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.
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.
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.
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.