Thu. Jun 20th, 2024
BOLINHO DE BACALHAU - CURITIBA - 24/03/14 - PARANA - Bolinho de Bacalhau, feito na Cantina Acores. Bom Gourmet Viver Bem. Foto: Brunno Covello / Agencia de Noticias Gazeta do Povo

Portuguese cuisine might not be immediately familiar, aside from Nandos maybe (which in-fact, is South African), but local food was suprisingly good and for the most part pretty varied, but always hearty. Here’s a whistlestop intoduction to Portuguese food, and where best to enjoy it whilst you’re in Porto.


image2 (1) A Francesinha is an absolute must. Let’s be honest, this is not exactly a healthy snack so maybe don’t go overboard. A layered sandwich with beef, sausage, melted cheese and a very special spicy sauce – of which every local restaurant and Portuguese mother has their own version.

Where to eat the best Francesinha in Porto?

Head to the famous O Afonso to try one of the best, served with it’s own specific beer. Even Anthony Bourdain visited here, so you know you’re going somewhere truly special.


image1 (2) Continuing the local trend, the Portuguese equivalent of a bacon sandwich is a Bifana; a 24-hour red wine marinated Pork, thinly sliced, served simply in a large cob bun with spicy sauce and / or mustard is a workers classic. It’s unbelieveably tender and packs a hell of a lot of flavour for such a simple snack. This is literally the cornerstone of any workers Brreakfast, usually best enjoyed alongside a small beer called a ‘lambretta’ – time of day not important.

Where to eat the best Bifana in Porto? –

Head to the bustling Conga to try a unique twist onthis dish, served in a kind of light soup, this local Angolan pit-stop is lively, noisey, and one of the best spots in town for this absolute classic.

Açorda de Mariscos

image1 (1) Funnily enough, bread is one of the main ingredients again for another specific Porto favourite; Açorda de Mariscos. Essentially a thick stew crafted with prawns, garlic, egg, an array of vegetables and of course, chilli. Made up and served in an entire loaf of bread which is then turned inside out, the contents is then mixed together to create the thick, filling, delicious broth. This is a real family favourite amongst locals, the sort of thing mum used to make whilst having the whole clan around for tea.

Where to eat the best Açorda de Mariscos in Porto?

Ironically, just outside of Porto. To find the best Acorda head to nearby Matosinhos on the coast – a 15 minute cab ride from Porto city – where there are dozens of fantastic seafood restaurants who pride themselves in serving up only the freshest of fish.

Tripas à Moda do Porto

1fa2c3476f89758e1f75300753518cb1_featured_v2 Head to any traditional local restaurant on a Sunday afternoon and expect to find this front and centre on their menu. Tripas à Moda do Porto is not a dish for the feint hearted and yet is essentially Porto’s official cuisine. Think a very left-field equivalent of a Sunday Roast, perhaps. Another stew but with a twist, this one is made up mostly of tripe, smoked meats and beans. To say the flavour packs a unique punch would be a bit of an understatement.

Where to eat the best Tripas à Moda do Porto in Porto?

Tripeiro Restaurant is one of the cities most famous places to get your chops around this historic dish. Small and traditional, expect a warm welcome and a bloody good meal.

Bolinhos de Bacalhau

Gonzalo Cuellar No trip to Portugal would be complete without this staple. Every house has a whole dried cod-fish, ready to re-hydrate and serve at any given time for a special occasion. It isn’t much of a looker whilst it’s been dehydrated and stored, but looks and tastes incredible once it’s served. There are said to be over 1,000 ways to serve Bacalhau , but one of the most regularly enjoyed is as Bolinhos de Bacalhau – or Codfish Cakes. Small breaded snacks, which are enjoyed in almost every taberna or cervejaria in Porto.

Where to eat the best Bolinhos de Bacalhau in Porto?

The clue is kind of in the title, but the ingeniously named Bacalhau is unsurprisingly one of  the best spots to try Codfish Cakes. It’s located right on the river Douro too, incase you needed any encouragement.

There is obviously lots more to Portguese cuisine than I’ve listed above, this is no means an extensive list but – it’s a pretty good start. Maybe all of the stodge is to soak up the copius amounts of wine the locals drink? Either way I cannot wait to go back and try some more. Anything you think should be included that I’ve missed? Hit me up!

By Lala