best restaurants in porto

Where to Eat in Porto: Best Restaurants in Porto

by George Mouratidis
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Searching for the best restaurants in Porto? Creeping up from the banks of the Rio Douro, Porto is a compact, alley-woven city with a relaxed attitude and a lot of history. Be prepared to hike up and down a few hills during your visit in Porto. Classified as a City of World Heritage by UNESCO in 1996, the medieval city centre has plenty of historical sites to discover. 

Best Restaurants in Porto

You’re sure to enjoy a jam-packed few days in the city but don’t neglect to discover Portuguese cuisine during your visit. Food in Portugal is almost a national pastime, and the locals certainly don’t ignore their stomachs. Porto has a variety of excellent restaurants offering international cuisine, but Portuguese specialities are what you should look for when choosing a restaurant in Porto. The following ten restaurants are worth seeking out on your visit to the city for their excellent traditional and modern Portuguese cuisine.

A Picota

Once you have strolled along the river, admiring the view of the old Port houses, head away from the tourist trap restaurants on the quay to eat. Just a five minute wander through the winding streets leads you to A Picota. With only a few tables inside and a small outdoor terrace, you may have to wait for a few minutes, but it’s worth it. 

The decor is very much local cafe chic, it isn’t fancy or pretentious, but the food is great. If you plan to try local speciality the francesinha here, then bring an appetite. A francesinha is a delicious toasted sandwich filled with steak, sausage and ham and topped with melted cheese and a fried egg. What really makes it unique to Porto is the fact that it is then smothered in a spicy sauce made with beer and tomatoes, although each restaurant has its own secret ingredients, so no two ever taste the same. 

The service is good, and the homemade desserts are excellent if you’re lucky you’ll eat with the accompaniment of the saxophonist who often plays in the square outside, and a view of the 18th-century church opposite.

  • Price Range: $$
  • Address: Largo São Domingos 56 4050-600
  • Website: N/A
  • Reservations: +351 222 006 024

Bufete Fase 

It would be easy to walk past Bufete Fase, it looks like a neighbourhood cafe from the outside, and the decor inside is basic too. This is THE place to come in Porto for a francesinha. This joint has won awards for having the most delicious francesinha in the whole city and is popular with visitors who have searched it out and the locals who are grabbing a quick bite. 

The only thing on offer at Bufete Fase is francesinha and chips so don’t expect fancy gourmet cuisine. Just settle in with a beer and dive into your enormous steak and sausage sandwich. 

  • Price Range: $
  • Address: Rua Santa Catarina, 1147 4000-456
  • Website: N/A
  • Reservations: +351 222 052 118

Flor dos Congregados

This old casa de pasto, or country eating house has been updated in the very best way; it still oozes rustic chic with bare stone walls and pieces of agricultural history hanging above tables. Follow your map down the little side alley to this friendly family-run restaurant to enjoy excellent, reasonably priced food.

Perfect for a relaxed lunch this restaurant has a menu which changes with the seasons in order to provide the freshest Portuguese specialities. The charcuterie, carved on site is impressive, start with the 24month cured black pork presunto ham or the local cheeseboard. You may not know, but in Portugal, the natives of Porto are known as Triperos due to their fondness for eating tripe dishes if that sounds like your bag then you can’t go better than choosing it from the menu here. Tripe is a bit of an acquired taste, so if you don’t fancy it then other local dishes, such as the beef ribs or lamb cooked in gorse. 

  • Price Range: $$
  • Address: Tv. dos Congregados 11 4000-114
  • Website: N/A
  • Reservations: +351 222 002 822

ODE Porto Winehouse

This is a brilliant decorative throwback to past times, wine barrels feature, wine crates feature, as do rough stone walls to create an elegant rustic dining room. The Winehouse’s ethos is to provide excellent quality Portuguese food using locally sourced organic produce. You can select from set menus at a range of price points which all showcase authentic dishes and local ingredients. A nice touch is that the tableware is also beautiful Portuguese stoneware. 

This restaurant is on the more expensive side, but for a special occasion, it is definitely worth it. The staff are knowledgeable and happy to answer queries about the dishes and recommend Portuguese wines, which will pair well with your meal. 

  • Price Range: $$
  • Address: Tv. dos Congregados 11 4000-114
  • Website: N/A
  • Reservations: +351 222 002 822

Pedro Lemos 

If you want to push the boat out while you’re on holiday in Porto, you have to try Michelin starred Pedro Lemos. You enter the restaurant through what looks like a little shepherds hut, but it soon reveals itself to be much larger. In the chic azure painted dining room or out on the rooftop terrace you can enjoy one of the tasting menus devised by chef Pedro Lemos himself.

I have to admit that this fabulous restaurant does serve international cuisine as well as regional specialities, but you’ll enjoy a range of local ingredients excellently cooked and presented. Enjoy the whole experience and ask the staff to recommend wine or each stage of the menu. 

Bacalhao

You cannot come to Portugal and not eat bacalhau – you’ll see it hanging or stacked in markets, supermarkets and restaurants. Salted dried cod is still a popular dish here, and there are a myriad of ways to cook and enjoy it. Balanced right on the end of the riverside pier Bacalhao has a few tables outside but plenty of room in the dining room inside.  

You can opt for one of the classic bacalhau dishes such as the small fritters, or bacalhau à bras, a typical potato, onion, egg and cod dish, or try one of the other delicious dishes on offer. The iconic view from the restaurant over to the Port houses on Cais de Gaia is a fabulous place to end your day with a chilled glass of Portuguese wine. 

O Comercial

This is an elegant restaurant situated in the Palacio da Bolsa stock exchange building which caters to locals as well as tourists. The dining room is beautiful, and the decor is streamlined, with touches of colour in the form of the Portuguese azulejo tiles on the walls. The 19th-century stock exchange building is a national monument and is well worth touring. The highlight is the gilded Arabian Room which takes its inspiration from the Alhambra palace in Granada.

Drop into O Comercial for lunch, the theme here is top quality fresh local ingredients, a ‘classic dishes with a twist’ sort of vibe. The signature dish is Cod O Comercial, with local spicy sausage, which is fantastic, but they also do an excellent range of dishes cooked in local wines such as Moscatel, Douro and obviously port. There is an appealing fixed menu which is well priced, and again, as seems to be typical of Porto the servers are knowledgeable and very friendly

  • Price Range: $$$
  • Address: Palácio da Bolsa 4050-253
  • Website: http://ocomercial.com/
  • Reservations: +351 918 838 649

Cantina 32

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If this restaurant was a person, it would definitely be a hipster with a twirly waxed moustache – the atmosphere is relaxed boho, and the decor is effortlessly cool. The retro vibe of vintage portraits on the walls, exposed pipes and battered leather armchairs makes it a welcoming place to eat, as do the chatty waiters. This is a great spot to wander into after a visit to admire the tile murals at the Sao Bento station, but you may want to pop in before your visit to book a table as it gets pretty busy.

The menu is equally laid-back, there is a good range of petiscos (Portuguese tapas) on offer, which includes a fantastic plate of regional cheeses and local chutney. If all the exploring has made you hungry, the squid casserole is delicious. For pudding order the cheesecake which arrives at the table in a cute flower pot with greenery garnish, it is super-instagrammable!

  • Price Range: $$
  • Address: Rua das Flores, nº32 4050-262
  • Website: www.cantina32.com
  • Reservations: +351 222 039 069

O Paparico

The most Portuguese of all of the Portuguese restaurants O Paparico concentrates on traditional cuisine in a simple, classic dining room. The stone walls are hung with black and white portraits of Portugal’s agricultural past, and the dresser stacked with blue and white crockery makes it feel as if you are being welcomed into someone’s home. 

The food is the star of the show here, with the seafood being so fresh it almost swims up to your table. The a la carte menu changes according to the seasonal ingredients available, but to my mind, the real star of the show is the Portugality tasting menu. The Portugality menu takes you on a gastronomic journey from the north to the south of the country. You can pair the food with a wine from each region which takes the experience to a whole other level. This is not a cheap restaurant, but it’s worth every centavo.

Grelhador da Boavista

This is a safe bet if you love good quality meat and fish charcoal grilled and served simply. This no-frills restaurant is popular with locals, it is well priced, and the waiters are happy to make recommendations. The most fun thing about the Grelhador da Boavista is that you can pick your exact cut of meat from the glass chiller cabinet and it cooked before your very eyes just the way you like it.

This restaurant is a great place for a hearty lunch in a long day of sightseeing, just don’t go overboard on the excellent Portuguese vinho verde, a light young wine or all you’ll want to do in the afternoon is head to the nearest park to doze in the sun. 

Luggage storage in Porto with Stasher

Let’s say you want to grab a bite in one of the best restaurants in Porto and see a few more sights before you catch a late flight or while you wait for your Airbnb check-in to open. Why drag your luggage around Porto’s steep, hilly streets? Leave your bags in one of our local StashPoints and enjoy Porto light as a feather.

Here are some of our most popular areas in Porto:

To see a full list of our Porto hosts and a map, click here. 👈

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Author Bio:

Carolyn Campbell-Baldwin is a freelance travel writer and blogger. Seasoned world traveller and current expat, Carolyn loves sharing insider tips on the destinations she loves. She enjoys searching out local culinary specialities but draws the line at eating insects. Read more at Carolyn’s travel blog.

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