Last updated on 06-Sep-2023
Psssst, I’m about to share a “secret” 😉
We have found yet another fabulous spot to visit (not a difficult feat in Portugal!) with delicious food and great views, perfect for a great day at the beach during the warmer months (although they are open year-round), and it’s very close to Lisbon. I call it a “secret” because it’s not in the city centre nor in a very touristy area, so most people may not “find it” on their own. Until late in the summer of 2021 we did not know about this place specifically, even though it was already popular with locals and visitors, but since we found it, we can’t get enough!
So what’s this special place?
It’s a restaurant called Pé Nú Beach Club. Pé Nú means “barefoot” or “naked foot” in a more literal translation, and the name hints at the casual and “chill” atmosphere. The restaurant is set higher up above the dunes at the beach, with great views of the ocean and the wide stretch of sand beyond, and you can even watch amazing sunsets there.
They have an airy and bright dining area with high ceilings and large glass doors that open to the outside deck (esplanada), where more tables are set for the best views. They seem to be quite a popular venue for corporate events, holiday meals, weddings and other celebrations, and I can totally understand why.
Where is it?
Pé Nú is located at Praia de São João (see Google listing here), at the “South shore” (margem sul) across the Tagus River from Lisbon.
Praia de São João is one of the beaches in the Almada district, north of the town of Costa da Caparica itself and its busy centre. It’s not easy to get to São João without a car unless one lives in the same neighbourhood, and that makes it less likely to be overcrowded during the high season. The beach area has one gated access from the main road, and then a smaller road inside the gates brings visitors to several (about 6-7) beach-front restaurants dotted along the beach. Each restaurant has its own covered parking zones and, during the warmer months, they provide lifeguards, rental beach loungers and straw huts in the marked areas. You can also bring your own beach set-up and sit in the public areas (unmarked). Upon driving through the entrance gates, you can park at any lot inside. Parking is charged by the hour, up to a maximum of €5 from May to September and €4 from October to April (prices from 2021).
Before going to Pé Nú for the first time for a day at the beach and a meal, we went to the beach in São João and stayed for a bit at the area consigned to another restaurant but did not eat there. Now, we’re spoiled and I’ll have a hard time trying one of the other restaurants in the vicinity. 🙂
So far, we’ve tried a few dishes, all of which were for two people with good portion sizes:
- “Fritada Mista de Peixe” = mixed fried fish/prawns with saucy clam rice;
- “Zarzuela de Peixe” = fish fillets, prawns, clams, mussels, and sautéed potatoes;
- And our FAVOURITE, “Bacalhau à Pé Nú” = fried salted cod loins with prawns, clams, broccoli rabe/rapini, and fried potatoes.
Besides fish/seafood dishes, they have meat and vegetarian options, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. Something for everyone!
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More about Pé Nú
Pé Nú is open 7 days a week during the warmer months offering their full regular menu, but the days/hours of operation and menu selection may vary during the low season. They advise calling ahead to check on availability and make reservations or requests for specific dishes.
No matter when you go during the year, you’ll be greeted by the beautiful ocean views and yummy food/drinks at decent prices, especially considering the setting/location. We usually spend some time at the beach and have lunch there, returning to the beach after, but many people will make the trip there just to visit the restaurant. And thanks to the lovely weather in Lisbon, I wrote this post at the end of October and we were just there TODAY! The beach was quiet, but the sun was out and it was warm enough to do a little suntanning and enjoy a late lunch at the restaurant’s deck. On cooler/rainy days, the indoor dining space is still a great option.
So, if you are in the Lisbon area and looking for an option that combines a relaxed ambiance, a varied menu and great views of the beach, check this place out. We’d love to hear from you if you try it!
If interested in more posts about life in Portugal, click here.