Experience the Best Flavors of the City With These Nine Must-Try Restaurants in Porto
Lisbon may be the capital of Portugal, but the only city foodies need to know is Porto—the capital of Portuguese cuisine.
This tourist-friendly city is most famous for being the birthplace of port wine—that sweet, delicate dessert wine that adds a pleasant finish to every meal. But let’s start at the beginning and take a look at nine of the best restaurants to try when you visit Porto that will make the entire trip worthwhile.
The Boa Nova Tea House takes advantage of its seaside locale and pairs it with an epic gastronomic experience. It’s almost hard to believe that such a bold, stunning structure could offer such low-key dining. Having received a Michelin star rating, this is the place for the best seafood and other delicately prepared meals that serve to engage all the senses.
The only thing that could possibly rival the food here is the view. Just a slight turn of your head, and it’s tranquil ocean waves as far as the eye can see. Depending on the weather, the restaurant features an entire wall that can be opened up to connect the inside and outside world—it’s almost as if the sea is joining you for dinner. This unique layout has captured the attention of architecture publications the world over, and its designer (Alvaro Siza) has been the recipient of the local Pritzker Architecture Prize.
The word apego means “great affection” in Portuguese, and we’re guessing they took the name because of their obvious affection for the flavorful, highly detailed dishes they create. With its soft lighting against natural stone walls and wooden floors, it’s hard not to conjure feelings of romance and inspiration once you step inside.
Their cuisine is largely Portuguese with a French influence, offering classic eats like oxtail or fish with interesting and complex twists for a whole new flavor profile. Go for the tasting menu which lets you sample some of their most mouthwatering morsels.
Translated as “The Hole,” this charming little watering hole is among the best places to get down-home, local cuisine featuring long-standing family recipes. It’s clear they devote a large piece of themselves to tradition—a far cry from the chain restaurants in Porto or touristy eateries that most travelers get lured into. Indulge in some of the country’s best flavors and dishes, such as veal pie, tripe stew, and offbeat daily specials like duck rice.
Most of their customer base is comprised of locals, which is the truest testament you could ask for when vetting your restaurant options.
Bursting with old-world charm, this adorable stone house by the Douro River is a romantic, inviting spot for a local-infused meal. It initially opened its doors in 1964 as a bar and has since transformed into the simple yet stylish eatery it is today.
Take a seat in the dining room or on the rooftop terrace and dig into some of Porto’s most contemporary eats, most of which are supplied by local farmers and seasonal ingredients. They’ve also taken care to craft an exceptionally prepared wine list that features several small or unknown wine producers throughout Portugal.
Euskalduna Studio is an experiential restaurant that is truly one of a kind in Porto. They take inspiration from cuisine from around the world, and most of their ingredients come from local farmers and small-batch producers. The eatery displays unique creations that experiment with texture and flavor—in other terms, dishes you won’t find anywhere else.
One of its most pleasurable features is the ability for diners to interact with the kitchen staff. The chefs here personalize every dish and want to make sure they’re providing the best experience to their patrons, so you can rest assured that whatever’s on your plate was made with love and creativity.
Porto’s selection of fine cheeses are delicious enough to rival any you’ll find in France or Switzerland, and Queijaria Do Almada is the best place to indulge. Their collection of artisan cheeses is made from premium sheep or goat’s milk or other high-end Portuguese dairy products.
Here, you can indulge your love of all things cheese with a generous cheese board sampling, complemented by perfect pairings like bread, crackers, or veggies. This is our top pick for a filling snack, a midday meal, or even a morning brunch.
Serving as an “ode” to Porto’s port wine scene, this slightly hidden restaurant is equally known for its tasty inventive dishes and support for local food producers. In true Porto fashion, you can expect a thoughtfully prepared wine list, along with a decor scheme of wine crates and barrels that pay homage to the country’s famous drink.
One of Porto’s only vegetarian restaurants, Casa da Horta is a journey into healthy eating. They’ve brought imagination to meat-free cuisine, offering several local and organic options for the highest caliber of freshness.
Another interesting point is that the cooking process is largely communal. Diners can volunteer to help with meal preparation (and perhaps learn a thing or two along the way), or at the very least, make suggestions on how they’d like their food prepared. It’s a collaborative dining experience you’re not likely to find anywhere else.
One of Porto’s oldest sandwich shops, Casa Guedes’ signature item is their roast pork. It’s been called the best sandwich in Porto, and given it’s been serving up tasty meals since the 1970s, there’s plenty of truth to support their claim to fame. They also give new (and literal) meaning to the term ‘secret sauce’—used during the cooking process, their sauce features a secret Brazilian ingredient that gives their pork its flavorful, mouthwatering quality.
They’re a popular option in Porto, so you might expect a wait. But rest assured that it will be well worth it.
Which of these Porto restaurants makes your mouth water? Come experience and indulge in these delicacies with Lifeafar. Book your next adventure at Casa do Cativo, our boutique hotel located right in the heart of Porto. And follow us on Instagram for more travel inspiration and to share your Lifeafar moments with #Lifeafar.