Lisbon: Canned Fish


Our Portuguese canned fish bounty

Canned fish has gone gourmet in Portugal. There are many speciality shops throughout Lisbon and Porto and you can’t help but be drawn to all of the colorful packaging! We bought quite a few to take with us to enjoy back in Belgium!

While in Lisbon, we chose to have lunch at Can the Can – a restaurant that serves delicious canned fish creations. To quote their website:

The art of food preservation is one that has also developed over the ages. The canning industry in Portugal was born in 1865, in a country with an extraordinary coast, an ancestral tradition of fishing and an unparalleled quality of fish. This is the oldest and dearest industry in our land.

Our dishes are so healthy because they are based on a combination of fresh vegetables with quality canned fish, a product, rich in Omega 3 oils and without need of preservatives.

But we do not just serve tin products. We use the best tin seafood delicacies within a concept of Mediterranean gastronomy. We elevate tin seafood we use to the level of exclusive gastronomic products, at the same time as innovating in our recipes, joining fresh ingredients and placing a premium on quality of preparation and presentation.

Along the way, we promote the recognition and consumption of the very best of our national tin seafood, helping make Portuguese conserves an integral part of Lisbon’s touristic offer to lovers of great gastronomy and culture.

So if you’re in Lisbon, I recommend you head to the beautiful Praça do Comércio and enjoy a canned fish lunch on their terras.



Can the Can, located on Commerce Square



Enjoying the sunny weather on their terrace (and my view of the Rua Augusta Arch)



My back against the Tagus River



Cocktails to start



Tempura-ed sea greaves (small sardines) with guacamole and gazpacho, tuna samosas with a mango and mustard seed coulis, and sardine brucheta



Close-up of the sea greave tempura



The sardine brucheta was so delicious! Served on top of toast with green and red peppers and coriander pesto



Anchovies with limes, olive oil, and toast


Our first canned fish shop was A Conserveira de Lisboa – “The oldest and by far the best shop to buy canned fish, the family who runs it  is exclusively devoted to preserving and selling their 3 canned labels: Tricana, Minor and Prata do Mar, all excellent quality brands for canned fish. The history of the place is well–worth the visit, along with watching the old Portuguese ladies hand-wrap the cans for you.” – The Ultimate Guide to Gourmet Canned Fish.



A Conserveira de Lisboa – still open during the construction luckily



Founded in 1930



So many to choose from!



Our selection




The original register



The second destination was Loja das Conservas – “Every brand, style of fish, and flavor you can possibly imagine is on display!” – The Ultimate Guide to Gourmet Canned Fish. We had the best assistance in the shop! She really took her time showing us her favorites and which fish was best from which company. I also was able to use the canning machine!



The Portuguese rooster



Canning mural



Koen in front of the canning mural – and our sales assistant with our box of goodies!



So  many brands and fish to choose from!



Receiving the best customer service!


If you’re headed to Lisbon or Porto, I really recommend checking out The Ultimate Guide to Gourmet Canned Fish. You can learn about the history, the new movement, brands, and which fish are best!

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