Cascais, Portugal, is a beautiful coastal resort town about 40 minutes west of Lisbon. There is more to Cascais than its bustling downtown, with much of the city spanning the Atlantic coastline.
One of the reasons we moved to Portugal was to enjoy gorgeous views of the ocean while relishing fresh seafood local to the area. Fortunately, there are many fabulous restaurants in Cascais with splendid water views. With a wide variety of menus and locations, there are likely to be several options for places to get exactly what your taste buds crave while enjoying the mesmerizing action of the sea. Here are just a few Cascais restaurants with water views that we think make for a unique and memorable dining experience. They are listed in no particular order, and we hope you find your favorite.
1. Furnas Do Guincho
The western part of Cascais offers some spectacular views of the wild and rocky coastline. To complete the experience in total pleasure, take in a sunset at Furnas do Guincho. The elegant seaside restaurant offers first-class service and cuisine. With a menu that offers both seafood and meat specialties, there is a lot from which to choose. Portuguese specialties, particularly fresh-caught fish and shellfish served in the local styles, are equally matched by meat dish classics like chateaubriand and filet mignon. But we could be satisfied just savoring a cocktail and some delicious appetizers.
The view from the terrace is hard to beat. Relaxing to the sound of the waves while enjoying a sumptuous meal served with grace and smiles is well worth the splurge.
2. Grande Real Villa Itália Hotel & Spa
Typically, Sunday brunch is not as common in Portugal as it is in the United States. But if your heart is set on a gorgeous buffet with many delicious options and a view of the sea, Cascais will fill your heart with joy. The Grande Real Villa Itália is a five-star resort with the kind of amenities you would expect. But one of the unexpected delights is the extensive Sunday brunch that offers lots of flavors from Portugal and the world. Pastries, cheeses, charcuterie, and fruits start you off. Then there are salads, cereals and oatmeal, pancakes, warm main dishes, eggs, sausages, and many other options.
You can enjoy a glass of wine (or as many glasses as you like) while taking it slow with a view of the sea on the terrace. Brunch lasts from 12:30 p.m. until 4 p.m., so you can relax and enjoy at a pace that suits you. It’s a popular treat, so you’d best make reservations in advance.
We have friends who eat at LOVit every week. And whenever we go there for a meal, we can understand why. In the lovely Casa da Guia complex, LOVit is easy to love. The patio is quite large, with a classic view of the water and the coast. You can also see the water from the smaller indoor dining area, too.
The menu is really easy to love, with everything from burgers and salads to expertly crafted sushi. One thing to note is that the portions here are huge. Recently, we both ordered a chicken sandwich and each took half of it home with us. Salads with shrimp or chicken are equally substantial. LOVit is an easy-going, casual spot where it’s easy to sit and while away the hours with friends over sangria and snacks or a meal.
We love the cheerful, relaxed vibe and super friendly service that sometimes comes with a dry wit we find incredibly appealing. It’s easy to find something delicious and a fabulous view at LOVit, which is why we do.
4. Marina De Cascais
Marina de Cascais is a treasure trove of spots to dine, take in lovely views of the water, and hang around the boating crowd. Rather than pick a specific restaurant here, we recommend you stroll through this beautiful area and see what appeals at the time. There are several top-notch restaurants perfect for lunch or dinner, or even drinks and snacks. Sunset views are sure to be a highlight.
Here’s just a tasting: Tasca da Linha has great Portuguese petiscos, similar to tapas; Valério offers a variety of dishes, including pizzas; Marisco na Praça Marina offers the same delicious seafood as their location at the Mercado da Vila, which we love; La Brasserie de lÉntrecôte has great French food; while Skipper focuses on burgers, steaks, pregos, and salads.
There are other spots here, so you can just walk by and see what looks good, unless you’re aiming for a set dinner time — then you’ll want to book a table in advance, as it can get quite busy when the weather is good.
5. Mar Do Inferno
Boca do Inferno is one of the must-see geologic attractions for many visitors to Cascais, and the nearby Mar do Inferno is a must-go restaurant for many seafood lovers. This high-end eatery is often the first place locals mention when asked for the best seafood in town. It has great water views of the rocky coast of Cascais away from the downtown crowds. Fresh fish and shellfish dominate the menu, but there are tasty meat options and vegetarian items, as well. It’s quite pricey but for a special evening of fine dining and water views, Mar Do Inferno is an excellent choice.
It’s fun to hang out at a relaxing spot with a view of the water — and lots of choices for nibbles. If this sounds appealing, check out Hifen, a Cascais favorite.
Petiscos come in many international flavors perfect for sharing with friends. Local dishes like bitoque (Portugal’s version of steak frites), Madeiran-style limpets, and octopus salad (or octopus lagareiro) with garlic, oil, and potatoes are also available. You can select an assortment that sounds appealing and enjoy the libation of your choice while sitting back and watching the boats and the water across the road.
Editor’s Note: You can learn more about octopus lagareiro in Sue and Diana’s list of must-try foods in Cascais.
The unique thing about Hifen is that it has balconies where you can sit outside and get a different perspective. Many people find it a fabulous place to go and unwind after a day of sightseeing because it’s near Cascais’s downtown core and easy to find.
Another spot at the Casa da Guia complex that offers a rustic, outdoorsy place to eat with water views is Palaphita. Calling itself an “eco-lounge,” Palaphita serves Brazilian and South American cuisine, representing its Amazonian roots. Salads, sandwiches, fondues, and more embody the rustic vibe. And if you’re looking for an authentic Brazilian caipirinha to drink, Palaphita has you covered.
There’s a small garden area to the side where the restaurant grows fresh herbs and vegetables. And you can sit outside listening to music in the evenings and take in lovely views of the ocean beyond. Cool clear domes and dramatic lighting add to the scene during warm summer nights.
For a place where you can really feel that you’re out in nature with the scent of the trees and a view of the sea, Palaphita offers a unique and memorable experience.
8. Fortaleza Do Guincho
We often say to ourselves that we’d rather be lucky than smart. Luckily, we stumbled on Fortaleza do Guincho one afternoon while on a long drive in Portugal. This beautiful Relais & Chateaux resort property was a military fort in the 17th century and transformed into a gorgeous five-star property on the Cascais coast.
There are two dining possibilities here. First is the elegant, Michelin-starred Gastronomic Restaurant, sumptuous excellence full of dishes inspired by the sea. The other is the more casual Spot, a casual restaurant with a glorious terrace with the waves as a backdrop. We tried the octopus salad and prego beef sandwich on the afternoon of our long drive and felt instantly revived. The service was perfect, the food outstanding, and the water views absolutely captivating.
9. Baía Do Peixe
Seafood is such a part of Cascais that most restaurants will have at least a few fish or shellfish items on their menus. But for a delicious seafood-centered meal with a high quality-to-value ratio, Baía do Peixe (Fish Bay) is a dream. In addition to individual fish and shellfish dishes, the restaurant offers rodizio, or platters where once you finish one serving, you can get another. Some dishes are sharable, so it’s easy to taste a variety without overdoing it.
The combination of great seafood at a good price, excellent location, and sea views means Baía do Peixe is usually in high demand — so reservations are recommended. Ask for a seat on the veranda to get a fantastic view of the water and a fabulous meal.
Eats At The End Of Your Budget
Sometimes you save for a splurge and then need to dial it back to stay on budget. That doesn’t mean you need to give up on enjoying tasty bites with great water views. Go for a cocktail or glass of fantastic Portuguese wine with a delicious snack at one of the many swanky hotel lounges in Cascais. They offer terrific views of the sea without breaking the bank. Hotel Farol Bar on the Rocks, the terrace at Reserva Da Vila, or Hotel Albatroz Bar & Terrace are just a few suggestions.
Whether you enjoy meat, seafood, or vegetarian fare, there are plenty of fabulous restaurants to keep you full and happy in the lovely seaside resort town of Cascais. When you add a beautiful view of the sea, you’re bound to have an unforgettable experience you’ll remember for years to come.