From seafood to wine, Porto is a gastronomic oasis. One of the best places to enjoy Portuguese culinary in this city is in the UNESCO neighborhood, Ribeira. Known as the soul of Porto, the Riberia district offers visitors a variety of Portuguese restaurants and international venues that are not to be missed.
Jimão Tapas e Vinhos
Restaurant, Portuguese, $$$
If you’re new to Portuguese cuisine, then Jimão Tapas e Vinhos is the perfect place to start. Their small Portuguese tapas make it easy for patrons to try a little bit of everything. Jimão’s candlelit wooden tables, overlooking the colorful streets of the Praça da Ribeira, create a quaint and traditional ambiance. Everything on the menu is delicious but the cod salad, prawns Jimão, monk fish with olive sauce and pork tenderloin with mushrooms are worth a special mention.
D. Tonho is an elegant choice for classic Portuguese dishes. Utilizing Portgual’s most prominent ingredients, such as codfish, lamb, sausage and trout, D. Tonho puts a lot of emphasis on the unique flavors of their food. The decor of D. Tonho is also impressive, with sophisticated white tablecloths and breathtaking views of the Rio Douro to boot. Try the Portuguese cod casserole, or the pork with clams – they are both excellent.
Another great option for Portuguese food, Chez Lapin is well known for its beautiful terrace right next to the Rio Douro. Request a table outside and enjoy the magnificent views, or sit inside and admire the rustic stonewalls and classic Portuguese decor. Chef Lapin recommends ordering the baked octopus and cod, or the rabbit entrée. Of course, these dishes must be accompanied by a glass of Porto’s famous fortified wine. Address: Chez Lapin, R. Canastreios 40-42, Porto, Portugal, +351 22 200 6418
Situated in a building that is over 400 years old, Restaurante Mercearia offers guests a historical Portuguese dining experience. Located in Ribeira near the Dom Luis I Bridge, this restaurant specializes in Portuguese meats and seafood. Restaurante Mercearia prides itself on excellent and friendly service and the restaurant features many prominent archways and historic points of interest.
With an extensive regional wine menu, Vinologia is the best place in Ribeira to sample Porto’s most famous eponymous export: port. Any port wine here comes recommended as customer’s cannot go wrong with the choices Vinologia has to offer. So, sit back, relax and enjoy one of Porto’s famous tipples in the cozy tasting room. Address: Vinologia-La Maison des Porto, 30, R. de São João 28, Porto, Portugal, +351 912 538 219
This small Portuguese restaurant is popular among Porto’s locals. The menu is only available in Portuguese however, Taberna Dos Mercadores’ waiters can help foreign diners navigate the menu in order to pick delectable appetizers, entrées and desserts. Specializing in seafood dishes, don’t miss the flaming sea bass, rice with shellfish, or the salmon.
Up one of Ribeira’s hilly streets, Fish Fixe also serves some of Ribeira’s most acclaimed fish. Facing the Rio Douro, the restaurant boasts views of the waters from their second-floor indoor dining room and their outdoor seating area. Previous diners recommend the sardines with rice, the shrimp salad and the roasted octopus. Modestly decorated with floral arrangements, Fish Fixe is the perfect place for either lunch or dinner in Ribeira.
Located down a small alleyway right behind Praça da Riberia, Escondidinho do Barredo delights customers with minute Portuguese snacks and tapas. This is another restaurant frequented by locals who cannot get enough of their fried cod fritters, octopus and cuttlefish. Escondidinho do Barredo is modestly decorated with wood benches and tables, and traditional Portuguese tiled walls
In Portuguese, avó means “grandmother”, and at Restaurant Avó Maria, it feels as though you are actually eating dishes cooked by the loving hands of a local grandmother. This restaurant serves warm and classic Portuguese cuisine, like swordfish, grilled octopus and grilled dorado. Sit outside and enjoy the sounds of the Praça da Ribeira while doing a spot of people-watching.
Enjoy delicious cod cakes along the river at O Restaurante da Alzira. Or, try the baked cod with broccoli with a glass of wine. O Restaurante da Alzira is a small cafe owned by a Moroccan family in the Praça da Ribeira. Known for their warm bread and warm service, O Restrauante da Alzira gives off a homey ambiance and relaxing vibe.