Manuel Castanheira Martinez, the owner of Bonjardim, worked in a beer hall for seventeen years before becoming manager at Bonjardim in 1959. In a narrow street that connects the two main arteries nearby and protects the restaurant from all the hustle and bustle, lies this former casa de pasto (victualling house). According to an article in Flama magazine in 1965, it was the first restaurant in Lisbon to serve spit-roasted chicken.
The chicken is the most celebrated dish on the menu and comes with a special sauce, for which the recipe is a secret. Created by the restaurant’s founder, that secret is today known only to Henrique Castanheira Pinheiro and those who make the sauce. Instead of “starters” the menu also offers “titbits”, but reserves pride of place for fried salt cod. With its long opening hours (12:00 pm - 11:30 pm), meals are served all day – outside if the weather is good or inside on two floors with a very specific ambience. The checked tablecloths – green and white on the ground floor and blue and white on the upper floor – match the tiles on the respective walls.