The popular seaside town of Cascais is well-known for its spectacular seafood restaurants, with a few outstanding places for steak and grilled chicken in between. But even the locals get bored of eating their own cuisine every day. Here are a few fantastic, more unusual places to try in and around Cascais.
Confraria is a quaint, lively sushi restaurant in the centre of town. You’ll find more Brazilians than Japanese working here, due to an unusual historic event that brought thousands of Japanese to Brazil, becoming the largest immigrant group in the country. The influx of Japanese created Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, sake-based caipirinhas, and delicious fusion sushi combining tropical fruits with classic sushi staples. Enjoy a kiwi-sakerinha and a more exotic sushi menu than you may be used to.
The Mandarim at the Estoril Casino can be reached by the beachside walkway or paradão that connects the neighbouring towns of Cascais and Estoril. The Mandarim is a distinguished, upmarket Chinese restaurant with an outdoor terrace and stunning views over the casino gardens and ocean. Based on cuisine from Guangdong, specialities include Sunday dim-sum lunch (reservations advised), Peking duck, shark fin soup, melt-in-the-mouth garlic beef, and a variety of lobster dishes from salt and pepper to melted cheese.
In the summer the Cascais Hot Dogs pop-up truck takes up residence along the coast by Boca do Inferno, only a short walk or bike ride from the town centre. It’s a beautiful location to enjoy views over the endless Atlantic and the best spot to refuel. Order their famous hotdog completo, gratinado which means a hot dog with everything (carrots, cabbage, onion, chips, cheese and four sauces) steamed, so that the cheese melts on top. In case it’s not summer, you can still try the same delicious hot dogs at Hot Dogs Fusão in Casa da Guia, all year round.
One of my favourite places for a quick bite is at Jammin – Ocean Cafe. Continue along the beach road towards Guincho and you’ll find Casa da Guia, a beautiful scenic outdoor complex of restaurants, cafes and shops. The speciality at Jammin is a toasted open sandwich called pantomaka. Like a cross between a toastie and pizza, the pantomakas come topped with deliciously garlicky tomato sauce, different cheeses and other toppings such as presunto, ham and smoked salmon. They also serve fresh juices at a great value.
Portugal is probably the best place to enjoy authentic Brazilian food outside of Brazil. In Cascais, Fogo de Chão serves up classic Brazilian rodizio, all you can eat BBQ meat carved at your table. Green means “keep it coming”, red means “stop I can’t eat another bite!” There is also a large buffet serving typical Brazilian sides such as black beans, rice and various salads. Don’t forget to add several generous spoonfuls of farofa to your rice and beans, and try not to get too full before they bring round the picanha, a Brazilian favourite.