Per capita, the people of Portugal consume just about as many snails as the French. And Lisbon’s one-stop-shop for all its snail needs is Casa dos Caracóis, literally “House of Snails.”
The brand has 11 shops across Portugal, with seven in the greater Lisbon area alone. The capital’s Campolide branch is typical of the brand: spotless and brightly lit, decked out in stainless steel and snail paraphernalia, including prehistoric snail fossils. The shop stocks everything a Portuguese snail consumer could possibly need: snails, of course, but also the requisite snail peripherals, which include bread (for toasting), oregano and garlic (for boiling snails) and beer and sangria (for drinking with snails).
At least four varieties of snails can be bought live, to be taken home and boiled or grilled. Smaller snails are typically boiled in broth with that oregano and garlic, while larger snails are grilled. Alternatively, each shop has the facilities to boil hundreds of kilos of snails for take-away, in sizes ranging from small containers to massive €40 buckets. The vast majority of snails sold at Casa dos Caracóis are raised on farms in Morocco.
Know Before You Go
As snails are a seasonal product, Casa dos Caracóis is only open around summer, from as early as April to as late as September.