It is safe to say that Porto is the city of queues, and there are millions of ways to get on the line. It could be touring the city in a car or your bike, partying all night long, enjoying the quiet sunrise, or you can even try the best dishes in awesome eateries. The best part is that you can use the help of a local tour guide who knows the city and its culture inside out. A guide will help you discover more and enjoy a personalized experience. For food lovers, this coastal city in Northern Portugal is rich in food varieties that will amaze you.
The contrasting landscapes and isolated mountains and hillsides present different delicacies for your mouth to explore. Enjoy sea foods from the Atlantic, meats and cheeses from the Transos-Motes region, sweet Port and fine red wines from the Douro valley, among other food adventures. Ensure you come prepared with a huge appetite and an empty stomach to experience the best of Porto dishes. Are you ready to jump in? Below are authentic Porto foods you have to try.
- The Francesinha Sandwich
The warm Francesinha (meaning little French Girl) sandwich will catch your eye. The sandwich’s history points back to an immigrant who came back from France. It is inspired by croque-monsieur, a toasted sandwich from France. The nutritious sandwich is a combination of bread, sausages, steak, and ham; and the top is covered with eggs and melted cheese. Moreover, there is a side dish of French fries—how nutritious?
The sandwich also comes with a hot and thick beer and tomato sauce where you can dip it to make it more delicious. Different restaurants will make the sauce differently so be prepared for unique tastes. You can take it down with the local Super Bock beer, but remember to leave room for additional delicacies.
One of the top places to take the sandwich is at Café Santiago, although it remains closed on Sundays. It goes for approximately $11.
- Tripas a Moda do Porto
Tripas a Moda do Porto is Portos official delicacy and its most traditional tripe dish. It is a combination stew of smoked meats, white beans, pig’s feet, and cow tripe flavored with curry, cloves, and cumin. You will take the stew with rice. This ancient meal has a moving story behind it. 600 years ago, when Henry the Navigator wanted to conquer North Africa, he asked Porto people for support him and his sailors. The people donated all their choice meats and remained with tripe. They then became creative and used the leftover tripe to create Tripas a Moda do Porto.
Casa Nanda, which is open on Sundays as well, is the best place to eat this delicacy for which you will part with about $22.
- Alheira sausages
These famous white-smoked sausages are super delicious. They are made with wild game or poultry and are garlicky and smoky. You will find them in most restaurants, supermarkets, and local eateries, served with fries, fried eggs, or rice. You can eat and learn more about them at the Mercado do Bolhao at a price of about $4.5.
- Puff Pastries (Pasteis de Chaves)
These pastries have a half-moon shape and are stuffed with codfish, chilled chicken, or sundried tomatoes. They date back to 1862 when a woman was travelling in the Tras-os-Montes province carrying weirdly-shaped pastries. People from Chaves loved them but they were not enough for everyone. A local pastry store bought the recipe and started making them and they have been popular since. The store at A Loja dos Pasteis de Chaves makes these pastries by hand. The store is open every day and the pasta will only cost you about $1.2.
- Porto drinks
So far, we have only talked about foods. How about Porto’s signature drinks? You will sure want to pause for a drink, especially during the night. Fortunately, the city is full of wonder wines, the most famous being the Port wine. This sweet and red wine is made in the Douro valley with distilled grape spirits. It is served as dessert. You could also have a taste of the Vinho Verde wine, a light, sparkly, fresh wine which is perfect for the summer.
Other popular drinks include the Licor de Merda, Ginjinha de Obidos if you prefer something strong, and Licor Beirao which is known for its unique flavor.
Have you tried some of the above foods and drinks before, if not, you need to!