The Best Restaurants in Óbidos, Portugal

Though diminutive, Óbidos is home to plenty of first-class restaurants
Though diminutive, Óbidos is home to plenty of first-class restaurants | © Magdalena Paluchowska / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Mark Nayler
20 September 2021
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Head north from Lisbon and you’ll hit the medieval city of Óbidos. Along its labyrinthine streets overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll find a wealth of top Portuguese restaurants – from rustic country eateries to dining rooms fit for royalty.

You can’t miss Óbidos as you drive up Portugal’s western coast. Sitting high on a hilltop, its 12th-century castle towers over the Old Town’s flower-covered houses and cobbled lanes. Still entirely surrounded by turreted medieval walls, it’s ideal for a day trip or weekend excursion from the Portuguese capital, offering baroque churches, pretty squares and plenty of restaurants in which to sample local cuisine.

Pontinha

Restaurant, Portuguese
fresh oysters. Image shot 08/2013. Exact date unknown.
© Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Take a pew in a former chapel at Pontinha, decorated with terracotta floors, stone columns and wooden ceiling beams. The six-course tasting menu, paired with regional wines, features artfully presented bites such as salmon rolls with truffled cream cheese and net-fresh shrimp and oysters. Round it off with a glass of the house ginja, made by the owners. Knowledgeable staff and excellent value-for-money enhance the pleasures of an evening here.

Jamon Jamon

Restaurant, Portuguese

It’s all about outdoor dining at the family-run Jamon Jamon, where a shaded terrace spreads out under the arches of Óbidos’ 16th-century aqueduct, overlooking the countryside. Menu staples include the oxtail and pork cheeks, both of which are slow-cooked in a red-wine sauce until meltingly tender. The confit duck leg with a sweet orange sauce is another favourite. Portion sizes are extremely generous, so sharing is a good option, especially when accompanied by a bottle of local wine or specially-made ginja.

A Nova Casa de Ramiro

Restaurant, Portuguese, $$$

Cave-like in ambience as well as size, Casa de Ramiro’s interior features arched ceilings, stone-flagged floors and walls lined with ancient wine vats. Must-eats include shrimp risotto, wagyu beef and blackened pork tenderloin with a moreish almond sauce. There are always a couple of vegan and veggie options on offer, too.

Alcaide

Restaurant, Portuguese
Village of Obidos, Western Portugal, picture postcard pretty showcase, well-preserved and maintained on the tourist trail
© Roger Day / Alamy Stock Photo

Could Alcaide’s unintentionally retro dining room do with a facelift? Maybe, but you won’t mind the surroundings as you dig into delicious specialities such as cod with walnuts, apples and cheese, or grilled octopus. There’s also a big terrace out the back with views over the hills outside Óbidos. Accompany with a carafe of their excellent house white or red and finish with a slice of homemade cake.

Pousada do Castelo

Restaurant, Portuguese
Castle, Obidos, Leiria District, Portugal
© imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

Formerly in possession of one Michelin star, the restaurant in Óbidos’ medieval castle is worth a visit for the regal setting as well as for the food. You’ll enter the surprisingly cosy dining room through a portcullis-shaped door. Sit beneath a high, beamed ceiling and survey the olive groves through oversized windows. The menu features rarely seen items, such as a stewed chicken recipe from the sixties and beef loin steak with dark chocolate sauce and pink pepper.

Poco dos Sabores

Restaurant, Portuguese

You’d be forgiven for walking past Poco dos Sabores, a simple stone bungalow that looks more like a cottage than a restaurant. Step inside this spot on the main drag in Usseira, a ten-minute drive from Óbidos, and you’ll find yourself in a dining room of wood and stone, decorated with ceramics and old farming equipment. It’s the perfect setting for the traditional, country-style fare. Go for the salted cod (served two ways) or the grilled veal with spuds and sauteed greens.

Tasca Torta

Bistro, Portuguese, $$$

Skip straight to dessert at Tasca Torta, a kiosk-sized eatery on the main street of Óbidos that claims to make the best chocolate cake in the world, slices of which are served on elegant black slates. Beforehand, you might want to try fresh sardines on toast and chunky chicken kebabs with spinach rice and salad. The waiting staff will make apposite wine recommendations if asked, but whatever you’re eating, you won’t go far wrong with Casa das Gaeiras, a punchy white hailing from Óbidos.

Petrarum Domus

Restaurant, Portuguese, $$$
petrarum-domus-bar-restaurante-obidos1
Courtesy of Petrarum Domus

Despite an unassuming exterior, Petrarum Domus lures you in off Rua Direita with glimpses of its split-level, medieval-chic dining room. Go for the most talked-about main – a colourful plate of pineapple chicken, new potatoes, basmati rice, broccoli, carrots and homemade coleslaw. It’s also a top spot for tasting Portugal’s signature cherry spirit; order the ginja cheesecake for dessert and follow it with a couple of shots, served in edible chocolate cups.

Pretensioso

Restaurant, Portuguese, $$$

At refined Pretensioso, the best tables are found outside, under the branches of a decades-old orange tree. This is the natural centrepiece of a secluded patio that also serves as the restaurant’s orchard and herb garden, which the chefs might raid for ingredients during your meal. Two diners can share the enormous beef tenderloin, which comes with mashed potatoes, greens and a cherry sauce made from ginja. Start with a curry-infused fish soup or a creamy vegetable broth.

Vila Infanta

Restaurant, Portuguese, $$$

If you fancy a break from touristic Óbidos, have lunch or dinner in this homey dining room, traditionally decorated with blue-and-white Portuguese azulejo tiles. It’s situated outside the medieval walls, about a 15-minute walk from Porta da Vila. Inside, the restaurant serves up classics such as salted cod and potatoes in a cream sauce and garlic-slathered octopus. Use discretion when ordering, as the mains are enormous and you’ll want space for a homemade dessert. It’s sufficiently old-fashioned not to accept cards.

Head back with a full stomach to one of these Óbidos hotels and then continue your journey and stay in one of the capital’s boutique hotels, now bookable via Culture Trip. Resume your culinary tour in these Lisbon restaurants, then spend your days at historic ruins and trendy galleries.

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