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Discover the Silver Coast's local markets and “praças”

Praca da Fruta - Caldas da Rainha - Portugal

When it comes to Portuguese cuisine, simplicity and freshness are the true stars that make every dish a delight for the taste buds. The secret behind the mouth-watering flavours lies in local ingredients, which ensure the unparalleled freshness and quality of traditional Portuguese recipes.

If you’re looking for the ultimate source of local produce, fresh fish and quality meat, look no further than the vibrant farmers' and fish markets on Portugal's Silver Coast!

What better way to kickstart your simple life in Portugal than visiting your village’s market? From locally grown fruits and vegetables to artisanal cheese, fragrant flowers and freshly caught fish. The traditional “mercados” of the Silver Coast offer an abundance of flavours, freshness and quality!

Daily fresh fruits and veggies at the Silver Coast's local markets

A market that holds a special place in our hearts is the enchanting ‘Praça das Caldas,’ the only outdoor market in Portugal that is open every day.

While there are several places where you can find fresh regional produce on the Silver Coast, including organic options, the experience of visiting the ‘Praça das Caldas’ is truly unparalleled.

Let’s start with its location—nestled in one of the oldest squares of Caldas da Rainha, surrounded by historic buildings adorned with stunning nouveau art architecture and traditional Caldas da Rainha ceramic tiles. The market’s lively stalls and beautiful cobblestone streets make it a picture-perfect destination!

fruits and vegetables grown by local vendors in Caldas da Rainha

Here, you’ll discover several delights, from freshly picked fruits and vegetables grown by local vendors to an array of delicacies like warm, crusty bread, delectable pastries, artisanal cheeses, savoury “chouriço”, dried fruits, aromatic honey and even vibrant flower bouquets.

This local market also showcases traditional Portuguese handicrafts. At the far end of the square, a charming kiosk awaits, inviting you to savour a cup of Portuguese coffee after your shopping adventure.

Locals in Caldas love visiting the "praça", particularly on Saturday mornings, when the streets come alive with colour and camaraderie. Between friendly “bom dia” greetings and conversations with the vendors, who are known by name to several generations of loyal customers, you’ll experience the true essence of this community.


Why the Praça da Fruta in Caldas da Rainha is such a special place...

Born and raised on Portugal’s Silver Coast, farmer Hugo Zina is found every Saturday morning selling locally farmed fruits and vegetables at his stall 'Horta do Pé Descalço' at Praça da Fruta, in Caldas da Rainha.

In this episode of Portugal The Simple Life Podcast, he chats to Dylan about why he enjoys living in the area and why locally grown fruits and vegetables are so delicious and healthy...


You can also buy local fruits and veggies in the municipal markets of Alfeizerão, Alcobaça and Nazaré!

From the sea directly to your plate...

Thanks to the proximity of two major fishing ports, Peniche and Nazaré, the Silver Coast also boasts the incredible advantage of offering the freshest fish available from Tuesday to Sunday.

It’s common knowledge among the locals that fish purchased on Mondays is not the catch of the day, as the boats don’t sail on Sundays!

While many supermarkets along the Silver Coast offer an excellent selection of seafish, it is in the local markets where you can truly immerse yourself in the authentic art of buying fish.

Local clams in Nazaré’s “Mercado Municipal”
Local clams in Nazaré’s “Mercado Municipal”

As soon as you step into one of these vibrant markets, you’ll notice the strong bonds formed between the vendors and their loyal customers. It’s not uncommon to find families who have been purchasing fish from the same trusted “peixeira” for generations. These remarkable vendors possess unrivalled expertise in not only recommending the best fish for each dish but also preparing it to perfection.

Beyond their role as vendors, the men and women who sell fish at the markets of the Silver Coast are cherished friends who are known by name to their clients. They take the time to understand exactly how their customers prefer their fish prepared, whether it’s filleted, whole, sliced, or diced. They go above and beyond to ensure your satisfaction!

At the renowned fish markets in Alfeizerão, Nazaré and Caldas da Rainha, you’ll discover a wide range of options that cater to your preferences. Whether you’re seeking quality, variety or friendly service, these markets never disappoint. They are a true haven for fish lovers, where you can find the freshest catches and experience the joy of selecting your favourite fish with a smile.

Dona Julia is the friendly face you’ll meet at the fish stall in Alfeizerão’s “praça”
Dona Julia is the friendly face you’ll meet at the fish stall in Alfeizerão’s “praça”

For those who crave the finest seafood, a visit to the shop located right next to the beach at Óbidos Lagoon is a must. Decomar, nestled between Óbidos Lagoon and Foz do Arelho beach, offers a delightful array of live shellfish, freshly caught in the lagoon by local fishermen. From the beloved green crabs, cockles and clams, to other delectable options like mussels, oysters and king crabs, there is no shortage of seafood delights to grace your table! Prepare for an unforgettable experience that not only guarantees freshness and excellent service but also rewards you with a breathtaking view of Óbidos Lagoon!

Indulge in the wonders of the sea, savour the flavours of the Silver Coast, and let the warmth of our hospitality accompany every bite!


“Shopping at Praça da Fruta is an absolute must for anyone living in Caldas da Rainha!

I love everything about it! Starting with a coffee in the quiosque with the smell of the apples, the colours, the warm ‘bom dia’ from Dona Teresa who has been selling fruits and vegetables to my family for decades... It’s simply wonderful!”

Ana Osório - Certified Realtor IMMO PORTUG

Ana Osório, Certified Realtor IMMO PORTUGAL


Article originally published in Portugal The Simple Life Magazine, Edition #4


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