March 2017

They say great things can emerge from a disaster and that is certainly the case for a little grocery store in Lisbon.

With World War II looming, the owners of Conserveira de Lisboa made two decisions which would mark out an indefinite future. First, they decided they would specialise in tinned fish; it would be easier to stock and export as opposed to selling varied goods. Secondly, they would register their own brands, something which was rare at the time for a small shop. 

Today, Conserveira de Lisboa still stocks only tinned fish, and of their own brand too. Three of the original five brands remain; Tricana offers fillets of bigger fish, with each one hand placed in the can. Minor features small fish and fish pastes, making the line a go-to for appetisers. Prata do Mar exclusively sells fish from Portuguese waters. Some fish are left simple; in olive oil whilst others are treated to a spicy tomato sauce that originates from a family recipe.

Whether you’re after authentic tinned fish for your simple supper or are there to admire the retro packaging, Conserveira de Lisboa is an institution; family led and still alive and kicking, some 87 years later. A sound reason to visit if there ever was. 

All photography © Joana Viana
Conserveira de Lisboa
Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 34
1100-016 Lisboa