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  • Writer's pictureJoshua S

How to Eat and Drink like a Local in Porto

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Porto is full of fantastic food and drink spots throughout the city, highlighting both Portuguese and, more specifically, Northern Portuguese cuisine. Get away from Ribeira and Sao Bento, which are full of tourist traps. Head to the Vitoria and Santa Ildefonso neighbourhoods for some authentic taverns.

For Coffee and Pastel de Nata

What: An sweet Portuguese custard tart that complements strong coffee perfectly.

Where to go: Castro in the Historic Centre is the best place in Porto for the iconic, authentic pastry.

Cost: 1 coffee and 1 pastel de nata = 1.90 Euros.

For Francesinha

What: An authentic northern Portuguese dish that is a cross between a sandwich and a lasagne, filled with ham, chorizo and cheese, topped with a spicy sauce.

Where to go: Brasão Coliseu on Rua de Passos Manuel and enjoy the stunning exposed brick and stone decor and fabulous atmosphere.

Cost: 2 francesinhas, 2 large beers and a platter of chips = 37 Euros. It’s highly likely that Brasao will be the most you spend on your trip.

Another Recommendation: Cafe Santiago, opposite, is also another local’s spot too

For Cachorrinhos

What: A Portuguese-style hotdog, grilled with melted cheese and spicy sauce.

Where to go: Gazela will provide the perfect remedy after a few drinks.

Cost: 2 chichorrinhos, 2 beers and a platter of chips = 14 Euros. It’s worth it after a few drinks.

For Port

What: A fortified wine produced in the Douro Valley, typically sweet and dry.

Where to go: Our recommendation is Cruz over the river in Cais de Gaia - visible by the river as bright blue lights. Cruz boasts a fantastic roof terrace allowing you the perfect setting to watch Riberia opposite transform into evening. Along Cais de Gaia, you’ll find plenty of historic caves for port tastings too.

Cost: Compared to other bars across the city, it’s costly, but you’re paying for the terrace. May need to book in advance. Glasses range from 4.50 to 6 Euros, bottles range from 16 to 42 Euros.

Cais de Gaia, Porto, Portugal
Cais de Gaia from Dom Luís I Bridge

For Peri-peri Chicken

What: The authentic, and the original. Spicy grilled chicken.

Where to go: Pedro dos Frangos on Rua do Bonjardim, north of Sao Bento. Platters of fantastic grilled chicken are served to locals in a rustic 3-storey setting.

Cost: Platter of chicken and chips for 2, plus 2 beers = 17 Euros.

For Bifanas

What: Slow cooked pork stuffed in crispy rolls and dunked in its spicy juices - these are the perfect lunch snack to keep you going.

Where to go: Conga, opposite Pedro dos Frangos, is THE place to go for them.

Cost: A bifana with chips and a drink = 4 Euros.

For Wine and (Atmosphere)

Where to go: We recommend two spots on Rua das Flores. Taberna do Largo, as a wine bar is no different to others dotted throughout the city (though maybe a little tourist-y), however if you manage to get an outside table, the atmosphere around the small square is vibrant. Talented musicians play, and the vibe is special. Cantina 32, nearby, is a pretty spot providing an intimate setting on an otherwise bustling neighbourhood.

Costs: 2.5-4 Euros per glass of wine, bottles for 15-20 Euros.

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