No matter what type of meal or atmosphere you’re craving, chances are Porto has a restaurant to match.
Porto is known as Portugal’s best food city, and location is the reason why. Fresh fish from the Atlantic, meats and produce from nearby farms, famous cheeses, and the Douro vineyards just a few miles away make it easy for restaurants to curate diverse menus full of local ingredients. Whether you’re looking for casual traditional dishes or modern interpretations, seafood with views or a cozy setting, there’s a restaurant for every type of meal in Porto.
On the Water: Bacalhau
Bacalhau sits right along the Douro River and, unsurprisingly, serves a wide array of bacalhau (cod). Cod chips, cod pate, grilled cod, fried cod, and more are served alongside salads, soups, and pasta. Because of its prime location on the water, Bacalhau can get very busy, so go in the late afternoon outside of peak hours to ensure you don’t have to wait long for a table.
For Fine-Dining Seafood: O Gaveto
O Gaveto sits about 0.2 miles from a fishing dock, so it’s no wonder the seafood tastes incredibly fresh. The restaurant has won numerous Portuguese food and restaurant awards for its fresh fillets, shrimp, and Bulhão Pato-style clams. If you don’t know what to order, you can’t go wrong with the seafood platter. The staff are well-versed in the extensive local wine list and will happily find a pairing for you. Inside, wooden tables and tiled walls pay homage to Porto’s past.
For Romance: Casa d’Oro
Casa d’Oro sits on the river in Porto and has an airy terrace with panoramic views. Owner Maria Paola Porru serves classic Italian dishes like Roman artichokes and some of the best pizza in Porto. On a summer evening, sip Lambrusco while taking in the tiled houses and gliding riverboats along the Douro River. In chillier months, the interior of the restaurant has a cozy vibe, but views can still be seen from the large windows.
For Wine and Tapas: Wine Quay Bar
This husband-and-wife-owned wine bar was started with the aim of showcasing the best of all of Portugal’s wines, not only those that Porto is known for. Sit on the terrace and enjoy the bustle of the Ribeira district while sipping wine from around Portugal and nibbling on cheeses, olives, and sardines. With prices starting at 2.25 Euro, it’s easy to sample multiple glasses, and the staff is extremely knowledgeable too. Next door, guests can purchase bottles of the wines they enjoyed most at the Quay Market.
For a Cozy Atmosphere: Camafeu
In the center of the city, Camafeu is filled with antique mirrors and paintings, beautiful wooden chairs, quaintly mismatched tables, lots of candlelight, and has large French windows looking out on Carlos Alberto Square. It feels like you’re dining in someone’s home, and is perfect for an intimate date night. Like many restaurants in Porto, the menu is seafood heavy, and the scallops and octopus are favorites.
To Check Out a Michelin Star: Gastronomic at The Yeatman
The only restaurant in Porto to hold two Michelin stars, the Yeatman Hotel’s Gastronomic restaurant serves innovative cuisine from Chef Ricardo Costa. Dishes like amberjack ceviche with spicy avocado sauce, kumquat, and lime foam, or steamed seaweed bread with cuttlefish can be found on the constantly changing tasting menu. The wine pairings are almost entirely Portuguese and surprisingly well-priced. Inside, the restaurant is bright and stylish with white tablecloths and views over a hillside.
For Modern Portuguese: O Paparico
O Paparico celebrates Portuguese cuisine by taking quality products and tweaking them ever so slightly. It’s known as one of the best restaurants in the city, partly for its tasting menu, which generally features a mix of seafood, produce, beef, and desserts. Everything is presented beautifully and service is impeccable. At the end of the meal, guests receive a card detailing where food from each course came from. For lovers of local and minimalist presentation, this is the spot.
For Portuguese Fusion: Terra
Terra is a sophisticated restaurant serving sushi with a Portuguese twist. It sounds odd, but because of Portugal’s seafaring history, it works well. Squid ink pasta is served alongside traditional Japanese sashimi, and lobster cream with a sweet egg pastry works well with the array of sushi rolls. The setting, with comfortable grey chairs, teak tables, and blue and beige accents make Terra one of the more design-oriented restaurants in Porto.
For Vegetarians: Em Carne Viva
This idyllic garden restaurant is part of a restored old house and serves traditional Portuguese dishes adapted for vegetarians. Mushrooms take the place of meat, and “spineless tofu” replaces fish, while keeping an emphasis on the olives, tomatoes, and potatoes that help make Portuguese food flavorful. Servers explain the dishes carefully and are happy to accommodate vegan and other dietary requests. Many dishes are served on antique dishware, which is a nice touch.
For Francesinha: Cafe Santiago
Francesinha is Porto’s most famous sandwich. In what’s said to be Portugal’s version of a croque-monsieur, the Francesinha (meaning “little Frenchie” in Portuguese), is layers of cured ham, smoke-cured pork sausage seasoned with garlic and paprika, chipolata (a fresh sausage), and roast meat covered with melted cheese (and sometimes a fried egg), then drenched with a tomato and beer sauce and served with a heap of french fries. The no-frills Cafe Santiago is an award-winning local favorite for Francesinha, their specialty. And remember, even though Porto is famous for wine, Portuguese drink beer with Francesinha.
For Breakfast: Tavi
This cute seaside restaurant in Foz has a large bakery but is also one of the only places in Porto where you can order a more substantial breakfast. Fresh fruit and yogurt, scrambled eggs, quinoa and goji bread, and other healthy options will help fuel you for a day of exploring. Of course, pastries are what Portuguese breakfast is known for, so it can’t hurt to get something small on the side.
For Coffee: Majestic Cafe
This spot draws customers for its grand beauty and wonderful coffee. It’s a bit more expensive than other coffee shops, but worth it for seating in the Belle Epoque interior with its sculptures, chandeliers, and gold details that often land it a mention as one of the most beautiful cafes in the world.
To Get Out of the City: DOC
On the wine trail in Douro Valley, DOC is a fine-dining restaurant from Portuguese Chef Rui Paula serving local dishes with unique twists. The menu is always changing but includes seafood options, more traditional meats, pasta, and regional fruits and vegetables. The modern, elegant interior opens up to a large patio along the river in warmer months, where guests can gaze at the valley’s terraced vineyards while they dine.
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