Get some energy for sightseeing along Porto’s cobblestone streets with breakfast at Padaria Ribeiro, a bakery that has been in existence since 1878. Order the pirilampos; little worm-shaped crunchy biscuits, or a lanche, a sandwich-like snack filled with ham, sausage and bacon.
Mercado do Bolhão
The 19th-century Mercado do Bolhão dazzles with fruit and veg, cured hams, regional cheeses and freshly caught fish. Take a break at Bolhão wine house and snack on smoked ham from the butcher across the hall, sardines from the nearby fishing village of Matosinhos, and a glass of Moscatel do Douro.
1 Loja, 00 351 222 009 975
At O Paparico you have to knock on the door as you would at a friend’s house. Exquisite presentation and sophisticated cooking hint at Michelin aspirations but, for now, this modern Portuguese restaurant is still something of a local secret. Try the octopus ceviche with olive oil, onion and coriander.
Olivia & Co
If it’s made from olives you’ll find it at Olivia & Co, in Ribeira, Porto’s UNESCO-protected historic heart. From cookies, cakes and paté to face creams, it’s all here alongside a great range of olive oils.
The juxtaposition of the Douro river and the Atlantic ocean make for some spectacular sunsets, especially in the Foz district. At the Parque da Cidade the Tavi bakery is famous for its bolas de Berlim (custard-filled donuts) and ocean-view terrace.
There’s more to Portugal’s wines than port. Explore the distinct qualities of each of Portugal’s wine regions at PROVA bar, kicking off with a glass of dão and a carefully paired selection of cured meats.
Taberna do Largo
At modern drinking hole Taberna do Largo, the menu takes you on a journey through Portugal via some of the country’s best small-scale producers. Local wines, cheeses, meats, olive oils and even tea are covered; order a Porto tonico while you choose. 69 Largo de São Domingos, 00 351 222 082 154
Flor dos Congregados
At Flor dos Congregados, every dish is cooked with passion. Try the terylene sandwich, a double-layered roast pork and ham affair that takes a full day to cook, or a slice of sericaia cake (a kind of egg pudding) and a glass of chilled port.
11 Travessa dos Congregados, 00 351 222 002 822
With its stylish décor, great music, top-notch staff and traditional Portuguese food, Tascö is wildly popular. Petiscos – tapas-like portions of larger dishes – are the thing here. Try the pataniscas (similar to a frittata, with cod or octopus), or moelas (stewed gizzards in a spicy tomato sauce).
Central Conserver Invicta
Portugal is famed for canned fish, and Central Conserver Invicta is the place to find it. Shelves groan with sardines, tuna, cod, mackerel, sea bass, gilt-head sea bream, eels, lamprey and mussels. Sit down to sardines in spicy tomato sauce, bread and a glass of vinho verde. 115 Rua Sá da Bandeira, 00 351 912 833 884
Where to stay in Porto
Stay over at boutique guesthouse Rosa Et Al (rosaetal.pt).
Written by André Apolinário