Sacas, located nearby a small fishing harbour north of Zambujeira do Mar, is a restaurant with 25 years of experience, where fish constitutes the main staple of its menu. With a long ocean tradition this old fishermen’s tavern breathes authenticity.
It has been quite some time since Manuel Maria João, also known as Sacas – due to his old habit of always wearing his fishing sackcloth trousers – quit fishing, and dedicated himself to his wife’s passion: good food and good cooking. When he opened the tavern by the ocean, he didn’t even have to worry about the restaurant’s name: it was immediately baptized as Sacas by his friends and fishermen who used to eat there on a daily basis.
Nowadays, his daughter and his son-in-law are part of the team, which gives this restaurant a pleasant family house atmosphere. Ana Maria, or Ti (Auntie) Maria as she is also called, always loved the kitchen and its secrets. She just loves to try new recipes, to use different ingredients and follow her inspiration acquired while she sleeps – she dreams about new recipes quite often and doesn’t waste time perfecting them. At Sacas, one can taste beans with limpets, a shrimp, hake and clam stew, greater weever breaded stakes, ray with coriander or the famous pompano steaks Ti Ana style. The fish comes directly from the place where it is auctioned, a few meters away from the restaurant, where it is bought according to tradition (the auctioneer starts at a high price and comes down until someone bids). Therefore, any type of fish one eats at Sacas is guaranteed to be fresh and of the highest quality.
Try the appetizers: you can choose between crab, barnacles, spider crab, mussels or fried moray eel, among other ocean delicacies. The conger fricassee and French style ray cooked in white wine with vegetables and herbs, are some of the dishes that confirm the main concept of this restaurant, where innovation and the will to surprise are more than obvious. You may also try some meat dishes like the house steak with champignons and cream or the pork with migas Alentejo style. But fish is definitely the main staple of Sacas. Don’t leave without trying the Sacas dessert (or doce do Sacas) or one of its conventual desserts.
After an ocean flavoured meal, walk down to the fishing harbour and feel the strength of the ocean waves and the pleasantness of its soft breezes. Walk south along the pedestrian coastal trail and you will discover several beaches before you reach the quaint and quiet town of Zambujeira do Mar.