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Bom dia Porto!

Updated: Aug 4, 2023


Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal, is one of the oldest cities in Europe and sits along the Atlantic Ocean coastline to one side, with the River Duomo running through its centre.

As we are hosting our first overseas supper club in this vibrant city, we wanted to share a few of our favourite places to go, places to stay and tips from locals.


Things to see

The city is great to see by foot, wander around and stop when something takes your fancy. There's Ribeira, the riverside area, probably the most visited part of the city. Stop along for a Porto Tonic and to people watch.


Azulejo tiles: Azulejo is tin-glazed ceramic tiles made in Portugal and also Spain. During your walks around the city, you'll see these covering the walls of homes and buildings, but for a truly remarkable sighting, head down to São Bento Station. It is decorated with 20,000 blue and white tiles dating back to the 1910s, showing scenes from Portuguese history.


For Top City Views: Luís I Bridge. There are two levels and it’s well worth walking the top one for unrivalled city views, especially during the night! The bottom level is great to get to Gaia, the other side of the river. Here you'll find all the Port houses plus a great food market called Mercado Beira-Rio.


The beachfront: Foz. This is the area located at the point where the ocean turns into the Douro River. It has extensive promenades and a multitude of cafes, bars and is ideal for long walks. If you like, take a tram from the Infante stop at the edge of Ribeira and trams go every 30 mins or so, and you usually can pay with a day travel card or with cash.


Parque de Serralves: A contemporary art museum, a park, and a villa, with each one of these being an example of contemporary architecture, Modernism, and Art Deco architecture. Visit an exhibition or simply go along to walk along the tree tops. It's great for getting some greenery.


Food

A selection of bakeries, vegan eateries and our favourite picks for breakfast, lunch and dinner:


Pastel De Nata: No trip to Portugal is complete without a few (dozen) Pastel de Natas! Here, are a few places to get yours whilst you are in the city. We've even got some places for vegan pastries, so no one misses out!


Confeitaria do Bolhão: This bakery was founded in 1896 and continues to make a wide range of classic baked goods, with some exceptional Pastel de nata! It is mainly a shop, with no seating so good to grab a few to take away with you.


Manteigaria: These are not vegan, but they are *the best* pastel we have every had! the name literally has butter in it!


Vegana by Tentugal: This vegan bakery does a wide range of options, including a pretty good nata! The pastry is light but firm and sweet and creamy custard.


Francesinha Sandwich: Popular all over Portugual, the Francesinha sandwich originated in Porto but is enjoyed all over the county. Here are some options for vegetarians and vegans to enjoy as well as those who can enjoy the original version. Francesinha is originally made with wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage like chipolata, steak or roast meat inside bread that is covered with melted cheese and a hot, thick spiced tomato and beer sauce.

Lado B: one of the most famous francesinha restaurants in Porto and, as well as the original version, they serve a delicious vegan alternative with smoked tofu and vegan sausage.

Francesinhas Al Forno da Baixa: here you have not one but four vegan francesinhas to choose from. The cafe use tofu, Seitan and vegan cheese.


Something for fish lovers: Don't forget to try out Gomes de Sá, a famous Portuguese casserole dish made with the use of salted cod, onions, potatoes and egg.


Venn Canteen: A lovely local vegan space serving up a seasonal selection of lunch and often times small plates for dinner. Expect not only delicious food, but thoughtfully sourced and selected ingredients. They're open Wed-Sat for lunch with dinner seatings on Thursday and Saturday. Check out their social media for the daily menu.

Pastelaria Tupi isn’t a completely vegan restaurant in Porto however they do serve some of the best vegan pastries in town, as well as vegan versions of the typical Porto dishes.


Da Terra: If you are looking for a reasonably priced place for breakfast, brunch or dinner, you can enjoy a wide range of dishes at this vegan & vegetarian buffet restaurant. The menu is different every day and freshly prepared, presenting a wide range of options every day. There is one in the city but we prefer the one in Foz.


Em Carne Viva: This is a wonderful restaurant if you want a real treat. Expect vegan fine dining within neo-classical settings. The building was an old antique shop rebuilt into a restaurant, with a sweet garden as well if the sun's out and you want to be in the fresh air.


Época café: It's open Monday- Friday from 12pm - 3pm, and serves freshly baked sourdough, seasonal lunch and lots of hot drinks and also organic wines. (Pictured, right)


Alto, Porto: A great spot for breakfast, brunch, lunch and even dinner.


Early: A part of the Rosa Et Townhall hotel but this place has a great selection of breakfast and lunch dishes. Great coffees and pastries too!


Puro 4050: Great for Lunch and Dinner. They get busy so pre-book if you can or simply turn up, have waited around 20 minutes maximum.


A Sandeira do Porto: A quaint sandwich cafe serving a selection of sandwiches and soup throughout the day.


Izakaya, Out To Lunch: Every Thursday, Friday & Saturday evening, this is a great Japanese pop-up taking place at Epoca in Cedofita. Highly recommend for dinner.


Generosa, Porto: A small hole-in-the-wall bakery that makes impeccable pizza! There's seating outside and they have some drinks and also cookies and cinnamon buns available too. Check their socials for any specials and opening times.


WINE & Beer

Whether you're a fan of wine, they're still a great way to relax and enjoy a selection of snacks. If you are a lover of wine, you're going to be spoilt rotten with the excellent choice of wine on offer. Here are our favourite spots to go:

Genuino: This is the sister space to Generosa, and they serve excellent natural wine but also great selection of food (Pictured, left). It usually gets booked, so try and reserve via Instagram or call them. Otherwise, grab a stool at the bar and have fun!


Capela Incomum: An old church space converted into a wine-bar! It's a great spot for a lazy evening.


Catraio Craft Beer: If you're more into the beer scene, check this great local craft beer space. They've got a great hidden garden at the very back and often will also have food pop-ups so keep an eye on their Instagram.



Port wine

You cannot go to Porto and not indulge in Port tasting. Across the river to the south of the city centre in Gaia you will find a range of places to enjoy a cellar tour alongside port tasting. Here are a few of the best places to stop by:


Kokpe Port House: The oldest port wine house, which doesn't have a cellar tour, but they do provide an intimate port tasting and it might be easy to miss amongst the larger part houses, but this the one to visit if you're only in the city for a short time.


Espaço Porto Cruz: This one is great for the views. Alongside the tasting room, this is a good one to take advantage of the rooftop bar, which has 360-degree views above Gaia & across the Douro.


Croft Port: Off the beaten track. A little further up the hill, Croft offers tasting, and an optional tour. You can book ahead or, like some of the other establishments, just turn up for a drop-in tasting.


places to stay

Hostels:


Spot Hostel: Good for outgoing travellers who are looking for a place to stay close to the beach with a good breakfast. Around £30 a night.


Wine Hostel: Also in the city centre, this one is good for solo travellers. Around £35 a night.


The Passenger Hostel: Located right by Sao Bento station, this one is great for female solo travellers, couples and families. Around £45 a night.


Mou.Co.Hotel: Based close to the Bonfim part of town, this is a creative hotel which also had apartments with kitchenettes. Often times, they even have live music.


Self-service apartment: B28 Apartments: Refurbished stunning building in the downtown part of the city just a few minutes walk away from Ribeira (Pictured, right). Each room is simple with modern design. Guests can get breakfast in their room and a concept store on the ground floor as an additional bonus selling a range of local Portuguese crafts and fashion.


We hope you find this guide helpful


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