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What: The purest codfish fritters you’ll find, just shredded salt cod mixed with flour, eggs, onions, parsley, and spices, then fried. (The popular pasteis de bacalhau use potato in their batter, for a different texture and flavor.) Pataniscas are usually offered either as standalone appetizers or as a meal alongside arroz de feijao (rice with red beans). If you’re aiming to try all 365 purported ways of eating salt cod in Portugal, this one’s a no-brainer.
Where: These pataniscas are from beloved tasca Restaurante A Merendinha do Arco (Rua dos Sapateiros 230, map), by the Rossio Arch. With its long, crowded communal tables, it can be an intimidating spot to find a place to eat come the lunch rush, but no worries: Our family of four managed to squeeze in, and feel welcomed, after a manageable wait.
When: Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm; Sat, 9am-3pm
Order: The parsley-flecked pataniscas de bacalhau arrived unceremoniously on our table at room temperature—but they tasted wonderful, a little sweet, a little salty, fresh and comforting. This was a perfect start to our lunch here (the restaurant also offers it as a prato do dia alongside arroz de feijao for €6.50).
Alternatively: Look for these as an app at tascas around town. We noted them on the menu at the Miguel Castro e Silva stall inside the popular Time Out Market Lisboa (aka Mercado da Ribeira; Av. 24 de Julho 49, map), where it’s listed as “iscas de bacalhau” (the northern Portugal variant; Chef Miguel hails from Porto).
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