It’s rare for a restaurant that tops a must-visit list to live up to the hype. But every time we are in Lisbon, Portugal, we visit Cervejaria Ramiro Lisboa. Sometimes twice. Not only does Cervejaria Ramiro Lisbon offer some of the best seafood in Lisbon, but it is a Lisbon institution.
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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. I also share some updates on how things have changed in recent years at Ramiro and what to expect when dining there.
We published our first review of Ramiro about 7 years ago on our older blog. Now, we update after each visit because we can’t help but visit Ramiro each time we travel to Lisbon.
Why Cervejaria Ramiro Lisbon?
We often looked to Anthony Bourdain for inspiration on what to eat and where to eat when traveling. That’s how we first learned of Cervejaria Ramiro Lisbon from an old episode of No Reservations. We visited O Ramiro during our first trip to Lisbon back in 2012.
I felt like we ate everything on the menu. Our server even told us we were sitting where Bourdain sat. I figured he says that sort of thing to every diner at O Ramiro Lisbon.
But, after an amazing seafood dinner, we watched the No Reservations episode again, and in fact, we did sit at Bourdain’s table. We did our best to copy his experience. And with this restaurant Ramiro advice, you can too. But, what is Cervejaria Ramiro anyway?
At its most basic, cervejaria in Portuguese is really 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. Totally casual and not in the least bit pretentious.
That said, we love Ramiro and often find ourselves eating there more than once during each visit.
Does Cervejaria Ramiro Accept Reservations?
We often get asked the question, does Cervejaria Ramiro accept reservations? Nope, they don’t. But, how the restaurant has evolved over time is a perfect way to talk about how to secure a table at Ramiro.
First, check the Ramiro restaurant website to check if they are open. They do close for a chunk of August, along with much of Lisbon. They also close on Monday. They don’t take reservations, but they are open all day, from noon until 12:30 am Tuesday through Saturday.
When we first visited Ramiro, it was a simple facade, with a small overhang. There were people waiting outside and the host brought us a few beers while waiting (as can be seen in the dark photo above). It was all very casual and chill.
As Ramiro increases in popularity, they’ve made changes over the years. Currently, they have a large enclosed patio area for waiting. The best part? There is an automatic beer dispenser. Bring a few €2 coins to enjoy the wait a little more.
Getting a Table at Ramiro
Ramiro is probably one of the most popular Lisbon restaurants, so our best advice is to go mid-week, or for lunch, and get there early. Better yet, arrive before they even open. We’ve never waited more than thirty minutes for a table, but I have heard people waiting for an hour, or even two.
If trying to visit on a weekend, try to avoid anything after 8:00 pm, prime time for dining in Lisbon. During our last visit, we dined for lunch on Friday around 1 pm and did an early dinner around 6 pm on a Thursday. We didn’t wait either time, much to Eric’s disappointment because he wanted to test the beer dispenser.
Another big recent change at Ramiro is that they are better managing the line of waiting guests. There is now a computer screen when entering to pick a number. The numbers show up next to the doorway as tables are ready.
Cervejaria Ramiro Menu Price
Most of the Cervejaria Ramiro menu is priced per kilogram. That is always a stress for me. First, because I am not as used to kilograms as pounds. Second, I never know how to order. Most of the servers do speak a little English, so feel free to ask for advice on how much to order.
A meal for two, with beer, will most likely range between €75-100. Yes, it’s a splurge, but Ramiro Restaurant Lisbon offers some of the best quality seafood in Lisbon. And, I trust them and their reputation.
There are other seafood restaurants in Lisbon, particularly ones closer to the water that perhaps are more touristy, where I feel like they are out to gauge tourists. Although Ramiro’s menu is priced the same, I’ve never felt overcharged or cheated in any way.
I’ve always walked out happy, a little more pleasantly plump, and happy with what we’ve spent. Included below are a rough estimate of how much each dish would cost for two people, but it depends on market price and how much you order.
What to Order at Cervejaria Ramiro Lisboa
I love Cervejaria Ramiro. I love the feel of the place . . . noisy, always busy. I love the white paper over the tablecloths. I love the servers, always rushing around, but willing to take time to joke. I love how the traditional dessert is a steak sandwich.
It’s hard to put together a must-eat list for Ramiro because there is so much on the Ramiro menu that is great. If you can go with a few friends, it might be better to be able to taste everything. But, to get started, here are some of our favorites.
I tried to add the Portuguese word to help if you visit other seafood restaurants in Lisbon. But, the Ramiro menu is on an iPad that comes in several languages. No need to worry about language at Ramiro.
Crab – Sepateira
Cervejaria Ramiro prepares the crab in a way that is probably unique to many Americans. They take all of the good stuff in the “head” of the crab: roe, the green bits, and all, and mix it together to form a dip for the crab. It is served with bread for the crab dip. The dip was fresh and creamy. And, the crab, in particular, the claws, were fresh and delicious.
I sometimes have a seafood intolerance to crab, but I didn’t care. I ate the Cervejaria Ramiro crab with abandon! That said, during our last visit I jealously watched others enjoying their crab but I was afraid of my allergy and avoided it this trip. Cost: About €20 for one crab
Garlic Shrimp – Gambas a la Guillo
One of the more common dishes at seafood restaurants in all of Portugal, and even in Spain, is garlic shrimp. They generally come to the table sizzling in olive oil, garlic, and a little chili pepper. Yes, it’s possible to find these everywhere in Lisbon, but the ones at Ramiro are always perfectly prepared.
The Portuguese version includes a little bit of chili pepper and the garlic is always perfectly browned and perfect to slather on some fresh, warm bread. We order these every visit, in particular, to sop up the garlic oil. Cost: About €12 per order
Garlic Clams – Ameijoas a Bulhao
Another one of my favorites across all of Portugal and Spain. Small clams sauteed in olive oil and probably butter as well, loaded with fresh garlic. Also good with fresh bread to sop up the sauce.
I will note, if budget is a concern, order the garlic shrimp and clams with garlic, which are both good value dishes at a set price. There is no worry about the price per kilogram. Cost: About €12 per order
Giant Tiger Prawns – Gamba Tigre
Giant tiger prawns have to be one of the dishes that Restaurant Ramiro Lisbon is known for. They are grilled simply and drizzled with butter. They are always cooked to perfection and easy to eat.
When ordering the tiger prawn, one prawn might be enough for two people. We ordered two prawns on one visit (as seen above) and because we ordered so much food, it was a bit much. We have also ordered three on gluttonous days!
This is one time when it is okay to ask about how many kilograms is one prawn and decide whether one or two is best for two people. Average cost: About €20-40 for two people. In 2019, two prawns cost about €22 and three prawns cost about €35.
Scarlet Prawns – Carabineiros
We normally order the giant tiger prawns, but this time we tried the Scarlet Prawns, which are similar to the Palamos prawns we have where we live in the Costa Brava. Ramiro serves them sprinkled with a little rock salt. They are a little more messy to eat, but there is a sink in the dining room if needed (the sign of a good seafood restaurant).
The meat is tender and juicy with a unique flavor that I couldn’t quite place. They are almost a little smoky, while still tasting sweet. The meat of the prawn is slightly pink in color too.
Either suck out all the goodness in the head of the prawn (the tomalley) or dump it out onto the plate and sop it up with some bread. Average cost: It’s about the same as the giant tiger prawns, where two scarlet prawns cost about €25.
What Else to Order at Restaurante O Ramiro Lisbon
For two people, I would recommend the garlic shrimp, garlic prawns, and either the giant tiger prawns or scarlet prawns. If you can eat (like we can) maybe add the crab, which normally comes as a starter. But, Cervejaria Ramiro Lisboa has a pretty extensive menu of simply prepared fresh seafood and other dishes.
If you want a break from seafood, how about a little presunto to start the meal, a cured ham similar to jamon. As for other Portuguese dishes, try the percebes, or goose barnacles, something you have to try at least once. They also offer razor clams on the menu, but they didn’t have any during our last visit.
Dessert on the Cervejaria Ramiro Lisbon Menu
During the entire meal, there was a buzz, an atmosphere to Cervejaria Ramiro Lisbon that was indescribable. No music played. All we heard were the patrons enjoying their dinner, forks clinked plates, conversation flowed. We sat at a long communal table with white paper tablecloths, close enough to interact, to smile over great food.
At the end of each meal at Cervejaria Ramiro, stuffed to the brim, we do what the locals do. We saw this on Bourdain, and it was confirmed by the older couple sitting near us during our first visit. We ordered two steak sandwiches to finish off the meal. Yes, steak sandwiches for dessert.
The sandwiches were similar to the bifanas at O Trevo. This sandwich is called a prego. It has thinly sliced, almost rare steak with grilled garlic, on fresh bread, with a little spicy mustard. During our first visit, I was so stuffed I could, embarrassingly, only eat one half of the sandwich. I donated the remainder to a couple sitting near us. Here’s a tip: order one prego for two people for dessert.
Why do we Keep Returning to Cervejaria Ramiro Lisbon?
Why do I keep going back to O Ramiro? In my opinion, Cervejaria Ramiro is the best place for seafood in Lisbon. Plain and simple.
I have worried over the years about it getting too popular. And, I’ve worried about the quality. That said, it’s always one of the best meals we eat in Lisbon.
We’ve eaten at seafood restaurants around Lisbon, particularly in August when Ramiro is closed, and the seafood is never as good. I’ve eaten garlic shrimp that was awful. It was clear the shrimp had been frozen. They were soft. Yuck. If only Cervejaria Ramiro had been open.
Most of the garlic shrimp I had, not only in Lisbon, but in Portugal, were about the same. So disappointing. But, Cervejaria Ramiro has some of the best garlic shrimp I’ve ever tasted. The shrimp are fresh, the garlic bits crispy, the resulting sauce perfect to sop up with fresh bread. It’s that simple.
Reason number 1 that Cervejaria Ramiro is the best: Its garlic shrimp.
When eating in Lisbon, I asked some of our foodie experts for alternatives to Cervejaria Ramiro. It’s always packed, there’s always a wait. And, I often get the feeling that the popularity is growing among tourists because of Anthony Bourdain (or, readers of this food and travel blog of course). I wanted an alternative. I asked two foodie friends who recommend Pinoquio, which translates to Pinnochio.
I was hesitant. Every time we walked by it just seemed overpriced and over-touristed. Our friends could not possibly be wrong, though. So, we finally, out of desperation on a Sunday when nothing else was open, visited Pinoquio. First off, Pinoquio is a stone’s throw from the most touristy part of Lisbon, which usually means I would try to avoid it. Strike 1.
Second, I couldn’t understand the menu pricing. Most of the pricing was in kilograms, which always stresses me out because I can never figure out how much we need for two people and how much that will cost (note this is similar at Cervejaria Ramiro, but the servers are always willing to help).
The one dish that was not priced in kilograms was another of our favorites, clams with garlic. I looked at the price. It was three times as expensive as the same dish at Cervejaria Ramiro. Strike 2.
While trying to get a table, a server told us to sit down at a dirty table. It took forever for it to be cleaned. So, while sitting and reading the menu of overpriced seafood dishes, I stared at the remnants of someone else’s meal, while surrounded by tourists. We got up. We left. I just didn’t want to deal. Strike 3 against Pinoquio.
Reason number 2 why Cervejaria Ramiro is the best: It’s a good value.
People recommended other seafood restaurants in Lisbon when we asked for advice. But, none of them were, in fact, in Lisbon. There are some nearby fishing villages that are popular for seafood. Without a car, though, they are a pain to get to.
Reason number 3 why Cervejaria Ramiro is the best: It’s centrally located, but not in a touristy part of town. I say all of this because I want to make clear that there is a reason why there is so much hype about Cervejaria Ramiro Lisbon – it deserves it!
FAQs – Restaurante Ramiro Lisboa
Cervejaria Ramiro Restaurant Lisbon is located at Almirante Reis, 1-H. They are just a short walk north of the Martim Moniz metro stop. Ramiro is open from noon to midnight Tuesday through Sunday. They are closed on Monday.
As mentioned above, it is a splurge, particularly in a city like Lisbon that offers a better value than many other big European cities. This seafood restaurant, though, offers great quality, and a great experience. That makes it totally worth it. As for the Cervejaria Ramiro Lisbon menu, just pick a few items to share and keep it simple.
The Details: Cervejaria Ramiro Lisboa
Address: Av. Almirante Reis nº1 – H, 1150-007 Lisboa, Portugal, just north of Martim Moniz metro stop
Hints: Closed MONDAYS, expect a wait, order the steak sandwich for dessert
Price: A decent meal for 2 with beers is approximately €75; Pricier items include the giant prawns (order 1 prawn for 2 people, each person gets one half. Trust me.). A bottle of Portuguese wine costs between €13-15 a bottle.