The Porto region may be famous for producing Port wine, but Portugal’s second-largest city has so much to offer when it comes to its epicurean offerings. Porto’s dining culture prides itself on fresh seafood and succulent local meats that are brimming with flavour, richness and made slowly with love. Regional delicacies such as francesinhas and bacalhau, as well as a local favourite, salted cod, are staples. Naturally, with such a developed food culture, wine is inextricably linked. Located near the Douro Valley – one of the world’s oldest demarcated wine regions – Porto has an illustrious history of great wine to accompany its mouth-wateringly tasty food. We’ve rounded up our own list of the best places to enjoy both while visiting the city of Porto.
Tucked away on a charming side street in Porto, ODE Porto Winehouse is loved for its impressive and well-stocked wine bar. The decor is focused around wine barrels and crates which gives this spot a sophisticated, rustic ambiance which is cosy in winter and cooling in summer. The traditional Portuguese dishes are all made with locally-sourced ingredients from nearby farmers, producers and suppliers. This is in line with the ODE Porto Winehouse’s vision to provide an authentic Portuguese menu of organic food to locals and tourists alike. Expect each dish to be not only delicious, but beautifully arranged and tastefully presented. If you’re looking for a romantic spot or treat night, this is your bag.
O Paparico is the critic’s favourite. With a specialty in showcasing the full spectrum of Portuguese cuisine, O Paparico offers seasonal tasting menu that naturally uses only fresh, seasonal produce presented with creative flair. As the tasting experience is comprised of more than ten different plates, make sure to arrive hungry! Options include delicacies such as lobster rissole with fish roe and veal with quince. Take our word for it and make sure to save room for their mouthwatering desserts – all of them are outstanding. Of course, we’d never recommend a spot that doesn’t deliver on great wine as well as great food. O Paprico’s wine cellar holds a whopping 1200 bottles of fine wine, meaning you’ll certainly find a bottle to suit your palate and pocket.
Purposefully off the beaten path and away from the main tourist trails, Pedro Lemos has chosen to keep his eponymous Michelin-star restaurant low-key and intimate. Situated in a charming, narrow alley in Foz, this is the kind of environment where you can relax and decompress from the bustle of the city or a busy holiday. Pedro Lemos offers a five or seven-course tasting menu, or the option to order à la carte. Each dish has the option of a wine pairing too, so you can enjoy a wide selection of wines with your meal. Fresh produce is a key priority here, the vegetables are picked straight from the chef’s personal garden on the terrace which is the perfect special touch. Staff are friendly and, unlike many other Michelin-starred restaurants, the mood is relaxed – very much like the chef himself.
With over 450 varieties of both wine and Port, The Wine Box is all about the vino. It even takes its name quite literally, with the restaurant walls are covered in wine bottles on all sides. Though this spot clearly focuses on wine, they also offer delectable charcuterie boards and other tapas items to pair with your drink selection. As a fun, quirky spot, it’s perfect for an evening out with friends or something a little more relaxed. The relaxed atmosphere, attentive staff and impressive wine list gain our stamp of approval.
As a dinner-only restaurant, Casa da Horta remains incredibly popular because of its imaginative vegetarian dishes that are definitely worth exploring – even if you’re a dedicated carnivore. Guests rave about Casa da Horta’s take on francesinha, a traditional Portuguese sandwich usually made with lots of melted cheese and ham. At Casa da Horta, they take a different approach, using vegetables to create an entirely unique francesinha that is as delicious as it is interesting. Casa is also celebrated for having a communal approach to their cooking: here anybody can join in and make suggestions if they wish. Their menu is influenced somewhat by a range of international cuisines, but always made from local, organic ingredients. They offer a great wine and cocktail menu to enjoy alongside their exciting dishes.
Situated on a breezy terrace with scenic views of the Douro River, Vinum delivers a dining experience that is centred around great, exclusively Portuguese wine. More importantly, their staff are especially knowledgeable about wine pairings, meaning that the flavours of both your food and wine will marry seamlessly. Vinum is class and comfort combined, with picturesque views that are the perfect accompaniment to a well-chosen glass of wine (or a few).
Awarded a Michelin star only a little over a year after it opened, this restaurant overseen by Vítor Matos is an excellent spot if you’re up for a splurge. Tucked away in stone arcades of 19th-century Quinta da Macieirinhathe, Antiqvvm enjoys a unique location in a park in the centre of the city, next to the Museo Romántico. With incredible views of the River Douro from its garden terrace, the location alone is not the only attraction. The menu here centres on traditional and seasonal cuisine featuring a few international touches – think truffle and Wagyu beef, and sea bass with algae and Azores saffron.
Okay okay, we’ll admit this is more of a wine bar than a restaurant, but it simply had to make our list. In our opinion, it is one of the top spots in Porto for a way to wind (read: wine) down after a long day of work or exploring. Owner and sommelier Diogo offers a large variety of Portuguese wine in this chic, stone-walled bar, where relaxed jazz plays and two-glass tastings are the order of the day. You can also order sample wines by the glass, including anything from crisp Alentejo to full-bodied Dãos.
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