The second-largest city in Portugal, the capital of the eponymous district, Porto has been the centre of European civilization for centuries. The core of the metropolitan area was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. In 2014 and 2017, Porto was elected The Best European Destination by the Best European Destinations Agency. This naturally leads to a great deal of interest from tourists and other visitors. Therefore, a great amount of people both local and from afar, resulted in quite a large food scene.
A popular sweet made from cheese, milk, eggs and sugar. Come from the city of Sintra.
One sign of advanced civilization and a great history of development is, naturally, recreational food. Sweets have traditionally been considered the kind of food more prevalent in the cuisine of developed countries. Portugal is no exception. For example, there's a small sweet prepared using cheese or requeijão, eggs, milk, and powdered sugar. It's called queijada and only produced in certain parts of the country. Therefore, the dish is less known across the globe than it really deserves to be.
O Paparico is a good choice for some queijadas.
Cebolada is a Portuguese onion stew, onion sauce or pasta that is cooked with onions as the main ingredient. It can accompany various dishes, such as seafood.
But sweets are not the only thing Portugese culinary creativity has to offer. Stews, meat, and other kinds of more hefty dishes are also very prevalent in the local food culture. One notable example is the very Portugese cebolada - a slow-cooked stew with onion as the main ingredient. It may accompany various dishes, such as seafood dishes prepared with swordfish steak. Additional ingredients in its preparation include white wine, vinegar and butter.
Brasão Aliados is one of the most recommended places for this kind of food.
Francesinha is two pieces of square-shaped white bread, between which is a piece of meat, a slice of ham stuffed with olives and blood sausage. All this is overlaid with sliced cheese, which is melted afterward.
"A Portuguese sandwich" is a phrase that hardly anyone from other parts of Europe and America would expect, but it is very real. In fact, the birthplace of francesinha is the city of Porto. Thr recipe is as interesting as it is complex - the dish made with bread, wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage like chipolata, steak or roast meat, and covered with melted cheese and a hot and thick spiced tomato and beer sauce. The best addition would be french fries.
Brasão Coliseu is a grat place for francesinha.
Monkfish is a firm, meaty fish with a delicate flavour. It is one of the main ingredients of many dishes.
Well, unique local flavours are not the only thing that should be explored in Porto restaurants. Simple and reliable types of food like monkfish are also quite popular. Local chefs have a great knack for making the basic component their own, serving monkfish with a variety of sauces, additions, and drinks, just like they serve francesinhas. This, naturally, makes monkfish one of the markers of the great diversity of obvious things in the area. A great thing to remember when exploring.
Lazy Breakfast Club is a safe bet here.
Cod is a very popular fish, the most common species of which are the Atlantic, Pacific, and Greenland cod. The fish has a mild flavor and can be cooked in many ways.
Another offering on the list that is basic in concept but anything but commonplace in execution. Cod is popular as a meal with a mild flavor and a dense, flaky white flesh. It's one of the healthiest and utilitarian kinds of food an important source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids. The actual taste and usefulness of cod-based dishes and complete meals depend on how they are prepared, which additions are used, what side dishes are offered at restaurants, etc.
O Buraquinho da Sé is quite a safe bet for some cod.
Tuna steak is a perfect candidate for grilling, and a sweet, tangy marinade keeps them moist and flavorful. Meaty, flavoursome tuna steaks are best enjoyed griddled or pan-fried.
Steaks are particularly popular in Porto, but we shall continue with the theme established in the previous paragraphs and pay more attention to something not concerning simple meat. The most important thing about tuna steak is the freshness and the size of the flesh of the tuna. Ideally, the fish should be prepared for steak cooking right before the process, which is not the most common case for any restaurant. Therefore, more classy options should be considered.
Tapabento S.Bento is one of such options.
Prawns are delicious, whether stir fried, tossed through pasta, cooked in spicy curry, or placed in salads. Prawns can be served on their own, as a side dish, an appetizer or a snack.
Naturally, a place like Porto with the strong presence of fish and seafood in local cuisine and restaurant offerings would have lots of prawns as well. The most popular Portugese recipe for preparing prawns involves marinating them and cooking until done, adding butter and garlic for sauce, then, when the mix sizzles, introducing fresh cream before boiling point. Garlic loaf and chips are perfect for the classic Portugese prawns experience, which is quite a common combination locally.
Taberna Dos Mercadores is the place of choice here.
A part of numerous Mediterranean dishes, octopus is a delicious meal with tender and buttery flavor that melts in the mouth. Octopus can be enjoyed grilled, with pasta, in a stew or a salad.
Now, surface-level gifts of the sea have been fun as part of the list, but what about something more exotic and fitting for the ambience and the atmosphere of a distinguished city like Porto? Octopus is not a common kind of food around, but it's surprisingly versatile, being used in salads, stews, and complex dishes, as well as served on its own. Onions, potatoes, and something spicy are often associated with octopus as the main component. Good chefs around Porto love to get creative with it.
Ribeira Square offers great octopus meat in a variety of combinations.
A very simple recipe that requires only one ingredient - sausages - and takes less than 5 minutes to make. It's quick but full of flavour and fun.
Sausages have become a very common type of food in almost every country, but fried variations are actually not that widespread. At least, if you try and search for fried sausages, not too many places and offerings come up. Maybe because Portugese like mixing things up and creating new flavours, or maybe because some meat has to be found among popular foods, and fried sausages are a welcome addition to the gastronimic environment. Indeed, no ceremony is required for simple sausages, and you can go eat out casually.
Taberna Folias de Baco is a decent option.
Tender beef is simmered in beef broth with potatoes, onions, celery, peas, and carrots. It is usually served as the main course.
The list today has been largely dominated by seaffod with little additions of local sandwiches and curious stews. Let's not leave it incomplete and add something more meaty at the end. Beef is not the most consumed meat in Portugal, but when the locals eat or prepare the meat, they excel at it. For example, Portugese beef stew involves lots of olive oil, onion and green peppers. Carrots are often added, and the mix is cooked until softened and caramelized around the edges.
Cafeína is good for a meat stew.
As you can see, Porto has both trademark dishes, exotic local recipes, and universally popular foods in the roster of local restaurants. You are sure to feel safe and excited if you want to visit.