Portugal: Caracóis de São Bento

T and I spent the majority of our last day in Lisbon climbing castle walls and exploring palace rooms in Sintra.  We were thoroughly pooped by the time we got back to the city.

Even so, with our time in Lisbon dwindling down, we had to suck it up in order to fit in all the last things we wanted to experience.  One of T's requests was Caracóis de São Bento:

It's kind of out of the way and not very easy to find.  But once you do, you step down into a homey little space filled with locals:

Everyone goes to Caracóis de São Bento for one thing: snails.  In fact, the word "caracóis" means exactly that.

We ordered the mini-dish of caracóis or small snails (3.50 €).  The so-called mini-dish was overflowing with tiny snails cooked in a savory broth:

I've had escargot before, but I've never had a snail experience quite like this.  When you pick out the little bugger from its shell, it looks exactly like your average garden snail:

No chance of mistaking it for something else.  Oh no.  It's a snail.  With antennas.

Since we made it all the way there, we figured we might as well go all out.  So we ordered the caracoleta grelhada or grilled big snails (9 €) too:

The big snails were rather sandy, but the garlic butter more than made up for that.  There's also a spicy oil for those of you who like your snails to have a bit of a kick to them.

Not going to lie, the big snails were fine, but eating the small snails was kinda...weird.  Though they weren't necessarily bad, I won't be jumping at the chance to have them again.  It's just...antennas.  Brrr...

More importantly, it's a lot of work for a tiny little thing.

I'm a lazy eater.  Bite me.

Caracóis de São Bento
Rua Dos Poiais de Sao Bento 38
1200 Lisbon, Portugal
+351 21 820 7273


  1. I am very impressed and kind of grossed out. Good job, Amy.


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