Oporto boasts an increasingly vibrant gastronomic scene. The second largest town of Portugal, which was once known for its traditional recipes (who said Francesinhas and tripas?), now is having an effervescent moment, with new restaurants opening and bringing to the city more diverse options.
These options also find diversity at the price range, from casual venues where you can eat very well without paying so much money to other more classic restaurants where the wine offers and the excelent service can cost more. Here, our selection of the best options for all budgets.
Less than 25 Euros
Mito has probably the best cost-benefit relation in the city. Chef Pedro Braga's preparations are inventive and hearty at the same time, served in a small-but-cozy room with welcoming service. Think about Portuguese flavors (codfish, amazing pork, etc.) mixed with Mediterranean dishes (sometimes with Italian, Greek or even Moroccan accent). Great spot for lunch - but consider their great cocktails during the night as well.
But if you are looking for a brunch or early lunch, Early is literally your place: their bowls range from fruits to many types of grains, and they also serve great toasts and light dishes during the day, just like Negra Café - an all-day café which also has terrific pieces of fresh cakes, hot from the oven.
Oporto has recently welcomed other flavors of the world: more and more, it is possible to find cuisines from other countries in the restaurants of the city. It is the case of the Namban Oporto Kitchen Café, a small walk-in eatery serving hot Japanese dishes , such as a version of curry rice with breaded pork belly, delicious noodles, and zukii with shiratama mochi.
Namban Oporto Kitchen Café
Galerias Lumière, Loja 157
Rua de José Falcão 1, Porto
From 25 to 50 Euros
Semea by Euskalduna
Vasco Santos Coelho is one of the best chefs in town. His Euskalduna Studio offers a high-end food experience in an omakase-style counter where you can watch the staff prepare dishes with rigorous talent and respect for ingredients. More recently, he opened a more casual spot to serve food for sharing in the hip Flores Street: Semea by Euskalduna is a comfy place with a more affordable approach. The menu changes with the seasons, but always looking for the best Portuguese produce.
Semea by Euskalduna
Rua das Flores 179, PortoWebsite
The best translation for the Portuguese word "apego" may be affection. At least when we are considering how to translate the name of this restaurant, located in the trendy Cedofeita neighborhood. Apego offers excellent food in an intimate atmosphere, as if you were in the home of a friend who cooks very well - just like the French-Portuguese chef Aurora Goy.
Rua de Santa Catarina 1198, 4000-457 PortoWebpage
Esquina do Avesso
But if the idea is to explore Oporto surroundings, Esquina do Avesso is the perfect bet. Located in a square building in Leça da Palmeira, almost in front of the homonymous beach, the restaurant has a sea atmosphere. Even in the menu, of course: Kataifi prawns, scallops with cauliflower and black codfish are one of the fresh recipes served. Restaurateur Ricardo Rodrigues also owns other venues in the neighborhood, such as the vegetarian restaurant Fava Tonka and the Steakhouse Terminal 4450.
Esquina do Avesso
R. Santa Catarina 102, Leça da Palmeira
Also recently opened, In Diferente is a contemporary restaurant focused on modern versions of Portuguese cuisine classics, such as Rabanada (a Portuguese French toast) served with foie gras and tonka beans, and the pastel de nata, here served as a delicious lava cake with cinnamon sorbet - an instant hit.
In Diferente Restaurante
R. Dr. Sousa Rosa 23, Porto
From 50 to 100 Euros
O Paparico is a restaurant that focuses on celebrating the fine dining Portuguese food. Situated in the upper part of the city, it has a romantically rustic interior (the stone walls are one of the charms of the building), a collection of over a thousand bottles of wine and a fine gastronomy with the best products: black pork, scarlet shrimp, red mullet – all coming from the best regions of Portugal. There is an option for a shorter - and more affordable - tasting menu (3 dishes) for all budgets.
Cafeína is also one of the most traditional restaurants in the local food scene. Opened 20 years ago by the businessman and restauranteur Vasco Mourão (whose group still owns restaurants like Casa Vasco and Terra), it has become an icon of the gastronomy of the city thanks to its classic recipes that have never left the menu, such as fillet Wellington, steak tartare, fish soup with puff pastry, and others. It is a good option in the Foz coastal neighborhood.
The most famous wineries of Port wines are located on the other side of the Douro river, in the city of Vila Nova de Gaia. The Real Companhia Velha is one of them and has just inaugurated a new space that combines a museum and restaurant where once was an old warehouse. At the top, the restaurant has three different focuses: fish and seafood, meat, and Japonese cuisine. The recipes are executed in partnership with some of Oporto's famous restaurants, such as Reitoria, in charge of all sandwiches and all meat preparations, and Shiko Tasca Japonesa, who runs the sushi/raw bar. But the star itself is the wine, to be tasted with the stunning view of the river.
Real Companhia Velha
4431-952, R. Azevedo Magalhães 314, Vila Nova de GaiaWebsite
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