Porto, like the rest of Portugal, is a seafood paradise. No matter the season, there’s always a good reason to head out in search of delectable shellfish or perfectly grilled finfish (sardines, anyone?), and if you haven’t yet tried octopus, take the opportunity to do so in Porto. Here is our list of the best seafood restaurants in Porto, and a few tips on which dishes to order.
Ostras & Coisas
Restaurant, Seafood, European, Portuguese, $$$
Any oyster fans out there? Ostras & Coisas means “oysters and things,” and hints that the oysters might just be the house favorites. Coming from Aveiro, they sell for €2 each, making them great as a tasty snack or appetite-whetting starter before you dig further into the menu. Ostras & Coisas is an excellent spot to try many favorite seafood dishes like sapateira recheada (stuffed crab), arroz de marisco (seafood rice), and cataplana de peixes (fish cooked in a special pot called a cataplana).
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Where should you start? From the mixed seafood and grilled fish platters to the all-you-can-eat Brazilian-style rodízio option, there’s so much to choose from here. The restaurant also serves a house special francesinha for meat lovers in the group.
If the locals are there, chances are that you want to be there, too, and Adega Mercearia Bebe Se Mal is a local’s choice spot. This family-run place is what the Portuguese call a tasca, meaning a smallish bar-style restaurant and wine house. Previous customers recommend the octopus on skewers and calamari among the many choices. Known as one of the best tascas in Porto for seafood, where customers can spend approximately €10 or less per meal, it certainly seems hard to beat.
Located on the Douro River, the Tasquinha D’ouro offers great views in addition to delicious seafood at a fraction of the prices that you will commonly see. This is another family-run locals’ haunt that tourists should seek out if they want an authentic experience. What should you try? The barbecued fish is a good way to go.
Marisqueira A Antiga opened in 1957 in Matosinhos, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of Porto, and the long list of seafood and fish is one of the reasons to seek it out if you’re not too worried about budget, as the menu is a bit on the pricey side. One of the house specialties is açorda (a dish from Alentejo) made with lavagante (a crustacean similar to lobster), but if that doesn’t catch your attention, something else will – shrimp, clams, crab, gooseneck barnacles, sea bass, and lamprey are just the tip of this gastronomic iceberg.
Here is another marisqueira worth checking out if you’re spending time in Matosinhos (a popular spot among beach-seekers); just keep an eye out among the long line of restaurants in the area (it’s a few minutes walk from Marisqueira A Antiga). Offering a long list of many different kinds of fish and shellfish, in addition to traditional recipes, it’s an ideal restaurant to visit if you’d like to try a little of everything. Have you ever tried salada de búzios? Or maybe grilled fish alongside rice with clams?
Centrally located in the heart of downtown near Avenida dos Aliados, O Marinheiro is a traditional Portuguese restaurant with a solid mix of surf and turf that’s a perfect lunchtime stop while sightseeing, as well as a dinner spot near local hotels. Visitors curious about Portugal’s love forbacalhau (codfish) may be interested in trying one of the two cod dishes listed as house suggestions: Bacalhau à moda de Braga or Bacalhau à Marinheiro.