Trying local food should be high on your to-do list while travelling solo to Porto. And when you follow my Porto food guide, you can try some of the best food in Porto including traditional Portuguese food and local regional cuisine.
And eating in Porto will not break the bank. Many local cafes, cervejarias (pubs) and Porto restaurants are affordable.
If you love eating as much as I do and are excited to go on a culinary journey in Porto, then get ready! I’ll show you exactly what to eat in Porto Portugal and where to find the best food in Porto.
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Tips for eating the best food in Porto
Before trying some of the best food in Porto, check out my post on all the best things to do in Porto in 2 days to get an idea of what you can do in the city.
Here are a few additional tips for eating in Porto:
- Bring your credit card as many places accept credit cards only.
- Also, bring cash as a handful of cafes in Porto only accept cash.
- Check the hours of operation when you are eating in Porto. Most restaurants open during lunch (between 12 pm to 3 pm), close for a couple of hours and then open again for dinner (7 pm until late).
- When you see “cervejaria” in the restaurant name, you’ll likely find good local food. A cervejaria is similar to a pub or cafe.
17 Porto food you must try
If this is your first time in Porto, you’ll want to try all the local food. There is so much to try, but here are my top 17 food in Porto that you must try while spending a few days in the city.
I also included the name and the address of the best restaurants in Porto where you can find these local specialties. Click on the name of the restaurant or cafe, and it will bring you to the location on Google Maps.
FYI – Some Porto restaurants are mentioned a few times, but I only linked the location the first time I mentioned the restaurant.
Here is a quick summary of the 17 best food in Porto:
- Francesinha – most famous sandwich in Porto
- Cachorrinho – Portuguese hotdog
- Bifana – sliced pork sandwich
- Sande de Pernil – Portuguese sandwich made with roast pork
- Prego no Pão – Portuguese steak sandwich
- Caldo Verde – green soup
- Bacalhau – codfish
- Peixe Grelhado – Portuguese-style grilled fish
- Frango Assado – Portuguese-style chicken
- Pica Pau – mix plate of steak, sausage and gravy
- Alheira – Portuguese smoked sausage
- Vinho do Porto – port wine
- Portuguese Sangria – red or white wine-based drink
- Pastel de Nata – Portuguese egg tart
- Doces Conventuais – dessert made with sugar and egg yolk
- Rabanadas – traditional French toast
- Gelato – ice cream
17 best food in Porto: what and where to eat in Porto
Originating in Porto, Francesinha is the city’s most famous dish. And it might be the biggest sandwich you have ever seen. Are you ready to hear about the ingredients?
It’s got beef steak, sausages, cured meat, and ham sandwiched together by two slices of bread, and the entire sandwich is covered with melted cheese and drenched in a beer sauce. And it is topped off with a fried egg. Woah!
And the best way to enjoy a francesinha is with french fries and a Super Bock (beer).
Many cafes and restaurants in Porto serve this sandwich. Bring an appetite and an empty stomach.
Where to eat francesinha in Porto
- Café Santiago ($) – Porto’s most famous francesinha; try the specialty at one of the three locations.
- Bufete Fase ($) – they only have francesinha on the menu (and there’s no actual menu). Get a sandwich with or without fries.
- Cervejaria Brasão Aliados ($) – they have good francesinha and you can even order a half portion
- Conga ($) – try their francesinha à conga.
- Pregar ($$) – if you don’t want their traditional steak sandwich, try their version of francesinha made with tenderloin.
Cachorrinho or cachorro, is a Portuguese hotdog. It looks like a typical hot dog but it’s got a few extra ingredients to elevate the dish.
It starts with sausage and cheese in a thin french roll. Then the entire hot dog is grilled in a panini press, cut into small bite-size pieces, and topped off with a spicy sauce.
The cachorro is an ideal snack as it is already cut in pieces or a light lunch. It goes super well with a cold beer and, of course, french fries.
The best cafes and cervejarias (pub) in Porto will serve this wonderful snack.
Where to eat cachorrinhos in Porto
- Cervejaria Gazela ($) – order the “special hotdog” for €3.70. There are two locations in Porto but Anthony Bourdain ate and filmed at this one.
- Casa Guedes ($) – the cachorro simples costs €3.90.
- Conga ($) – their version of cachorro à conga includes ham and cheese and spicy sauce or get the cachorro com molho de fancesinha which is a hotdog drenched in sauce, similar to a francesinha
- República dos Cachorros 2 ($) – try the cacchorro simples (with cheese) or cacchorro especial (with sauce on top).
A bifana is a traditional Portuguese sandwich made with thin slices of marinated pork sandwiched between a bread roll. The pork is cooked in a savoury broth made with garlic and spices.
You can find bifana anywhere in Portugal but the ones in northern Portugal is a bit spicy.
Try this Porto food as a snack or have it as a meal. The Porto-style bifana is very affordable and can be found at any cervejarias in Porto.
Where to eat bifana in Porto
- Conga ($) – try their bifana em pão for only €2.30. But if you are hungry, then get bifana em baguete (which is bigger) or bifanas com batata (a plate of thin pork slices with french fries).
- Tasquinha Rebelo ($) – try bifana and other Portuguese snacks at this quaint little cafe in Porto.
4. Sande de Pernil
There is no shortage of sandwiches in Porto! One of my favourites is the sande de pernil, which is a simple Portuguese sandwich made with roast pork.
And the best place to eat pork sandwiches is at Casa Guedes. I love the pernil com queijo, which is a roast pork shoulder sandwich with Portuguese Serra da Estrela cheese on a rustic bun. The pork and soft cheese really go well together!
Besides the classic sandwich, there are other pork sandwiches like pernil com queijo de ovelha (roast pork and soft sheep cheese), pernil com paio de porco preto (roasted pork with cured black pork) and Chef Guedes (roast pork with brie cheese, onion in a port wine reduction and arugula).
Where to eat sande de pernil in Porto
- Casa Guedes ($) – I had the best pernil com queijo here! This place is super popular with the locals and tourists alike. There might be a queue, but it is worth the wait. Many bloggers recommend this place! There are several locations in Porto.
5. Prego no Pão
Similar to a bifana, a prego is a simple Portuguese steak sandwich. The steak is often a sirloin steak with a subtle garlic flavour and is placed in a crusty white bun. And you can find a prego sandwich at a local restaurant in Porto.
In Portuguese, prego means “nail.” It refers to the sandwich where chunks of garlic is pounded (or nailed) into the steak before cooking. No wonder the steak sandwich tastes so good!
And there are variations of this steak sandwich where you can add cheese, fried egg, ham and even prawns. Whatever you choose to add to your steak sandwich, order a side of french fries.
Where to eat prego in Porto
- Lareira ($) – Lareira is my favourite place to eat in Porto! I come here for their yummy steak and fried egg sandwich. If you don’t want the bread, you can get the steak special with a fried egg.
- Cervejaria Gazela ($) – besides making hotdogs, they also make a good steak sandwich.
- Pregar ($$) – I tried the Serra (tenderloin steak with Serra soft cheese sandwich) for €8.50. It was one of the best steak sandwiches I ever had!
6. Caldo Verde
Caldo Verde means “green soup” in English. It is a traditional Portuguese soup made with thinly sliced kale or collard greens, potatoes, and sliced chouriço sausage.
The soup was born in Northern Portugal, but you can get the green soup anywhere in Portugal. This hearty and homey soup is an excellent appetizer or a light meal.
Where to eat caldo verde in Porto
- Casa Guedes ($) – many typical Portuguese cafes serve caldo verde and Casa Guedes’ version is quite delicious.
- Lareira ($) – the caldo verde is not too creamy and not too thick. And it is the perfect size for an appetizer.
Bacalhau is codfish and is one of the most common ingredients in Portugal. Before it is cook, the cod is dried and salted which is why it always tastes a bit salty.
Surprisingly, codfish is not native to Portugal. It is imported from Newfoundland in Canada, Norway and Iceland. But today, bacalhau is a staple in Portuguese cuisine.
And there are so many different ways of cooking cod in Portugal. But when you are looking at the menu, look for some of these cod dishes in restaurants in Porto:
- Bacalhau à brás (shredded cod with eggs, shoestring potatoes and black olives)
- Bacalhau com natas (codfish with cream baked with cheese and béchamel sauce on top)
- Bolinhos de bacalhau (codfish cakes made with mash potatoes, eggs, parsley and onion)
- Pataniscas de bacalhau (deep-fried cod fritters)
- Balcalhau à lagareiro (cod roasted in the oven with olive oil and garlic)
Where to eat bacalhau in Porto
- Café Santiago ($) – the cafe is known for its francesinha but they also serve an excellent balcalhau à lagareiro
- Antunes ($) – try the bacalhão de cebolada. The restaurant has been around for 50 years.
- Adega Vila Meã ($) – the traditional restaurant serves a variety of grilled fish including sardines and codfish.
8. Peixe Grelhado
Portugal won the jackpot when it comes to proximity to the sea and fresh seafood. And even in the northern part of the country, seafood is a big part of the Portuguese culinary scene.
When you see “peixe grelhado” on the menu, the restaurant serves a variety of Portuguese-style grilled fish. The fish is lightly seasoned and grilled over a charcoal grill.
The most popular fish is sardinhas (sardines). But if you don’t like the fishy-ness of the sardines, try other grilled fish like dourada (golden bream), robalo (sea bass), linguado (sole), rodovalho (turbot), salmonetes (red mullet), or garoupa (grouper).
A typical plate includes grilled fish, boiled or roast potatoes and boiled vegetables. Most Porto restaurants charge between €9 – 15. It is really affordable to eat fresh fish in Portugal!
Where to eat peixe grelhado in Porto
- Churrasqueira Kinay ($) – a cozy neighbourhood restaurant that locals frequent. Try their grilled seabass or other grilled dishes. Everything on the menu is super affordable.
- Casa Adão ($) – this casual seafood restaurant along the south side of Douro River serves excellent grilled fish and seafood.
- Meia-Nau Porto ($$) – good choice of grilled fish and other seafood dishes at this restaurant. If you are in Matosinhos, they have a location there as well.
9. Frango Assado
Frango assado is a Portuguese-style chicken roasted to perfection. The resulting chicken is dark and crispy and full of flavours. And it tastes even better when you add a bit of hot sauce.
The best combo is chicken, french fries and beer. Or if you want a healthy option, order rice and salad instead.
There is also piri piri chicken uses spicy chilli peppers to marinate the chicken. Piri piri peppers originated in South Africa and were imported to Portugal from Portuguese colonies in Africa.
Where to eat frango assado in Porto
- Pedro dos Frangos ($) – the chicken on a skewer is so good! The restaurant has been around for 50 years serving traditional Portuguese cuisine and is popular with locals and tourists.
10. Pica Pau
Pica pau is a traditional Portuguese dish made with small pieces of tenderloin steak, red sausage, fresh sausage, garlic, and a special gravy sauce.
The dish’s name literally means “woodpecker,” similar to how you would eat this dish by picking the beef with a wooden toothpick.
And it is usually eaten as a snack or an appetizer. Make sure to order some bread to soak up the sauce and wash it down with a cold beer.
Where to eat pica pau in Porto
- Lareira ($) – when you order pica pau, make sure to order some homemade bread to soak up all the sauce!
- Casa Guedes ($) – this cafe’s version of pica pau is made with soft sheep cheese.
- Cervejaria Gazela ($) – besides making hotdogs, they also make a yummy pica pau
Alheira is a type of Portuguese smoked sausage invented by Jewish people in Northern Portugal who wanted a pork-free sausage substitute. That’s why the horseshoe-shaped sausage is not made with pork but with various types of meat including chicken, turkey, partridge, veal, rabbit or other game meat.
The sausage is grilled, fried or baked in the oven and is served with a fried egg, french fries, white rice and/or salad.
Many Porto restaurants have Alheira on the lunch menu. And it is better to have it during the day as the sausage is quite rich and filling.
Where to eat alheira in Porto
- Lareira ($) – their alheira plate comes with a fried egg and french fries.
- Cervejaria Brasão Aliados ($) – besides trying their francesinha, also try the “alheira” with egg
12. Vinho do Porto
Vinho do Porto means port wine in English, or you can call it port for short. It is a Portuguese fortified wine that is served as a dessert wine. Port wine is made in Douro Valley, near Porto, but it is the city of Porto that gives the name to the wine.
There are different types of port wine, including red, white, rosé and Tawny. And they all taste sweeter and richer than regular wine and have higher alcohol content.
You can try port at any restaurant in Porto or one of the port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia on the south side of the Douro River. Or you can join a Port wine tour or buy a cheap bottle of port at a local supermarket for less than €5.
Where to drink vinho do Porto in Porto
- Espaço Porto Cruz ($$) – at the end of the port wine cellar tour, you get to try several types of port wines at Porto Cruz. Check out the rooftop terrace for a great view!
- Sandeman ($$) – the bar in front of Sandeman makes some of the best port cocktails, including port and tonic (like gin and tonic)
- Pingo Doce ($) – you can also enjoy port wine in the comforts of your hotel. Supermarkets like Pingo Doce sell various alcoholic beverages, including their own brand of port wine (which is pretty good, by the way).
13. Portuguese Sangria
The Portuguese Sangria is a refreshing summer drink that goes well with any food in Porto. The sangria is commonly made with either red or white wine, liquor (brandy, sherry, port wine), mixed fruits (apples, oranges), a cinnamon stick, sprigs of fresh mint leaves, fruit juices, and ice.
There isn’t a specific recipe for making Portuguese sangria, but it is always made with a combination of wine, fruits, and spice that makes the drink so delicious!
I’ve seen red and white sangria on the menu in Porto restaurants, but other variations include passion fruit and other fruit-based drinks.
The Portuguese sangria tastes sweet but oh so boozy! Get a glass of sangria with your meal or a half litre.
Where to drink Portuguese sangria in Porto
- Lareira ($) – one of the best and cheapest sangria in Porto! One-litre costs €5.50 and a glass is only €2.20. Choose either red or white – they’re both so good!
- Tasquinha Rebelo ($) – the cozy little cafe has a strong sangria and is super cheap too!
14. Pastel de Nata
Pastel de nata (plural: pastéis de nata) is the most popular and possibly tastiest dessert in Portugal. It is a traditional pastry made with cream, egg yolks, flour, sugar and puff pastry. And it is best to eat it when it is fresh out of the oven.
Have one (or a few) for breakfast in Porto or as an afternoon snack. And make sure to try the Portuguese custard tart with cinnamon. The cafe will either sprinkle it for you, or you can find some at the table.
If you crave custard tarts after your Portugal trip, you can find authentic Portuguese egg tarts in other Portuguese colonies like Brazil and Macau and a similar egg tart in Hong Kong. Or if you are keen, learn how to make pastel de nata and bring a bit of Portugal home with you.
Where to eat pastel de nata in Porto
- Fábrica da Nata ($) – the kitchen is at the front of the store so you can see how they make the pastel de nata. Get a freshly baked egg custard tart and a glass of Sandeman port wine or a shot of Ginjinha (cherry liquor) in a chocolate shot cup for €2.50.
- Manteigaria ($) – pair a custard tart with a coffee made in the adjacent space.
- Nata Lisboa ($) – make sure to sprinkle cinnamon on the pastel de nata.
- Tavi ($) – get a miniature pastel de nata and other small-size pastries at this bakery cafe in Foz de Douro.
15. Doces Conventuais
There are many types of doces conventuais in Portugal. These confectionery treats are made with large amounts of sugar and egg yolk and were traditionally made by nuns who lived in Portuguese monasteries and convents.
Pastéis de nata is one and is a popular dessert that you can find throughout Portugal.
Other regional desserts are made with the same ingredients as well. For example, Ovo moles de Aveiro is a small pastry made with egg yolk and sugar wrapped with a rice paper casing or wheat flour casing. And even though it came from Aveiro, you can find this unique dessert throughout the bakeries and cafes in Porto.
Where to eat doces conventuais in Porto
- Confeitaria do Balhão ($) – a local cafe with art deco interiors serving excellent espresso and typical and regional doces conventuais. Eat-in or buy some to go.
Rabanadas is different from traditional french toast, where the bread is first dipped in condensed milk before dipping in beaten eggs. Then the finished french toast is sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
Even though this sweet treat is typically served on Christmas, you can find this Portuguese-style french toast at any Porto cafe where you can have it as an afternoon snack or a dessert after a meal.
Where to eat rabanadas in Porto
- Café Majestic ($$) – try the rabanadas Majestic style French toast in the most stunning cafe in Porto! Or, if you are interested in the cafe itself, check out the Art Nouveau decor and see the interior of the cafe where J. K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book while she lived in Porto.
The best treat on a hot summer day is gelato! Even though the frozen dessert originated in Italy, it is a popular sweet treat in Portugal.
And in Porto, there are a few exceptional gelaterias make handcrafted gelato with fresh and high-quality ingredients. And they feature local flavours that you can’t find anywhere else. Flavours like port wine, Super Bock beer, condensed milk and many more.
But there are other traditional gelato flavours like chocolate, stracciatella, dulce de leche if you prefer something more classic.
Where to eat gelato in Porto
- Cremosi ($) – they have many original gelato flavours, including port wine and condensed milk.
- Santini ($) – the artisanal gelato company has been around since 1949. Try their fig-flavoured gelato.
- Amorino ($) – when you order any size of gelato in a cone, they expertly put together the gelato in the shape of a flower! I don’t know how they do that!
Porto food: which one do you want to try?
As a first-time traveller to Porto, you can create your own food tour by following this guide and trying the best food in Porto.
Or if you want to try Porto food with a local tour, there is an excellent Porto food tour that takes you around the old town.
And even if you don’t follow the suggested places in this post, you can find excellent Porto food just by trying random places across the city. After all, that’s how I found most of these cafes and restaurants in Porto!
So there it is! These are my 17 best things to eat in Porto. Which Porto food are you interested in trying? Let me know in the comments.
Thank you for reading my Porto food post
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