Help me choose a Portuguese/Spanish restaurant in Newark

Criteria: 10:00 or less walk from the Path, “nice” room, good mixed seafood dishes (paella, mariscada, etc.), plus fin fish options for my dad, who’s allergic to shrimp and crab and lobster. I’m looking at Seabra’s Marisqueria, Adega Grill, Portucale, Fornos of Spain, Spanish Tavern and Iberia Peninsula. Is one of those my best option, or some other restaurant? Thanks in advance!

Fornos of Spain is my favortie



Seabra’s Marisqueria would absolutely be my choice, as it:

a) fits your criteria
b) has a crazy selection of seafood
c) it’s where all of the locals eat

I worked in Newark for 10 years and have been going to the Ironbound since I was a kid, and since my Portuguese friends turned me on to it, and it has become my go-to when I don’t want a more upscale feel. That said, Adega is also at the top of my list, but it’s ‘dressier’ in terms of decor (I went there on a date once and they sat us in the queen/king chairs, which was odd since it was only our 2nd/3rd date).

I also love. LOVE. Casa Vasca, but it’s further away from Penn Station. I really think you’ll love Marisqueria–and if you happen to be 1-2 people, I think sitting at the bar is a lot of fun there, too!

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Thanks! This is helpful. We’ll be a party of four, so bar seating is not an option (or not a good one, anyway). I’ve seen a lot of online love for Casa Vasca, but the distance thing, and their lack of a website, gives me pause.

Take a 4 minute cab ride to Fernandes :wink:

It really comes down to just two: Seabras and Casa Vasca. I like both, but am a huge fan of Seabras as I used to live next door to it, and ate there very regularly. If it’s just a couple of people, be sure to eat at the bar.

While Seabras is my unqualified recommendation for you, you also can’t go wrong with Casa Vasca. And it’s really only an extra 3 minutes walking versus Seabras.

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Seabra’s Marisqueria and Casa Vasca are my 2 faves in Newark as well. To me though, they have quite a different feel to them.

At Seabra’s they have several long tables and just a few individual ones so you need to be prepared to share, most likely with local Portuguese families or Newark politicians. The main dining room can be a bit louder than CV but has never been overwhelming.

Casa Vasca feels much smaller though I am not sure it really is. It is a bit quieter and more formal.

The food is wonderful at both.

It’s a VERY short cab ride if you don’t want to walk to CV…

Thanks, all. I’ve made a reservation at Seabra’s, and I will report back.

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I’m back! Having ordered wrong. Alas. There was a beautiful grilled seafood for two on the specials menu, also “temos percebes,” which is an awesome way to signal that barnacles are available. And rather than get those, I went with the mariscada. It was okay. The sauce was fine, nothing special, and the seafood seemed like it had been cooked earlier and re-heated in the sauce, which did the lobster no favors, although the rest of the stuff held up alright. Meanwhile, my table mates got the twin steamed lobsters and the grilled whiting and the grilled octopus, all of which looked much better than my food. I’m very disappointed in myself. Now I have to go back and do better.

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Should have gone to Fernandes ; )

I’ve never had a bad meal there

My Portuguese son in law and his father , accompanied my husband and daughter there recently on a Saturday night . I did not attend as i have mobilty issues and cannot wait for an hr and a half for a table in a hallway like they did .Y son in law ordered a hanging contraption of fish and seafood over salad, my husband had a dish called dry soup which they always order , my daughter had chicken and rice .They brought me home a lovely dessert similar to tiramisou. They love this place but i find it very claustrophobic and difficult to walk in with my walker . If you go here , AVOID sATURDAY NIGHT. Also they highly enjoy the baby clams as an appetizer.

i personally prefer Fornos which is more formal and physically comfortable . I have been going there for decades and the food is always good .However the Portugese relatives of course prefer their own resturants and not a Spanish place!

i always find dining at off hours more enjoyable . Saturday nights in this area is always bustling .

I think the service and food at Fernandes are top notch also. They have gone out of their way every time i have been there to get me a comfortable seat quickly.

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Thanks for your input and advice. I made a reservation, so we were seated right away. It was pretty crowded, and there were three (count 'em!) birthdays during our meal, all accompanied by a deafening recording of Happy Birthday and a lot of clapping. Also a couple of graduations, which had no musical accompaniment.

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Noted. I still think I should’ve just had something different, but I always feel drawn to mariscada. It’s one of my favorite dishes, although I’ve probably had more bad versions than good.


Have you ever had it at costa verde?

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I have not. Is that the restaurant in South Amboy? I don’t venture into NJ too often (I grew up in Monmouth County), even though/because my parents still live there.

Yeah it is basically where sayreville meets the amboys. I think it’s pretty good. Sit in the bar area and it’s cheaper. A pot full, some bread and rice are enough for my girl and I so it’s a rather cheap meal.

I will file it away in the restaurant portion of my brain. Which has taken over most of the other portions of my brain.

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Lol. It isn’t a destination spot but grab some lunch one day if driving nearby. It’s not Newark so go to Newark if you’re closer : )