Eating like a local by “Tascas do Porto”
Pedro Tsou is the person who organizes this group of friends’ dinners and always gets to choose the restaurant. Someone once said that Pedro always finds that perfect restaurant and that he should take that art to Facebook. This is how the community was born, honoring traditional gastronomy, the typical taverns that no longer exist and those that insist on staying open.
Tripas à moda do PortoAdega Viseu on Rua da Madeira 212
The secret in Oporto’s most iconic dish is the perfect dose of cumin. Adega Viseu, near São Bento Railway Station, is the right restaurant to order this dish of tripe and white beans and enjoy the conversation as it flows.
If tripe is the king of Oporto’s traditional dishes, the Francesinha is undoubtedly the queen. Originally inspired by the French Croque-Monsieur, this sandwich has a surprising kick to it thanks to its african spiciness. Today, the variety of flavors and influences are getting more and more diverse.
Sometimes, the simplest dishes can also be the most complex. A perfect Bifana’s meat has to be cut as thin as a slice of ham, and then the sandwich needs a hot sauce to make it burn. Only a fino – the local word for draft beer, can put out this fire.
Roasted lambCasa Amaro on Rua Capitão Pombeiro 25
This restaurant has belonged to the Amaro family for 90 years now. Its roasted meats on wood-fired ovens are the specialty, while also serving as a living memory to what the city’s cooking used to be.
Cozido à PortuguesaO Nuno on Rua do Capitão Pombeiro 246
This delicacy is ubiquitous at the Invicta – Oporto’s nickname, meaning The Unconquered City. In many restaurants, however, it is only served on specific days. O Nuno is one of those. You do want to check first if it’s a Cozido day. If it is, be patient while you queue, waiting for your turn to sit down: if you persevere, you’ll be rewarded with a wonderful pot of stewed meats and vegetables.
Tascas by “Roteiro Tasquinhas do Porto”
During the weekend, this routine is sacred: it’s time to go on a pilgrimage to Oporto’s tascas – small, casual and no-frills restaurants. Fátima Lopes roams the city with her family and friends looking for new spaces that have just opened, and revisiting old classics that never disappoint.
Any Portuguese can identify a tasca: it’s the combination of paper tablecloth, house wine in glass jugs, and the familiar atmosphere that give it away. To the untrained eye, Casa Guedes might look like just another tavern. But take a closer look and you’ll find an extraordinary pork leg sandwich with Serra da Estrela cheese that deserves all the prizes (and has already earned plenty).
Next to Casa Guedes is another hallmark of Oporto’s typical food scene. O Buraquinho is a hidden tavern that is woven into the very fabric of the city’s history, with typical dishes like tripe, rojões (fried pork meat), chispe (pig’s trotters) and orelheira (pig’s ear). Unfortunately, this spot runs the risk of closing its doors soon.
Ever since it opened in 1976, Conga has been the city’s Bifanas authority. The meat is meticulously, precisely, perfectly, thinly sliced. The typical sauce is perfect, and of course, the beer is perfectly fresh to go with it. Legend has it that it is not humanly possible to eat just one bifana without asking for a second.
If you ask someone what best the francesinha is, get ready for a long rant and a detailed itinerary. Should you at any point disagree with the speaker, you’ll find yourself in the heart of a heated debate. Still, most locals will choose the Buffet Fase, perhaps for its informal atmosphere, and certainly for its sauce. The recipe is a secret.
This is a newcomer to Oporto’s restaurant scene, but it’s making an impact. Specializing in meat, it’s a place for shameless carnivores to enjoy aged ribs and Tomahawk steaks.
Wine by “Vinho, saber provar!”
There are no bad wines, people just have different tastes. Defending this cause is Duarte Costa Pereira, Agricultural Engineer and Post Graduate in Oenology. Not only is he Sensory Tasting’s supervisor, he is a winemaker too. In his free time he shares his knowledge on this Facebook Page.
No wonder this place’s slogan is “the Wine Library”: there are more than 400 wines to choose from, in this cellar that is both a wine bar and a live jazz venue. It’s the home of Niepoort and we recommend you try its Vintage Ports.
A chapel converted into a wine bar is an unusual escape from the bustle of downtown Baixa. Fado, the traditional portuguese music, is an inevitable but harmonious pairing to a glass of wine and some tapas. The off-menu wine suggestions, which focus on small Portuguese producers, are another great reason to come inside.
Facing the Douro River, at the Ribeira neighbourhood, Wine Quay Bar has a consistent range of wines available by the glass and a variety of snacks. The splendid view, however, is its main attraction.
In 2007, Duarte Costa Pereira helped this wine bar get started by by picking its wine selection and then by organising workshops. This former bookstore is a tranquil space within the crowded Galerias de Paris, one of the city’s main nightlife spots.