the extra mile for a classy yet affordable eatery? Baía do Peixe could be just the place for you.
Situated on the seafront of beautiful Cascais, just a 30-min drive or 1-hour train ride west of Lisbon, this restaurant has a fantastic view of the beach.
Baía do Peixe is renowned for its generous shellfish menus for two that could easily feed three. The popular rodízio (buffet) is only €20.80per person and might be all you need – along with some delicious white wine.
Insider Tip: If you are in the mood for a hearty second-course meal with a side of veggies, you can opt for an order of salmon or bacalhau for €13-15
Location: Av. Dom Carlos I 6, 2750-310 Cascais, Portugal
The Bottom Line
Cervejeira Ramiro is a Lisbon institution. Due to the dynamic nature of this vibrant city, chances are its popularity will come and go in waves. Right now, though, this beloved eatery is expected
to keep drawing in the crowds for a long time to come.
If you don’t mind a high-energy, loud, fast-paced restaurant running at maximum capacity and can afford to splurge on a delicious seafood meal, go for it. On the other hand, if you are looking for a slower and more affordable way to enjoy quality Portuguese food, you are more than welcome to try one of our alternatives.
Do you have an alternative you want to share with us? Leave a comment below, and we will make sure to try it out!