Porto is no longer a second-tier city known only for fortified wine and pretty bridges. The Northern Portugal city has emerged from Lisbon’s shadow with a food scene that rivals the bigger city to the south. Read on to discover our favorite Porto restaurants, bars and markets so that you can experience the city’s best food during your visit.
Porto, the Romanesque city on the banks of the Douro, stole a piece of our heart during our honeymoon in Portugal.
Spurred by a mutual appreciation for Port Wine, we made Porto our first stop before we moved south to Coimbra, Lisbon and the Algarve. Walking on Porto’s undulating hills, we immediately fell for the then undiscovered city and its seemingly endless, multicolored, picture-perfect views. Back then, however, we didn’t feel the same about Porto’s food.
On the upside, the Port Wine was just as good as we expected, maybe even better. Sadly, though, we never found great food during that initial visit. It’s not that great food didn’t exist. After all, Porto is one of Portugal’s best food cities.
We blame the emerging information age since there wasn’t much information online, at least not in English, about where to eat in Porto… yet.
→ Discover our Portuguese Food Favorites.
Times have changed.
Not only do we live in Portugal now, but we’ve also found dozens of great places to eat in Porto. Before, the challenge was just finding great food. Now the challenge is how to fit all great food into a three to four day trip.
It’s a challenge we were born to conquer.
Table of Contents
- Why Visit Porto
- Porto Food Scene
- Porto Food Guide
- Porto Restaurants
- Porto Tascas
- Porto Sandwiches and Cheap Eats
- Porto Brunch Spots
- Additional Porto Brunch Spots
- Port Tastings
- Porto Bars and Pubs
- Porto Markets + Specialty Food Shops
- Things To Do in Porto
- Planning Checklist
- Hungry for More in Porto?
- Pin It for Later
- About the Authors
- Learn European Portuguese
Why Visit Porto
People travel to Porto for all sorts of reasons.
Some use Porto as a gateway to the Douro Valley and its grape bounty. The city is a great launching spot for exploring Portugal’s most famous wine region by car or on leisurely-paced river cruises.
Others establish temporary roots in Porto. While staying in the city, it’s easy to make short trips to nearby towns like Braga and Guimarães well as to beaches in nearby towns like São Jacinto and Matosinhos.
Porto’s beauty reveals itself upon arrival at São Bento, a Beaux-Arts train station decorated with 20,000 azulejo tiles. Ribeira, Porto’s breathtaking historic center, doubles as a UNESCO world heritage site and strikes awe in all who wander through its jumbled streets.
History buffs and budding photographers won’t want to miss notable sites like Livaria Lello, a bookstore that may have inspired JK Rowling before she wrote the Harry Potter book series. There’s also the arching steel Luís I Bridge, designed by Gustave Eiffel, that towers over the Douro. This famous two leveled bridge becomes a key viaduct for oenophiles with a quest to access Vila Nova de Gaia’s famous port lodges.
Not surprisingly, we travel to Porto to enjoy the city’s culinary charms. We’re not the only ones.
Porto Food Scene
Gone are the days when Porto’s culinary charms were hidden in its hills.
Fueled by a constant stream of international visitors and a growing population of expat residents, Porto has a food scene that improves and expands each year. While it doesn’t yet match the Lisbon food scene in terms of diversity or in the sheer number of eateries, it’s arguably better when it comes to traditional Portuguese cuisine.
Compared to Lisbon, Porto’s bifanas are a little bit juicier, its pastries are slightly tastier and its pratos dos dias (daily dishes) are more robust.
→ Discover our favorite Lisbon restaurants.
Porto’s food quality shines through at seemingly down-and-dirty cheap eats spots that serve outstanding snacks and sandwiches all the way to Michelin starred restaurants that operate in the city center as well as in Porto’s metropolitan area.
More about those sandwiches: Yes, Porto is famous for its Francesinha sandwich, best described as a delicious, gravy-smothered heart attack on a plate. While we love a good Francesinha, it’s just one of a few great sandwiches worth eating in Porto.
Porto Food Guide
The bad news is that one visit to Porto isn’t enough for food travelers who want to eat and drink it all. However, it’s possible to make a serious dent in the city’s vast food offerings whether with a few days or, better yet, a week to explore the city and its surrounding area.
After eating our way through Porto three times and counting, we’ve created this Porto food guide with our picks for the best spots to eat and drink in Portugal’s second biggest city. But we didn’t stop at Porto. We’ve also included our favorite spots in Matosinhos – which is about 20 minutes away by car, and less than an hour by public transit, from Porto’s city center.
Be sure to check for updates before, during and after your Porto trip. We plan to update this Porto guide every time we relive our honeymoon in Porto. Since we live in Portugal , we’ll be reliving it frequently.
The very best Porto restaurants have elevated food to art.
Porto chefs start with locally sourced products that include some of the best seafood in Portugal. They then transform these ingredients into food that tickles the tongue, delights the eye and warms the soul.
These are our picks for the best restaurants in Porto:
Casa de Chá da Boa Nova
Let’s start with the obvious. Casa de Chá da Boa Nova is a stunning, immersive theatrical experience with the ocean as its stage and a great multi-course seafood meal as its players.
Originally designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira as a tea house, the restaurant has a front row view to the Atlantic Ocean. While the building itself is an architectural feat, the view of waves crashing against the rocky coast is nothing short of spectacular. That, along with its brilliant food, has also earned the restaurant two Michelin stars.
Casa de Chá da Boa Nova’s culinary team, helmed by Chef Rui Paula, takes its guests on a dining journey that’s simultaneously intimate and epic. The restaurant’s tasting menu celebrates local ingredients plucked from nearby waters in dishes that demand to be photographed. As usual, we were happy to comply.
But we didn’t just take photos of our food. We savored each bite as we toasted our anniversary with glasses of Portuguese wine. Yes, we returned to the scene of the crime, i.e. our honeymoon, to celebrate 13 years of wedded bliss. Each dish was our favorite until the next arrived in a dinner filled with oohs, aahs and smiles along with a pleasant whiff of salty sea air.
Though Casa de Chá da Boa Nova offers some dishes on an a la carte basis, the tasting menu is the way to go with each dish both a surprise and a treasure. Highlights of our meal included sea urchin whipped into creamy dreaminess, oyster and tuna tartare served with the silkiest oysters we’ve ever eaten and miniature seafood tacos playfully served over traditional corn nuts and dabbed with guacamole.
We also enjoyed Éclairs filled with mussels and cauliflower, sea bass that had been plucked from the sea and scallops literally painted with lemon vinaigrette and sprinkled with chorizo. But those dishes were just teasers for the tender, sweet lobster grilled tableside while we watched.
Of course our dinner extravaganza included desserts – three sweet courses followed by chocolates presented inside a specially made drawer featuring a sailing ship that moved as the drawer opened. Drinking our final sips of wine, we toasted a beautiful dinner at a beautiful venue in our beautiful adopted country.
A couple logistics: Since Casa de Chá da Boa Nova is located 20 kilometers (approximately 12 miles) from Porto, budget time for your cab or Uber ride. Also, advance reservations are necessary.
Casa de Chá da Boa Nova also offers a separate tasting menu for vegetarians.
Casa de Chá da Boa Nova is located at Avenida da Liberdade nº 1681, 4450-718 Leça da Palmeira, Porto, Portugal.
Taberna dos Mercadores
In many ways, Taberna dos Mercadores is the opposite of Casa de Chá da Boa Nova.
Instead of occupying a remote, seaside building surrounded by sweeping views, Taberna dos Mercadores is located on a busy Porto street near the river. And, while Taberna dos Mercadores offers a spattering of items ‘from the sea’ on its menu, the restaurant mostly serves Portuguese comfort food as opposed to haute cuisine.
And yet, despite these differences, Taberna dos Mercados ranks as one of our favorite Porto restaurants.
Taberna dos Mercadores feels like it’s been open forever. In actuality, the ‘merchant’s tavern’ opened in 2014. Simple dishes fill a short menu, offered in both English and Portuguese, with many including familiar ingredients like shrimp, pork ribs, salt cod, beans and rice.
During our meal, we ordered three dishes – Alheira, Camarão na Frigideira (shrimp in the frying pan) and Açorda de Mariscos (seafood açorda). Each was outstanding with the açorda leading the pack with its gorgeous display of shrimp, clams and mussels splayed atop a savory bread stew.
The restaurant’s kitchen spills into a tiny domed dining room. Wine bottles line the walls, pulling double duty as both decorative elements and menu items.
This intimacy has its challenges with spontaneity at the top of the list. With just 20 chairs and a handful of tables, Taberna dos Mercadores is a restaurant for which advance planning and reservations are an absolute must. Any other approach will likely result in disappointment.
In case you missed this tip above, advance reservations are an absolute must. This tip is so important that we’re stating it twice.
Taberna dos Mercadores is located at Rua dos Mercadores 36, Porto, Portugal.
Traveling from Porto to Matosinhos for lunch seems excessive until you realize that the two cities are just 10 kilometers (approximately 6 miles) apart.
The decision to hop on a bus, train or Uber becomes easier when you combine lunch with a visit to the Mercado Municipal de Matosinhos (see below) or pair it with a trip to a beach like Praia de Matosinhos. Then again, if you like to eat super fresh seafood, the food is reason enough.
Open since 1984 and still operated by the same family decades later, O Gaveto is a standout marisqueira (i.e. seafood restaurant) in a city filled with marisqueiras. Sure enough, just to prove the point, blue Portuguese lobsters swim in tanks that line the restaurant’s front room.
While O Gaveto is a seafood lover’s paradise, the restaurant’s menu offers fish and even meat. We’re not sure who orders from those sections since the seafood section is the menu’s star attraction. And not just any seafood. O Gaveto’s menu features barnacles, spider crabs, red shrimp and lobster in addition to clams, crayfish and prawns.
Like kids in a candy shop, albeit it a fishy one, we ordered Gambas ao Alho (garlic shrimp) as a starter and a shareable Arroz de Marisco (seafood rice) dish for two. Second thoughts immediately hit us as we regretted not spending an extra €22 for Arroz de Lagosta (lobster rice). However, choosing a bottle of house white wine produced by Niepoort in the nearby Douro Valley provided us with nary a doubt.
While our two dishes were outstanding, we still harbor regrets over not springing for the lobster. You get three guesses as to what we’ll be ordering next time we dine at O Gaveto and the first two don’t count.
Don’t just look at O Gaveto’s English menu. During our meal, we noticed that the Portuguese menu featured additional items.
O Gaveto is located at Rua Roberto Ivens 824, 4450-279 Matosinhos, Portugal.
Tucked away on the third floor of the modern Espaco Porto Cruz building, DeCastro Gaia looks fancier than it’s menu of small plates would indicate.
This Porto restaurant focuses on pesticos (i.e. snacks or tapas), but the restaurant’s locally-focused menu also features a selection of larger Portuguese dishes like Bacalhau à Brás and Feijoada as well as a comprehensive wine list.
We enjoyed a variety of small plates during our dinner at DeCastro Gaia. Standouts snacks included Pimentos ‘Padrón’ (padrón peppers), Peixinhos da Horta (green bean tempura) and a meaty Pica-Pau.
We also indulged in two larger plates – Arroz Cremoso de Camarão (creamy shrimp rice) and Cachaço de Porco Bisaro com Arroz Cremoso de Cogumelos (braised bisaro pork with mushroom rice).
DeCastro Guaia is helmed by Chef Miguel Silva, a longtime fixture on Portugal’s restaurant scene. (The chef even has a stall at Lisbon’s Time Out Market.) His culinary prowess is a worthy addition to the Espaço Porto Cruz as we experienced during our fresh, casual yet elevated experience on the Gaia side of the Douro.
Pregame your dinner at Espaço Cruz’s Terrace Lounge 360° (see below).
DeCastro Gaia is located at Avenida de Diogo Leite 162, 4430-999 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.
Mito lives up to a name that translates to Myth with a menu that’s both seeped in tradition and filled with excitement. This Porto restaurant even has a hero in Pedro Braga, the innovative chef who’s responsible for Mito’s fanciful menu as well as its buzz-worthy lunch deal.
Chef Braga is a pro at creating iconic, classic Porto dishes but with fresh spins. He serves his braised Ox Croquettes with a romesco-like chorizo mayo and tops his Tartare with mustard seeds, bone marrow, egg yolk, beef jus and fried capers.
Before dining at Mito, we always thought of Bolas de Berlim as sweet treats. But Braga fills his savory version with bacon, Iberico ham and mayonnaise. We also thought of Francesinha sandwiches as ideal to eat while creating or curing hangovers. At Mito, Braga replaces the Francesinha‘s standard steak with beef tongue and tops the ‘sandwich’ with pickled red onions.
Apparently we missed the memo about Mito’s signature dessert, Matcha Infused French Toast served with bacon ice cream and maple syrup. Or did we?
Sharing cheesecake topped with grapes macerated in Port Wine makes perfect sense to eat in Porto, the land of Port Wine. We’d order it again though maybe we’ll also order the Matcha Infused French Toast.
Order the Rib Eye on the Bone, dry aged for 40 days, if you’re feeling particularly hungry and dining with a carnivorous friend or two.
Mito is located at Rua de José Falcão 183, 4050-215 Porto, Portugal.
Situated in a former house and located in the shadow of the São Bento train station, Tapabento is a favorite Porto restaurant among locals. After eating dinner at Tapabento, it’s now one of our favorite Porto restaurants too.
Tapabento has a casual, funky decor that lives up to a name that translates to tapestry. But the true tapestry exists in the restaurant’s menu that incorporates dishes from around the world while using locally sourced ingredients.
Highlights during our meal included a rustic Tortilla Espanola as well as glazed Pork Cheeks flavored with truffled celery purée, paired with crunchy broccolini and topped with ajoblanco foam. We also enjoyed Wild Tuna Takati served with a melange of seaweed, samphire, teriyaki, wasabi, soy sauce and cucumber ice cream.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Tapabento’s Peanut Foam dessert – a decadent mini-trifle made with ice cream, toffee, crispy peanuts and cocoa sand. And you’d be remiss not to order it.
Order red sangria if you’re feeling fruity. Tapabento’s version is highly potable.
Tapabento is located at Rua da Madeira 222, 4000-069 Porto
Ambitious Apego, located away from the tourist throng in a space that manages to be cosy despite its striking stone walls, is a popular spot that lures both Portuguese locals and French travelers. Chef Aurora Goy, who serves a decidedly French inspired menu featuring proteins like tripe, horse mackerel, corvina and duck, has parents from both countries.
We can’t say that we adored any of our dishes including a tripe dish that we wanted to love. It was a little too funky to be lovable. We appreciated the chef’s ambitious execution and diverse ingredient list. We never thought of pairing celery ice cream with quince and buckwheat. It was an interesting Portu-French combination that managed to be simultaneously herbaceous, fruity and nutty.
Order the tasting menu for a complete yet affordable sampling of Chef’s Goy’s cuisine. Apego’s five-course meal was priced at €35 at the time of our visit.
Apego Restaurante is located at Rua de Santa Catarina 1198, 4000-457 Porto, Portugal.
Additional Porto Restaurants
After you clean you plates at our favorite Porto restaurants, consider dining at the following, three of which sport Michelin stars:
Since we love eating at tascas in Lisbon, finding good tascas in Porto was a priority for us. As we quickly learned, many Porto tascas serve great traditional Northern Portuguese classics and are worth checking out.
For readers unfamiliar with tascas, these cheap and cheerful restaurants are prevalent in every Portuguese city. Often family-owned, tascas serve wholesome dishes like Bacalhau, Cozido and Feijoada along with hearty cuts of meat and classic Portuguese sobremesas (desserts).
Portuguese people rarely eat at tascas beyond their neighborhood which is what we do in Lisbon too. When we’re in Porto, these are our favorites:
O Rápido is proof that fast food doesn’t have to be bad food. To be clear, we’re not talking about chain restaurants with arches and kings. We’re talking about tascas – in this case, one that prides its speed to the point of putting the Portuguese word for fast in its name.
Although we specifically ate at O Rápido to try its Tripas à Moda do Porto (tripe stew), Porto’s famous tripe dish that’s only available on certain days (in this case,Tuesday and Thursday), we didn’t just eat tripe. We also ordered Bolinhos de Bacalhau (cod dumplings), excellent, crispy fried Sardinhas (sardines) and Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, a local cod dish named after its inventor José Luís Gomes de Sá.
While we were in a bit of a rush to make a train at the nearby station, we didn’t feel rushed during our meal. Our friendly server appreciated our attempts to communicate in Portuguese and insisted that we end our meal with homemade cookies. It was a good recommendation. But what about the tripe?
Served as a Feijoada (bean stew) with a mix of braised meats and carrots, the hearty Tripas à Moda do Porto would be ideal to eat on a chilly winter day. As for the Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, we’d be happy to eat that dish any day of the year thanks to the salt cod dish’s tasty olives and buttery potatoes.
Plan your visit wisely. Dishes like Tripas à Moda do Porto are only available on certain days of the week.
O Rápido is located at Rua da Madeira 194, 4000-330 Porto, Portugal.
Don’t expect to bump into other tourists if you eat at Sai Cão. With a name that literally translates to Get Out Dog, this Porto tasca is as local as it gets. But, for those who like big plates of food served without any unnecessary frills, Sai Cão may be the best spot in town.
Recommended by one of our favorite Porto baristas, Sai Cão posts a half dozen items on its wall. However, while dishes like Posta à Sai Cão (garlicky grilled filet of veal) may be great, the handwritten list of daily specials is where the real deals are found. Coteleta de Vitela Ma Gaelha (grilled veal chop) was an incredible value at €6 considering the size of the tasty, thick slab of meat that arrived in classic tasca style with fries, rice and salad.
Order an imperial (small beer) with your lunch. It’s the thing to do and won’t break your bank.
Sai Cão is located at Rua do Bonjardim 635A, 4000-413 Porto, Portugal.
We were excited to eat at O Buraco. Not only was the beloved Porto restaurant located near our hotel, but it was also where we thought we’d eat Tripas à Moda do Porto. Sadly, we neither loved O Buraco nor completed our tripe mission. Don’t worry – that happened a few days later at O Ràpido (see above).
We have nothing against old school restaurants and understand that menus change over time. However, our Arroz de Pato (duck rice) was dry and the service wasn’t particularly friendly. Considering the rave reviews we’ve read in other guides, we’re willing to give O Buraco another try in the future.
O Buraco offers take-away service if you want to eat traditional Portuguese food in the privacy of your hotel room or apartment.
O Buraco is located at Rua do Bolhão 95, 4000-112 Porto, Portugal.
Additional Porto Tascas
Consider the following additional tascas if you’re a fan of value dining:
Porto Sandwiches and Cheap Eats
While we love the restaurants and tascas in Porto, we love Porto’s cheap eats most of all.
We don’t say this lightly. We’re from Philadelphia. Just like Philly is arguably the best sandwich city in the USA, Porto leads the sandwich pack in Portugal.
While Philly is famous for its cheesesteaks, hoagies and roast pork sandwiches, Porto has a number of great entries in its sandwich playbook. Read on to discover our favorite Porto spots to eat sandwiches and other cheap eats:
Ironically, although we’re on team Francesinha, our favorite Porto restaurant shop doesn’t serve the city’s iconic sandwich. Open since 1987, Casa Guedes’ specialty is the Pernil com Queijo (roasted pork shank with cheese) sandwich. And what a specialty it is!
Crowds queue for this super tasty sandwich that stuffs slow roasted pork, cut directly from a giant pork leg, inside a crispy bun and slathers it with pleasingly pungent, fabulously funky Serra da Estrela cheese. Though its ingredients are simple, the resulting sandwich is a showstopper.
We returned for ‘research purposes’ to make sure the sandwich was as good as we thought. It was. However, the Pernil com Queijo isn’t the only thing to order to order at Casa Guedes…
During our initial Casa Guedes meal, we paired sandwiches with bowls of Caldo Verde (kale soup), Papas Serrabulho (pig blood soup), Batatas Fritas (fried potatoes) and Sangrias poured from the tap and topped with fresh orange slices. It was a feast that filled our bellies and even made us seriously think about moving to Porto. However, it was the opposite of a splurge, costing just €22.80 including the drinks. Had we skipped the fries, we would have squeaked under €20. Too bad, so sad. We have no regrets.
We kept things simple during our second visit and stuck to sandwiches. To be clear, we each ordered our own sandwich. Casa Guedes’ Pernil com Queijo sandwiches are too darn good to share.
Don’t save Casa Guedes for your last meal in Porto. You’ll probably want to return for at least one repeat performance.
Casa Guedes has a few locations in Porto. We ate twice at Praça dos Poveiros 130, 4000-393 Porto, Portugal.
Bifanas are everywhere in Portugal. But, for some reason, the pork steak sandwiches at Porto’s Congo taste a little better than the ones we eat in Lisbon.
Conga’s juicy Bfianas are so flavorful that we didn’t feel compelled to add Piri-Piri sauce or hot mustard like we normally do. That’s saying a lot. After almost a half century, this joint knows what it’s doing.
Though we were satisfied after eating at Conga the first time, we later realized that we had neglected to order a Codonrniz (quail) to go with our Bifana. We don’t know why pairing the two items is a tradition at Conga but we approve. Plus, the combo cost less than €5 at the time of our most recent visit. Winning!
You can hypothetically complete your sandwich mission at Conga. Its menu includes several sandwiches including the Francesinha.
Conga is located at Rua do Bonjardim 318, 4000-115 Porto, Portugal.
We mentioned that we’re on team Francesinha and we meant it.
Packed with multiple meats, covered with melted cheese, smothered with tomato-beer sauce and topped with a fried egg, the Francesinha is a meal on a plate. Not everybody loves the messy sandwich that requires utensils and a healthy appetite, but we adore Portugal’s guilty sandwich pleasure.
Since the Francesinha’s roots are in Porto, this is the ideal city to find out if you’re on the team too. We recommend starting your Francesinha journey at Cafe Santiago.
A local favorite since it opened in 1959, Café Santiago sources its sausage from Leandro do Bolhão and hand peels its potatoes. The result is a picture-perfect Franceshina that’s loved by both locals and visitors.
And the best part? Priced at €8.75 during our visit, Café Santiago’s classic Franceshina tastes as good as it looks.
Don’t walk away if you see a queue. This Francesinha is worth the wait.
Café Santiago is located at Rua de Passos Manuel 226, 4000-382 Porto, Portugal.
As its name suggests, Cervejaria Brasão isn’t just a Francesinha stand. It’s also a brewery that serves an IPA beer specifically intended to pair with Porto’s sauciest sandwich.
We visited Cervejaria Brasão’s Coliseu location, a spacious two-story building that’s tastefully decorated with mosaics and hand-painted plates. Although menu options include soups and snacks, the Francesinha is the thing to order here.
The only decisions here are whether to order a full or half sandwich and it you want an egg on top. Depending on your choice, expect to pay from €8.50 to €10.50 with prices subject to change.
During our lunch at Cervejaria Brasão, we ordered a full Francesinha sandwich with an egg on top which was more than enough for us to share. A side of extra homemade sauce didn’t just complete our meal. It also put smiles on our faces.
Order Cervejaria Brasão’s vegetarian Franceshina sandwich if you don’t eat pork.
Cervejaria Brasão has multiple locations. We ate at the Brasão at Rua de Passos Manuel 205, 4000-385 Porto, Portugal.
Gazela Cachorrinhos da Batalha
We’ve eaten great hot dogs around the world in cities like Chicago, Oslo, Stockholm and, of course, New York. And, now that we’ve eaten at Gazela Cachorrinhos da Batalha, we can add Porto to this auspicious list.
Open since 1962, this Porto snack food institution grills fresh sausage before stuffing it inside crispy bread. A buttery, spicy sauce adds extra flavor and makes drinking beer a must. The combination is addictive. It’s also cheap. Two Cachorrinhos, a plate of fries and two tap beers cost us just €13.20.
Plan to eat snack-worthy Cachorrinhos with your hands. Gazela Cachorrinhos da Batalha makes this easy to do by cutting each Cachorrinho into bite-sized bits.
Gazela Cachorrinhos da Batalha is located at Rua de Entreparedes N 8 10, 4000-434 Porto, Portugal.
Oficina dos Rissóis
Open since 2019, Oficina dos Rissóis is proof that cheap eats in Porto goes beyond sandwiches. It’s also a great spot to eat oven-cooked Rissóis and a bunch of other tasty treats.
For the uninitiated, a Rissol is a classic Portuguese petisco (i.e. snack) that usually involves deep frying a patty inside a pastry shell. Typical patties include meat, fish and cheese.
Not only does Officina dos Rissóis diverge by baking its Rissóis in a convection oven, but it also offers a dozen or so different fillings including ham & cheese, chicken, and chorizo as well as vegetarian options like green curry, shitake and caprese salad. But they don’t stop there…
Originally from France, Alexandra Chasans and Louis Druesne source many of their ingredients from local farms and slow cook their veal Burgundian-style for nine hours. The end product is so excellent that they put a stamp on it. Literally.
Do not skip dessert. Chasans, a French-trained pastry chef, creates desserts, like a show stopping chocolate mousse, that are worth every calorie.
Oficina dos Rissóis is located at Passeio de São Lázaro 5A, 4000-507 Porto, Portugal.
Additional Porto Cheap Eats
We don’t blame you if you choose to focus on snacks and sandwiches when you visit Porto. Instead, we propose the additional spots for your exploration:
Porto Brunch Spots
Food travelers who like combining breakfast and lunch into one delicious meal won’t be disappointed in Porto. As in cities like Amsterdam and Lisbon, Porto has numerous spots that specialize in serving pancakes and other brunchy bites.
Check out the following spots if you’re one of these food travelers:
Swallow Decadent Brunch
The American owners of Swallow Decadent Brunch set a high bar when they gutted a Porto building, keeping just the stone walls, in 2020 and put the word decadent in their restaurant’s name. This would true anywhere but especially in Portugal where brunches are rarely luxurious or self-indulgent.
Color us surprised when we ate the most American brunch we’ve yet to eat in Portugal. Since we’re American, this is a good thing. Although we’ve eaten numerous American-style brunches in Portugal, most restaurants don’t seem to get the full essence of the concept.
The restaurant’s signature ‘Like a Boss’ dish topped with fried chicken, waffles, mac & cheese, fruit salad and potato rosti, plus a citrus cream dipping sauce for good measure, would have been enough for the two of us to share. In fact, doing so would have saved some stomach space for a ‘Decadent Brownie’ served with walnuts, salted caramel and whipped cream.
Maybe we’ll have room for dessert next time. This time, we ordered Hot Mama Cakes, a trio of fluffy pancakes topped with homemade ricotta cheese, butter, plenty of maple syrup (practically a rare earth metal here in Europe) and just enough fruit to make the dish seem healthy. But make no mistake, this dish is just as decadent as the others. We wouldn’t expect anything less from a restaurant with ‘decadent’ in its name.
Don’t hesitate to order a coffee with your brunch. Swallow Decadent Brunch has a proper coffee program that uses arabica beans. However, you may want to order a smoothie instead.
Swallow Decadent Brunch is located at Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, Rua dos Caldeireiros 144, 4050-368 Porto, Portugal.
Pancakes are the name of the game at O Diplomata, a popular Porto brunch spot with a make-your-own-pancake menu.
Ordering pancakes at O Diplomata is fun. Once guests decide between two or four pancakes, the next step is to navigate O Diplomata’s pancake menu which includes six dough options, eight fruit options, eight ice cream options, 13 toppings and nine crunchy bits. Phew!
Those who don’t want to make difficult choices can order pancake combos. The Salty Pancake combo, which we ordered, starts with a simple pancake base and adds cheese, bacon, herbs garlic better and an optional egg. We ordered ours without the egg as well as pancakes topped with Nutella and sliced bananas.
Beyond pancakes, O Diplomata’s additional menu includes salads, bagels, smoothie bowls and a rosti burger made with… wait for it… potato pancakes.
Skip the coffee at O Diplomata if you’re a specialty coffee drinker. You can get a much better cup at Manna just down the block.
O Diplomata is located at Rua de José Falcão 32, 4050-198 Porto, Portugal.
Additional Porto Brunch Spots
We have a hunch that you’ll want to eat more than two brunches in Porto. Check out the additional Porto brunch spots if our brunch hunch is correct:
Porto Dessert Spots
If there’s one thing we’ve learned while living in Portugal, it’s that the Portuguese people love dessert. Accordingly, confeitarias (pastry shops) are easy to find throughout the Iberian country.
→ Discover our favorite Portuguese desserts and pastries.
Read on to find the best spots to satisfy your sweet tooth when you’re food tripping in Porto.
Leitaria da Quinta do Paço
We didn’t have high expectations for the Éclairs at Leitaria da Quinta do Paço. After all, Porto can’t take credit for inventing these Parisian pastries. However, we’re glad that we gave Leitaria da Quinta do Paço, a century-old Porto bakery, a chance.
At first glance, Leitaria da Quinta do Paço’s Éclairs look like their French cousins. However, a closer look reveals a rainbow of flavors that includes lemon, coffee and passionfruit in addition to a classic version that’s filled with cream and topped with chocolate. Leitaria’s Éclairs are comparatively light and a fluffy. Daryl likened them to the kind of Éclairs one might find at an American bakery but better.
Leitaria da Quinta do Paço sells other items including cakes, tangy yogurt and excellent Bolas de Berlim (donuts). They even sell their own butter. Feel free to try it all so long as you don’t skip the Éclairs. Disclosure – We’re now regulars at a Leitaria da Quinta do Paço location in Lisbon. That’s how much we like these Éclairs!
While our favorite Éclair flavors are crocante and salted caramel, you should taste several to find your favorite.
Leitaria da Quinta do Paco has multiple locations. We ate Éclairs at the bakery located at Praça Guilherme Gomes Fernades 47, 4050-293 Porto, Portugal.
1927 Gelataria Portuense
1927 was an important year for 1927 Gelataria Portuense but not for the reason you may think. 1927 was the year when Otello Cattabriga invented the world’s first automatic gelato machine in Bologna. 89 years later, Ana Ferreira opened her gelateria in Porto after learning the art of gelato in Cattabriga’s home city.
While Ferreira honors the Italian art by crafting gelato in the back of her Porto gelato shop, she also also honors Portugal by incorporating local products. Standout flavors include tawny port and dark chocolate but don’t rule out more unusual ones like goat cheese flavored with tomato and cinnamon.
Order Gelateria Portuense’s six-flavor tasting option if you can’t narrow the options to one, two or even three flavors.
Gelataria Portuense is located at Rua do Bonjardim 136, 4000-114 Porto, Portugal.
Porto has plenty of Lisbon Pastel de Nata shops including Manteigaria, Fábrica da Nata and Natas Lisboa. However, the smart move is to skip them and eat egg tarts at Natas d’Ouro, a shop that’s based in Northern Portugal.
You may wonder about the differences between the Lisbon natas and the natas at Natas d’Ouro. For starters, they come in fun flavors. During our morning visit, we went all out by ordering two natas – one chocolate and one port – and little glasses of Port Wine. The combination was golden. And we’re not just saying that because ouro translates to gold.
Choose wisely at Natas d’Ouro. Pastel de Nata flavors include chocolate, port, lemon and orange in addition to basic cream and vegan. Borges Port options include ruby and tawny.
Natas d’Ouro has two Porto shops. We visited the one located at Rua de Sá da Bandeira 115, 4000-427 Porto, Portugal.
Confeitaria do Bolhão
We couldn’t resist century-old bakery Confeitaria do Bolhão located around the corner from our hotel.
The bakery, which displays many of its classic pastries through its grand front windows, spoke to us. We eventually j entered with just one question. What should we order?
Perhaps we should have wondered what not to order.
Ordering miniature Queijos de Figo pastries, a sweet, eggy Ovos Moles, a layered Jesuita, a traditional Tentúgal and a chocolate-filled Bola de Berlim was a bit excessive. However, after biting into the best Bola de Berlim we’ve yet to eat in Portugal, we were hooked.
Confeitaria do Bolhão’s daily bread program includes unique flavors like beet and goji.
Confeitaria do Bolhao is located at Rua Formosa 339, 4000-252 Porto, Portugal.
Padaria Ribeiro isn’t fancy. Not even a little bit. But the barebones bakery is a great spot to start the morning with a Croissant or Bola de Berlim when you’re not in the mood for an Éclair or Pastel de Nata.
Expect a friendly, old school vibe and traditional Porto pastries. Think Croissants soaked in sweet sugar syrup and dense donuts filled with sweet cream and dusted with powdered sugar.
Sit outside if the weather permits. Padaria Ribeiro has plenty of outdoor seating.
Padaria Ribeiro is has multiple locations. We ate at the bakery located at Praça Guilherme Gomes Fernandes 21, 4050-526 Porto, Portugal.
Some people are drawn to Porto specifically to drink Port Wine. We know this for a fact since drinking Port Wine was our motivation back in 2007.
Whether your trip is influenced by visiting Porto’s port lodges or not, tasting Port Wine in Porto is an absolute must. We recommend the following spots to complete this mission:
Kopke isn’t just one of the best port lodges, it’s also the oldest.
Founded in 1638 and based in nearby Qunita São Luiz, Kopke’s specialties are Colheita (single-vintage tawny) port and White Port aged in oak barrels. Visitors to Porto can conveniently taste Kopke’s Port Wine in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Kopke’s Porto tasting packages ranged from €25 – €69 at the time of our visit, with individual glasses also sold for €3.30 for dry white to €18.80 for a Vintage QSL 2006. After sampling Kopke’s 10 year old White Port and a 1981 Colheita, we bought a bottle of each to enjoy at home.
Cálem Porto offers a full tasting experience that includes an interactive museum tour, a guided cellar tour and a tasting with either two standard Port Wine OR three premium Port Wine. This Porto port house also offers tours that involve chocolate, cheese and fado.
We didn’t do any of those tours.
Since we’d previously taken a tour at Graham’s Port Lodge, we opted to take a self-guided ‘tour’ by tasting five different Cálem Port Wines. Our tastes included a 2002 Colheita as well as vintage Ruby, dry White and sweet Lágrima varietals. It was the right ‘tour’ for us and a great way to end our anniversary weekend.
Choose the Cálem tour or tasting that fits your budget and interest level.
Cálem Porto is located at Avenida de Diogo Leite 344, 4400-111 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.
Espaço Porto Cruz
Occupying a renovated 18th century building in Vila Nova de Gaia, Espaço Porto Cruz has a Port Wine tasting room, a Port Wine experience, a restaurant and a rooftop bar spread throughout its five floor.
During our visit, we skipped the tasting room and experience, opting to enjoy pre-dinner Porto Tonico cocktails on the complex’s 4th floor Terrace Lounge 360º. It was a great spot to enjoy a couple drinks before eating dinner at DeCastro Gaia (see above) and one where we plan to return.
Head to Espaço Porto Cruz’s 4th floor terrace in the early evening so that you can sip Porto Tonico cocktails while watching the sunset views of Porto and the Douro River.
Espaço Porto Cruz is located at Largo Miguel Bombarda 23, 4400-222 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.
Additional Porto Tasting Rooms
Which Port Wine will be your favorite? Visiting the following additional port houses is a good way to find out the answer.
Porto Bars and Pubs
Although Porto and Port Wine are practically synonymous outside of Portugal, the city of Porto has a variety of bars that serve beer, wine and cocktails in addition to fortified wine.
Check out following watering holes for those times when you’re in the mood for an unfortified nightcap:
Selecting wine at Prova has its challenges due the plethora of choices at this Porto wine bar. Bottles fill the shelves and double as decoration.
We didn’t complain. Instead, we sampled a few recommended wines before choosing a red Coelheiros produced by Herdade de Coelheiros, an Alentejo winery, and tickling the wine bar’s ivories. Yes, Prova has a piano.
Cosy up on the couch unless you’d rather sit at one of Prova’s indoor or outside tables.
Prova is located at Rua de Ferreira Borges 86, 4050-252 Porto, Portugal.
Capela Incomum stands out from the crowd due to its location inside a 19th century chapel. The chapel’s alter is still intact, though it’s now decorative rather than sacred.
Offering ‘local’ wines from the Douro Valley as well as wines from other regions including Dao, Bairrada, Alentejo and Lisbon, Capela Incomum runs the Portuguese wine gamut. We opted to drink glasses of Herdade da Calada ‘Porta da Calada’ Tinto, a rich red wine produced in Alentejo with Aragones, Touriga Nacional and Syrah grapes.
Turn your wine session into an aperitivo session by ordering a sharable plate topped with cheese and/or charcuterie.
Capela Incomum is located at 79-81, Travessa do Carregal 77, 4050-167 Porto, Portugal.
Catraio is a multipurpose craft beer shop and bar. Not only does it represent more than 100 beers produced in Portugal and beyond, but Catraio also serves food and provides free WiFi to its guests whether they sit inside or in its outdoor beer garden.
Not limited to one style of craft beer since it opened in 2015, Catraio prides itself for having a beer for everyone both in bottles and on tap. During our visit, the options were indeed extensive.
After perusing the many beer options, we settled on a bottle of Remistura, a collaboration beer produced by Lisbon’s Musa brewery and the Cockburn port house. Aged in port casks, the Belgian golden strong ale was so tasty that we ordered a second. With a 9.8% ABV, it was also strong enough that we didn’t order a third.
If you see an interesting beer on tap, order it or risk disappointment. Catraio’s beer list changes daily.
Catraio is located at Rua de Cedofeita 256, 4050-174 Porto, Portugal.
Additional Porto Bars
If you’re thirsty in Porto, it’s your own fault. The better option is to check out one or more of the additional Porto bars after you check out our favorites.
Porto Markets + Specialty Food Shops
Shopping is fun in Porto when it involves food and beverages that you can enjoy on the spot or take home as gifts or edible souvenirs.
Check out our favorite Porto shopping venues for these exact purposes:
Mercado do Bolhão
Operating since 1914 in a neoclassical Porto building designed by Correia da Silva, the Mercado do Bolhão is Porto’s famous multi-story public market. When it’s open, this market is a hub for vendors selling fish, fruits, flowers, meat and vegetables to throngs of locals and tourists.
However, before you head to Mercado do Bolhão, be aware that the historic market is currently closed for renovations. Originally planned as a two-year, €2 million+ project, officials project that the market will reopen in the second half of 2021. Watch this space for an update when that actually happens.
Mercado Beira Rio
Not surprisingly based on its name, the Mercado Beira Rio is located on the banks of the Douro River. Beira Rio translates to riverside.
In many ways, this Vila Nova de Gaia market is like a miniature version of the Time Out Market in Lisbon. Similar to the bigger market to the south, Mercado Beira Rio’s stalls sell a range of comfort food plus desserts and beer.
Stop at Mercado Beira Rio for a snack break between port tastings. You can thank us later when you don’t have a hangover in the morning.
Mercado Beira Rio is located at Avenida de Ramos Pinto 148, 4400-261 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.
Mercado Municipal de Matosinhos
If you can’t find your favorite fish at the Mercado de Matosinhos, then it’s probably not available in Portugal. Located in a nondescript 1950s building, this market has stall after stall filled with fish and seafood. The options are spellbinding.
But the Mercado de Matosinhos doesn’t just sell fish. Like most Portuguese markets, it also has fruits, vegetables and flowers. In other words, savvy shoppers should find all the necessary ingredients to cook dinner at this market.
Eat at one of the market cafes and enjoy some of the freshest fish you’ll eat in Portugal.
Mercado Municipal de Matosinhos is located at Rua França Júnior, 4450-718 Matosinhos, Portugal.
Queijaria do Almada
Not to be cheesy but we love cheese. We love it a lot. Though we’ve always been partial to cheese produced in France and Italy, Portugal’s cheeses, especially Lisbon’s Azeitão and Serra da Estrela produced in the north, have started to grow on us.
Queijaria do Almada is a great spot to try both of these Portuguese cheeses plus additional artisan ‘queijo’ produced by dairies around mainland Portugal and beyond. As cases in point, this shop sells wheels of São Jorge produced in the Azores and better cheddars imported from the UK.
Since Portuguese cheese pairs well with Portuguese wine, be sure to buy a bottle to go with your wheel.
Queijaria do Almada is located at Rua do Almada 348, Porto, Portugal.
Loja das Conservas
The name Loja das Conservas sounds exotic. It isn’t. This name literally translates to Canned Fish Store. However, it’s certainly descriptive considering that Loja das Conservas sells a bounty of colorful canned fish tins sourced from all over Portugal including the Azores.
Loja das Conservas’ collectible tins go way beyond boring canned tuna which actually tastes good in Portugal. Options include fish like cod, horse makarel, salmon, sardines and tuna as well as seafood like mussels and octopus. Some tins are spicy and most have artful packaging.
Not only are these tins a key part of Portuguese cuisine, but they’re also fun for adventurous eaters to taste.
Buy as many tins as you can comfortably carry. Not only do they travel really well, but they also make great gifts.
Loja das Conservas is located at Rua de Mouzinho da Silveira 240, 4050-417 Porto, Portugal.
Sogevinus Wine Shop
Located in a converted warehouse near the Church of Santa Marinha, Sogevinus flagship Vila Nova de Gaia location offers a one-stop Port Wine shopping opportunity. Unlike port houses that solely sell one Port Wine brand, Sogevinus sells a wide variety of Port Wines from Barros, Burmester, Cálem, Kopke, Quinta da Boavista and Velhotes.
Since Sogevinus owns these six respected port houses, its selection of Port Wine is both comprehensive and fairly priced. As a bonus, with its large vats and barrels filled with Port Wine, it’s also a cool space to check out.
Visit Sogevinus’ wine bar for a tasting if you’re unsure of which Port Wine you want to purchase or if you just like drinking Port Wine. The shop provides educational tastings, offers sweet and savory food pairings and crafts port cocktails upon request.
Sogevinus has multiple locations. We visited the shop located at Largo Joaquim Magalhães 4, 4400-174 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.
Things To Do in Porto
Consider the following activities as you dig deep into Porto:
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Some businesses may revise their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Others may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check websites for updated information and make advance reservations where possible.