Where to eat in Porto, Portugal

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We spent a fab week in Porto with our kids and during our time there tried out a few different places to eat. When we travel we love to try the local dishes from this part of Europe and encourage our kids to give them a go too because it’s important to try new things. We’ve put together a day of eating, by giving a recommendation for each meal as well as tips on what to order for a “local meal”.

View of Porto city in the background with Sara's family.
View of Porto city in the background

Breakfast or brunch – depending on your preference!

We’re up early with the kids, and love to start our day with a good breakfast in Porto to kick start our day. In fact, we’ll often have a bigger breakfast, snack for lunch and early dinner. Our favourites were Tavi and Noshi Coffee.

Tavi has a prime location above the river with some amazing panoramic views. And, its breakfast menu is a decedent spread that combines both local dishes as well as some international classics. The stunning view and fantastic breakfast menu makes this, in my opinion, one of the best restaurants to go to for breakfast in Porto. It’s slightly more expensive than other breakfast spots however, it’s totally worth it!

If you’re a passionate coffee lover, or perhaps are looking for somewhere with some good vegan dishes then Noshi Coffee is the place to head to. You’ll get to choose from a wide selection of dishes with a menu that specialises in healthy eating alongside great coffee. Their options vary from healthy smoothie bowls to delicious avocado on toast and they cater to health-conscious, vegan, and vegetarian preferences.

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Lunchtime lessons in Port Wine making

When you’re visiting Porto then you need to try port, and so we found the best and most fun way to do this is to go for a tasting over at Vila Nova de Gaia opposite Porto. Most of them come with cheese pairings, but I’m not sure if cheese constitutes a good lunch choice?! If you need more than cheese then most of them serve lunch. The one that we’d recommend giving a go is Sandeman.

Exterior of sandeman port winery.
Sandeman is the most popular port winery

Sandeman is the most popular port winery in Porto for good reason. They have a variety of guided tours from guided visits to in depth tastings of tawny ports. They not only teach you about the ageing process but also the vital role that Sandeman plays in the fortified wine saga of Portugal. If you enjoy a tour where the guide has some fun, then please trust me when I suggest that Sandeman is the one for you. They offer port wine tours, tastings and lunch packages which are great value. The food is delicious and they have tables on the waterfront.

A Mid-Afternoon Snack

Enjoy a classic Portuguese pastry called a Pastel de Nata.

Classic Portugal Pastry called Pastel de Nata.
Pastel de Nata

Found right by some of Porto’s most famous landmarks, you’ll find Confeitaria do Bolhão. It has earned itself a well deserved reputation for its pastel de nata which are Portuguese pastries. You’ll find that the ambiance is reminiscent of a bygone era, which you’ll find is both cozy and inviting.

They serve amazing pastel de nata which goes really well with their delicious coffee. You can’t come to Portugal and not try at least one pastel de nata – the problem I have, is that it’s never just one!

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Early evening entertainment Portuguese style – Port tasting and Fado show

If you’re looking for some local music then you can’t go wrong with booking in to watch a Fado Show. Fado music is known for its very expressive and melancholic style and is a popular attraction in both Lisbon and Porto. Caves Calem port wine lodge offers an evening tour, tasting and fado package which is a great way to spend the early evening before heading to dinner.

Dinner

There’s just one dish you need to try in Porto and it’s their famous dish called the francesinha. Which is a Portuguese twist on the French classic the croque monsieur.

Porto the best place to head for a francesinha is Cafe Santiago.
Porto Francesinha sandwich

The inside of the francesinha sandwich is layered with ham, smoked sausage and beefsteak. It’s then finished off with a fried egg and smothered in a thick cheesy sauce along with a splash of beer based gravy. And if that isn’t enough, it’s served with a mountain of fries.

Whilst you’re visiting Porto the best place to head for a francesinha is Cafe Santiago. We arrived about 6pm, and yes, there was already a queue because it’s so popular, but we didn’t have to wait long for a table. The meal is filling, so it’s perfect for on a day when you haven’t had such a big lunch (maybe you do just have the cheese pairing with the port!). Whilst it’s most famous for the variety and quality of the francesinha on its menu, it does also serve other meals, and in fact they whipped up a great omelette for our son.

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Bio: sara

Sara from Big Adventures with Little Feet.
Sara from Big Adventures with Little Feet

Sara Young is the author of Big Adventures With Little Feet, a family travel blog with the key aim to inspire parents to travel with their kids. She loves exploring the world with her sons and giving them big adventures, whether that’s hiking or skiing, sailing or surfing. She and her family spend the winters in Antigua in the Caribbean, where her boyfriend works as a yacht captain. They spend their summers travelling the world to find adventures.Follow Sara from Big Adventures With Little Feet on Instagram.

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Pinterest images of Pastel de Nata and Francesinha sandwich.
Pinterest image of Sandeman port winery and Pastel de Nata.

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