Researching new restaurants before heading to a new city, home or abroad, is probably one of my favourite pass times.
Sad I know, but I just can’t stand to be disappointed by a meal. I also like to make sure I get a real taste of the traditional foods that are on offer in each place I visit.
So after hours of trawling through Pinterest, reading countless blogs and flicking through Time Out magazine I was able to pin down some of the best restaurants Porto had to offer.
After spending four days in the city, here are just a few of the places I would recommend you check out:
For Brunch: Mesa 325
Brunch is probably my favourite meal so I’m always on the hunt for somewhere good – Mesa 325 did not disappoint. Our Airbnb host was good friends with the owners and actually left us welcome cookies in our apartment from Mesa 325 on the day of our arrival.
We ate: overnight oats topped with granola, croissants, hot chocolate and a matcha coffee. We also took some home baked cookies for the road- they looked too good to resist!
Cost: Around 20 euros.
Where: Av. de Camilo 325, 4300-066
For A Francesinhas: Santiago
If you’ve not heard of a Franchesinhas before – it’s basically a traditional sandwich from Porto that consists of bread, cheese, pork or steak, sausage, cheese, egg all topped speciality sauce (which is sort of like a spicy gravy).
While most restaurants in Porto serve the traditional dish, Santiago is up there with one of the best – as voted for by locals. But be prepared to wait – we queued for around 40 minutes just to get inside.
We ate: Franchesinhas obviously!
Cost: Sandwiches are around 10 euros each.
Where: Rua Passos Manuel 226, Baixa
For A Good Burger: Santo Burger
Our Airbnb host actually recommended Santo Burger and explained it literally translates to “Saint Burger”. The menu is entirely in Portuguese which made things slightly confusing, however a quick use Google translate soon made things a bit easier.
We ate: We can’t be completely sure as previously mentioned, the menu was entirely in Portuguese – but it was definitely some kind of beef burger with serra cheese and pickles.
Cost: 25 euros for two burgers and two beers.
Where: Rua de Egas Moniz 500, Porto, Portugal
For A Good View: Vicios De Mesa
This place was yet another stellar recommendation from our Airbnb host and we definitely would not have found it without his guidance. It’s a pizza restaurant located on the 4th floor of a car park which sounds pretty naff.
But inside the decor has a ’70s vibe and all of the tables offer a stunning view on to the city. I would recommend going for sunset. (P.s, the picture above isn’t mine, I started eating mind before I could even take a picture.)
We ate: Traditional soup, salmon and capers, two pizzas and a Nutella and raspberry pizza.
Cost: 50 euros for two courses each, a shared dessert plus a few beers.
Where: Rua de Passos Manuel 178
For A Late Night Snack: Casa Guedes
When I found out that pork rolls were a traditional dish in Portugal I was a little sceptical – what could be so good about a sandwich? But how wrong was I. The pork rolls from Casa Guedes literally changed my life and are up there as one of the best things I have ever eaten. (Again not my picture, too much of a piggy)
Luckily for us, not so lucky for our waistlines, Casa Guedes was a short walk from our apartment and from the outside it looks like nothing special. However the queue that forms outside from morning until night suggests otherwise. The pork inside the crispy yet fluffy rolls is marinated in a secret sauce and then paired with serra cheese – life changing.
We ate: Pork and cheese roll (on more than one occasion)
Cost: 10 euros for two rolls and two beers.
Where: Praça dos Poveiros 130
For Ice Cream: Amorino Porto
Me and Tom are usually monsters when it comes to ice-cream on holiday, eating one or two each a day. But somehow in Porto we only managed one the whole time we were there! However, never fear, as the one we did manage to chow down on was potentially the fanciest ice-cream I’ve ever seen.
We got them from Amorino literally the second we arrived in the city centre. I’m pretty sure this place is a chain as I saw another in Lisbon, but they have a HUGE selection of flavours and serve your ice-cream in an adorable rose-like shape – making it extremely Insta worthy.
We ate: I had caramel, hazelnut and coffee gelato and Tom went for lemon, mango and raspberry.
Cost: Around 3.50 euros each.
Where: Rua de Santa Catarina 222
Before heading to Porto I had absolutely no idea that it would be such a food haven and if you’re a fellow foodie, I literally can’t recommend visiting enough.