Visiting Portugal implies that you are a food lover! It is impossible to ignore the gastronomical traditions and the influence the food has on the Portuguese people. In Porto, this is almost a mandatory feature. We all have childhood memories that include our grandmothers cooking for hours. We do appreciate food and the different flavors we can get from every different dish.
On our previvous post, we’ve already shared a list of restaurants worth the visit in Lisbon. Now, we’ll share a list of 6 restaurants in Porto. We must confess we are foodies. And we don’t miss a chance of trying new places, even though we are passionate about traditional restaurants and old ‘tascas’ (taverns). On the other hand, we don’t say no to a top chef meal!
All the restaurants on this list have something in common: respect for the traditional flavors and for local products. In fact, that’s one of the best ways to win our hearts (and stomachs!).
Unpretentious and affordable
This 6 restaurants in Porto list aims to give you some suggestions of restaurants that we know and recommend because they’re on our personal list. Buraco and Antunes are two of the oldest restaurants we know and two of the most affordable. The balance between quality and price is important for us, as is the atmosphere.
The name is not the most attractive, we know. ‘Buraco’ means ‘the hole’ but don’t let yourself be discouraged by that. Pull the door and be amazed with the divine smell of fresh homemade food. This is one of the most well-known restaurants in Porto. It is always busy and sometimes, there’s a line at the door. Don’t give up. Stay in line. You will not regret it.
The menu includes a variety of traditional dishes. Our personal favorite is sardine filets with bean rice. Sardines are quite popular in our diet and very traditional, especially in the summer. Some people don’t eat them as often because of the bones. Have no fear: these are already deboned and ready to eat.
You might be thinking: it’s just sardines! Why such a fuss about it? Well, until you try them, we cannot explain much more. The taste is exquisite, the texture is smooth and crunchy at the same time, and the seasoning is delicious. The combination of filets with the bean rice is to die for. When it comes to desserts, we recommend the home-made ones: the ‘pudim’ (a flan) or the chocolate mousse.
This is also the right place to try the traditional ‘tripe’ or the ‘cozido’. Very heavy dishes for those who are not used to stews but also a mandatory experience when visiting Porto.
Rua do Bolhão, 95 | Porto
Monday to Friday: 12pm to 3pm and 7pm to 10 pm. Saturdays: 12 pm to 3pm.
Closed on Saturday nights and Sundays
First things first: this restaurant is on the list of the best in Porto and it’s all thanks to the quality of the food and service and word of mouth! Satisfied customers recommend others to pay a visit and the word is out!
The ‘pernil’ is one of the dishes that made Antunes famous! We are talking about roasted pork shank, accompanied by roasted potatoes and white rice. Yes, we are aware that this is a lethal combination but… it is de-li-cious!
Antunes serves traditional Portuguese food. Old recipes, fresh ingredients and an experienced hand in the kitchen! That is the secret. Plus, this is a family-owned business so, the recipes, secrets, and love pass on, from generation to generation.
From the menu, we can also recommend the turnip greens rice with small sardines or any other fish, the tripes and the ‘cozido’, and for dessert, the traditional ‘leite creme’ (creme brulee).
This is a good place to come with family or friends, as the food is very good and the prices are quite affordable.
Rua do Bonjardim, 525 | Porto
Monday & Saturday: 12 pm to 3:30 pm and 7 pm to 10 pm. Tuesday to Friday: 12 pm to 10 pm.
Idiota and Casa do Pescador are on this restaurants in Porto list for different reasons: Casa do Pescador has open for longer than we can remember, on the other hand, Idiota is one of the newest restaurants in town! We like contrasts and we love the food!
This is one of the most beautiful restaurants in town. As you enter the door, you feel like you’re at home. The lighting, the furniture, the details, and the music make this a unique space. On top of that, the people! Restaurants aren’t always about the food. And Idiota is so much more than the food. The menu was thought from the heart. The dishes are cooked with love and served with a smile. And that, alone, makes any food taste better.
There is special attention to detail in all dishes. From the ingredients to the plating. The flavors are well combined and some of them might catch your palate by surprise. This is something that distinguishes Idiota from other similar restaurants.
We have a list of favorites: the fish soup, the fresh fish ceviche, the ‘punheta de bacalhau’ (raw codfish, seasoned with garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and white pepper) and crunchy mushrooms. The desserts are mouth-watering and all deserve to be on your plate so…ask for a dessert mix and try all of them!
All ingredients are fresh, local and seasonal. The menu changes from time to time exactly because of that. Don’t be disappointed if you visit the restaurant in the summer and don’t find a specific dish. If the fresh ingredients aren’t available in the market, then, they don’t use them. The wine selection is also very good and the staff knows the products so they can help you choose the best wine for your meal!
Take the time to meet André. He is one of the owners and is a great host. One of our favorite things to do is to let him surprise us: we sit and wait for the food. We were never disappointed. On the contrary!
Rua das Oliveiras, 116 | Porto
Monday & Tuesday, Thursday to Sunday: 7 pm to 1 am.
Closed on Wednesdays.
Casa do Pescador
Certainly you have already realized that we appreciate a good meal in a place where we feel at home and where people matter. Casa do Pescador is another good example of such a place. Family-owned, this restaurant is located in Afurada, on the other side of the Douro river, in Vila Nova de Gaia.
This is the right place to go if you are a fish lover. Afurada is a small fishermen’s village hence the fact that most restaurants specialize in fish and seafood dishes. The thing we love the most about Casa do Pescador is that it’s a family-owned business. It has been in the family for years now with the same quality as in the beginning!
Before ordering, keep in in mind the portions are generous! Sharing is usually the best option. Even the smaller portions are big so if you usually don’t eat much, share! There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Now that the warning is made, let us tell you what our favorite dishes are: the seafood mix, the seafood rice or the monkfish rice, and the mixed fish plate (with vegetables and baked potatoes). Don’t start the meal without trying the codfish fritters!
The atmosphere is very casual and sometimes a bit too loud but it’s also part of the experience. If you’re planning on going there on a weekend, we advise you to make a reservation.
After your meal, you can always wander the small streets of Afurada to help you digest that delicious food!
Rua Vasco da Gama, 16 | VIla Nova de Gaia – São Pedro da Afurada
Monday to Sunday: 11 am to 3 pm and 7 pm to 11 pm.
No list would be complete without a reference to some of the most exquisite restaurants in the city. They earned their place on the list because even though they are chef’s restaurants, they have utter respect for tradition and traditional flavors.
Vinum is a restaurant based on tradition. Wine and gastronomical traditions. It is the combination of two families: the Symington family and Iñaki Lz. De Viñaspre’s family (the SAGARDI group). The vast experience with wine production of the Symington’s and the gastronomical expertise of the SAGARDI combined gave life to one of the most exquisite restaurants in Porto. Well, truthfully, it is located in Gaia, at the Grahams’ wine cellars.
Dishes served perfectly balance the traditional ingredients and ancestral recipes from the northern regions of Portugal with the contemporary international cuisine and the Basque influences. All meals are accompanied with excellent wine, from the Symington winery and carefully chosen to enhance the flavors of every dish.
The atmosphere is very charming and historical: the restaurant is located directly overlooking the cellars. On the ceiling, the pine beams are supported by cast-iron pillars, dating back to 1890. Dining in this restaurant is a charming and unique experience.
On top of it the view from the terrace: Porto, the Douro river and the D.Luís bridge.
Rua do Agro, 141 | Vila Nova de Gaia
Monday to Sunday: 10 am to 12 am
Last but not least on our restaurants in Porto list, The Blini! Before the restaurant opened its doors, it used to be a very small and trashy cafe. The only thing that kept customers coming was the view. Trust us, it has one of the (if not the) best views of Porto!
Located on the south bank of the Douro river, in Vila Nova de Gaia, The Blini is one of the most beautiful restaurants in town. And the one with the – safe to say – best view of the city. Halfway up a hill, it overlooks the wine cellars, the Douro river, Ribeira and the hilly city of Porto. Put the view together with the food from one of the best chefs in the country and you’re in for a hand full experience
Chef Cordeiro created a menu focused on sea flavors: fish and seafood. There is an ‘executive dish’ every day (either fish or meat) and a variety of dishes you can choose from, at lunchtime. But if you are interested in tasting the chef’s creations, there are three tasting menus: the Delight Blini (4 courses), the Royale Blini (6 courses) and the Chef’s Menu (8 courses).
You can sit inside or on the terrace and, while waiting for your meal, have one of the beautiful and exquisite cocktails!
Rua General Torres, 344 | Vila Nova de Gaia
Tuesday to Saturday: 12 pm to 3 pm and 5 pm to 12 am.
Closed on Sundays and Mondays
Food tastes better when you can share a meal with people you love. When the food itself is good, conversations and the moments you share are even more special! In Portugal, food plays an important role in people’s lives. The roots and traditions of our culture are materialized in delicious dishes and we still prefer the fresh, local ingredients. Cooking is an art form. And it’s also a labor of love
If you’re already mouth-watering and anxious to taste all these different flavors, don’t hesitate, and contact us. We can take you everywhere!
O Buraco: https://www.facebook.com/Restaurante-O-Buraco-161956973839602/
O Idiota: https://www.facebook.com/IdiotaCasaPortuense/
Casa do Pescador: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Restaurante-Casa-do-Pescador/202092363162838
The Blini: theblini.com