My husband and I stumbled upon Baleal in August 2012, after a day of wandering around Lisbon during our honeymoon. We were dying of heat and ducked into the aquarium-lined entry, which leads into a large, cool room with a raw bar and a number of tables. Baleal has overhead lighting and no tablecloths, and it is definitely not violins and roses romantic-- but that is what makes it absolutely fabulous! This is an old-school beer, wine, and seafood joint! It will remind you of the good old days! It is also clean and well-maintained, and it is clear that the management and staff take pride in what they do.
The seafood we have had at Baleal is absolutely the best raw bar cuisine we have had in Portugal. The sapateira (steamed and cooled spider crab partially deconstructed and served with a bisque dip and toast) is highly recommended. The ameijoas (small clams simmered in herb broth) are killer. If you're not sure what you want or how much to order, the staff is very helpful and honest in choosing a tasty, appropriately sized selection for your party (you can certainly get by with English if you need to, though this is definitely not a tourist joint).
We now go back to Baleal whenever we are in Lisbon!
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