Great dining in Porto is about more than custard tarts. This northern Portuguese city dishes up rib-sticking delights with aplomb – from flaky, savoury bacalhau (salted cod) to hearty francesinha sandwiches, all followed up with plummy local port wine. But there’s a refined, modern side to the local dining scene, too. Michelin-starred restaurants and trendy lunch spots mingle with the traditional stalwarts, creating a deliciously rich food scene. Whatever your budget, whatever your tastes, these are the best restaurants in Porto, Portugal.
Hey there, Culture Tripper! Enjoying our award-winning editorial content? Then you’ll love our premium bookable trips – packed with all the authentic experiences, local insight and gorgeous accommodation you’d find in our guides. Covering both all-time favourite and further-flung destinations, our immersive Epic Trips and bite-sized Mini Trips deliver the accessible adventure you’ve been day-dreaming of.
Kick off your time in Porto with a perfect culinary introduction, at this elegant restaurant on the banks of the Douro River – dishing up classic Portuguese dishes with a seasonal, contemporary twist. The trendy interior, dressed in warm woods and deep orange, spills out on to a sunny terrace made for long, lazy lunches. Chow down on pumpkin ravioli, bacalhau casserole or sea bass with Serra da Estrela cheese, crafted into a savoury mille-feuille.
As you’ll quickly find out, not everything in Porto is new and trendy. This family-run dining establishment has been cooking up a storm since 1985, dishing out wood-fired lamb, fish, veal and creamy spuds to diners in search of a hearty feast. If you’re here as a twosome, snag a spot at the counter to be right in the thick of the action, and for the perfect sweet ending be sure to order creme do céu: biscuits, custard and mousse galore.
Sample the best of Porto yourself on Culture Trip’s epic nine-day Portugal trip to Porto and Lisbon – highlights include sailing down the Douro on a traditional rabelo boat and a wine tasting at Quinta da Pacheca.
Cosy atmosphere, friendly staff and a fabulous, bargainous lunch menu (three courses for around €12!), there’s nothing not to love about Mito, a centrally located restaurant with a neighbourhood vibe. Grab a seat at a booth and tuck into a juicy burger, fish tacos or pork belly. You’re a block over from hip restaurant strip Rua da Picaria here, so you can carry on afterwards to Asian-inspired Bao-Bao or Mood sushi bar if you’re not too stuffed.
Want to try a Portuguese classic? O Buraco dishes up tripas à moda do Porto, the traditional-style tripe stew that might not necessarily be a tourist crowd-pleaser, but gives you a proper taste of regional cuisine. Other options in this throwback, casual spot include codfish with chips, duck rice and breaded pork steaks. For all its retro charms, and convenient location near busy Trindade station, this is certainly not a place to be heading when you’re on a diet.
The Portuguese know that great dishes are made from great ingredients – and this restaurant really puts that philosophy front and centre. Owned by an Alentejo winemaker and olive-oil producer, Esporão, it doesn’t overcomplicate its seasonal cuisine, instead letting freshness do the talking. If you’re not in the market for a full meal of crisp-skinned fish on rice or tender clams, pop by in the late afternoon for some small snacks and vino (which is also available by the bottle to take away).
So you’ve done mainland Portugal – how about something a little… further flung? The Azores are a cluster of volcanic islands thrust out into the Atlantic – and they’re a nature-made adventure playground. Our six-day Epic Trip, filled with hiking, biking and kayaking, will sweep you off your feet.
This bright tapas bar centres around one big, beautiful communal table – so prepare yourself to be sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers. The intimate vibe pays back in spades, though, from the delicious food to the welcome sense that you’re eating at your cool Portuguese friend’s pad. Sandwiches, salads, cheese and meat boards; Brick Clérigos isn’t about being fancy, it’s about good, honest food that leaves you with a smile on your face.
Super-friendly service makes lunchtime a joy at this popular spot to the west of the old town core. But the homely, down-to-earth cooking – just what you’d expect from a family-owned restaurant – is what attracts diners too, with saucy rice dishes and codfish sausage, washed down with crisp vinho verde wines. Look out for the daily specials, and don’t miss the comforting desserts, which taste like the kind of puds your grandma (if she was Portuguese) would make.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Claire Baker.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.