12.4.13

A little trip to Porto... food guide

Hello everyone! It's time for part two of my little report on our weekend in Porto, with some restaurants and food tips in case you were planning on visiting soon (and you really should be...)


So yesterday I mentioned all the lovely things to see and do in Porto but one of the best things about the city is the food! How tasty and also how super cheap it is... We didn't know this on our first night (we had just arrived late that evening) and had dinner in a fancy looking Italian restaurant not realising it was way more expensive than everywhere else! I know, I know, we were in Portugal, why would we go to an Italian restaurant? Well, it was late, we were hungry and it looked really appetising. We figured they'd be using Portuguese ingredients so it'd still be ok! And we didn't regret it, it was amazing. We started off with an olive oil tasting, the waiter explained about the different types and added some herbs in too. Then we both had gorgeous pizzas with really thin crusts and the wine was incredible. I went for the expensive wine, again not realising that the cheapest one on the menu would probably be the quality & taste equivalent of a €10 glass in Dublin! Anyway, all this to say that yes, it was a bit expensive for Porto but so delicious we didn't regret it one bit. It's good to know that they do a great deal for lunch at €15 for a starter, main course, dessert, glass of wine and coffee.

1. La Ricotta - Rua de Passos Manuel no. 18 - up-market Italian restaurant with a great selection of Portuguese wines and olive oils, open seven days a week.

Pretty much every meal we had in Porto was great so I will just list out the other two places that stood out for us:

2. Casa Guedes - Praça dos Poveiros - This is a tiny old place that's getting very popular with the young locals. The decor is on the retro side (as in it looks like it hasn't been done up since the seventies!) and it is run by two brothers. Their big specialty is the sandwich (sandés) - you can ask for cheese or ham or else go for the hot pernil that they are famous for, they'll cut a juicy slice of roasted pork and put in a tasty bap. And it doesn't need anything else! To drink they'll bring you a bottle of house wine and then count how many glasses you had out of the bottle and just charge you for that. There aren't many tables there and it gets pretty packed but don't be put off, people tend to eat and go without hanging around too long. Another great thing about this place is it was just around the corner from our accommodation!

3. Jimão - Praça da Ribeira 11 - Amazing tapas and wine place on the old riverside square in the Ribeira area, beside the famous Dom Luis I bridge. We were kinda put off by the other touristy restaurants all around that had touts trying to lure us in and then we spotted this lovely little place. They have a great concept, you come in and they give you a tasting of several wines and tell you a bit about each of them so you can choose which one you'd like to have with your dinner! (and the tasting is free). It's a small family run restaurant that had only opened a few days before and you can tell these people are passionate about what they do. There is a great selection of delicious tapas, the portions are generous and they are very very reasonably priced. We had a skillet of quail's eggs, black pudding with potatoes & apples and a prawn, melon and yoghurt salad but you'll want to try everything on the menu!

Last thing about the food in Porto, don't forget to try the pastries! There are loads of little patisseries that double up as cafés where you can sit down and have a coffee or a freshly squeezed orange juice with a selection of small pastries. I don't remember their names apart from the famous pastel de nata but I'd say just point at anything that looks nice and try them out :o) That's what we did for our first breakfast and the total came to less than €7 for a coffee, a tea, two glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice and three pastries. Tasty bargain! And there's a nice atmosphere in those little places, people meeting up for a chat and a sweet thing, taking the time to enjoy life at their own pace. Well, it was Easter weekend, that might have something to do with the slow pace...but I like to think of it that way! 

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