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Sapateira recheada

Sapateira recheada, a Portuguese stuffed-crab dish, from a popular seafood restaurant in Lisbon.

What: Imagine the very essence of a crab turned into a creamy, savory sauce served in the shell of a large crab, and you’ll be close to sapateira recheada, Portuguese stuffed crab. Sweet, delicate crab meat and briny roe is mixed with mustard, mayonnaise, beer, paprika, and hard-boiled eggs; poured back into the shell; and served with bread or crackers for dipping/spreading. The crab’s claws and legs are typically steamed and served alongside. It’s big, it’s bold—and it’s for crab lovers only!

Where: The seafood at Cervejaria Ramiro (Av. Almirante Reis nº1 - H, map) is so popular, there’s a line out the door most nights. But...it’s worth the wait, both for the delicious meals and the frenetic atmosphere (also, you can grab some beer while you’re waiting on that line). Expect a lot of shellfish, a lot of butter and garlic, and a lot of wine.

Good to know: The restaurant has three floors, with the top floor reserved for private parties. The bottom two are pretty casual, brightly lit, and noisy, and our kids were welcome (they particularly loved the aquarium with live seafood near the entry).

When: Tues-Sun, noon-12:30am

Order: The sapateira recheada (€21.73 per kg) was savory and soupy, rich with mustardy tang and hunks of delicious crab meat. We got tons of meat out of the accompanying claws, legs, and joints as well. It was a perfect part of our seafood feast here (also do not miss the buttery, garlicky, grilled and halved gambas tigre gigante, giant prawns—and the prego sandwich for “dessert”).

Alternatively: Our friends at Backpack Me, who wrote the extremely helpful Lisbon in 100 Bites guide, have fond memories (detailed in this Q&A) of the sapateira recheada at Cervejaria Trindade (Rua Nova da Trindade 20 C, map), a beautiful restaurant housed in a former monastery.


 

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