Best restaurants in Setúbal Peninsula

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Sesimbra

    Casa Mateus

    Upgrade from ubiquitous grilled fish at this cosy dining room drenched in hardwood and old stone. In 2013, husband, wife and son team Carlos, Cristina and Pedro resurrected a 55-year-old family business originally shuttered in 1982 – and took it to soaring new heights. They do wonderful, creative things with seafood. The grouper with bacon, clams and sweet potatoes is stunning, but order envy will descend upon you over the seafood green curry and the razor clams with lemon, olive oil and cilantro. Whatever you do, don't skip the fascinating basil mousse for dessert, either. Reservations are a must on weekends and summer – it's a small place.

  • Restaurants in Setúbal

    O Pescador II

    With tables sprawled along a lane a block or two back from the main drag, this simple but immensely authentic seafooder ain't much for manners and pleasantries, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better deal on simple seafood chargrilled over hot coals. The black scabbardfish is a meaty beast (and the easiest to handle for those fussy about bones) and the migas (mushy side dish made from leftover bread), salad, potatoes and broad beans are included in the price.

  • Restaurants in Sesimbra

    Lobo do Mar

    This unassuming seafooder in Porto de Abrigo has outgrown its humble beginnings as a bathing service in 1926 (there's a distinguishable line between its modern expansion and its original old school fisherman's shack). Pick your fresh catch and watch a seriously safety goggled-grillman butterfly it over burning hot coals. Simple and perfect. It's a 1.2km walk west along the waterfront from Forteleza de Santiago.

  • Restaurants in Setúbal

    Taifa

    A nice break from seafood, Taifa is a jazzy little cafe with outdoor tables and an eclectic menu that includes a limited but good menu of pad thai and red and green curries, Belgian beers and fragrant gin and tonics. The soundtrack is equally diverse, encompassing blues, folk, swing, soul and salsa. It's probably Setúbal's most lively spot for a happy hour tipple. Reserve ahead on weekends.

  • Restaurants in Setúbal

    Casa do Mar

    A standout among myriad seafooders in this warehouse district backing up against the water and a favourite of actual setubalense. It's a bit pricier than its neighbours but popular dishes like shrimp red curry with dried fruits, fried strips of grouper with fish eggs and cilantro and a lovely grouper rice with saffron, shrimp and clams justify the price bump.

  • Restaurants in Sesimbra

    Isaías

    No menu, no frills, just the tastiest grilled fish and cheapest plonk in town at this tasca run with love and prowess by Senhor Isaías' surviving son Carlos, grandson Thiago and chip-maven Maria. Sole, sardines, swordfish (your boneless choice) – it’s all uniformly delicious. Simple perfection.

  • Restaurants in Setúbal

    Tasca da Avenida

    A standout among Avenida Luísa Todi's long line of carbon copy seafood restaurants more for its size and intimacy than anything, but the food here is a step above as well. The best dishes serve two (seafood pasta stews, cuttlefish feijoada, seafood rice etc; €24 to €30).

  • Restaurants in Setúbal

    Delice Garden

    This cute little cafe offers the best vantage point for optimal people-watching and Instagram-ready plaza views. It does good crepes, bruschettas, croissants, pitchers of sangria and gin and tonics, etc.

  • Restaurants in Setúbal

    Mercado do Livramento

    Amid life-size statues of vendors (fruit sellers, fishmongers etc), you can assemble a first-rate picnic at this enticing cast-iron market: cheese, olives, bread, seasonal fruits and more.

  • Restaurants in Setúbal

    Baluarte da Avenida

    Baluarte serves excellent fish and seafood dishes cooked to perfection without a lot of fuss. Start with local Azeitão cheese, followed by grilled fish or caldeirada with clams for two (€45), and finish with a glass of Setúbal moscatel. The downside: smoking is allowed inside the restaurant – quite aggravating for nonsmokers – though technically in a separate space.

  • Restaurants in Setúbal

    Casa Santiago

    Wafts of fish sizzling on the grill will reel you into this local favourite, where the hungry lunchtime crowds feast on huge portions of choco frito, served with a squirt of lemon and mounds of fries, rice and salad. It’s the best along the strip with a covered terrace and plenty of buzz.